Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Williams II Photo credit: Dale Rich
Not only is the phenomenon of the single black woman with children ever increasing but now the single black woman is faced with the prospect of never being married and being happy with the single girl friends, a good job, and a miniature dog. One would question, what does that do for the fate of the black family?
At a funeral for my wife's grandmother this summer, I stayed at the home of the deceased woman who birthed many children, and lived to see many grandchildren and great-grandchildren at numbers too many to count. Many of us know that in the black family tradition, funerals always leave a bittersweet taste in your mouth. Bitter because of the loss, and sweet because of all the rekindled relationships with old family and friends.
Inside of Big Mama's and Papa's House, it always seems to be in perfect homely condition, the walls and mantles are lined with pictures of everybody's life events and changes. It's a place that represents in all of the minds of the folks who are on the walls and mantles a true north. Everybody thinks the food from the house is made with the best coordination of seasonings, but really there is no better spice than love.
Although we have seen many tragedies within the black community, i.e Trayvon Martin and Micheal Brown, it would make one wonder about the state of affairs for Black America. However dismal it may seem, the current generation is looking at many more MDs, JDs, MBAs and PHDs than in the past and the rate that black young professionals are moving upward in corporations, nonprofits leadership positions and governmental institutions is very impressive.
But a recent Gallop poll taken in 2013 speaks to the statistics that show quite blatantly minorities aren't getting married.
"And among younger people, nonwhites were less likely than whites to be married, but they were more likely to say that they wanted to be"
Now there are many reasons for this. Obviously, the prison pipeline contributes greatly to this growing epidemic. I would probably hang my hat on that alone, if I didn't know any better, but as a young brother newlywed with just three weeks fresh off the market, I believe that there are other contributing factors to this epidemic -- most of it rooted in this desire to live in the world of "me, myself and I."
Men, we want to be at the top so bad that we don't want anything to so-called "slow us down," so women simply become a tool to "blow off some steam," if you know what I mean, and let's face it, with a man to woman ratio of 10 to 1 as soon as she begins to show an imperfection we can move on with no questions asked and let me not forget the "non committal hurt man." He was hurt by some woman along the way, now he goes and disrespects all women by trading them out like toothbrushes.
Meanwhile women, if he doesn't drive the right car, or the right apartment or condo, if he's not dressed in the newest fashions, if he doesn't fit that perfect little "Ken Doll" character you have to work endlessly to change him. Let's not forget about the "I'm too busy to be a girlfriend" woman or "I have to fit you into my iPhone calender." And lastly the "Jack and the Bean Stalk" woman: her "wall" is so high to her heart, that you need a bean stalk to climb up to it.
I'm sure the issues are much deeper than this and although I've been married for three weeks the single life is becoming a distant memory. What I do know is that the commitment to marriage is a commitment to beginning and ending a life with someone. It's about becoming a Big Mama and Big Papa. It;s about building something bigger than yourself with someone else. For me, real success is not about what I achieve alone, but rather what those who come after me are able to build on. Who knows, because of this union maybe somebody will say "my granddaddy or my great-grand daddy was my influence."