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Dickson, Lynda & Marsh, Kris (2008). The Love Jones Cohort: A New Face of the Black Middle Class. Black Women, Gender, and Families, 2(1), 84-105.


Contemporary media portrayals suggest that the black middle class has come to have a new face: that of young (25–44 years old), educated black professionals who are single, never married, and childless (The Love Jones Cohort). Is this portrayal a reflection or distortion of reality? Drawing from recent U.S. Census and CPS Reports, we conduct a descriptive cross-sectional analysis of the marital status, educational attainment, earnings, and (for the women) rate of childlessness for black 25–44-year-olds, and, for comparison purposes, all races of 25–44-year-olds. We wished to determine how representative this cohort is of all 25–44-year-old blacks in general and the black middle class in particular. We find that, while it is a small share of all black 25–44-year-olds, the Love Jones Cohort represents a noticeable share of middle-class blacks in this age category. There is also evidence of a more equal sex ratio among the Love Jones Cohort than among other educational and income categories of African Americans. Implications for future research are discussed.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Black Women, Gender, and Families


Dickson, Lynda
Marsh, Kris