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Black Men and Divorce

Black Men and Divorce

Volume: 15

March 1999 | 272 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

"Erma Jean Lawson and Aaron Thompson have made a significant contribution to our understanding of divorce in announcing the publication of Black Men and Divorce. Men are often the missing part of the equation as we try to explain couple relationships. The male perspective in the decline or termination of these relationships has been seriously neglected. This is particularly true in regard to divorce among Black Americans. This lack of knowledge is especially distressing if we are to understand the significance of divorce within the broader social context. Without recognition of the unique Black experience in the United States, we severely limit our ability to interpret personal motives and behavior in interpersonal relationships. Erma Jean Lawson and Aaron Thompson provide the reader with a comprehensive depiction and interpretation of a select sample of Black men and their divorces. For this they are to be praised as their study may serve as a catalyst and model for continued work with more diverse populations of Black men. The authors' efforts at providing policy and program implications for their findings lend further credibility and value to Black Men and Divorce." –Roger H. Rubin, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director, Graduate Studies, Department of Family Studies, University of Maryland. At a time when anthologies of lack men are hitting the bookshelves, Black Men and Divorce is the first book to get a close and personal understanding how Black men feel about divorce. Focusing on working and middle class Black men, this ground-breaking study offers startling accounts of their experiences of divorce and their adjustment to postdivorce. Drawing on extensive in-depth interviews with 50 Black men, this book chronicles their passage from courtship and marriage to divorce and ultimately to the establishment of a new life. Authors Erma Jean Lawson and Aaron Thompson analyze the stories men tell about their marriages, the inciting conditions and culminating events, and postdivorce coping strategies. Debunking the stereotypes of Black fathers, Black Men and Divorce examines noncustodial and stepfather/child relationships and explores the unique distress of noncustodial fathers from interracial marriages. Topic by topic, men talk about their ex-wives and former in-law relationships; discuss the role of black mothers, family, and friends during divorce and postdivorce; and identify barriers to forming future heterosexual relationships in a society characterized by pervasive racial stereotypes. The authors elucidate the difficulties Black families encounter to maintain an ideal Euro-American family structure and conclude that the structure of black families in the United States may be a barometer of future Euro-American family trends. Black Men and Divorce is crucial reading for students and scholars of marriage and family, Black studies, gender studies, social work, sociology, psychology, and family policy.

Forming Marital Bonds
Correlates of Marital Separation and Divorce
The Divorce Experience
Divorce-Related Stressors
Postmarital Relationships
Strategies for Coping with Divorce
The Construction of Fatherhood
Divorce and Fatherhood

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