Black Relationships : Hope For Those That Want to Marry

Discussion in 'Black Relationships' started by Kemetstry, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. Kemetstry

    Kemetstry going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    (03-26) 03:30 PDT New York (AP) --

    For Kenny and Lynette Seymour, last weekend's black marriage gala was about celebrating their seven-year marriage. They got to meet other black couples while spending a romantic evening together.

    "Every time you meet another couple, you learn something new about yourself and relationships in general," said Kenny Seymour, a 39-year-old Broadway music director who lives in Queens. "It was beautiful to be around a bunch of married people in love."

    Other black couples will be marking the eighth annual Black Marriage Day this weekend, by attending workshops, black-tie dinners and other activities. Some groups have held events throughout the month, although Black Marriage Day, which celebrates matrimony in the black community, falls on the fourth Sunday in March.

    The founder estimates more than 300 celebrations are being held this weekend. The aim is to try to stabilize, if not reverse, the trend of non-commitment within the black community. Studies show blacks are less likely to marry than other ethnic groups and more likely to divorce and bear children out of wedlock.

    Experts blame the disparities in part on high black male unemployment, high black male imprisonment and the moderate performance of black men in college compared with black women.

    They also note the lack of positive images of black marriage in the media and several misperceptions about matrimony — that it's for white people, that it's a ball and chain, that fatherhood and marriage are not linked.

    "They have either seen really bad examples of what marriage looks like or no examples at all," said Yolanda "Yanni" Brown, 42, a divorced mother of two in Chicago, who is hosting black marriage events. "They are saying, 'Why bother? This works for us,' not knowing there are so many other benefits of being married."

    Brown says she wishes she had fought for her marriage.

    Joseph Arrington II, a 38-year-old black entertainment attorney in Atlanta, said there was a time when he wanted to get married, but his interest has waned. He hasn't had a girlfriend in 15 years. His parents celebrated their 50th anniversary last year. He said he focuses on his work.

    "It's a combination of two things," he said. "I haven't found anyone, and I'm not actively seeking someone."

    Gerard Abdul, 45, a who lives in East Orange, N.J., and runs an entertainment company, has never seen himself as the marrying type. He has nine children by five women. He said he cared about them all, and each wanted to marry him. But he wasn't interested.

    "Because I'm so independent and on my own, I really didn't see the science of marrying them when I really didn't have to," Abdul said.

    "I'm a great father," he added. "But I probably would have been a lousy husband."

    Despite those attitudes toward marriage, there are a handful of campaigns to get blacks to walk down the aisle, from the federal government's African American Healthy Marriage Initiative to Marry Your Baby Daddy Day, with 10 unwed couples with children tying the knot later this year in New York.

    "You Saved Me," a documentary that explores the marriages of eight black couples, will be screened in more than 20 cities this weekend as part of a Black Marriage Day premiere.

    "We want people to take away that successful positive (black) marriages do exist," said Lamar Tyler of Waldorf, Md., who produced "You Saved Me" with his wife, Ronnie. The Tylers started their blog "Black and Married With Kids" in 2007 and released "Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage" last year.

    Don Lee and his wife, Joan Griffith-Lee, of New York's Staten Island, who have three children, will be watching "Happily Ever After" Friday night and participating in a discussion at a coffeehouse. The couple have been married almost 20 years.

    Several of their friends are divorced, and Griffith-Lee, 45, who works at Columbia University, said she and her husband often talk about why.

    "We hope to leave there with a new awareness and maybe some tools that can help as we get older," she said.

    Black Marriage Day founder Nisa Islam Muhammad is encouraging couples to renew their vows in front of friends and family in honor of Tyler Perry's movie "Why Did I Get Married Too?" which opens April 2.

    Muhammad points out that many black children come from single-parent households and contends that the media are not helping. There's never been a black "Bachelor" on the popular TV show, and the star of the 2008 movie "27 Dresses," about a 27-time bridesmaid, was white.

    "We're going to focus on the positives," said Muhammad, executive director of Wedded Bliss Foundation, which helps people develop healthy relationships and marriages. "We're going to show ourselves and our community that marriage does matter and we have some fabulous marriages in our community worth celebrating."

    Those include the marriage of President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, said Roland Warren, president of the National Fatherhood Initiative in Germantown, Md. He credits the couple with setting a positive example and creating more discussion about the issue. In a way, their marriage is evidence of the importance of marriage in the African-American community, he said.

    Most blacks already think that marriage is a good thing, said Andrew Cherlin, a professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. But many can't find anyone they think would make a good spouse.

    But at least Black Marriage Day will get people thinking about marriage, says Tammy Greer Brown, 43, executive director of Celebrating Real Family Life and organizer of the Staten Island event, who said she hopes to spark a discussion about marriage. She said she grew up in a single-parent home and didn't want that for her kids. She has been married for more than 10 years.

    "My daughter is already talking about getting married," she said. "She wants to be like my husband and I."



    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2010/03/26/national/a004031D65.DTL#ixzz0jJBPzbeC















    :em0200:

     
  2. Khasm13

    Khasm13 STAFF STAFF

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    thas good ish right there...
    i agree that there aren't too many positive images of black marriage on the boob tube or the big screen nowadays....just look at "why did i get married 2"....i bet this movie blows up at the box office...

    as brilliant as i think tyler perry is...he is part of the problem and definitely not part of the solution...

    one day i guess everything will make sense...

    one love
    khasm
     
  3. Kemetstry

    Kemetstry going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    :fyi:



    But the Huxtables, Roc and similar shows have been out and hits during the 80s. There wasnt this glut of blacks marrying even then. I dont think we can blame it on that, can we?

















    :em0200:

     
  4. Khasm13

    Khasm13 STAFF STAFF

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    of course not my brother...there are far deeper issues than whas on tv...
    my only point is that the black shows and movies nowadays perpetuate the belief that blacks do not marry or have unsuccessful marriages....

    one comment on ur point though....i bet a higher percentage of black were married at any point in the 80's than are married now....

    one love
    khasm
     
  5. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    Great points made here ..............

    We have gotten custom to the shacking thing ....living together without marriage
    today about 7 out of 10 couples are live in .....not husband & wife it's what we use to.
     
  6. medusanegrita

    medusanegrita Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I am not a fan of Tyler Perry, but I saw 'Why Did I Get Married' and was pleasantly surprised. I thought it did a real good job of showcasing some of the problems of marriage and how hard it can be. Some of the problems they faced I could understand, some were pass my head (over the top) and one I could kinda relate too (the Jill Scott Character).

    The Huxtables were never my game, even tho I enjoyed the comedy.

    Roc was a great show. I didn't really see, care, or mind that they had a 'great marriage' so much as it was just a good show with good plots and good characters. Charles S. Dutton was a stand-out, and his wife Ella was pretty good. Don't understand why it got cancelled.

    Never married people have idealized marriage and think their ideals are unattainable.

    Divorced people tend to be cynical or bitter about marriage.
    I'm of the cynical camp. Been there, done that.... NEXT!!!
     
  7. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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  8. medusanegrita

    medusanegrita Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The ending of the one is not my reason for my becoming cynical about marriage. My becoming atheist was the reason I became cynical about marriage. Once you become atheist, it throws all religious reasons for getting married out the window. No 'god' dictates the reasons for getting married or who should do what once you're in it, so you focus on the practical and pragmatic reasons for getting married (like state and federal benefits such as your tax benefits, joint healthcare, etc), and once you are married there are no dictated roles for anyone to play. You do what feels right for you and relationship. They say married people live healthier and happy lives.... but with more than 83% of Americans being christians, then it follows my line of logic that being married is right in line with their religion. Being unmarried is contrary to their beliefs therefore produces stresses on unmarried christians or muslims when they aren't married.

    On the flip side, since I have no religion to stand on regarding people not getting married, then I think homosexuals, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, queer (GLBTQ) should be allowed joint matrimony for state and federal benefits like heterosexuals.

    A desire to have a companion and be mated can be without regard to marriage.

    I also questioned why marriage was 'born' in the first place and I'm convinced it was to keep the paternity of children in check. So to me it became about controlling and limiting a woman's sexuality so men could see who were the actual fathers of the children. A DNA test will pretty much solve that now.

    I don't advocate an end to marriage, but I think the old 'till death do you part' should definitely be done away with. I like 'termed marriages.' Termed marriages are 'contract marriages' (which is essentially what your marriage license is) that says your marriage is to lasts a specific amount of time (like 5, 10 years to start) and at the end of that time you can either renew your marriage or end it all together if things didn't go well in that time and you couldn't reconcile. It would be a combination of a pre-nuptial agreement and a marriage license.

    In wiccan and neo-pagan faiths, they call this a handfasting and handparting ceremony.

    Handparting is a mutual ceremonial ending of a handfasting.
    Beats the heck of bitter divorces any day.

    If I ever get married again, I likely won't be doing the handfasting technique (except the jumping-over-the-broom which has a african-american cultural significance to it) but I'm likely to be doing a termed marriage.

    Some people are now referring to first marriages as 'trial marriages' because of their frequency to end in divorces and the litigants likelihood of remarrying again.
     
  9. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    Hopefully i get married again soon ......it's a really beautiful thing
     
  10. Kemetstry

    Kemetstry going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I see some cynicism in here


    :bully:














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