Monday, November 2, 2009

Positive Images of Black Marriage

Last week, I listened to an engaging discussion on the Marc Steiner Show promoting the movie Happily Ever After: Positive Images of Black Marriage.

For a large segment of the African American community, marriage is not the norm. Many of our communities are plagued by absentee fathers and teenage pregnancy. According to the U.S. Census , in 2007, 40.4 percent of African Americans never married compared to 22.7 percent for whites and 31.4 percent for Hispanics. According to the U.S. Census report Living Arrangements of Children: 2004, only 38 percent of African American children live in two parent homes. In contrast, 87 percent of Asian children, 78 percent of white children and 68 percent of Hispanic children live in two parent households.

During the broadcast, the guests emphasized the need to present positive images of marriage to address the problem. For that reason, I look forward to seeing the movie. However, as one caller stated, drugs, welfare and mass incarceration have contributed the destruction of the African American family structure. Although helpful, positive images alone will not end this crisis. This is an urgent issue that the civil rights organizations and religious institutions must address.

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