Commentaries/African American Marriage/shipping - 5/04

Smart Marriages ® cmfce at
Fri May 28 11:37:49 EDT 2004

subject: Commentaries/African American Marriage/shipping - 5/04

from: Smart Marriages®



Several of you have asked about shipping materials in advance to the Adam's
Mark.  I know that when a few ask, many wonder.  Please ship for arrival no
earlier than July 1, 2004.


Your Name
Hold for arrival date
Adam's Mark Dallas Hotel
400 N Olive St
Dallas, TX  75201  

Hotel phone number: 214-922-8000.



> Diane, 
> Married 25+ years, there are days I wish I could say "What drug was I taking
> when I said yes and followed through in formal covenant!"
> I believe a main speaker (Reno 2003) stated that the majority of couples are
> chemically attracted and a marriage follows. Is THAT not a mind-altering
> drug?
> I believe the message in "Laws of Attraction" is that we have to choose to
> make a relationship work.  I think both pre-marital and post-marital
> education is supported by this movie.
> Diane Walker RN, LMT
> Legal Nurse Consultant
> ddwalker52 at


> Hello Diane,
> Re the article about women over 40 filing divorces:  what I see again and
> again is that men do things which bring great stress and unhappiness to women.
> They have affairs, work constantly and neglect the family, hide assets and
> dole out pittances to their wives, drink, etc. etc.
> Not that the wives necessarily have good skills and can be totally whitewashed
> in terms of how they handle their relationship, but as I see it, the men often
> indulge themselves in lifestyles which are incompatible with building or
> maintaining a partnership.
> In this way, the men bring the relationship down by their actions, and have
> already been the "de facto" instigators of the break-up.  The wives simply
> initiate the legal "seal of approval" if you will, and can be seen --for
> instance by their kids -- as the bad guy who could have made do but didn't.
> I've worked with several couples in which the man is having a serious affair,
> and can't see why the wife can't "be open to alternative lifestyles -- why do
> you have to be so rigid and traditional in your approach?"   Even if the wife
> then initiates the divorce, one can't say that the husband is NOT leaving the
> wife for another (usually younger)  woman.  He is, but in disguise.
> Jill Bourdais 


This Sun, May 31st and Sun, June 6th, Contact Radio will air programs on
Marriage. May 31: "Marriages that Last" and June 6: "Beyond the Vows".

Bridget Brennan a presenter at Smart Marriages, '04 will be the featured
Go to and click affiliates to see if one of the 300
radio stations is in your area or hit Listen online and hear a 15 min.
segment of the program.

> 407 - Saturday, July 9, Dallas
> Working With Young Marrieds
> Steve Beirne, MA, Bridget Brennan, MA, CFLE
> The first years have the highest divorce rate! Learn about the problems in
> early marriage and how to run The Marriage Connection, a highly innovative
> program for newlyweds.


I already shared the original article by Colbert King with the list
l), but here is a commentary by McManus which adds two points.... that a
married African-American couple earns virtually the same income as a white
couple ($60,400 v. $61,800) and that the percentage of blacks who are
married has fallen from two-thirds to one third (64.1% in 1970 to 36.7% in
2000).  McManus asserts that marriage should become the next priority for
civil rights and black religious leaders.

And as many of you know, the African American Healthy Marriage Initiative
(AAHMI) agrees on that point and has already been discussing the "M" word
and has been conducting well-attended forums across the country to organize
the effort.  The African American Healthy Marriage Initiative will meet
several times at the Smart Marriages Dallas conference to report on progress
and to plan and discuss next steps including a 5:30-7pm meeting Friday night
before the banquet.  The meeting will be chaired by Dinn Dawson, Director of
the AAHMI. Please attend!  Your input is needed. - diane

Ethics & Religion - McManus
May 27, 2004 Column #1,187
Blacks Begin Discussing the "M" Word
by Michael J. McManus

WASHINGTON - Bill Cosby shocked the black establishment in a speech on the
50th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision that sparked
the desegregation of America. The Presidents of the NAACP and of Howard
University undoubtedly expected Cosby, who has given millions to such causes
- to praise their "leadership."

He did not. Rather, he praised the giants of the civil rights era, and
contrasted them with today's "lower economic people who are not holding up
their end in this deal. These people are not parenting.  They are buying
things for kids   $500 sneakers for what? And won't spend $200 for 'Hooked
on Phonics.'

"I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in
an orange suit. Where were you when he was 2?  Where were you when he was
12? Where were you when he was 18 and how come you didn't know that he had a

He rejected the threadbare charges of discrimination: "We cannot blame white

"People putting their clothes on backward. Isn't that sign of something gone
wrong? ...People with the hats on backward, pants down around the crack,
isn't that a sign of something, or are you waiting for Jesus to pull his
pants up? ...She has her dress all the way up to the...and got all types of
needles going through her body.  What part of Africa did this come from? We
are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don't know a damn
thing about Africa.

"They're standing on the corner and they can't speak English. I can't even
talk the way these people talk: 'Why you ain't,' 'Where you is.' ...and I
blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk and I heard the father talk.
Everybody knows it's important to speak English except these knuckleheads."

Even a week later, Cosby's blistering comments about black parenting were
keeping the phone lines lit up into radio show host Joe Madison.  Hamil
Harris of The Washington Post, reported that Madison himself was conflicted
about Cosby's remarks.

While he thinks Cosby "touched on some truths about the black community's
failure to take responsibility for high school dropout rates, unwed mothers
and young men in prison," Madison said, "Cosby went overboard when he
absolved white America and the government of any responsibility for the ills
of the poor black community."

By contrast, Colbert King, a black Washington Post columnist who won the
Pulitzer Prize this year, recalled that when he was growing up, black
America was less violent  and for a reason. "Time was you could leave your
doors unlocked. Your mother could walk to church meetings at night without a
male escort. A child didn't have to fear strangers. And no boy would think
of robbing a helpless old man.

"Time was we had something called families," King wrote. "When men and women
came together and stayed together, whether out of love, for the sake of the
kids, for both, or none of the above. Maybe they kept at it just to make
each other miserable. But they stayed together, grew old together and cried
when one of them died."

King then uttered the "M" word: "Here's another post-Brown truth: The lowest
marriage rate of any group belongs to African Americans.  Nearly 70 percent
of our children have unmarried moms, and an equal percentage - one source
put it at 80 percent - will grow up without the presence of their dads."

However, millions of black Americans have made it.  Their English is
perfect. There are more African-Americans in Washington's suburbs than in
the city.

What's more stunning and is widely unknown is that married blacks have
achieved virtual economic parity with married whites. In 1999, black couples
with both spouses working, earned $60,439. Compare that with similar white
couples who earned $61,878.

The problem, of course, is that black marriage rates have plunged. As
recently as 1970, two-thirds of African-American adults were married,
compared to only a third today.

"White discrimination has nothing to do with this self-inflicted wound," I
wrote on the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream"
speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

"Here is a cause for the next generation of civil rights activists and
African-American religious leaders."

Easy for me to say as a white guy.  What's encouraging is that black leaders
like Bill Cosby and Colbert King are speaking truth and beginning to mention
the "M" word.

Accurate diagnosis is the first step of creating the cure.

Copyright 2004 Michael J. McManus.

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