News Center

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

Black Woman, White Man: Should Race Matter In Love?

Publication Date: 
October 07, 2011
Los Angeles Times
Sandy Banks

Sandy Banks, Los Angeles Times writer and sister of Professor Rick Banks, wrote the below op-ed on the topic of her brother's book "Is Marriage for White People?" and how it's a topic she has struggled with understanding in her own life.

It's been so long, I can't even remember what the column was about or how I'd drawn the ire of the reader who mailed me in response.

She was — like me — black, middle-aged and middle-class, and she disagreed vehemently with whatever I'd said that week.

She threw down the gauntlet with her closing remark: "I can tell; you're one of those women with a white boyfriend."


I've been thinking about those questions a lot this week, as I accompanied my brother, Stanford professor Rick Banks, talking about a book he's written, "Is Marriage for White People?" to a series of Los Angeles audiences.

The book mixes scholarly studies and women's stories to explain how a national decline in marriage has hit middle-class black women especially hard, leaving us alone and segregated in an increasingly integrated romantic world.

His book raises complicated issues that can't be reduced to shorthand here and has prompted spirited public discussion with its suggestion that black women — the most un-partnered group in America — consider relationships with nonblack men.