Her social life is busy as well, filled with family, friends and church. As she told me, sitting at a restaurant in the fashionable Dupont Circle neighborhood of the nation's capital, "I'm trying to get to a point where I accept that marriage may never happen for me." Audrey belongs to the most unmarried group of people in the U. Nearly 70% of black women are unmarried, and the racial gap in marriage spans the socioeconomic spectrum, from the urban poor to well-off suburban professionals.
Three in 10 college-educated black women haven't married by age 40; their white peers are less than half as likely to have remained unwed. As a black man, my interest in the issue is more than academic.
I've looked at all the studies—the history, the social science, the government data—and I've spent a year traveling the country interviewing scores of professional black women.
I came away convinced of two facts: Black women confront the worst relationship market of any group because of economic and cultural forces that are not of their own making; and they have needlessly worsened their situation by limiting themselves to black men.
I also arrived at a startling conclusion: Black women can best promote black marriage by opening themselves to relationships with men of other races.
Audrey and other black women confront a social scene in which desirable black men are scarce. More than two million men are now imprisoned in the U. At any given time, more than 10% of black men in their 20s or 30s—prime marrying ages—are in jail or prison. There are roughly 1.4 million black women now in college, compared to just 900,000 black men. Among graduate-school students, in 2008 there were 125,000 African-American women but only 58,000 African-American men.
First comes love, then comes marriage – but where do credit and finances fit in?
From the first few dates up to the exchange of rings and vows and beyond, your financial picture is a part of who you are, and the kind of life you can offer others a role in.
As a relationship progresses, finances start to become more of the discussion.Learn when more and more couples are starting to talk dollars, cents and credit.The language of love isn’t exclusively about finances, but finances do play an increasingly important role in how your future can look."At this point in my life," says Audrey, age 39, "I thought I'd be married with children." A native of southeast Washington, D.C., and the child of parents who are approaching their 50th wedding anniversary, Audrey seems like the proverbial "good catch"—smart, funny, well-educated, attractive.Audrey earns a good living, too, with an income from management consulting that far surpasses what her parents ever made.