Something that appears to be a trend among Black women these days is "singleness." I am at that weird age where I have friends that are 20-something year-old's and friends that are 30-something year-old's and the one constant between my groups of friends and acquaintances is the lack of a significant other.
When I look at the white people in my life, I don't see this issue at all and I wanted to know why this was. Why this odd discrepancy? Is it because Black women are considered less attractive? Is it the fault of stereotypes? Or is it because Black men just simply don't want to settle down?
According to an ABC poll, 42% of Black women in the United States have never walked down the isle. The percentage of white women in the U.S who have never tied the knot is only half that.
The biggest reason so many Black women remain single? - Mathematics. While there are more woman walking this earth than men, in the U.S there are 1.8 million more Black women (18 and older) than black men. That means that if every Black man married a black woman, one in 12 Black women would still be single.
More than one out of every six black men who today should be between 25 and 54 years old have disappeared from everyday life.
Why? Health and healthcare related issues that begin before birth directly affect the life expectancy of Black Americans...i.e lack of access to education about prenatal care is an issue among Black women.
Black women also have a higher rate of unplanned pregnancies which means more Black women don't realize they are pregnant for more weeks compared to that of white women. This leads to lack of preparedness.
Researchers have also found that Black mothers tend to breastfeed for shorter times compared to white mothers due shorter maternity leave and workplaces that simply aren't "breastfeeding friendly."
As Black young girls grow up, they learn to offset some of these factors with healthier lifestyles, which is why women, in general, tend to live longer than men. And while women across the board live longer than men due to a host of lifestyle factors, Black men, in particular, happen to have the lowest life expectancy rating.
Less black babies make it through birth and infant mortality rate for Black babies is 11.5% which is more than double that of white babies. From there we take into account, childhood obesity, gaps in access to healthcare and the rates of long-term illnesses like cancer. These factors all lead up to less adult Black men.
Aside from health-related issues that produce a high percentage of death among Black men, societal and political factors also play a role. Homicide is also a big contributor. According to ABC, "Homicides are responsible for 0.5 years' worth of lost life expectancy for blacks.
While whites lose 100 years per 100,000 people under age 75 due to homicides, blacks lose more than 800 years. The difference is most stark for males between 15 and 24 years old." And whilst Black people are only 13% of the population, we make up 25% of police killings, so thousands of more Black men cease to exist.
From there we subtract the millions of Black men who are incarcerated. Since the 1980's the U.S prison population has soared. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1 in 3 Black men can expect to go to prison at least once in their lifetime, and once convicted, Black men tend to receive longer sentences than their white counterparts. In fact, on average, Black men receive sentences 10% longer than white men.
After removing all of the Black men who simply no longer exist, we then have to consider the hundreds of thousands already in committed relationships. As I said before, there are nearly 2 million more Black women than Black men, so there's a good chance the majority of them have already been snatched up.
Then, onto something most of us probably wouldn't have even thought about—Gay men. As society inches closer and closer to acceptance of the LGBTQ community, Black men are feeling more and more comfortable coming out of the closet—as they should. Sadly, though, this means fewer men in the dating pool for heterosexual Black women.
Next, we subtract the Black men who simply don't care for Black women. Though this tends to be a touchy subject, Black women know all too well the collective of Black men who prefer to date outside of their race. Whether it be they consider Black women less attractive or have found a reason to idolize a different group of women, we know how real self-hate is.
From what's left, we weed out the ones we simply don't like or are otherwise "un-dateable." Just because the statistics are not in our favor doesn't mean we aren't allowed to have standards, "types," or have a mutual attraction to a man. While "types" can be overlooked, attraction shouldn't be. Most Black women want just a nice, attractive Black man with a job, and all his teeth, and I don't think that's too much to ask for?
So then the sifting begins. If you're a put together, college educated Black women, making decent money, there is nothing wrong with wanting a man who can match that. So, you swerve the men without a college education or at least adequate life experience, men without a job, the ones who have horrible relationships with the mother of their children, the ones who speak with a 5th grade vernacular, and the ones who would be uncomfortable with your success or wouldn't support your boss-ass-bitchness.
You ignore the ones with venereal diseases, the ones who have no goals or aspirations in life, the ones who never learned the importance of personal hygiene, the criminals, the ones you wouldn't trust around your kids, the ones who have a history of abuse or emotional neglect...etc.
Never mind the Black men who aren't woke, don't respect Black women, or have an issue with the way you wear your hair or still live at home with their mom.
The pool of men who are left eventually gets smaller, and the majority of Black women remain single.
So, what are our options? Date outside of our race? The issue then becomes finding non-black men who actually date Black women.
Welp. There's always enough wine...
"African-American men have long been more likely to be locked up and more likely to die young, but the scale of the combined toll is nonetheless jarring. It is a measure of the deep disparities that continue to afflict black men — disparities being debated after a recent spate of killings by the police — and the gender gap is itself a further cause of social ills, leaving many communities without enough men to be fathers and husbands." - The Upshot