News Center

Elsewhere Online twitter Facebook SLS Blogs YouTube SLS Channel Linked In SLSNavigator SLS on Flickr

Loss , Black Family Life

Publication Date: 
September 17, 2011
Charleston Gazette

A review of Professor Rick Banks' new book "Is Marriage for White People? How the African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone" by the Charleston Gazette in featured in the below article.

Offbeat sociologist Jeremy Rifkin once explained why America's black family structure disintegrated:

Up through World War II, he said, blue-collar industries needed armies of laborers to unload ships, dig ditches, carry construction materials, dig coal, push wheelbarrows, load trucks and railway cars, etc. Multitudes of black men supported families from this work. Then mechanization blossomed in the postwar years. Forklifts, conveyor belts, ditching machines, coal-cutters, end-loaders and the like wiped out millions of manual jobs.

Black men, at the bottom of the economic totem pole, were laid off in droves. Many were left adrift in slums with little to do except drink and feel worthless. Numbers of black women soon tired of the situation and began living without men, raising families alone on their meager incomes. Matriarchy grew.


Until the middle of the 20th century, Banks says, 90 percent of black women married. But today, two-thirds are unwed - double the rate for white women. It's worse for college-educated black females, because they outnumber black male college grads 2-to-1. As a result, 70 percent of all black children are born to single mothers.


It's a dilemma. Author Banks says the best cure is for single black women to date equal white men who can support families. Why not? America's racial apartheid is disappearing. Intermarriage - once illegal - may be a final step of integration.