Why Marriage Is Important to the African American Community

By Guest Writer Maryanne D. Brown Campbell 

As the statistic that 70% of black women are single prompted me to write this book, I’ve made amazing discoveries, I wasn’t aware of before…I feel the universe is in perfect balance, and what comes around goes around. When you look at the fact we have a President with African blood-lines (and I say this because I believe we are Africans living in America, as that’s where our roots lie, despite the fact, the majority of us cannot trace our roots, and the fact Obama is biracial), when you look at that fact, and remember our history in America, that started in slavery, is it any wonder that one day we would have a black man running this country? When you remember history, and how America first belonged to the Indians or Native Americans, and realize that Mexicans have descended from the Aztec Indians, is it any wonder that Mexican Americans far out populate any other ethnicity in America today? That said, when you take into account Mexican culture and how significant and important family is to their culture, we can learn something from them…  
Given the following statistics, family, which is produced in its most healthiest forms, through marriage, makes marriage an important factor, especially to our community:  
“The marriage rate for African Americans has been dropping since the 1960s, and today, we have the lowest marriage rate of any racial group in the United States.”  
“Today the number of children born into a black marriage averages less than 0.9 children per marriage. ‘The birthrates of black married women have fallen so sharply that absent out-of-wedlock child-bearing, the African American population would not only fail to reproduce itself, but would rapidly die off.”  
“African American women are the least likely in our society to marry. In the period between 1970 and 2001, the overall marriage rate in the U.S. declined by 17%; but for blacks, it fell 34%.”  
Higher rates of black child poverty are linked to higher levels of black single parenthood.  
“Divorce and marriage play a much bigger economic role for black children than white children in the U.S. In the first 2 years following a divorce, family income among white children falls about 30%, while it falls by 53% among black children. The difference increases dramatically in the long run. 3 or more years after the divorce, about a 3rd of the loss in whites’ household income is recouped, but the income of black families barely improves…” -UC Davis economists, Marianne Page & Ann Huff Stevens  

Commentary welcome, and thanks for listening… I hope this sheds light on my marriage reformist notions for our community…
If you want to know more, check out her book Food For The Soul 

About the Author: Maryanne D. Brown Campbell 

Maryanne D. Brown Campbell is best known for her “in your face,” uncensored poetic style, thus the name Serpentine Tongue, the title of her previous book, is befitting of her works, as she has a tongue like a snake, with her witty, sharp and critical edge, and honest and ever passionate views.  She is also versatile to the likes of one of her favorite poets Paul Laurence Dunbar, who wrote in eloquent English vernacular and slave dialect.  Inspired as well by everyone from the late Tupac Shakur to her former college instructor, author, poet, playwright, dancer, actress and lecturer, Ntozake Shange, as well as poets Amari Baraka, Saul Williams and Black Ice, she plans to make a name for herself, with more works to come.

Food for the Soul touches on the topics of sisterhood, sexuality, interracial relationships, the word “bitch”, emotional intelligence, what it is to be a “Pillar of Strength” and a “Beast of Burden”, beauty and so much more.  Its essence is as the title suggests, a component to feeds one’s soul literally, -a book no African-American household should be without, as it gives us a deeper and profound understanding of our state of being in the African American community today, in order to remedy our issues amongst ourselves and with one another.

Maryanne D. Brown Campbell currently resides in San Diego, California, an English major who received her baccalaureate from Prairie View A & M University and her Masters in Management from the University of Phoenix.  She is presently working on future book endeavors, a romance novel, poetry compilations, a spoken word CD, and most notably, Word Masturbation: The Poet’s Guide to Love, Sex and Relationships.



5 thoughts on “Why marriage is Important to the African American Community

  1. Thank you for this article. However I would like to say that family is important to African American communities and I wish you would expound more on the statistics that you included.

  2. Ms. Campbell
    I’m inclined to agree that the statistics regarding marriage are unfortunate. I’d like to inject these variables into the mix, being an objectivist and all. What would the impact of letting same gender loving people marry have on the lives of African American children and youth? Instead of state sponsored marriage, wouldn’t a system of domestic partnership contracts, and tying “legitimacy” of offspring to DNA rather than the marriage license be better ? Allowing states to mandate visitation by parents could also go hand in hand with child support requirements. As far as the nation within a nation called AFRICAN AMERICA goes wouldn’t a more afrocentric matrilinear view of family and relationship be appropriate ? rather than engaging in normative behaviors for the sake of economic stability wouldn’t it be more advantageous to use collective childrearing both inter and intra family? I ask because I seek to learn.

  3. I am curious how same gender loving people would increase the population? You could have all sorts of “scenarios” in which children are reared in various states….we already have foster homes, orphanages, and many other situations in which there is no traditional state sponsored marriage…the issue is really how do we continue to have a population growth without marriages. I suppose we could have a system where men donate sperm and women come monthly to be inseminated and the child then placed in a home with 2 or more adults (it could be the mother and a paid partner or 2 strangers or any combo). Without men and women joining in sexual union, there will be no more humans. Her point is that marriage is the best way to ensure that there is enough stability for this to occur.


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