I Didn't Work This Hard Just to Get Married Description

Self-Help and Personal Development

By Nika C. Beamon

Publisher : Lawrence Hill Books

ABOUT Nika C. Beamon

Nika C. Beamon
Nika C. Beamon resides in New Jersey. Currently, she is a Writer/Producer for WABC-TV Eyewitness News in New York.  In her fifteen years as a journalist, she has worked at various television stations including WABU-TV in Boston, ESPN Classic and WABC-TV in New York. She also served as Co More...


In I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married, through lively and revealing interviews with women from various walks of life, Nika Beamon explores the challenges and issues affecting single black women who defy expectations. Among the women who share their stories in the book: Actress Kim Coles, Movie Producer Effie T. Brown ('Real Women Have Curves') and Interior Designer Sheila Bridges.

All of the women in I Didn't Work This Hard Just to Get Married candidly discuss aging without a man and reevaluate dating, single homeownership, career, and children. The book speaks directly to the black woman's experience, addressing unique challenges such as income discrepancies between genders, the high rate of male incarceration, and the Baby Momma Syndrome. The women discuss the false expectations they face from men, from families, and from friends.  

Written in the best tradition of girlfriend talking to girlfriend, the book delivers tales of lessons learned, hard times and good times, told by women who found ways to achieve their dreams by defying convention. Their conclusion: singlehood, whether temporary or permanent, and though often challenging, is a fulfilling state.

I Didn’t Work This Hard was really positively reviewed in the April 1 issue of Booklist (circ. 24,150). The complete review follows:

I Didn't Work This Hard Just to Get Married (Chicago Review Press, ISBN: 9781556528194)

“Despite the continued cultural emphasis on marriage, 70 percent of black women will live their lives as singles--widowed and divorced, but mostly never married. Whether this statistic is viewed as good, bad, or indifferent depends on a woman's individual perspective. Beamon, a television news writer-producer, presents interviews with 21 successful black women fully enjoying singlehood with a range of opinions on their marriage prospects. Among the women interviewed are actress Kim Coles, author Deborah Gregory (of Cheetah Girls fame), movie producer Effie Brown, and an assortment of other professionals. The women applaud the television shows Living Single and Girlfriends for depictions of beautiful and successful single black women, and discuss the sometimes negative images of black women and the impact of the high unemployment and incarceration rates of black men on marriage prospects. Mostly, they recount their own personal journeys to accepting, enjoying, and capitalizing on their times as single women. Though written from black women's perspectives, this book has appeal for all women looking for a fresh take on being single.”


“…I Didn’t Work This Hard Just To Get Married is filled with statistics, great information and details on how society views black women and our obligations to our children, families, and communities.  We are also privy to some quirky tales of marriages gone wrong, single parenting, baby-mama drama and much more…

This book is for women of all ages; women who believe their clocks are ticking and are running out of time.  Women who feel like they need a man to define them, you will definitely enjoy this book from cover-to-cover as you take this journey into finding yourself.”

 Reviewed by: Cheryl Hayes, APOOO BookClub

"What an incredibly liberating and inspiring collection of stories...about learning to be comfortable in your skin and what u got –and that we are not alone in our journey. Thank you Nika for this gift."  

Terrie M. Williams

Author, Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We're Not Hurting

 "This is an exciting book that fully explores the option of single status and the lives of the women who choose it… Nika Beamon gives women making life choices a window into the thought processes of other women who have made similar choices.  It is an important addition to work on the lives and options of African American women, and it is an absorbing read."

Julianne Malveaux

President, BennettCollege for Women

"Although I am an award-winning filmmaker, TV personality and author, many of my family members feel as though I lead a shallow and empty life because I choose to be unmarried without children. In this well-researched and thoughtful tome, Nika Beamon has given a voice to true choice among women in this post-millennial era."

Abiola Abrams, BET host

Author of the novel, Dare