These Myths About Single Black Women Need to End

March 27th 2016

Nicole Charky
M'Ballu Tejan-Sie

There's a myth that finding the right man is hard for Black women — but that's not true. It's a theme not only repeated in bad, inauthentic portrayals of Black love in popular culture, it's also a fake crisis among females of color perpetuated by the media, as the Root explained in 2011.

As if women needed another reason to be stressed out about dating and marriage.

We're setting the record straight, and an ATTN: video with more than 4 million views already proves that women are ready to see this myth busted. Here's the truth about single, Black women in the U.S.

1. Myth: Black women can't find love.

No, Tupac. That's so wrong. Everyone can find love, particularly women of color. Black women are often told — wrongly — to date outside their race, or at least consider it. If you look at the stats, and some of the facts and myths below, you'll note that this myth is statistically incorrect.

2. Myth: Black women don't marry, especially if they are educated.

This is so false and so wrong. In fact, most Black women do get married; 75 percent of Black women marry by age 35, according to the African Community Surveys data from 2000 to 2009, the Root reports. A highly-cited 2009 ABC News/Nightline article titled "Single, Black, Female" did present the stat that "42 percent of U.S. black women have never been married, double the number of white women who have never tied the knot."

And although this is true, according to experts who spoke to the Root, there's more to it. According to Ivory A. Toldson, Ph.D., a Howard University professor and research analyst for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation; and Bryant Marks, a psychology professor at Morehouse College and faculty associate at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research, black marriage is quite misrepresented.

"The often-cited figure of 42 percent of black women never marrying includes all black women 18 and older," Toldson told The Root. "Raising this age in an analysis eliminates age groups we don't really expect to be married and gives a more accurate estimate of true marriage rates." Same data, but significantly less scary.

Educated Black women can still date and it doesn't mean they're "alone."

In at least two major cities, Toldson and Marks noted that education significantly increased a woman's chances of marrying, a contrast to the claim that "marriage chances for highly educated black women" are less likely, as The Root explains.

3. Myth: Black men can't be good partners to Black women.

Just look at the numbers and it's clear this is not true: 94 percent of married Black women are married to Black men, according to the 2000 U.S. Census.

4. Myth: Successful, educated Black men prefer to date white women.



You can blame the 1991 Spike Lee movie "Jungle Fever" for that bad stereotype. In one scene, the women discuss dating Black men, the stereotypes behind "not being thought of as attractive" when "all the guys ran after the light skinned girls with the long, straight hair, and it's that same kind of thinking that leaves us out when it comes to white skinned women ... but now light skinned ain't even good enough. Today brothers are going for the gusto, the real McKoy [...] White girls got it made."

Like the other myths and stereotypes Black women hear about dating, and the films that perpetuate these messages — it's also a big lie. Black men do not prefer white women, and according to the African Community Surveys, 85 percent of college-educated, married Black men are married to Black women. And, 83 percent of married Black men who earned incomes over $100,000 are married to Black women.

To learn more about the misconceptions surrounding Black women and dating, check out this ATTN: video.


It's time to end media myths about Black women in relationships.Like ATTN: on Facebook.

Posted by ATTN: on Saturday, January 9, 2016