Polygyny in the African American Community

I have read several articles on polygyny being on the rise among African Americans.

I can understand why.

There are overwhelming statistics showing that African Americans still do not have the same opportunities in society. In some states in America, an African American child is more likely to go to prison than to college. The amount of people who are living well below the poverty line is much higher among African Americans than any other ethnic group in the US. The amount of children who are left to grow up without a father too. Criminality and violence of course travel in the wake of poverty and misery. Discrimination against African Americans being what it is, there is no wonder people lose hope, feel like outsiders in society and look for ways to feel empowered. Violence and criminality are ways to feel empowered. Religion is another. Islam can be very attractive to a person who feels left out and looked down upon by society. Hence, Islam is on the rise in the US. Especially among women who are the most left out and the most discriminated against, as always.

African American women then are left in a situation where no or poor education leaves them financially vulnerable. Criminality and violence among the men means that more men from among the African American population are in prison, or killed. Women are left alone to fend for their families, without any hope of ever finding anything but minimum wage jobs. And of course, once they have embraced islam, they are not allowed to marry outside islam. The Arabic population often harbour discriminating views of the African American group, and marriages between the groups are rare. So, the women are left with the African American men who are muslims, free men and alive.

This means that these women sometimes feel they are forced to choose between being single moms, working 2 or 3 jobs to pay their way or accepting polygyny. Men of course take their chance to take advantage of the situation. A culture has developed where these men feel like kings of the hill when they have plural wives, many of them even let their wives pay their way. Poor education, a miserable view on women and society and an orgy in basking in the glory of maledom established by islam are the traits that unite these men.

It saddens me to see how some try to paint this modern kind of slavery in the colours of ethics and, worse, love.


16 thoughts on “Polygyny in the African American Community

  1. The African men who practice polygamy in the USA have to keep it under cover, It is still illegal over here, And as far as the rise of Islam in the USA among black Americans it started or should i say there was a huge amount of black people who joined because of Malcom X who became a Muslim in prison.He had only 1 wife.The reasons back then that attracted blacks to Islam had everything to do with race & nothing to do with polygamy. I’m sure that after the women converted to Islam that they faced the possibility of having to accept polygamy but i doubt that there are very many USA born Muslim women who are actually living that lifestyle here.I know of Anna (from the other website that is now no more) but actually you have to be rich to support many wives as the Koran says that the husband must be able to support & be equal (equal…..now that is a joke)

  2. This is a timely and interesting post. I am African and Native American and the conditions you mentioned have contributed to my considering polygyny. I am not a Muslim but there is an Islamic idiom I here a lot “You should want for your sister what you want for “yourself”. In the past I was very open to the idea, I have a good man and felt it was my responsibility to share. Black children need father’s and there is a lack of good ones in our communities. I don’t have an answer but I don’t want to do it. I have felt guilt for years about this but had to honor my own self. I wouldn’t want to add someone to our family and realize I am not built for this and divorce my husband and ruin some woman’s life with my drama. There is a lot of polygyny here, especially Philadelphia which has one of the largest black Muslim populations in the city. I try to play a part with helping out single mom’s and mentoring youth but I fear it’s not enough. My husband wants this for the reasons you mentioned on your post and his own desires.

  3. Great post Fiona.

    The problem of fatherless children is everywhere unfortunately. But polygamy is not the answer. Same with widows, or all those young Syrians in refugee camps being forced into polygamy. Why can people only give help if they are getting something in return? Eg sex. Can’t we support the vulnerable with no strings attached. Why can’t a man be a strong father figure without marrying the mother.

    Marginalised groups are flocking to Islam for many of the reasons mentioned. I know indigeneous people who became muslim simply because it banned alcohol. Alcohol had ravaged their community so to them it was ‘evidence’ Islam was right. For people who grew up with more opportunities, there is less attraction to it.

    Carla is right, it is often linked to race. Islam is seen as giving people ‘equality’ that they don’t believe they have. If you google other countries with indigeneous populations, you will see it is the native population converting to Islam for political reasons as much as anything else. It’s a way of rebelling, protesting.

  4. I am an african american woman. My husband attempted polygamy when we were of the hebrew israelite faith but failed miserably as he had no idea how to handle my jealousy and the situation at all. However, throughout my jealousy I still see a benefit. There are many many single lonely moms out there who are stuggling. I know because my mom was one.Sharing a man would be beneficial as I would have more time for myself and possibly develope friendships with other men. I be damned if im the one sitting at home taking care of the kids full time while he goes in and out as he pleases. Men must understand jealousy and anger is an automatic emotion not something anyone can control. I cant just turn off jealousy. Trust me we dont WANT to be angry sad and miserable. If men understood this we may be able to get somewhere.

  5. I know places where there are 4-5 men to every woman. E.g in the northern parts of Scandinavia, places like Pajala. As it turns out, polyandry has proven to be a good way to solve problems there, and it’s not unusual for a woman to have 2-3 “husbands”. And these men have to face exactly the same issues of jealousy etc. It’s not a woman-thing, it’s a human-thing. I am not against polygamy! I’m against islamic polygyny, when men have a right to be polygamous, no matter what, while women don’t have the same right. Just as you say – if you feel like meeting men while your husband is with his other woman – good for you! But if he believes he has a right that you don’t – no way!

  6. Niqueness,
    Nice to hear from you, I think you used to post here. You have an interesting story. However, this statement, mystifies me: “Sharing a man would be beneficial as I would have more time for myself and possibly develope friendships with other men.”

    I’m not sure how old you are, I get the sense you are fairly young. Still, you are far enough along in life, that you should know what men are like. They think they own women, and are ENTITLED to own women. They assume they have the right to own as many women as possible. They assume that since each woman is already owned, so she can’t be owned by someone else, which is how they see friendships: ownership.

    You may THINK that because you are willing to share your husband, he will be willing to share you in any way at all. Nice thought. I just warn you to be careful. Men are insanely jealous, and some are violent. That they tell WOMEN to overcome their jealousy is a joke, as we all know.

    As an aside, I just wanted to mention, that since a major emotional bond has been removed from my life, there must be a quality of openness in my eyes to the world that I didn’t used to have. There are more men coming into my life, no romances, but I’ve been forming associations with more men in different ways. I’ve noticed, that they always want to know, subtly, who else is there, (men that is). It’s cute, and I’d laugh if I weren’t so busy rolling my eyes.

  7. You sound so much happier now Dale, I can feel your sense of self growing through your words. I am so happy for you! ❤

  8. This is so true.

    Also the black brothers usually have no good people to identify with. They smoke weed, join gangs and look up to the brothers who hang out with hoes and have a harem of stupid ass gilrs looking up to the most violent and pimped brothas. Being a man to these brothers is connected with stupid names, guns and plural women. And yeah, they love the parts in islam about men being leaders and women having to obey. Yeah, king of the hill is the perfect description.

  9. Thank you for your kind words Fiona. I hope we can talk about this again sometime. Walking out of that room where I was for so long with the doors closed has changed my outlook, and that has changed how the world looks to me, including the people in it. I wasn’t expecting that. I was only focused on how to live in that room, and how to keep on rearranging the furniture in it.

    I’m with you Careena, in what you say above. Being of European extraction, I have not experienced the cultural pressures and deprivations that have shaped the African American community into what it is today. That notwithstanding, I never get over being stunned at what I see, which I recognize are not exactly choices, but rather succumbing to affinities.

    Those girls in the video that Fiona posted are typical of the brainless chatter that I see in that cultural niche. The guy is actually a cut above most. He is intelligent and thoughtful, and can speak without preaching, which is all those guys usually do.

  10. Dale and fiona I think you guys are amazing. The both of you have taught me alot in this blog. But I am 30 years old with 2 kids and a step son. The way I look at it if a man can spend time with another woman, love another woman, become intimate with another woman, provide for another woman , and have children with another woman…the least I should be able to do is enjoy the company of another man doesn’t have to be sexual. But I understand what you are saying dale. Just looking for some kind of win win situation in this heart wrenching situation for some.

  11. I wish you every happiness, wherever you can find it. I only hope you know that you are worth just as much happiness as your husband, and that any right he claims naturally is yours too. What about responsibility towards the children? When he runs off to his #2, have you ever tried saying that being a half time father is no right, even if he claims being a half time husband is?

  12. Absolutely right. I have learned to love myself over anyone else. I want to chose my life. I don’t want to control my husband he should be able to make his own decisions hopefully he will discuss it with me. But I also will not allow my husband to control me. Religion is very powerful as it can be used to twist and manipulate women to obey. As I mentioned his hebrew israelite religion did. We are both out the religion now and now that I look back I cant believe I was apart of it. Kind of like you dont see it til you are out of it. If the ratio of women to men wasn’t so high I would I would consider being in a relationship with another man but there is not enough men to go around AT ALL!!! It sucks big time

  13. Dale, I have no experience to be able to understand or comment on your situation. All i can say is i felt a big relief reading your recent posts. I am very happy for you! Make most of your new life!

  14. Niqueness, why are you thinking about what you can do “at least” why not have all the options open and have same freedom as your husband. I understand your idea of being able to enjoy other men’s company and not get involved sexually. Its a good idea in theory 🙂 maybe you are too afraid to take a big step or maybe you already know that your husband is not going to accept that arrangement and thats why you are not giving yourself that option. Maybe you are thinking that you can hang out with other men to make your husband jealous and he will come back running to you but if you step outside your boundaries (get sexual with other men) then you might lose him. Do whatever you feel is right but be honest with yourself.

    Why do you think the other man/men will give you company without expecting something of sexual nature. Shouldn’t you consider other persons needs if they are meeting your needs. Don’t break other people’s hearts in an effort to lessen your own pain.

  15. Niqueness, would you mind sharing your country. I am just curious to know related to your comment about not having enough men AT ALL. So your husband is ok with you going out with other men if there are any available?

  16. Thanks Laia! And, ” Don’t break other people’s hearts in an effort to lessen your own pain” was such a wise thing you said. I will remember it. We shouldn’t use other people, and we shouldn’t let ourselves be used.

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