Is Marriage for White People?

Is Marriage for White People?

How the African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A distinguished Stanford law professor examines the steep decline in marriage rates among the African American middle class, and offers a paradoxical-nearly incendiary-solution.

Black women are three times as likely as white women to never marry.
That sobering statistic reflects a broader reality: African Americans are the most unmarried people in our nation, and contrary to public perception the racial gap in marriage is not confined to women or the poor. Black men, particularly the most successful and affluent, are less likely to marry than their white counterparts. College educated black women are twice as likely as their white peers never to marry.

Is Marriage for White People? is the first book to illuminate the many facets of the African American marriage decline and its implications for American society. The book explains the social and economic forces that have undermined marriage for African Americans and that shape everyone's lives. It distills the best available research to trace the black marriage decline's far reaching consequences, including the disproportionate likelihood of abortion, sexually transmitted diseases, single parenthood, same sex relationships, polygamous relationships, and celibacy among black women.

This book centers on the experiences not of men or of the poor but of those black women who have surged ahead, even as black men have fallen behind. Theirs is a story that has not been told. Empirical evidence documents its social significance, but its meaning emerges through stories drawn from the lives of women across the nation. Is Marriage for White People? frames the stark predicament that millions of black women now face: marry down or marry out. At the core of the inquiry is a paradox substantiated by evidence and experience alike: If more black women married white men, then more black men and women would marry each other.

This book not only sits at the intersection of two large and well- established markets-race and marriage-it responds to yearnings that are widespread and deep in American society. The African American marriage decline is a secret in plain view about which people want to know more, intertwining as it does two of the most vexing issues in contemporary society. The fact that the most prominent family in our nation is now an African American couple only intensifies the interest, and the market. A book that entertains as it informs, Is Marriage for White People? will be the definitive guide to one of the most monumental social developments of the past half century.
Publisher: New York : Dutton, c2011.
ISBN: 9780525952015
Branch Call Number: 306.81089/BANKS
Characteristics: viii, 289 p. ; 24 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
May 09, 2015

Thought provoking book for all single African-American people to understand the difficulties of getting married when one is African-American and educated. Book caters more to the African-American woman than to African-American men but still good to understand the African-American woman's dilemma.

Nov 05, 2011

I didn't enjoy this book. This topic is getting blown out of proportion, and yet again, we have another "expert" throwing gas on the fire! The sources he used were bad, including the interviews, stats & polls recited, etc. The tone of this book seemed to be extremely negative and suggested that African-American women must change in order to get men to commit. He claims looking outside of the racial group is the answer to AA womens' prayers; Interracial dating and marriage is not the answer to improving communication between AA women an men. This premise was way off the mark and managed to make me hang my head in disgust at this author's ignorance.

nutty7688 Oct 17, 2011

Interesting to know, highly recommended to all African American singles.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SDPL

To Top