I have been meaning to get back to my blogging for months but work has had me extremely stressed and tired lately. My Facebook memories reminded me of an article I came across last year that stated that black women who are college educated are least likely to have a well-educated spouse. First, let me say that there is a major difference between being well educated and highly intelligent. Some of the most intelligent people I know have not been afforded the opportunity to receive formal education.
Back to this article (found on diversityinc.com), which states that “a large percentage of Black women with college degrees remain unmarried because they seek to only wed a Black, educated man.” To me, that says that Black women don’t stand a chance at a marriage unless they have low standards or club a man over the head like a cave woman. While I agree that the marriage rates among White educated females and Black educated females is drastically disproportionate, I do not believe that I should have to compromise my standards or “dumb myself down” to find a partner that can bring just as much to the table if not more.
When considering the marriage rate among college educated Black women and college educated White women, you must consider the following:
- The reason White women go to college is usually to get a husband and the degree is secondary. It’s not something that is often discussed but when you spend your dorm years with White female peers you pay attention and observe things. Based on my experience, at a predominately White university, White women seek degrees in fields that will put them in the best position to interact with men who are striving for success. Let’s not get into that whole white privilege thing. I have actually been told by some of my non-melanated female friends that they went to college with the goal of getting a husband but if they didn’t, they would have a degree to fall back on.
- The reason Black women go to college is because we are often raised (and I am speaking from my personal experiences and the experiences of my close friends) in families full of Black women who are single mothers taking care of things alone. We are not often given the option of going to college to find husbands because we know that we are either on scholarship, cannot afford to waste our financial aid or cannot afford to rack up student loans without being successful. As young Black women, we are taught and conditioned not to depend on anyone and we go to college to survive in a world that may or may not include a husband. Education in a Black household is more about self-preservation and less about finding a spouse. As a matter of fact, I can recall being told not to let “no nappy headed ass little boy distract me.”
- The stigma attached to black women who are highly educated and successful is more negative that of our White or Latina female peers. Society chooses to feed into the idea that black women are hard, unwilling to compromise, reluctant to submit, loud and angry. Media chooses to focus on those Black female images that are negative (as shown on every reality show on BET, MTV and VH1) with little or no balance to what our reality actually looks like.
As it relates to interracial marriages, you have to consider the past. I know, I know… I know. The past is in the past and we should leave it there with Black Jesus, Egyptian Kings and Queens and slavery. In this case, you have to consider where our people, that is Black people, have come from in terms of how we view each other in intimate relationships. For a very long time there was the mentality that “WHITE is right,” that was spoon fed to us like Mary Poppins’ proverbial “spoon full of sugar.” During slavery, our men were taken from us, bedded by White women and killed in return. Let me remind you all that Emmett Till’s accuser recently admitted to lying about the incident that caused a 14 year old child to be brutalized and murdered. 50+ years later and this woman admits to what Black people have known all along, and there are seemingly no consequences. The fact that she was taken at her word just because she was White says a lot about the times they were living in and the fact that nobody seemed to care that she admitted the lie in 2016 says a lot about how little society has changed. But I digress…
Now let me remind you of how these same slave plantation owners that whipped, demoralized and emasculated our men continued to rape our women ( in front of their men) and used them as a tool to create more Black slaves. In this history, one could conclude that white women were the unattainable prize on this pedestal for Black men and Black women were over sexed, angry and insatiable baby machines to white men. Some Black people still have the remnants of that slave mentality and strive to attain the things that they were conditioned to believe they were unworthy of for so many years (education, money, White women, etc).
As a Black woman, I am perturbed at how we always have to be criticized, analyzed, dissected, labeled and explained as if we are a mental illness. Last year when I read this article I felt defeated and saddened by how I was being generalized because I am a Black woman with a degree and planning to get several more. This year when I read it I felt empowered to go against the data and prove the research wrong. Personally, I see myself marrying a strong, black educated man who appreciates having a strong, black, educated woman by his side.