Census Numbers Back Up Anecdotes
NEW ORLEANS — It’s a sentiment shared among black women across the country — good men are few and far between. And according to new census numbers, it’s true: African-American women outnumber their male counterparts.
But some black women say they aren’t giving up on love, like Krystal Williams, a woman who knows what she wants professionally and personally.
“I’m not married for the simple fact of that I just haven’t met the right person yet,” she said.
Williams is one of the millions of African-American women who are still single. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, African-Americans have the highest percentage of unmarried women.
Even if every black woman married a black man, some of them would still be left out. It’s a conversation that casually comes up when Williams and her friends hang out.
“We’re talking about the same old things that we always hear about relationships,” she said.
While Williams said she is still waiting on Mr. Right, some of her girlfriends agree that it’s not easy out there.
Most women dream of walking down the aisle, but marriage counselor Kenneth Foy said there are number of variables contributing to the shortage of eligible black men, variables that could prevent some black women from jumping the broom.
“No. 1 is that there is absolutely an abundance of African-American men in prison,” Foy said. “Another is the drugs and alcohol … (and) the high numbers of black-on-black crime.
Another alarming fact is the unemployment rate of African-American males. It’s the highest rate compared to other races. On the other hand, their female counterparts are completing college more than ever before.
Foy said it’s more common for both educated and uneducated black men to date women outside their race. But it’s something more black women tend to avoid.
“It’s the shame factor, of what the race, how the race may see them. Not just race, but family members,” Foy said.
Williams and some of her friends said they are open-minded when it comes to dating.
“I approach people outside of my race the same way I approach people inside of my race,” she said.
Still, they are holding on to their dreams of marrying someone who looks like themselves.
“Before my father was deceased they were married for 43 years,” Williams said. “For me, I’ve always envisioned my family looking like them.”
Foy said compatibility is what women should always look for, and not the picture-perfect guy in the movies.
“A guy maybe a simple construction worker and uneducated, but he may have everything there is to complete you and make you feel good about you. That’s what we really need to be looking for,” Foy said.
It’s advice Williams said she will take to heart, but she would rather wait and see what happens.
“I’m old-fashioned, so when I listen to Diane Ross (sing), ‘You Can’t Hurry Love,’ that’s just kind of what I think about,” she said.