Tuesday, 06 September 2011
As a little background information, I'm an eighteen year old freshman at the biggest university in Virginia. I finished fifth in my high school class and I came into my very first year of college with 22 college credits. I was chosen by my teachers as student of the year for my graduating class. And last, but not least, I'm an African American woman who hasn't dated an African American male in more than three years. I didn't understand why I didn't have an attraction to them until I came across something eye opening. I logged into Facebook to see a very interesting post appear on my screen. It was a link with the title, "Is Marriage For White People?" Of course, I clicked it and it wasn't at all what I thought it would be.
This article by Jessica Bennett, which can be found here, consists of some background and an interview from Stanford law professor Ralph Richard Banks, the African American author of the book entitled Is Marriage for White People?: How the African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone. He states that middle class black women should marry white men. His reasoning is, in my opinion, extremely correct. Middle class black women are 50% less likely to marry than middle class white women are.
Unmarried black middle class women are more likely to be celibate and less likely to have children compared to white women. Banks believes that this isn't by choice but is instead caused by the fact that a successful black woman cannot find a black male counterpart to match her success level. They are then unwilling to marry a black man who isn't "up to par" with them on the educational, social, or economical levels.
Banks also brings up the very important fact that black woman now obtain two times the bachelor degrees that black men receive and that black women are the largest group to have better educational backgrounds than their partners. “It’s time for black women to stop being held hostage to the deficiencies of black men,” Banks says. “They should emancipate themselves and not feel as if they have no option but make the best of this bad situation. Black women have been taking one for the team for a long time.”
Professor Banks also mentions that black women often fail to leave the comfort zone of dating black men because they feel as if they're "selling out" by not sticking to what they know. He even mentions fear of white men not being attracted to a black woman and the awkwardness of having to tell him "I have extensions..." or "I use a relaxer..." due to the cultural differences.
Since reading this article, I've realized a lot about where I stand in the "dating world" due to my educational background. I don't have the fears that the women who confide in Professor Banks have about stepping over the ethnic boundary and I'm not asserting that I'd never be in a relationship with a black man. However, for the same reasons that professor Banks stated, I'm attracted to successful men with a good head on their shoulders. And frankly, we don't have that in today's society.
Now, my fellow Xangans/Datingishers, what's your opinion on this subject? Do you think Banks undermined black men? Or is he right on with his assertions? What's the "white man's" view on this situation?