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

Source: Sandy Banks / Los Angeles Times

Recently 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.

What intrigues me is that today, when the stigma of interracial marriage has faded, we are still wrestling so emotionally with this issue — “we” being smart, strong, accomplished black women, who are wary of “crossing over” but tired of going through life alone.

Black women seem to feel bound less by societal strictures now and more by a sense of pain over the heartbreaking circumstances of black men.

But those same circumstances are what help keep middle-class black women single. Among African Americans, two women graduate from college for every man. Black men are twice as likely to marry a woman of another race.

To read this article in its entirety visit the Los Angeles Times.