The news: A controversial billboard on Rush Street drew complaints over its slogan: “Life’s short. Get a divorce.” The ad, placed by Chicago attorney Corri Fetman, was taken down just days after it debuted on May 1. But it has gotten a second life with truckmounted ads.

Behind the news: African Americans were the most likely to be divorced, but the least likely to be married, according to a 2006 U.S. Census Bureau report. Among members of the nation’s four largest racial and ethnic groups who were at least 15 years of age, African Americans had the highest percentage of divorcees and the lowest percentage of married folks. More than 11 percent of African Americans were divorced, and nearly 31 percent were married. Another 45 percent of black people had never married, the highest of any racial or ethnic group, according to the census report.

Art Sims, the author of an 11-year-old relationship advice column that appears in the Chicago Defender and Windy City Media, said many black people are no longer in committed relationships. He said the era of couples being married for more than 20 years is over. A long-term relationship now typically lasts seven to 10 years, he said.

“Marriage is a thing of the past,” said Sims, who has offered relationship advice during appearances on the “Fox News in the Morning” television show. “We say, –˜I love you,’ but we really don’t understand what it means. Now we need to show our young people that love does last.”

Alena Scarver

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