Ralph Richard Banks, author of the provocative new book, Is Marriage for White People? How the African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone, participated in a panel discussion recently at a USC Gould School of Law event sponsored by the USC Center for Law, History and Culture.
Banks, a law professor at Stanford University, was joined by Kim Shayo Buchanan and Camille Gear Rich of USC Law, Melissa Murray of the University of California, Berkeley, and Douglas NeJaime of Loyola University. The scholars discussed the decline in marriage among African Americans and society at large. Los Angeles Times columnist Sandy Banks, the author's sister, moderated the discussion. The event drew a packed audience of more than 100 guests.
"This proved to be a fascinating conversation with voices coming across from all sides of the issue," said Nomi Stolzenberg, co-director of the USC Center for Law, History and Culture.
In his book, Banks attempts to answer the question: Why are black women half as likely as white women to be married and three times as likely as white women never to marry? Banks examines race, gender and class among African Americans, and he highlights the economic and cultural factors that have contributed to the declining marriage rates among African Americans, as well as people of other races.