Black Love: Are Marriages Destined For Failure? [Commentary]

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 01/29/2014 | 10:45 AM EST

T.I. and Tiny's rumored marital issues points signs to the inability for Black couples to survive

The Internet is still buzzing over the rumored marital strife between rapper Clifford “T.I.” Harris and Tameka “Tiny” Harris, after sources alleged that the couple were putting their marriage on pause after a possible infidelity. Tiny, 38, allegedly hired a private investigator to follow T.I., who is believed to have been unfaithful.

T.I. has since shut down the rumors, revealing to TMZ that while they did have a big argument, it was "pretty stupid" and that they have since reconciled.

However, if the rumors of friction are true, T.I. and Tiny would be yet another couple to add to the long list of failed marriages. But what makes their story so unique is that any and everyone who followed the pair’s love story believed that they were one of the few marriages to last.

Their reality show, T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle, which has been on air for the past two and half years, has been touted as a positive example of Black love and family - something television doesn’t get a chance to see often. In many ways their blended family of six children was the modern, hip-hop version of "The Cosby Show." Not to mention, the couple had been together for nearly a decade before jumping the broom four years ago.

But could T.I. and Tiny’s alleged discord point to a larger conversation about Black marriages?

It’s no secret that marriage rates in America are dropping, and for African-American couples, it’s no different. However, among Black couples, particularly among those without college degrees, marriage is as scarce as a desert without water, according to a 2011 study. It’s not just in Hollywood and the entertainment world where marriages fail. Black love is becoming nothing more than a utopian ideal that very few get a chance to experience.

Of course, the decline in Black love isn’t only exhibited in marriage. Even couples who choose not to tie the knot experience high rates of singlehood. How many African-Americans can attest to the countless single women they encounter who sulk in their inability to find a good man? It seems everywhere you turn, the less likely you’re able to see positive, healthy examples of Black love.

But what’s the cause? Are some women too picky? Are men really unable to be faithful to their partners?

While the answers to those questions are nuanced and complex at best, what can be said is that other factors like less access to means in getting out of the middle and lower-middles classes - whether it be employment or education - and conditioned behaviors of abuse and infidelity that are passed on generationally, contribute greatly to the scarcity of thriving relationships, and it’s time African-American couples stepped up to the plate.

What do you think? Are Black couples destined for failure?

*Opinions expressed in this article are that solely of the author and may not reperesent Centric.

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