African Americans: Marriage Matters

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“I, Nick Cannon, take you Mariah Carey, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.” African American superstar, Nick Cannon has beat the odds of being an African American men and getting married. This vow is rarely said by most of the African American males population. Over the last twenty-five years, marriage rates among African American males have declined dramatically. By 1994, the percentage of never-married men increased to 42.4 percent and only 46 percent of African American men were married (Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1995). This in fact has only worsened as shown on the Census 2000 Demographic Profile, as only 7% of African American males were married,not including couples that were separated. Declining marriage rates among African American men have had a tremendous impact on the quality of life of African American families, in particular the children. These negative effects, lead to a downward spiral of tradition of African American males not marrying and creates a social norm by which the next generation of African American men have been accustomed to.

One can wonder about the various reasons as to why African American men have been found to be the least likely to commit. One reason in, particular, is that the majority of African American men have been raised in single parent homes with their mothers or grandmothers being both mom and dad. The role of a husband is foreign to them and may even seem unnecessary. Again the fear of playing a role that was never demonstrated can make him shy away from the responsibility all together. Women being the head of the household has been a contributing factor to the way African American men have raised to think a family should be run. M. Belinda Tucker and her co-author Claudia Mitchell-Kernan viewed the female-headed African American...
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