Mark Regnerus

Rick Banks names those challenges which face the black family in America, and he does it without wincing. He directs his gaze primarily at the profound sex-ratio problem in the black community, where there are considerably more women than men. The resulting power plays have hammered black women’s ability to get and stay married. Banks is right—it’s not about values. It’s about numbers. Demography is destiny, and the demographic realities of the African American community has weakened marriage there. But where others have sought policy solutions, Banks reminds us that healthy marriages are the key to the middle class, to family stability, and to thriving children. But how to get here from there? Banks offers a challenging solution, a nonobvious one, but one that’s perhaps exactly the remedy needed.

Mark Regnerus, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Texas at Austin, and author of Premarital Sex in America (Oxford, 2011)

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