Kevin and I are among the relics in our digital society-- because we actually still subscribe to print newspapers. Two of them: The Washington Post and The New York Times. But, as I said, it's a digital world, and before I actually read the Times this morning, I checked my email.
Halima Sal Anderson, author of a popular blog (interracialblackwomen.blogpost.com) and one of the godmothers of the IR (interracial) movement had sent me a note and link to this article:
"Black Women See Shrinking Pool of Black Men at the Altar"
Of course, this isn't news to me. Researching my book revealed the shrinking marriage pool, and since its publication, I've received all kinds of new data that only confirms that the pool of black men interested in marriage to a black woman is decreasing. But to me, the New York Times piece buried the REAL lead of this story, which isn't about black men and black women at all, but the growth of interracial relationships across the population of our country. Here's the last paragraph of the piece:
"Of all 3.8 million adults who married i 2008, 31% of Asians, 26% of Hispanic people, 16% of blacks and 9% of whites married a person whose race or ethnicity was different from their own. Those were all record highs." (emphasis added)
It's old news that there are a lot a single black women and fewer eligible black men. For the past few months that story has circulated a great deal of the mainstream media, the black media and the blogosphere. What IS news is that interracial marriages across the board are on the rise-- and that those couples and their children will have a far reaching impact on our country, on our race relations and on how we identify ourselves and others. That's the REAL story that this data suggests-- and I'm a little disappointed that instead of digging for something really unique in the numbers, the Times decided to follow the same, now tired storyline that ABC's Nightline did back in December.
The important issue isn't that black women are single, or that black men are marrying out. The real story is that our culture is becoming increasingly racially fluid, with more and more Americans choosing their partners based on character and common ground rather than racial or ethnic identifications. That's the next story I want to read... or am I going to have to write it?