Scarcity is a mechanism of power #Ralph Richard Banks

26 Feb

At Busboys and Poets this weekend I got to a chance to hear Ralph Richard Banks discuss his book  Is Marriage for White People? How the African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone. As some of you already know, I am a fan of the book. It’s a well-researched and well-articulated exploration of the current state of relationships in the black community, particularly highlighting the experiences of black women. The book event was well-attended, primarily by black women (no surprise there). Banks gave highlights from the book for about 30 minutes or so then opened up the floor to Q&A. The Q&A included black women praising Banks for his contribution as black men derailed him for painting them in such an unfavorable light. But the facts are the facts. (Yes — yet more material from him).

I sat next to three black women, all transplants to the DMV. One from Queens, New York mentioned that her last relationship was with a white man and that she found the men here to  be pretentious. Another asked bluntly, what I thought of dating dynamics here. Um, not good. But I don’t think there’s some utopia city where all “good, commitment-minded” black men reside for those of us who want to be partnered. I think the lack of available “quality” black men is widespread — from New York City, Atlanta, to DC and LA. Banks recognizes this and is merely offering a response to question of “And, now what?”

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