I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married: Successful Single Black Women Speak Out
by Nika C. Beamon, Bella DePaulo (Foreword)
Lawrence Hill Books
Can you be happily single?
As June, the most country’s most popular wedding month, fast approaches, women will be bombarded with countless images and media suggestions that that they tie the knot. The reality is that statistics show most American women will spend more years of their adult lives unmarried rather than married. For African American women, the prospect of marriage is dismal; a staggering 70 percent of them live without a man.
Despite the bleak data about the state of marriage, the entire nation is still wedding crazy. Every movie and television show ends with a walk down the aisle; it’s the proverbial happy ending. According to The Wedding Report, a Tucson, Ariz.-based research firm, couples are willing to pay a fortunate to get their “happily ever after.” Even with the recent economic troubles, on average they’ll spend about 6 thousand less for weddings this year than last. But, that’s not saying much since the average cost of a wedding in 2008 was $21,814.
So, the question must be asked: is it possible to be happily single with “matrimania” seemingly everywhere? A book: I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married by Nika C. Beamon says yes you can but to do it you have to buck convention.
In I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married, through lively and revealing interviews with women from various walks of life, Nika Beamon explores the challenges and issues affecting single black women who defy expectations. Among the women who share their stories in the book: Actress Kim Coles, Movie Producer Effie T. Brown (‘Real Women Have Curves’) and Interior Designer Sheila Bridges.
Now you may think the women in this book bash men or have no use for them however, it’s quite the contrary. Almost everyone seems to want to share their life with someone. The catch is that until or unless they find that person, they have resolved to live their lives to the fullest. For them, having a happy life is achieved about surrounding themselves with love, sharing their talents and gifts with others, and relying on “girl power” to get through the tough times; something Cheetah Girls creator Deborah Gregory knows a lot about. A former foster child, Gregory has inspired generations of girls to follow their passion and in this project she shows grown women how to do the same.
All of the women in I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married candidly discuss aging without a man and reevaluate dating, single homeownership, career, and children. The book speaks directly to the black woman’s experience, addressing unique challenges such as income discrepancies between genders, the high rate of male incarceration, and the Baby Momma Syndrome. The women discuss the false expectations they face from men, from families, and from friends.
Written in the best tradition of girlfriend talking to girlfriend, the book delivers tales of lessons learned, hard times and good times, told by women who found ways to achieve their dreams by defying convention. Their conclusion: singlehood, whether temporary or permanent, and though often challenging, is a fulfilling state.
To read an excerpt:
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To find out about signings or readings in your area:
To contact the author: Denali17 @optonline.net, Denali1217@yahoo.com