Black men and women are not getting together? Really? A hit reality show says that’s the case, but a Black relationship expert shuts them down. And the data out there on the subject back the brother up.
As was discussed in Madame Noire, FYI’s popular docu-series, Married at First Sight matches men and women, who “get married” the same day they meet and live together as a couple for 90 days, and then decide whether to stay together or get a divorce.
Cutting to the chase, one of the “experts” on the show claimed that Black men do not want to be with Black women, while African-American women are all interested in African-American men:
“Many of our African American men have no interest in marrying an African American woman. Many of our African American women want husbands who are of the same race. They are successful, they are ambitious, they are beautiful. We want to have the opportunity to match them.”
Brunson spoke out and fought back against the assertions of this person on the program, saying that the segment shows all that is wrong with these ridiculous programs. He cited statistics to the contrary, noting that their views are unsubstantiated, and may reflect the limited number of Black people in the Married at First Sight applicant pool, but not reality. Representative experts from the show admitted they were making their conclusions based on their own applicant pool, yet seemed to conclude because they could not find Black men in their pool who were interested in Black women, that this is true of all Black men. Brunson argued that men of all races marry outside of their race, and America is becoming an interracial society. However, contrary to the stereotypes, Black men are actually intermarrying less than others:
“Black men, and this is according to Pew Research, marry outside of their race less than American Indian women, less than American Indian men, less than Latinos, less than Latinas, less than Asian women. African American men marry outside of their race, comparatively, at one of the lowest rates on the planet. On top of that, African American men, currently, today, right now, 88 percent of us are married to Black women. That’s the vast majority of us. So what the hell is up for debate? What’s up for interpretation? Nothing is.”
He wants an end to the foolishness, adding:
“We get enough of this everyday as Black people. We don’t need any more. We don’t need any more myths to be perpetuated. Because these myths that you are perpetuating, it begins to impact belief and that belief begins to impact hope. And guess what? You have no authority over our hope. You don’t get that.”
The arguments Brunson makes are supported by the facts. Research from Toldson and Bryant Marks of Morehouse College found that 83 percent of Black men with six-figure incomes have Black wives. Moreover, 85 percent of all Black male college graduates are married to Black women, and 88 percent of married Black men – of all education and income levels – marry sisters. Further, an NPR study found that single brothers were more likely to say they wanted a long-term relationship (43 percent) than single Black women (25 percent).
Reality shows such as Married at First Sight perpetuate myths about Black people and relationships, and the ways in which Black men and women interact. And while these myths, misconceptions and outright lies may help to boost ratings and advertising revenue, they do not help Black women and men in today’s society. The media only serve to create more division and dysfunction in the Black community by creating their own reality and promoting it as fact.