By Mary Alice Miller
Councilman Charles Barron and his wife Inez celebrated their Silver Anniversary at the House of the Lord Church. Rev. Herbert Daughtry, who married them 25 years ago, led the rededication of their vows. Five hundred people, including family, friends, public servants and allies in community service came out to witness the event.
Inez Barron believes marriage is a “relationship that publicly acknowledges a commitment that two people have for each other. It required a lot of give-and-take, a lot of sacrifice, introspection and reflection. We believe God has sanctioned our marriage and it is our responsibility to make it work.”
According to Inez, there are many benefits to marriage. “You have someone who is always in your corner, always has your back. What keeps us together is humor and the good times. Charles is a very intelligent man with good ideas. He was particularly supportive during the stressful time when I was a school principal.”
Inez said when they got together, “There was no issue with male- female roles. We both were strong-headed and independent. It was a process, but we are mutually supportive of each other.”
Charles Barron proudly declares he is “a happily married Black man. Marrying Inez is the best thing I have ever done. She is the love of my life. She is the greatest supporter of my work. I would not be where I am without her.”
Regarding why he married Inez, Barron said, “She is a great leader, a great teacher. She is the most beautiful African woman I have seen. Her smile alone can stop me cold in my tracks.”
Barron goes on to reflect upon the value of marriage for Black men. According to Barron, “Black manhood is not complete without becoming a great father and a great husband.”
In order to become a great father and husband, Barron suggests first that Black men spend time with themselves. “For 2 years, I did not date. I got to know Charles. I learned my strengths and weaknesses. I learned to be alone, but not lonely.”
Barron’s second suggestion is for “Black men to get to know Black women. Get to know the true purpose of a Black woman. A woman is not to be dominated or controlled. She is not to be used just for her body. Black men must come straight with Black women. A Black man has never ‘gotten over’ on a Black woman. She just lets you think that you did.”
Barron says he does not believe in stereotypical sex roles. “Male and female complement each other. The best marriage occurs when two whole people come together to form a union out of love.” (Barron does not believe Inez is his better half, or that he is half of her.)
Barron’s last suggestion for Black men is to “do the work to stay together. Work to maintain the flame, work to keep the humor” in your marriage.”
Barron recalls in his 25 years of marriage, during the first two years, they had arguments. The last twenty-three have been nothing but peace. Barron attributes this to the fact that they both “have a life.”
Charles and Inez Barron are living examples of commitment to their marriage, family and community.