By Abisayo Muhammad
“A woman is made secure in a good man and a good man is made secure in God.” Those powerful words gave me chills after I downloaded and read it in “100 Principles of a Successful Marriage,” a free e-book of tips from lectures of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
John and Nadine Muhammad, developers of the free e-book and owners of nations products. com have 34 years of marriage under their belt. The couple researched various messages by the Minister and worked to compile excerpts from his different lectures dealing with principles of courtship and marriage. They attribute their success to this guidance and desired to share it with others.
That’s great because in this culture we are constantly reminded of the breakdown of the Black family structure and how women are abandoned and left running single-parent households, etc. What is eliminated from the conversation, however, are the effects 400 years of slavery and the history separating families by force still has on us today.
But, there are significant misperceptions and realities when it comes to Black marriage today. A recent study conducted by researchers, Bryant Markes of Morehouse College and Ivory A. Toldson of Howard University, revealed that the realities are much different than what’s portrayed in the media. They found that 75 percent of Black women get married before age 35 and 70 percent of college educated women marry by 40. They even found that aside from stereotypes in the media, 83 percent of Black men making $100,000 or more marry and marry Black women. So, in reality Black marriage is more common in this current generation than we think.
“Growing up, it wasn’t abnormal for my friends to be raised by single parents,” said Destini Hill, 26. She’s been married five years to her husband Dominique and they reside in Dallas, Texas. However, Ms. Hill grew up in a two-parent household and dreamed of that reality for herself. She believes that there are so many advantages of bringing the Black family together in marriage. “One of the main advantages is stability, not only financial stability, but also emotionally and spiritually. Having a companion that brings you balance, and harmony is unmatched. Children also need to see two parents who love each other and love them. It’s essential to their emotional and social development,” she said.
She and Mr. Hill married young, at the age of 20. It was a decision for which they received “backlash,” she said. “Which was odd to me because marriage is at the center of family. We need more unity in our community. I think marriage would bring the structure back,” said Ms. Hill.
Nisa Islam Muhammad of The Wedded Bliss Foundation believes a healthy marriage is the best place to rear children. “It boosts women’s self-esteem and Black married men make more money,” said Ms. Muhammad, who is also a Final Call staff writer. The Wedded Bliss Foundation is excited about the rise in Black marriage and the organization would like to think they played a small role.
“Our small influence can be found in our work to educate couples on how to have a healthy marriage. We also train professionals to do marriage education and we’ve celebrated Black Marriage Day since 2003,” she said.
There have been so many Black couples that have been a great example and influence on me over the years. It’s exciting news that this marriage culture could be an influence on the next generation. Though the numbers in Black marriage are not as bleak as they seem, over the last 50 years, marriage is at an all-time low regardless of race and has declined significantly.
What is the future for marriage success? The e-book reminds us to study and follow the words of Minister Farrakhan for our success.
“Anything that promotes the process of the unification of male and female in the Divine Institution of Marriage is proper in the sight of Allah (God). So, we must look at the education we receive; the religion and its practice; the government, its policies and laws; the economic system and its effect; the scientific and technological advancement that has been made and its effect on marriage and family,” the e-book quotes the Minister as stating.
“The yardstick or criteria by which we measure good; it must first promote the development of the male and female in accord with the nature of their creation; it must promote marriage; and it must protect family,” Min. Farrakhan said.
Abisayo Muhammad, a former Final Call staffer, is an entrepreneur, a mother and first lady of Benton Harbor, Mich. Sister Space is devoted to amplifying the voices of women as well as telling their stories and highlighting their accomplishments.