Program Note: In CNN’s Black in America, Soledad O’Brien examines the successes, struggles and complex issues faced by black men, women and families, 40 years after the death of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We continue the discussion on the blog with insight and commentary related to the investigation.
Editor's Note: Camille Wright Felton is a copy editor at CNN. After reading one of our articles, 'Black and single: Is marriage really for white people? 'Camille wrote a follow up response, from another perspective. She shares her view with us.
Camille Wright Felton
Copy editor, CNN.COM
I'm an African-American woman who's married to an African-American man.
Some people might consider me to be a rare find. I don't feel like an anomaly, but statistically, I am. According to U.S. Census records, I'm one of about 30% of black women who are married. My husband and I will be celebrating our 17th wedding anniversary in August. We live in a suburb of Atlanta, with our two kids and a dog, in a house with a picket fence.
Just the other day we were having a discussion about relationships with a group of married and single friends. Someone asked us if we had any advice to give. I really don't. I don't think I have any special secret. I certainly can't tell anyone how or where to find a husband. We were kids when we met in church, and we started dating years later when I was in college. We may have a solid marriage because we're following the examples we grew up with, just as people say single parents are emulating the example of their single parents. My husband's parents have been married for more than 40 years. My parents are no longer together, but they didn't split until I was grown and had a family. All of our siblings are married to African Americans.
I don't mean to make it sound like I've had some Cosby Show-like background. I absolutely don’t take my husband or our marriage and family for granted. There are single parents on both sides of our families. I hear single friends, both black and white, talk about dating, and I'm glad I'm not single. That's not to say I feel superior to or sorry for single women, or men for that matter. If you're single and okay with that, then I am, too. If you really want to be married, and you know what you want, then I wish you luck. I congratulate my single friends when they buy their first homes by themselves. I admit I envy them when they can drop everything to travel, or take a great job they've wanted. I've never asked anyone why they're still single. It's none of my business. They probably know the statistics, just like I know the statistics about how often marriages end in divorce.
I also know that having a successful marriage isn't something that's reserved for white people.
Filed under: Black in America
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