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Marriage And The Single Black Woman

close up photo of people exchanging rings during a wedding ceremony
Pixabay/Creative Commons
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There was a time during slavery when black women could not legally marry. Yet, throughout history the single black woman has been vilified.

The controversial Moynihan Report published in the ‘60s declared the demise of the black family could be attributed to black women. In the 1980s, former President Ronald Reagan incited fear and anger in the nation by painting single black mothers as “welfare queens.” Long before that former President Theodore Roosevelt called it “race suicide” for white women to go unmarried and not have children. His fear was other races would become dominant.

On Thursday, April 12, the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park brings together two of its fellows for a discussion titled “African American Marriage in the Twentieth Century: A Conversation.” It features scholars Tera Hunter and Andreá Williams. Williams, an English professor at The Ohio State University, joins host Frank Stasio to talk about her research on unmarried African-American women in the early 20th century and the realities of black marriage.
 
 

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
Dana is an award-winning producer who began as a personality at Rock 92. Once she started creating content for morning shows, she developed a love for producing. Dana has written and produced for local and syndicated commercial radio for over a decade. WUNC is her debut into public radio and she’s excited to tell deeper, richer stories.
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