In 1994, David Hernandez, a small-time drug-dealer in Spanish Harlem, got out of the drug business and turned his life over to God. After he joined Victory Chapel - a vibrant Bronx-based Pentecostal church - he saw his life change in many ways: today he is a member of the NYPD, married, the father of three, and still an active member of his church. David Hernandez is just one of the many individuals whose stories inform Soul Mates, which draws on both broad national surveys and in-depth interviews to paint a detailed portrait of the largely positive influence exercised by churches on relationships and marriage among African Americans and Latinos. Soul Mates shines a much-needed spotlight on the lives of strong and happy minority couples. They find that both married and unmarried minority couples who attend church together are significantly more likely to enjoy happy relationships than black and Latino couples who do not regularly attend. Churches serving these communities, the authors argue, promote a code of decency, encompassing hard work, temperance, and personal responsibility, that benefits black and Latino families.
Drawing on a wide range of sources, Wilcox and Wolfinger provide a compelling look at faith and family life among blacks and Latinos. The book offers a wealth of critical insight into the effect of religion on minority relationships, as well as the unique economic and cultural challenges facing African American and Latino families in twenty-first-century America.
WBW: Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Virginia: NW: Associate Professor of Family and Consumer Studies, University of Utah
1. Black and Latino Families After the Revolution ; 2. Steering Clear of the Street ; 3. Religion, Sex, and Childbearing ; 4. Wandering Towards the Altar ; 5. The Quality and Stability of Black & Latino Relationships ; 6. Bridging the Marriage Divides in America