Updated: Jul 20, 2019
In March of 2006, an article in the Washington Post titled ‘Marriage Is For White People’ questioned the institution of marriage in the African American community and sited several rather disturbing trends. The title of the article came from a remark made by a 12 year-old African American boy in a classroom discussion about fathering children and marriage. The child indicated that he wanted to have several children, however, saw not connection between fathering children and marriage. His response to his teacher, who suggested bringing couples into the classroom to discuss marriage and raising a family, was ‘Oh no, we’re not interested in the part about marriage, just being a good father’. Another child added, with some distain, “Marriage is for white people”.
According to the Washington Post article, African Americans have the lowest marriage rate of any racial group in the United States and it is on the decline. Additionally, with 70% of African American children born out of wed-lock, is there any wonder that young 12 year-old African American boys see marriage as unnecessary. If these boys are themselves not a part of a traditional family unit and don’t see families around them, how can they aspire to have families of their own. They can not be what they cannot see. Unfortunately these children, and far too many like them, are imprinted by their environment to believe that families are not important. When 70% of children today in the African American community are born outside of the traditional family unit, a legacy is forming. The legacy has already begun.
Marriage is not just for white people.