Richard Banks ‘87

Constantly surrounded by the intellectual cream-of-the-crop, it is not uncommon for students to become desensitized to the exceptional caliber of faculty here at the Farm.  That is why Her Campus has decided to profile ’87 alum Ralph Richard Banks, a Stanford law professor and the author of “Is Marriage for White People?”  So put down those problem sets and read on.

Professor Banks specializes in family law and discrimination law.  His writings have appeared in a multitude of popular and scholarly publications, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Economist and the Stanford Law Review.  He has been interviewed and quoted by several print and newscast media, including National Public Radio and the New York Times, among others.  Here at Stanford, Banks is affiliated with the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research, the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and the Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality.
Recently noted for his book “Is Marriage for White People?” Banks seeks to address why, during the past half-century, African-Americans have become the most unmarried people in our nation.  “We are the least likely to marry,” he says, “and the most likely to divorce.”  According to Banks, black men have regressed while black women have progressed, generating a personal and social dilemma and creating a disproportionate dating landscape for women.  To restore marriage in the black community, Banks suggests black women expand their options and consider interracial dating.  Although this strategy may be seen as an abandonment of the race, for black women, “it unquestionably serves the race,” says Banks.
Make sure to pick up a copy of Banks’ book and stay tuned for events on campus!