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Looking at African-American Marriage

The history and right now of African-American marriage.

At the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Oct. 31, 2010, in Atlanta. (AP)

Marriage and the “nuclear family” have taken stunning hits all over this country. American births to unmarried women were five percent in 1960.  Now, they are 41 percent nationally, and apparently climbing.

Affluent Americans are generally marrying just fine. For everybody else, the institution is in trouble. And especially for African-Americans.

Seventy-two percent of African-American women giving birth in 2008 were unmarried. Black children are three times as likely as whites to live with one parent.

It was not always this way. We look at the African-American family over time.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Anastasia Curwood, assistant professor of African American and Diaspora studies at Vanderbilt University. She’s author of: “Stormy Weather: Middle-Class African American Marriages Between the Two World Wars.”

Ralph Richard Banks, a professor at Stanford Law School who looks at issues of race and inequality. His forthcoming book is titled “Is Marriage for White People?”

Donna Franklin, award-winning author and scholar of African American families. She’s former co-chair of the Council on Contemporary Families. She’s author of: “What’s Love Got to Do With It? Understanding and Healing the Rift Between Black Men and Women.”

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Ottawa police officers, with Parliament Hill in the background, guard the area around the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa on Thursday. (Reuters/Landov)

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