I love it when my people work to find a better understanding.
In recent history, Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses wrote a piece dealing with the decline of males seeking marriage. Entitled When Did Black Men Decide Against “Protect, Provide & Please” For Their Women?, it analyzes what has gone grown for many (not all) of the people in our Black communities. Noting issues with Black male incarceration, lack of beliefs in the viabilities of relationships, and monetary concerns, Nomalanga noted that many males are not opting to become husbands and providers. What happens is this: single parent homes become the normalcy, and expectation, for plenty of us. Understandably, this article is nothing short of observatory greatness.
The only issue with the article doesn’t deal with the contents in themselves. It actually deals with not understanding how men and marriage work together.
Chocolate covered lie: there isn’t one. I just feel the need to address the situation from a male point of view. Maybe it is for a better understanding (if anything).
The Ball and Chain Awaits
You know the stigma: the “ole ball and chain”. I made reference to it in one of my blogs of the past. For many men, marriage has been considered that time of “less fun and more time in the house”. In actuality, it isn’t quite like that (in all cases). Still, marriage is always going to be a major concern.
The funny part: plenty of people believe in marriage. The truth is this: marriage is still respected as an institution among those that are well-to-do . If you see people on TV, divorce is happening left and right. However, if you ask W. Bradford Wilcox, marriage is still a respected institution amongst the rich and wealthy . Thus, you can’t take the Kardashians as the epitome of relationships in today’s day and times.
The problem comes in when we get to the economically depressed and distressed. For those without a college degree, marriage is falling with an increase of divorce and single parent child rearing . The problem is that it causes problems for all involved. Wilcox noted that “boys who are reared outside of marriage are about twice as likely to end up in prison by the time they turn 30” and girls without fathers “are at least twice as likely to end up pregnant, compared with girls raised in intact, married homes with their fathers” . As many people face economic trouble, they face marital demise too.
The Ball and Chain That Isn’t Marriage
What is more damning than anything is the fact that these black males don’t want marriage because they come from a background where marriage isn’t even realistic.
First of all, we have to look deeply into the mind and habits of the “single male”. If a man mentally remains “single”, then he will fail to “settle down” . That is: many (not all) single men don’t fully figure themselves out and take time to do things for success (i.e. strategic planning, living to accumulate wealth, etc.). Adding the fact that many Black males tend to come from situations where their idea of womanhood is gathered from over-dramatized reality shows, shoddy media, and broken homes just don’t help the situation much. Plenty of these brothers would marry but their lives never allowed the idea of marriage to become a serious reality.
Nobel Laureate George Akerlof, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, noted “Men settle down when they get married: If they fail to get married, they fail to settle down.”
I agree with that sentiment. Fully and unconditionally.
Let us not forget about the women and what THEY think of marriage today. In a Glamour Magazine from May of 2012, we found this information from a poll they had taken:
• Women think marriage is out, more so than men: 51 percent of women under 30 – and 46% of women overall – say the institution is becoming outdated. Men are more traditional, a full 58% believe the institution is timeless.
• Single is A-OK! Nearly one in three women in our survey says she’d feel fine going through the rest of her life single.
• Divorce? No problem! 59 percent of women say divorce is healthy if two people fall out of love. 
So, there are going to be a number of women that don’t even believe in marriage. Weirdly enough, that same poll noted that 91% of those same polled women do want marriage and 87% want it to last forever . With that understood, I believe that people are thinking of marriage in a different form.
I thank Nomalanga for describing the issue between our Black men and marriage. However, I wanted to take a look at the bigger picture. A lot of the problems come from our men. Likewise, there are some things that our women have to consider also. She is still absolutely right with her article: in the end, we need to find the pleasure in marriage. Only then can we finally take bigger steps in healing our community.
‘Nuff said and ‘Nuff respect!!!