I have come to this conclusion over the years, although I did not begin this way. My most frequent commenter, Stan, in his response to the Real Housewives of Atlanta, has inadvertently sparked this post.
I have been ambivalent towards marriage for a lot of years for different reasons. I did not have a childhood experience with happy marriages. My parents divorced when I was really young. My memories of them married are scattered and few. I do succinctly remember the day that we moved out. I asked my mother why wasn't daddy coming. She assured me that he would meet us later. He visited once and that was that. I soon forgot about him and lived my childhood in a new town with our new dog. We had never had a dog before and Didhebiteyou was quite a nice replacement.
The people I knew who were married were miserable. Financially they were more stable, but the wife was being cheated on or beaten up. Or the couple lived separate lives while living under the same roof. Needless to say, marriage seemed like a far away ideal, instead of an attainable reality.
As I have grown older, and my sphere of influence has widened, I have met many people from different cultures where marriage is a given. I have worked in the Ethiopian, West African, Russian and white community where marriage is the norm. You reach your twenties and you get married. Period.
I have always wondered at the staggering statistic that 70 percent of African American women NEVER get married. I hate bringing up the topic because the conversation soon decends into black women ain't this/black men ain't that. I just don't want to go down that road. But that number 70% sticks out like a sore thumb preventing my brown fist from pumping the air.
Men from the other cultures mentioned, at least the black ones, take it as a given that men are supposed to provide for their wives and families. For (some) African American men, when you mention taking care of a woman, you may get some attitude. The term 'gold digger' rears its ugly head. This lurking suspicion of the opposite sex enters the picture and 70% of us remain unmarried.
I know my post does not take into account other influences to the unmarried statistic. I know slavery and Jim Crow stripped the African American male from his ability to provide and protect his woman/family. I know American culture in general is individualistic. The individual is valued more than the unit.
Today is not the past. I want to specifically focus on why 'some' not 'all' African American men see it as an afront to take care of their wives (financially).
My friend is married. The one African American couple I know that is married happily. Her husband once said that she did not have to work if she did not want to. She is educated and independent so she chooses to work. I just thought it was really cool that he offered. (I hope you guys don't mind being my example.LOL).
What say you?