The “It” Girl

by Eva McKend

Who would have thought that being a single black woman would be all the rage? If you’ve clued-in to the blogosphere over the past few weeks, you probably have noticed the trend. From Helena Andrews’ forthcoming book and film Bitch is the New Black to ABC’s Nightline segment on single black women, I am starting to feel like the “it” girl. Everybody seems to be talking about me and I’ve never been more ready for my close up. After all, there are serious issues at play that could really use the airtime.

As an underappreciated beautiful black woman, I hope that you would understand my trepidation over being haphazardly catapulted into stardom. For those of us who know, being single isn’t always cute and certainly isn’t something to exploit. It can be lonely and desperately painful but can be an unfortunate reality for so many black women.

Although it was not without flaw, I am comforted when I see television specials like that of the ABC segment. The largest blemish was Steve Harvey’s perpetuation of binary gender roles and antiquated irrelevant advice that only further contributed to the rhetoric of assault on women. The relationship advice in his book, which he predicates his comments on, encourages women to constantly be altering their physical and emotional selves to fit the male gaze. Apart from this disappointment and some problems with the numbers (the eligible numbers should have included black male college graduates, but I suppose they didn’t want us to hurl ourselves off of the Brooklyn Bridge and should have subtracted gay black men), I felt solace in hearing other black women facing what I am. It makes me feel as though I am part of a community grappling with a common struggle and ultimately as if I am not alone. However, not all black women share this sentiment. If Essence’s relationships editor Demetria L. Lucas could, “she would climb under a rock…to avoid the onslaught of articles, primetime TV segments, books, and countless blog discussions.” While Lucas very eloquently iterates her frustrations with the white constructed “Black Man Shortage” narrative, I don’t see what we have to gain from hiding from this reality. I do not deny that major networks do in fact pull out this story ever so often to sensationalize the issue but I wonder if we can start using these specials as a springboard to discuss what is really going on in our community. Many black women and men ask why we are still talking about this. To them I answer, because it continues to be a dire circumstance with no trace of getting any better.

Many of my black college educated male peers are disheartened and even angered by this discourse. It is almost as if they feel as though their masculinity is being challenged. I can’t tell anyone how to feel but I wish rather than get insulted, educated black men reflected on these reports as heavily as educated black women do. Admittedly, I am coming from a privileged perspective and I cannot speak for every community. I don’t know any black men in my age group who are not in college, even fewer who are not at the best institutions in the country, but I wonder why my peers and even some of my friends are, as the school counselor Chato Waters lamented, juggling four quality women in rotation. As blessed as I have been to be amongst what I perceive to be intelligent company, with it comes a sense of arrogance. My fear is that as young black men are patting themselves on the back and brushing their shoulders off, they are missing opportunities to codify healthy relationships with black women and even perhaps sleeping on the possibility to pull up even younger legions of black men. I would be foolish not to acknowledge that this is symptomatic of the behavior of many young men regardless of race but with a lot of things, black folks have to hold themselves to a higher standard. We don’t have time for games. Our community is hanging on by tiny threads of overworked black women. I appreciated a recent video I saw posted by Christopher Johnson but as one of my friends saliently noted; while he makes a plea for the good guys, he never really tackles the issues at hand. He never even addresses the numbers.

There are a host of problems that perpetuate this issue. Black women continue to have minimal representation in the media especially in all of our diverse hues, hair textures and body types. We all know that we very rarely see dark skinned women, full figured women and women who sport their God given hair. This contributes to a socialization that is hard to break yet we continue to watch and support the very mediums that do not reflect who we are. I just saw the preview for Jennifer Lopez’s next film The Back-Up Plan. I am always amazed at her ability to consistently attain romantic comedy movie roles where she plays opposite a white male lead—the subject of her race never being the focal point of the film. In fact, the same seems to be true for other women of color yet there continues to be black people who want to shy away from the specificity of our plight. Interracial dating is often suggested but for many black women, especially those who find themselves on the margins of celebrated beauty norms, this is not an easy task.

Additionally, young black men need mentors. I heard a young girl call into the WBGO Newark Today radio program to voice to her mayor, Cory Booker, her concerns about her brother who she feared was no longer attending high school but out on the street hustling. Over the course of the hour, Booker and other Newark residents made a plea, particularly to older black men, to become mentors. We need more black men teaching black young men the importance in loving black women.

I could go on and on about our problems as a community. We have lots of them. The fact that too many black women are single is only the tip of the iceberg but by engaging the issue rather than hiding under a rock, we could pick away at the glaciers. We could turn this single black woman talk into a discussion and ultimately a solution to the underlying issues.

Unfortunately you can’t really get over something that is still there. You cannot jump over a barrier that has not yet been knocked down. We can pretend but smacking that wall sure will hurt. What we can do and what we should do is use this ongoing hysteria to our benefit all the while highlighting the surrounding issues we face as a community. After all, Americans have a short attention span, being the “it” girl won’t last forever.

  • Dani

    Thank you for sharing your views on this issue. I wish we had answers…..

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  • T

    “because it continues to be a dire circumstance”
    Why? Stop looking at color as your main factor and everyone’s chances go up many times over.

  • http://yahoo.com C. Darby

    I agree with this topic because, As a single African-American female there is lonelyness. I feel our African-American males don’t give sisters the respect they very much deserve. I always manage to cover the hurt when I hear brothers say they perfer white women over blacks. Which I don’t care, but just give me respect that’s all I ask.

  • michelle

    co-sign I am entirley bored of this neverending discussion about not being able to find a good black man. but honestly i think some black women need to stop limiting themselves in terms of which race they want to date. I would also like to ask where does it say that black men have to date black women? in addition i also disagree about what the author states about media representation beacause yes, whilst it is true that black women of a certain body shape and hue are underrepresented tha tdoes not stop me from empathising with characters that people from other races portray.

  • cowsaidmoo

    I don’t understand why do black women and men constantly feel that they are being unappreciated, under represented in the media. This is so not true.
    You ask why other women of color do not find it difficult to be paired with white males? Simply because they don’t care what skin color a man has, they don’t mind dating and seeing white men. I believe it’s also true with men of color dating white women. While black women tend to discriminate. Black people don’t like when their friends, family members date people of different color. And I know this from experience. I remember when my cousin started dating a white woman. She was beautiful, intelligent, extremely friendly and nice, however, they often kept hearing things like “how can you date this white b**” and similar stuff. It didn;t matter what kind of person she was .. they only saw her skin color.

    But people will see what they want to see.. and we’ll keep feeling underrepresented though it may not be true..

  • gspgrl

    I totally agree with michelle

  • http://www.chellbellz.com Chellbellz

    I’m trying to figure out who told Steve Harvey that he was capable of giving advice. Once again, people have fallen into listening to the hype instead of listening with their own clear minds. I don’t get it. I think if people just took the time to actually go out there and date instead of reading a book or article on what to look for they would learn alot.

    “I just saw the preview for Jennifer Lopez’s next film The Back-Up Plan. I am always amazed at her ability to consistently attain romantic comedy movie roles where she plays opposite a white male lead”

    People thought I was crazy for saying this. It seems that the bigger a minority actor gets the less and less he or she has a “significant other” that is of the same race. Mainly Will Smith, and sorry by Rosario Dawson doesn’t count. He hasn’t a black wife in a movie since…Independence Day or Enemy of the State?

    A lady posted an article about this saying that She didn’t care what the stats said she wasn’t going to switch races, and I can see her point in all of it, but at the same time. I was raised in the hood, but thank god I was raised not to be Biased when it came to finding love. I have dated every flavor, and I have had some good and bad experiences no matter what. It all boiled down to what these men were looking for out of life. I can tell you there are some white men that are very content with doind nothing, and some black men who only want to excel past everybody who doubted them.

    I do agree that we need mentors, we need that old school style of a community caring about what their youth are doing. All i hear these days is that we don’t care about each other. I doubt and know that it wasn’t always that way, according to my grandfather. He comes from a country where they always had one anothers back, and he brought that to the states, and he wasn’t alone. I think that its important that we mentor these young men and woman who are looking up to blinged out rappers, and video vixens. No offense to Beyonce, but even the girls are probably taking some of her music wrong, the boys are listening to the rappers talk about running through girls, and any woman that gives it up is a slut. Somebody has to step in and say you know what music is entertainment and you have to realize that those same rappers and singers have somebody at home and they are just singing a song.

    I didn’t have mentors, because my mother didn’t play. She had me activities, and sports. TV was limited, I was outside exploring…but I think that parents are just getting lazy with raising their children, and got use to suffering instead of breaking the cycle.

  • Paula

    This topic is an interesting one indeed. I appreciated the article and found myself, generally, in agreement.

    I find it interesting that there is ALWAYS a voice from the chorus that mentions dating other races. Why? Why is it wrong for me to want to date and EVENTUALLY marry someone who looks like me, better yet my father or my grandfathers?

    I don’t want a husband that can not identify with the social and emotional implications of being a Black American. I want children that look like me (chocolate round faces with thick lovely kinks). Women of other races get that option, they can say that without fear of rebuttal or taunts of being closed-minded.

    I have only been in 2 short relationships, and both ended because they wanted me to be someone I was not (one could not accept my natural hair texture, the other wanted me to be okay with his sleeping around). I find that to be a recurring theme for black women in general. Be somebody, anybody else but who and how you were born to be, and for those that stand in our truth we get labeled and reprimanded.

    I am a 31, soon to be 32 year old chocolate, kinky dusty brown haired, full lipped southern girl. Raised with traditional values, I am intelligent, creative, crafty, emotive, and communicative; all of this jammed into a 5’3″ tall body that rebukes western living (google PCOS). I have struggled with my weight (again google PCOS) and my desire to speak freely all my life. I am dutiful daughter and oldest sister, faithful cousin and helpful friend. I believe in a power higher than myself and love to dance in the rain. I am so happy with who I am now (thank goodness 16-25 is OVER), and have no desire to change my fundamental core of values. I am also painfully aware that despite all of this I will never be enough.

    But I still come home to an empty house, take myself to the movies, and wonder if being a single mom is fair to my unborn children. I no longer believe it can happen to me, and me not trade in the one thing I love the most…. myself.

    So for those that wonder why rehash this issue over and over again, the answer is simple… we need a shift in consciousness.

  • Damali

    “People thought I was crazy for saying this. It seems that the bigger a minority actor gets the less and less he or she has a “significant other” that is of the same race”.

    Totally co-sign with Chellbellz. Once a brother gets big, the sister’s part vanishes. If it wasn’t for Tyler Perry, though I don’t love everything he does, we wouldn’t see some black actresses at all. We may be “IT” for the moment but not in the industry.

  • Sha

    ….dont forget about our hair. it was quite a hot topic too.
    But anyway, i disagree with many parts of this article. The black women that “do” complain about being single put themselves in their dilemma. they pushed themselves into that small dating pool they have. its no ones fault you chose to be close-minded and racist. (yes i said it)
    Sorry, but i’m sick of hearing black women spouting this “blacks stick together” crap. sticking together has gotten black women nowhere in the last years. theres too many fatherless children, single moms, children with no hope, etc;. this is 2010, not 1940. ladies, you dont have to be with a black guy to be happy. geezzz.
    and if hes not black it doesnt mean hes gonna be white. damn how close-minded can some of yall be?? ughh

  • 804335

    well I’m not an expert in genetics but even if only one parent is black then the babies will look and have characteristics/features of a black person. Their skin may be (but not necessarily) a bit lighter, but still they will be black
    I’m just saying..

  • Dane

    I don’t feel like being a single black woman is hopeless. As with anything in your life, its what you make of it. Sometimes it takes a shift in viewpoint to make your life come into focus.

    Maybe some people won’t get married. Maybe some people won’t marry black men. Who knows what will happen. The thing is that it’s going to take individual people shifting something in their way of thinking to change anything. Lamenting over the numbers is not going to help.

    If you are a black woman dedicated to marrying a certain type of black man, you may not get married. That may be the reality. So what are you going to do about it? Complain? Or, keep living your life and making the best of it, the best way you know how.

    I will admit that I am not very engrossed in this struggle. I am a black woman. I am full figured. I have natural hair. But I have never felt like I was going to spend the rest of my life alone and die to be eaten by a horde of my cat-children.

    For one thing, I try to think positive. For another, I don’t compare myself to media representations, and look to other things to validate me. I know that they won’t. Hasn’t this been proven time and time again.

    Also, I was never married to the idea of marrying an Ideal Black Man. I figured that I would meet someone and fall in love and hopefully get married and have children–at some point. But I didn’t have a specific race of person in mind.

    I spent some time alone in college. A lot of the IBM’s didn’t give me the time of day. They were juggling two and three pretty girls at a time and generally having fun with their lives. I focused on my studies.

    My senior year I did meet someone. But it was not an IBM. We are getting married this year. If I had been wedded to the idea of this ideal, educated black man coming to sweep me off of my feet, I might still be single without a prospect.

    It’s really all about choices. We all have them. We make them. We live with them. I think that’s pretty much it. We have to make the best of the situations we’re in. Whatever they are.

  • Paula

    I am aware of how genetics works, I was just stating my preference, what I would like… Would I love children of an interracial background any less? NO! Would I not have child that were interracial? NO!! I would just PREFER that my children were not interracial, but situations change and we don’t always get what we prefer/want/desire. (Hell I PREFER to win a 200 million powerball LOL )

    Please note this is my PERSONAL desire. I am not knocking anyone who prefers or has otherwise. I believe there is space for everyone to want/believe/follow whatever they choose. I would appreciate the chance to do the same without being considered closed minded, racist, or any other of the negative labels that women who share my sentiments are often rewarded. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with men of another race or ethnicity or that Black men must only date black women. I do find it hurtful and disrespectful when I am deemed unattractive because I don’t have European features or when I look like the mama that raised you.

  • Sexy Jess

    There isn’t a shortage of black men. Black men are everywhere!! And they aren’t intimidated by smart, beautiful, full figured, money making women. In fact they prefer it. Who wants to be married to a ugly chick, with no body, and no potential?

    Our problem is…
    A) Many of us grew up in single parent homes, and do not have a good example of what it is like to be in a loving relationship.
    B) We continue to hold on to the myth that all men are dogs and don’t even give a brother a chance to prove that he isn’t.
    C) We assume that men are intimidated by us, and so, unconciously, we come off as arrogant and full of attitude. Instead we should be open to meeting new people, and give them the benefit of the doubt.
    D) We often are stuck in a cycle of going for what we know. We tend to date the same kind of men, and continue to be disappointed. Try something new! Not neccessarily a white guy (then again why not?), but a different type of black guy!

    And, yes, some black men are attracted to white women. So what? Some black women are attracted to white men. People of all races are attracted to people of all races. If we are trying to reach a point where black people matter to our “euro-centric” society just as much as any other race, then we cannot continue to isolate ourselves, and then complain when we aren’t recognized.

  • Sparkle

    Sexy Jess and Dane hit the nail right on the head!!! Amen sisters! It is our own mentality that keeps us back, not some falsified account of the shortage of Black men. You get what you expect and many of us already have it in our head that we are only going to meet cheaters and dogs.

    Secondly, I have a problem with said statistics. Where are these people getting their numbers and facts? To me, they do nothing but add to the gloom and doom mentality that we already have had embedded in our brains.

    Thirdly, too many of us think that the perfect man is going to be the anecdote to our problems. Like I heard someone on the radio say “I don’t know one happily married woman, that wasn’t a happy single woman first”

  • Lauren R

    I do think that if we don’t limit our options as black women then we will be better off. I agree that like the ABC segment you can’t have a list. You have to be open. As a black, full-figured woman, no man who is Asian American or white has EVER tried to talk to m/holler at me. So my conclusion is that they don’t find me attractive. I have grown up around white and Asian American men and they have NEVER tried to ask me out. All the black men at my church I know are married to white women. There are no black women married to white men or Asian American men. I am not saying that it is impossible. But I have not limited my options. Have been attracted to men of all races but the people that have pursued me have been black. Period. It does not seem white and Asian men find me attractive.

  • Breezy_Bre

    First of all, I liked the points that she made. However, this will be an ongoing issue until people stop playing the blame game. Black men blame black women, and black women blame the black men. If we could all work on ourselves as a race, we could achieve some progress. Also, I am tired of women suggesting that black women date outside your race! As a black woman from the south, white men do not even seem to look my way. I am a classy black female and only one “rebellious” white guy has ever tried to talk to me and we did not connect at all. He didnt understand my humor and I didnt get his? So to you ppl that suggest dating outside your race— The answer is not that simple! If non-black men approach you, fine. If you are attracted to men outside your race, fine. But we shouldnt be forced to date other races. Its some decent men, you just have to locate them (and no, they dont all live in your city nor do they all work at your prestigious job).

  • Dane

    Hey, each person will figure out what’s right for them. I don’t think anyone is trying to force people to date outside of their race, or whatever. In some places it’s harder than others to do this. If it’s not for you, it’s not for you. But for people that are open to it. It is an option. Anything you can do to increase your odds of meeting a good match is a good thing, whether that be a new hobby, or a change of address.

    Any time a woman even suggests that people date whomever asks them, or whomever they ask (women can initiate friendships that lead to dates too–you don’ t have to wait for someone to approach you) it seems like there is a hostile reaction automatically.

    Someone might say something about themselves dating out and the next thing you see in response is WELL THAT MAY BE ALRIGHT FOR YOU BUT NO such-and-such-a-man has ever approached me. So I assume that they don’t find me attractive, blah blah blah. I hear this a lot. No disrespect to anyone on the board. But if one black man doesn’t approach you, do you assume that all black men aren’t attracted to you as well?

    There are a lot of men in the world. Someone out there somewhere is bound to be attracted to you at some point. Even if they don’t have the balls to come up to you and say so.

    Just throwing that out there.

    People are people. Some people click, and some people do not. There are a myriad of factors that go into this whole chemistry thing. Cultural background may be a deal breaker for some, and not for others.

    Once you are in a relationship all of that stuff becomes artificial anyway. It’s just one person relating to another and wishing they’d pick their jeans up off the floor and put them into the hamper.

    Fun conversation.

  • http://flygirls.typepad.com/fly/2010/01/neutralize-pt-4-didnt-cha-know.html Andrea

    I appreciate your take on this issue but I too am tired of how this topic is addressed in the media. I understand it’s an issue but every time it’s discussed it’s approached the same way. Why aren’t these programs getting some single Black women and Black men in a room to talk about the issue? And who made Steve Harvey the relationship expert?

    The only thing that comes from these segments are more perpetuated stereotypes. I can see why Black men are annoyed with these discussions, it makes them look bad and they are never invited on these programs to defend themselves.

    Another problem I have is the term “educated Black man” or “educated Black woman.” What does that mean? We never refer to other groups as “educated Asian man” or “educated White woman.” It’s like there’s this assumption that other groups are already educated and Blacks are not. That in itself is an insult!

  • lish

    Last I checked not just blk men are deadbeat dads who are scared of marriage

  • http://www.alishawritinglife.wordpress.com Alisha

    Great article! We seem to be a hot topic these days. I just wish it wasn’t for those reasons. We can’t continue feeding into everything the media projects out to us and others.

  • Brandon

    Hope I dont get blocked for this but the article is horrible. I would just like to know (like most cases with this topic) why you (as a black woman) didnt take any responsibility for black women being single. You seem to put a lot of it on the black man and that right there is where the problem starts. There is no rule that says black men HAVE to date black women or a rule that say black women cant date outside there races. I just trule believe that black women need to start taking responsibility for this, The stats show that BLACK WOMEN are single….not black men. Start to look at your selfs. The “media” is not the one telling you to bypass a man because he does not fit your standards. I still continue to date black women as well as other races but with opinions like this i see why black mean are started to put up this “Wall of Silence” towards black women

  • michelle

    i broadly agree

  • Thinkpink

    I agree with brandon. I think that black women do bear some of the responsibility. However I do not think we should be singled out as a group. Its true that 73 percent of us are single but the divorce rate in this country among white couples is higher than almost any other nationality in the world! Society is facing a marriage crisis and it is not race specific. We live in a nation where the term “STARTER WIFE” was coined. The sanctity of marriage is becoming a societal joke in the united states. Period.

  • kendra

    I personally thought the article was great. But I feel like some of these comments need to be addressed. The successful and lonely black woman is a major issue in our community. And the “unequal gender ratio” between black men and women is a major factor as to why black women are single and the growing number of succesful black men dating non-black women is also affecting the situation. I’m so damn tired of hearing “well why don’t black women just date non-black men?! why can’t they just stop being so closed minded?!” It is much more complicated than that, the issue is bigger than just being “open minded”….we live in a sexist society where men are judged by their performance and women by their appearance and in this system the standards of appearance are set by a Eurocentric ideal of beauty. This is an ideal that most black women will fail to achieve because we are not and will never be white.

    So when you ask black women to be “open minded” about dating men outside their race..who says many of them aren’t?! THERE NEEDS TO BE WILLING PARTNERS!
    Who is to say that black men are not allowed to date outside of their race? Of course they can! but it seems like for black women that isn’t as much of an open option or at least it’s harder to come by.

    and for the black men who say they date white women EXCLUSIVELY I feel like that is not only an acceptance of white women but a rejection of black women…and it hurts. I just don’t understand how someone could completely reject someone who looks just like them (i mean in terms of traditional black features) and not see them as beautiful and worthy of love and respect…to me that’s just a denial of themselves.

    I

  • knockoutchick

    BW on this board and others need to listen to what BM like Brandon are saying……

    They are not just dating BW, they are not waiting for YOU! They are not making any special attempts to find YOU.

    So if you are waiting for them….you are waiting for a train that ain’t coming….

    Wake Up! No one cares about what happens to BW but BW, I am not saying they should, we are in a recession, people have their own lives and loves to focus on. The harsh truth is BW are out performing their male counterparts and advancing rapidly in corporate jobs. Therefore in major urban areas are packed with single working BW, scores of them…..like fire ants. We have over-run the BC and many BW will simply have to MOVE. Sorry, that’s the truth.

    The majority of women posting stories of longing for BM on the net today will be single 10-20 years from now, without ever having been in a relationship. While their BM counterparts will have had many, many partners.

    All I can say is at least BM aren’t lying anymore and saying they are waiting for a “black queen” only so hold on. Brandon is the TRUTH!

  • knockoutchick

    A bunch of bright red fire ants…waiting for any morsel that falls from the picnic table :-)

    And I hope you understand who is sitting AT the picnic table enjoying pate and a good Merlot.

    Control your own destiny and accept the fact that you will have to MOVE!

  • Jazz

    What’s wrong with wanting a Black man when you are a Black woman? No one criticizes Asians or Persians etc. for the effort they make to marry and procreate with their own race/culture. Why are Black women being looked down on for wanting that relationship? I understand opening your mind, but I don’t think its wrong to have a Black man be a Black woman’s preference. (and vice versa)

  • Joyce

    Black people are not getting married. It is not just a black women thing. The story was about black women but it does not mean that these black men are getting married. Only 8% of black men marry inter-racially, so if we are not marrying then they are not either. It is not just our (black women) problem, it is a black community problem because we are losing the family structure.

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  • Michelle M.

    I agree with knockoutchick that some black women will just have to move. Secondly, there are other nationalities of black (Carribean, African, Middle Eastern, etc.) that black women could take interest in. There cultures of men who absolutely LOVE black women, but we will not know this unless we travel or socialize with different cultures. I also agree with Brandon. The truth is black woman have bought into lies about being less attractive, so what if media says otherwise. If black men want women with European features, they can have them. Black men are victims of intricate brainwashing with definitions of masculinity and what is attractive (despite who they look like in the mirror)! Black men who date out their race just do not bother me anymore because of this harsh truth. Why date or marry the portion of black men that believe in the white master’s poison. If you are open to interracial dating then you may have to be the first to initiate conversation. Any women black or white that carries herself with confidence will be noticed. Black women can no longer just sit around and wait because we will get nothing!

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  • Observer.

    This is a pro-Black women blog? You sure could have fooled me judging by these comments! All they do is defend Black men’s “rights” to love them some White womens, and talk about how much Black women suck.

    I hate false advertising!

  • likerain

    I just love how if you’re a black woman who states she’d rather be with a black man, she’s “closed minded” and “not taking control of her life”. Seriously?

    No one said dating a black man meant sticking to African Americans, so of course it’s ok to leave this country, but why is it only ok to leave this country for a mate if you’re only considering a white, asian or latin mate?

    I too am sick of this big ass lie that black men are just vanishing. Really? I think that was put together by a bunch of women who wanted to justify the fact that they want white boys. And perpetuated to weaken black men. To weaken the black family. To tear us apart and destroy us.

    And please tell me where the hell these vanishing black men are going!! Is Africa clearing out? The Carribbean too? We’re all out of places to look for “good” black men but have a laundry list of places to search for white replacements.

    Oh yeah, and of course Steve Harvey is full of crap who really takes him seriously?

  • Solgar

    First, I do not understand why for some it seems that a college education or a good job (whatever at is) automatically entitles you to everything in the world. I, a young black man, have these, am single, humble and don’t feel a sense of entitlement. I really can not make a connection between my degrees or job and finding a wife. It just doesn’t make sense.

    Yes, economic standing helps in any social unit but there are far greater things that make social groups tick other than money. Can a marriage and family not work if both husband and wife have below average income and do not have college degrees ?

    I wouldn’t be surprised if people from other cultures/ethnicities ORGANISE in order to prevent such an apparent thing from happening: Lop sided development. If some things don’t develop on all fronts it doesn’t develop at all. Groups operate as a whole otherwise the group ceases to exist. The parts that make up the group work for each other. Yet with Afrikans we seem to have so many sub-groups (the strong, independent, yet seeking and searching for protection and provision, black woman) by their creation, who work against the now created other sub-groups which then is catastrophic for the group as a whole.

    Divide and conquer.

    They create the chaos through lies in their media and mainstream culture which we believe, buy into, integrate ourselves into. Then they offer the solution. BAM !

    When I am ready to find a wife she has to have African-Caribbean heritage because that is my background. It is this important and wide ranging quality that matters most because for me it encompasses so much. We have to take responsibility for and respect the qualities that are beyond our own life times….heritage, culture, family.

    Too many Afrikan people, especially in the Diaspora, respect and pay homage to constructs and institutions of the (white) Western world rather than those of their own heritage.

    This black women need to date other races is nonsense because it will perpetuate one of the underlying causes for this problem: our identity confusion and lack of proper knowledge, understanding of ourselves…..disunity and lack of doing things together that truly empower ourselves. If some Afrikan men’s’ minds have adopted the alien European female physical ideal then why do we have some people here who want to further this by ask the detriment of our self same – to be an agent in adding more confusion to our identity.

    To get an African in American to make cultural links with Afrikans on the continent and the Diaspora…I think it is easier to try squeezing blood from a stone…or they might think they need to get permission/acceptance from some European authority first.

    Why is it seen ‘unfortunate reality’ for black women. Hello ! It is the ‘unfortunate reality’ for Afrikan people throughout the world. This is not one single issue isolated on its own. It is one of the many, many symptoms of our collective history. And it is our collective history that we need to address that covers hundreds of years and the entire planet; not something that has been given media attention (which is controlled by people who do not have our best interests at heart) of the last few decades and affects some black women.

    Why isn’t the discussion at the level of, ‘The history of and the social mechanisms that have influenced African relationships in the Western world’, or, ‘How the confusion of the Afrikans’ identity and traumatised sense of self has hindered Afrikan relationships’, or, ‘How so-called African-Americans’ attempt to integrate his/her mind into the reality of another people is causing major problems’

    I think it is a sense of collective shame and sense of inferiority that prevents us from being loyal in all aspects of the life experience. This I believe comes from the fact that we were and still are a conquered and colonised people (especially in mind). If we want black male mentors why not support and promote those who are doing it. Put them on a pedestal. Shout out their name for all to hear. Or maybe that isn’t in line with the status quo.

    No matter how many black men there are out there doing it, doing the good thing, making a difference and changing things we will never know. Mostly due to our own fault because we have sown ourselves into mainstream media outlets that rarely highlight the truly beneficial, empowering and progressive people and activities.

    Finally, I question whether those women who complain truly do want ‘good black men’ because what I would term ‘good black men’ are out there in abundance but mainstream media and culture would not tell you that because it is not in their interest. If you find the culturally conscious Afrikan groups and people there you will find good black people because they are striving to rid themselves of the conquered, colonised mind. You can start by listening to the radio show here: http://livinginblack.ning.com/

  • @RichJava

    When the black community puts away it’s selfish desires, this “problem” will go away. The effects of centuries of discrimination don’t disappear over night. Black women want a successful marriage now. Instant gratification of quick money is usually why young men end up in jail. Believe it or not, a young male’s drive sex without goals or focus is quite dangerous. If women continue to cry victim and success black couples & men continue their indifference, the “problem” will continue. It takes a village…..

  • Naija81

    I completely agree with Jazz. Yes, if you want to open up the racial borderlines, then that’s you. Do you. However, black women are the always the target for assault simply for promoting and/or wanting to love their own. The sense of racial/ethnic solidarity and pride is slowly leaving our community in times where it is needed the most to catapuly our community to the next level. Other races are not definitely not subject to that same blow, and it’s not just in the area of love. It’s everything. A Latina sister can say she loves being Latina and it’s all good, but all hell breaks loose when those same sentiments are echoed by black people. People don’t understand the underlying fear that exists in seeing our community excel and become powerful beyond measure. I uphold my brother, my King, and love him dearly…He is the ONLY one for me. And that’s me doing me.

  • Naija81

    Sista, it’s not an issue of under-representation, but misrepresentation. Do your research.

  • Paula

    I appreciate your response. :)

  • http://princess.belanita.com Goldenah

    If a young woman, in her 20-30′s, isn’t constantly dating (not hooking up with) decent men, her likelihood of marriage is minuscule to none.

    There’s no one to “blame” in this situation, they just need to think about what they desire, and work at it. It might require doing some research and leaving the neighborhood and relocating.

    Black women in this particular country have a harder life, that’s a fact. Know what’s going on around you and proceed accordingly.

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  • honee

    I agree with you and Michelle. Articles like this just reinforce to black men that they are the prize. They can play us and shuffle us as they please because they hold all the power. They can have any woman they want because we believe the myth that other men don’t want us.Other women become interested in them because they’re curious to know what it is that we’re so caught up in wanting. Not to mention its got to be gratifying that you were chosen over all these other women that are pratically throwing themselves at this man. To the statement that there aren’t as many interracial opportunities for black women, many times men of other races don’t approach certain black women because they’ve been turned down so much by others and all they ever hear is that black women only want black men. I have co-workers that when approached by men of other races are always amazed that he was interested in them but shoo them away because they must be strange.

    This problem of single black women is not going to go away. It didn’t just start yesterday and the problem is only going to get worse. You can go into any high school in America now and you will see black boys with other races and black girls are left without a boyfriend at higher rates then their peers.So girls are learning at a young age without the media even telling them that they will be alone. You have black mothers that devalue relationships when talking with their sons and reinforcing the idea that they are the prize. The reasons why this problem will only increase are too numerous to list. Black women need to wake up and face the facts.

    I’m single but I choose not to limit who I date or ultimately marry by race. I don’t belittle black men or complain about some shortage of good black men. I don’t believe that black men belong to me or that they have to date women that look like me. In sum, I choose to belong to the human race and be open to love all that are apart of it.

  • krianne

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
    stop the clock for a moment. my little brother and sister are mixed and guess what they look like? ima just let u kno that they sure dont look mixed OR black. they look straight up white. little sister has floppy wavy brown hair and white skin (very slightly tan in the summer cause she does not tan well) pointed nose, i wouldnt say thin lips but they arent medium either, and brown green eyes, and as tall and thin as a twig. the little brother has slightly curly brown hair, white skin, brown eyes, pointed nose, medium lips, and is tall but reel husky wit a ghetto booty (lol). u dont kno what ur kids will come out looking. same with black ppl. my friend was married to a dark skin black man and she was dark skinned herself…..baby came out light skinned…he thought she cheated on him and denied the baby. after begging him to get a birth test…came out the baby was his and he was lookin reel stupid. so dont automatically assume that “oh jus because so and so is so and so the baby will look like this.”

  • krianne

    everyone has their own preferance. just because most black women prefer black men does NOT mean that they are closed minded. that is just their preferance. if i am a mixed woman that would only date and eventually marry a black man….does that make me closed minded? if i am a dominican woman that will only date and eventually marry a dominican man….does that make me closed minded?? No. that is just my preferance. If a person is not attracted to a certain thing you cant make them like it. same if a person IS attracted to something…..you cant make them not like it. thats like saying trying to make a woman suck a dick and she dont want to and then saying “You are so closed minded, you aint never even tried it before!”

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