A black man without a job or the likelihood of landing one cannot offer a woman enough to make that exchange worthwhile.

interracial dating book for black women-63

C., and the child of parents who are approaching their 50th wedding anniversary, Audrey seems like the proverbial "good catch"—smart, funny, well-educated, attractive.

Audrey earns a good living, too, with an income from management consulting that far surpasses what her parents ever made.

Her social life is busy as well, filled with family, friends and church. As she told me, sitting at a restaurant in the fashionable Dupont Circle neighborhood of the nation's capital, "I'm trying to get to a point where I accept that marriage may never happen for me." Audrey belongs to the most unmarried group of people in the U. Nearly 70% of black women are unmarried, and the racial gap in marriage spans the socioeconomic spectrum, from the urban poor to well-off suburban professionals.

I also arrived at a startling conclusion: Black women can best promote black marriage by opening themselves to relationships with men of other races.

Audrey and other black women confront a social scene in which desirable black men are scarce. More than two million men are now imprisoned in the U. At any given time, more than 10% of black men in their 20s or 30s—prime marrying ages—are in jail or prison. There are roughly 1.4 million black women now in college, compared to just 900,000 black men. Among graduate-school students, in 2008 there were 125,000 African-American women but only 58,000 African-American men.

That same year, black women received more than three out of every five law or medical degrees awarded to African-Americans.These problems translate into dimmer economic prospects for black men, and the less a man earns, the less likely he is to marry. Marriage is a matter of love and commitment, but it is also an exchange.Three in 10 college-educated black women haven't married by age 40; their white peers are less than half as likely to have remained unwed. As a black man, my interest in the issue is more than academic.I've looked at all the studies—the history, the social science, the government data—and I've spent a year traveling the country interviewing scores of professional black women.In exchange for my promise to conceal their identities (in part by using pseudonyms, as I've done here), they shared with me their most personal experiences and desires in relation to marriage and family.I came away convinced of two facts: Black women confront the worst relationship market of any group because of economic and cultural forces that are not of their own making; and they have needlessly worsened their situation by limiting themselves to black men.