Monday, January 17, 2011

The Best Way to Continue Dr. King's Dream: Close the Marriage Gap

Several friends on Facebook have been posting an argument made by GOOD, one of my favorite websites and magazines. The post is entitled "In Honor of Dr. King: Let's Solve the Worst Crisis Facing Black Children Since Slavery." The crisis that the author, Liz Dwyer, has in mind is the education gap.

I respectfully disagree. I think the gap that lies behind all the other black/white gaps in America is the marriage gap. African Americans have the lowest rate of marriage of any ethnic group in the U.S. 70% of black kids are born out of wedlock - by far the highest percentage of any ethnic group. If African Americans had the same marriage rate as other Americans, most of the racial gap would disappear.

1 comment:

Whit said...

I don't disagree with you. One way to foster marriage is getting the fathers and potential fathers into Church. There might also be some changes in the tax law that make marriage less expensive, but how else?

There might be ways for the entertainment industry to favor traditional families in their productions, or for schools to talk about this in sex-ed or economics classes.

Education, jobs and business ownership, which would give men a sense of empowerment (and a way out of the culture of poverty), and women an incentive to marry, are other ways to get the marriage rate up. These are a little more amenable to public policy choices (though you and I might disagree about those choices). These are all highly interconnected problems.