Is interracial marriage the answer for unwed black women? (Thinkstock)

In an article by Ralph Pritchard Banks, the Wall Street Journal weighs in on a long-known fact in the African-American community: the issue of unwed single black women.

Nearly 70 percent of black women are unmarried, and Banks contends that a limited pool of available men within the race underscores the problem.


What explains this marriage gap? As a black man, my interest in the issue is more than academic. I've looked at all the studies — the history, the social science, the government data — and I've spent a year traveling the country interviewing scores of professional black women. In exchange for my promise to conceal their identities (in part by using pseudonyms, as I've done here), they shared with me their most personal experiences and desires in relation to marriage and family.

I came away convinced of two facts: Black women confront the worst relationship market of any group because of economic and cultural forces that are not of their own making; and they have needlessly worsened their situation by limiting themselves to black men. I also arrived at a startling conclusion: Black women can best promote black marriage by opening themselves to relationships with men of other races.

It is interesting to hear a black man's perspective on this issue. One of the problems he cites is incarceration. He says more than 2 million men are now imprisoned, and roughly 40 percent are African American. And that is a shame.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal.

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