Black Marriage Day…
March 30, 2010 1 Comment
I came across the blog noting that Sunday March 28, was Black Marriage Day. If my memory serves me correctly, I first heard about this effort to encourage people who were acting married (living together and having children) to actually make it official. I’m no lawyer, but I do understand that there are legal advantages to marriage – which tend to allow a family to accumulate wealth. Marriage can be dissected a myriad of ways. Some men say it’s unnatural. Some say it’s a religous institution. Some say it’s a secular institution.
Having never been married – I don’t know what it is. But I have my own perception of what I think it is. First word that comes to mind is team work. Not love, romance, ect. But team work. I’ve played many team sports as a child and have married parents. I can say that in my mind, qualities that make a team successful can also be applied to marriage.
The blog about Black Marriage went into this common theme argument: Using the past to explain the present. My response is below:
Interesting analysis. This analysis explains the present based on the past, but doesn’t reposition the present to change the future. I tend to think that the Black Marriage day is at least an attempt to reposition the present to change the future.
Given that the black experience isn’t monolithic, I can’t quite identify with some of the connections to slavery (I can acknowledge them, but not identify). I’ve got examples of family members from 2 generations ago that married and stayed married and some divorced due to relationship issues (not slavery/black issues). In all instances, they at least attempted marriage; whereas today – black folks don’t attempt marriage (statistical generalization).
Futhermore, the marriage created a more economically stable environment where the offspring could focus on education. The household needs were met because the husband and wife worked, instead of the mother and child. Marriage/family enabled education, which enabled folks to get out of poverty. Again, this is simply my personal experience – but based on many friends, I’d say that previous generations did a much better job understanding the financial benefits of marriage.
I acknowledge that blacks are disproportionately disadvantaged due to slavery. Now studies show that married people have a higher net worth than single people. So perhaps one way to climb into different socioeconomic status is to get married. Black marriage day offers a solution, not an explanation for the past. I’ve always had a loose perception that white people view marriage as an economically advantageous institution rather than them truly being more loving than their black counterparts. How annoyed would I be if a guy I were dating said he didn’t want to marry me because of the after effects of slavery? He could come up with many reasons as to why he didn’t want to marry me, but slavery is not one I would take seriously.
Lastly, I don’t think it should be in the scope of Black Marrige day to include same-sex marriage. I’m for same-sex marriage; however, I think that is a completely separate battle. Black people have the right to marry but don’t marry by choice. Same-sex couples don’t even have the legal right to marry. Apples & Oranges. Law vs. Culture.