Washington, D.C., representative Eleanor Holmes Norton isn’t sitting quietly by as the institution of marriage erodes in the Black community, according to the Washington Post. During the Congressional Black Caucus she hosted the forum “Single Women, Unmarried Men: What Has Happened to Marriage in the Black Community?” to a standing-room-only crowd eager to hear. Many were startled to hear how the number of Black children born to single moms rose from 30 percent in 1970 to 70 percent today.

“For the first time, young Black women cannot necessarily look forward to marriage as the next natural state of life,” Norton said. “They are finding themselves without comparable mates.”

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Stay tuned as ESSENCE.com reports on marriage in the Black community and what must be done to turn things around.–CJ