The economic benefits associated with marriage are particularly significant for Black women. Black single mothers who marry see their income rise by 81 percent compared to 45 percent for white single mothers.
But Black women are not getting married.
Ralph Richard Banks, author of Is Marriage for White People? described the problem to Justice Leah Ward Sears (retired, Georgia Supreme Court) at our Center for Public Conversation event:
"People don't have to marry now...and so some people will say 'Is it worthwhile for me to marry?' And as men are struggling, marriage seems less worthwhile to many. For Black women, there is a shortage of Black men who are able to be the sort of husband women want. Only half as many Black men as Black women graduate college...1 in 10 are in jail, which is obviously not helping their economic prospects...so Black women have a small pool...but by any measure there are more nonblack men who are interested in Black women than there are Black women."
This is a critical moment in the public conversation on marriage.
Whether the subject is cohabitation replacing marriage as the norm, the growing marriage gap, or the dearth of marriages in African American communities, the work of the Institute for American Values is cited in dozens of articles in widely read, influential outlets like the New York Times, Weekly Standard, CNN.com, National Affairs, and the Wall Street Journal.
But we need your continued support to keep showing that marriage matters.
The benefits of marriage extend to poor, working-class, and minority communities, despite the fact that marriage has weakened in these communities in the last four decades. For example:
- Black men who marry see a significant increase in their annual income -- about $4,000 according to one estimate.
- Marriage helps reduce male criminality: A study of five hundred chronic juvenile offenders found that those who married and enjoyed high-quality marriages reduced their offense rate by two-thirds.
- Murder and robbery rates in urban America are strongly tied to the health of marriage in urban communities.
Today, I am asking you to support the Institute for American Values at the $25, $50, $100 -- or any level. Your gift will help us continue to:
- make public arguments about the most important issues confronting the family, marriage, and children;
- help us improve the civility and seriousness of our national conversation; and
- help us more broadly disseminate the Institute's flagship reports, studies, and ideas.
Many thanks for your support.
P.S. Center for Public Conversation events are videotaped and are available for viewing at: http://www.centerforpublicconversation.org/events/index.php