by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World
Given the importance of the critical theme of black relationships (which we’re hitting from various angles this week on YBW), I had to get another perspective on some of the things that folks are quoting from the bible as it pertains to how black relationships need to be structured. What does it mean for a black man to “lead” in his relationship? What does it mean for a woman to “submit?” One thing that many of us can agree on is the fact that black relationships have been falling apart for a very long time. The majority of our homes are being run by a single parent, and far too many children are growing up without their fathers in shouting distance. What some don’t acknowledge is that there is a direct correlation between the break down of the black family and the growth of the prison industrial complex. Locking up men for decades for the sale of drugs that were brought into our communities has devastated many of us, and urban decay in the 1980s led to job losses with few viable alternatives to illegal activity. A recent study in The Economist showed that a one percentage point increase in the incarceration rate leads to a 2.4 percent decline in the percentage of black women who eventually get married.