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


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.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Nov 30, 2015
United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres, center left, Minister of the Environment of Peru and COP20 President Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, center right, and French Foreign Affairs Minister and COP 21 President Laurent Fabius, center, pose for photographers during a press visit to the COP21, Paris Climate Conference, site, in Le Bourget, north of Paris, France, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

World leaders converge in Paris for the big climate talks. We’ll look at what it will take to get a global climate agreement.

Nov 30, 2015
Shoppers walks in front of a holiday display Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, in San Francisco.(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

From Black Friday to Cyber Monday and beyond, we’ll add up the dollars and trends and bargains of the 2015 holiday shopping season.

Nov 27, 2015
The punk rock band Sleater-Kinney (from L: Janet Weiss, Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker) (Courtesy the Band)

Feminist punk-rockers, the band Sleater-Kinney, is with us. Reunited. Hotter than ever.

Nov 27, 2015
Josh Baldonado, an administrative assistant at Brown & Brown Insurance, works at a treadmill desk in the firms offices in Carmel, Ind., Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013. (AP)

The end of sitting at work. A new call to get up off our chairs. To stand and move! We’ll look at how that works.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Fresh Ideas For Your Thanksgiving: Recipes
Wednesday, Nov 25, 2015

Did our Thanksgiving 2016 episode make you hungry? Good news — we’ve got recipes right here.

More »
Karl Rove Still Won’t Get Involved In The 2016 G.O.P. Primary
Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015

Karl Rove may say he’s not endorsing or getting involved in the 2016 G.O.P. presidential primary, but that won’t stop from offering advice on how to beat Republican front runner Donald Trump.

More »
Roger Cohen And Barry Posen On ISIS
Monday, Nov 23, 2015

A brief, but illustrative exchange between Barry Posen and Roger Cohen during our conversation on ISIS today.

More »