Jan 9 - The Gail King Factor
I was watching this old Oprah episode. It was the one where they traveled to Africa. In one particular scene they showed them scouting locations. No one was dressed up, or made up. It was simply a “work day.” When the camera panned over to Gayle King, she looked stunning. Again, no make-up or fancy clothes – just her natural self. And I thought, here is this attractive woman who is in her 40s (at the time), who is African American, has a college degree, and is financially and mentally strong and stable – and who desires to marry, but yet has not found “him”. I thought if Gayle King can’t find a husband, what chances do I have?
Between 1950 and 2000, the percentage of never-married black women doubled, from 20.7% to 42.4%, compared with 23% of white women. And now that I am over 40, I know the odds are truly against me. There have been some intriguing articles and stories on the state of marriage for African American women (google Washington Post’s “Marriage is for White People” and CNNs Black in America series). For me, they help me to understand the effort I must make – not just to get married, but to have a good marriage. The odds of marrying are against me, but my chances are very good! Every person I know has a story to tell of beating the odds, whether is was something as frivolous as winning in Vegas, or noble like career successes, or an inspiring and uplifting story of winning a battle with a disease. Even the next President of our nation will defy the odds. Statistics don’t take in account human determination, the power of hope, or even the strength in desiring change. So for me, for Gayle King, and all other women, no matter their age or race, I do believe our day will come.