African-American Marriage and the Media: Who Determines The Story?

BY: - 18 Nov '11 | Marriage

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In this new article featuring our very own Lamar Tyler as a source, Nadra Kadeem Nittle takes an insightful look on what drives the media’s perception of African-American marriages. She states that, “This message that African-American women are unwanted, not only by black men but also by others, is frequently repeated in media coverage of black marriages.”

Quite honestly, it’s the best look at the ongoing story of black marriage that we’ve seen in a long time.  The story states:

Clearly, this is a very complex and emotional issue. While it’s encouraging to see the mainstream media address the topic, a consistent flaw in the coverage has been the media’s failure to quote and gain information from the kinds of knowledgeable sources who can add substance, rather than sensation, to the conversation.


By seeking comments from these experts, the media can offer far more comprehensive coverage, as demonstrated by some of the interviews conducted for this article.


In recent years, the black marriage issue has been addressed by ABC’s “Nightline,” CNN and the Washington Post. This fall alone, the Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, and ABC’s “The View” have also broached the subject of the black marriage rate. According to the 2010 American Community Survey of the U.S. Census Bureau, 29.3 percent of blacks are married compared to 52.1 percent of whites, 44.2 percent of Hispanics, 57.9 percent of Asians and 36.8 percent of Native Americans.


Another driving force behind recent news coverage of black marriage is Ralph Richard Banks’ controversial new book “Is Marriage for White People?” On the Nov. 11 episode of “The View,” co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd, who are both black, discussed the book’s suggestion that successful black women pursue interracial romance or risk ending up alone because black male professionals are few and far between.

Read the full story here.

BMWK family, what do you think? Is the media narrative about black marriage damaging? Is any of it constructive?  

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  • Niambi

    The media portrays this “false image” of Black marriages because it’s what sells.   Just like sex and negativity.   I thank God for BMWK because this is what is needed to reverse the negative images from the media.   On a side note, I find it sad that Whoopi and Sherri feel that we should look into interracial dating because their appear not be “many options of black professionals”.   That’s a lie and we need to stop feeding into that.   A few weeks ago in the National Black MBA Association held it’s annual conference in Atlanta.    It has been estimated that there are over  10,000 black men and women showed up to this event.   There are plenty of educated, professional black men and you just need to know where to find them.   Beyond that, there are good black men out there, period.   I have one and he  is a hard worker.   He does not have a college degree but he is in a management position and worked his way up to the top and has been promoted several times by his employer.   I am proud of my black, mocha, chocolate, handsome African American man and I love him  and he loves me back :)

    • Lamar

      Niambi that comment was so good you should post it twice LOL

      • Niambi

        Thanks! LOL  And many  thanks  to you and  your wife.    You  are both  great leaders and visionaries!

        • Lamar

          Thank you so much. Your words are greatly appreciated!

  • MRSW

    “A lie, told often enough, becomes the truth.” Lenin

    That is what we have with the media and the state of black families and black marriage in America.

    • Niambi

      I hear what you are saying but this “lie” will never become  “my truth”.   This a poison that the media puts out about  African Americans  to make us stop loving ourselves and to embrace hatred of who we are.   Black love is beautiful.   It always has been and always will be…  

    • Lamar

      The problem is that too many people are ingesting and internalizing the lie. They then feed it to their children and we begin to live out stereotypes like that is who we are and who we’ve always been. And we know that is far from the truth.

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  • Briana Myricks

    We just have to keep showing everyone, the public, the media, and our community, that African American marriage is still powerful and possible. Sites like BMWK will show continue to show them, and will continue to be a force to be reckoned with.

  • Faithlroberts

    Black LOVE is ALIVE and Well in my community…. We get so caught up what the media is saying and we run with it.   I am in   group called NLT (No Limit Travelers) which consist of African American Marriage couples that love to travel.   God is the head of our life.  We encourage each other in all that we do.  

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  • Cindy LeRoy

    I agree with each comment above, any relationship a Black person or African American marriage if there is team work, respect for one another, and unconditional love for each other and God is in the mist of it all, how can our marriages become so negative. i believe black marriages are worth the hard work.. I am presently married for the past 15 years to a black man.

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I Would Hate To Be Married To Someone Who…

BY: - 21 Nov '11 | Marriage

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I would hate to be married to . . .

  • Someone who thinks they know everything.
  • Someone who is never pleased, no matter what I do.
  • Someone who criticizes more than compliments.
  • Someone who laughs at me and not with me.
  • Someone who talks more than listens.
  • Someone who is rude and disrespectful to me and others.
  • Someone who thinks they’re perfect.
  • Someone who is jealous of my success.
  • Someone who refuses to be happy.
  • Someone who neglects our children.
  • Someone who is selfish and self-centered.
  • Someone who keeps a record of my wrongs.
  • Someone who is not in love with me.
  • Someone who values material items more than people.
  • Someone who ignores me.
  • Someone who mocks my dreams and goals.
  • Someone who always sees the glass half-empty.
  • Someone who looks to me to make them happy.
  • Someone who thinks lying is okay.
  • Someone who loves self more than God.
  • Someone who thinks love is conditional.
  • Someone who cringes at my touch.
  • Someone who wishes they were married to someone else.

This is my prayer: Lord, help me NOT to be the spouse I would hate to be married to. Amen.

Who would you hate to be married to, and how do you make sure you don’t become that person?

About the author

Dr. Michelle Johnson wrote 75 articles on this blog.

Dr. Michelle Johnson is the founder of Alabaster Woman Ministries, an online international women's ministry. She is a wife, mother, writer, speaker, teacher. Through her daily blog, online radio show, and video Bible studies, Dr. Michelle encourages women and married couples to make God the center of their lives.


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