Before the Web, public discussions about difficulties between Black men and women took place maybe every few months via magazine articles in Essence. When the occasional “Why do Black men date outside the race?” article popped up, the piece would impact the community in the most benign of ways. These articles were harmless because, in the end, the community could not talk back. With the explosion of the Internet, all of this has changed.

For the first time in history, Black men and women are using every element of the Internet medium to examine the guts of Black love, vivisecting the problems with the sharpest mental scalpels. Blacks are straightforwardly tackling relationship issues together that men and women had previously hashed out separately. The questions remain about whether this direct confrontation is actually for the good. It depends on how you feel about interracial dating.

In the magazines of old, questions could be raised and Black love experts quoted—but the social ills that lead to 72% of Black children being born out of wedlock were pondered behind the scenes. Usually these discussions devolved into a blame game played in the barber shop or the beauty salon with both Black women and men pointing the finger. By discussing such matters with their own sex in church groups and sports bars, the insane rage between genders that could have been released through persistent blame was kept in check. Nowadays the hippest spot to call out the opposite gender is a message board.

Or the comments area of a blog. If blogs are not your thing, you can “like” the Facebook fan page “i hate seeing black men with white women.“ The point is, now all that anger is out in the open. And targeted verbalization of “what is wrong” with the Black man or woman from the opposite sex is stoking greater ire in the gender under attack. The Internet, unfortunately, facilitates this process in a way that could have drastic results.

One could imagine that these were potentially positive developments at one time. What was absent in previous decades was the ability for Black men and women to conveniently have these critical discussions with each other, and the Web provided this context. It seems logical that having men and women discuss our issues directly could help us develop lasting Black relationship solutions. Yet, this seems to be far from the case. The direct verbal battles between Black men and women over “whose fault it is” that 42% of Black women never marry may be driving the genders further apart. The Web makes it faster and easier to place the blame, and its anonymous nature leads to tongue-lashings akin to cyber-whippings.

The harsh assessments that Black men and women used to hurl privately are now expressed to each other online with the full force of pent-up venom. Go on any message board these days that feature prominent African American discussions, and you will find threads that attack Black men for dating outside the race near others blaming Black women for being fat, loud, trashy and arrogant, thus pushing Black men away. Both types of forums are populated by Black men and women going hard at each other. Our sisters accuse the men of not protecting Black women. Men go for the jugular by proclaiming White women to be universally prettier. And let’s not forget the spawn of recent videos that illustrate Black love issues tragicomically in cartoons. The same themes are echoed in a multitude articles and comments found on Black Web sites.

Black women who are fed up with the whole mess have considered seceding from the Black community emotionally, financially and sexually, using blogs to fight Black men while pondering their future after leaving Black men behind. Black men are creating their own manifestos to justify leaving us. Having these two warring sides finally meet to discuss the bitterness that has been lingering for years has not had a cleansing effect on the Black psyche. The raw contempt some Black men and women feel free to share with each other online is so strong, it is creating more bile than ever in the realm of Black love.

At the same time, the power of the Web makes looking for interracial love much easier. Sites dedicated to Blacks looking for “outside” partners are common, as are new sites dedicated to mixed-race weddings. These developments aren’t necessarily bad. But they do point to the growing possibility of a new reality.

If the war between Black men and women cannot be resolved by open discussions in online forums, we might never be able to heal the growing chasm between the genders. In most emotional situations, dialogue sooths, but in the case of Black love, public communication is revealing greater depths despair. The Web presents Black men and women with a darker portrait of our intense divisions, while creating more resentment in the process. As a result, the motivation for moving farther apart from each other is fanned into flame.

It’s easy for that flame to catch fire in a field of possibility presented by the easy means for Blacks to find partners of different races online. If things don’t change soon, Black love could soon be on a rapid decline, morphing into a totally different form and changing forever.

Of course, not all Black men and women are taking this route, and there is plenty of evidence that African American love is thriving on the Web. But at the same time, evidence of the animosity between the sexes is exploding. Animosity combined with easy exit strategies points to a future of more mixed marriages than ever in coming years—caused solely by events ignited by social media.

Is this an inevitable future we are all prepared to see? Or will some saving grace intervene and mend the rift that the online world has made worse between Black men and women? That is unlikely. Perhaps with all the anger between Black men and women being so shockingly revealed, it is far better that this phenomenon is played out online rather than in real life. Then the coup of mixed-race love can conduct its revolution quietly, finally bringing calm to our Black love war.

  • Veila

    Great article. I honestly don’t know what to think. We can finally go back and forth and say whatever we want without any of the face to face drama or having to deal with the immediate aftermath. Everyday I see both positive and negative things as it relates on how we interact so it’s really hard to say but from the comment section on this site – it’s getting worse and we as women as the leader of the pack.

  • Chelle

    I am also at a lost for words. What do you do when there is so much hostility on both sides? Ideally, we would have a civilized town hall meeting on black gender issues and air this live on a station like TV One. I still can only imagine hate will be spewed for all of America to see. Our culture does not understand how sexism is uniquely interrelated with racism and we continue to blame each other, never addressing the root cause. Black people are still struggling with self hate, which will never cause us to love one another. This battle is only going to get worse. (sigh) I still believe in black love and am fortunate to have wonderful black male family members in my life. I am also tired of hearing negativity from both genders, but especially tired of hearing negative rants from some black men that I have dated regarding the stereotypes of black women. (They are ex’s for a reason). All black men are not like this but I now feel my chances of meeting an elgible black mate that I can have a civilized conversation regarding gender issues and black love with is decreasing. Now I am open to love in all places…………Looking forward to other comments (smiles)

  • Alexandra

    It’s only worse if thats your reality.

    I see Black people everyday. Some happy, some mad, some loud, some quiet, some cool, some friendly, some ignorant, etc; For ‘me’, this war thing is only online. Unless if you’ve bumped into a Hebrew Black power loser. But thats another story.

    Those opinions have always been there. It’s just that the increasing numbers of Internet accessibility just allowed more discussion to take place, positive and negative.
    It also allows ignorant folk to spread their hate anonymously. And it’s not going nowhere.

    I mentioned in another article a while back, ‘I’ haven’t really taken what I see on the Internet ‘too’ serious, cause I have Never been approached with such hate in my day to day life.

    But in the end, it does bug me that some Black women have entitlement issues to the point where they think Black men are “theirs” and create a facebook page (Really?) that advocates hate. Disgusting.

  • Chelle

    I agree Alexandra that we do no own black men! We are too busy trying to own them when we need to work on ourselves and make ourselves more marketable in the dating arena. Nobody is going to want an arrogant, entitled woman no matter the race. LOL and SMH at that Facebook page.

  • Lulu

    Exactly. In my world, I rarely see this played out, especially on my college campus. Young black women and men are ALWAYS seen together, helping to become a community. I think you have to take the internet with a grain of salt. A lot of vicious things get said on the internet that distort reality. And how do you know whether all these people are even black? It’s easy to take on a persona with one is anonymous.

  • no solidarity

    The internet reflects so little of what I see in real life. Most smart people know that the internet is a small portion of what is real.

    I see none of the conflicts that the internet likes to start. The internet is largely inauthentic…hyping and lying just for a measly page hit.

  • Metoo

    Is the internet making relations between black men and women worse?

    Only when you consider that websites like this one promote the gender war and then question why there is so much hostility on both sides.

    You cannot be apart of the solution while contributing to the problem.

  • Kanika أميرة

    I think the internet is making all relationships worse…All that virtual communication is killing our social skills and the ability to distinct right from wrong (not to mention spelling & grammar).

  • Jamilah-Asali Lemieux

    Good piece. I think that internet is giving people a microphone who wouldn’t have had a loud voice previously. So that same hateful man or jaded woman who would have held court in the club complaining about ‘Black ____ ain’t sh!t’ can now get a site designer and spread their thoughts from an audience of 5 people to 5,000. And even as someone who has benefited from this innovation, I can’t say that I am always happy about where it takes us. There are people who can barely write a grocery list who are on the internet telling Black women what’s wrong with them, and then you have people who want to facilitate an honest, loving discussion about our romantic troubles. I think the problem grows when you are not a reader of anything other than blogs and you are either writing them or taking them as the law. Having a website doesn’t make you a romance expert- just a person with ideas. And when those ideas are hateful and misguided, there’s some danger there, because someone is gonna take it as gospel.

  • Ms. Columbia U.

    I greatly disagree with you. This site is about dialogue and starting and fostering a conversation in a respectful manner. Unlike the many of sites I have saw on line who solely do this for traffic and drama (see Madame Noire, Fresh Xpress, and more). They have women in our age range writing commentary asking for us to discuss the issues respectfully and intelligently. This site to me is like no other I have seen for young Black women. So if you have so many issues stop reading this site.

  • Xenia

    “You cannot be apart of the solution while contributing to the problem.”

    Ha! take your own advice please.

  • Kema

    I didnt ‘know’ that black men hated black women until I started looking at the internet more and more.

  • Mason

    I think it is important to take what is posted with a grain of salt and look at REAL life. For me I do not see any gender wars the “internet” loves to hype for sport….I see regular men and women living life, sometimes good, sometimes bad. It is good to unplug the matrix once in a while. Internet blogs DISTORT for sport and profit.

  • roslynholcomb

    I think anyone who says they didn’t know there was a problem between black men and black women prior to the internet haven’t been paying attention. I noticed it more than twenty years ago, especially in the early nineties. Everything from the Clarence Thomas hearings, to Mike Tyson “welcome home parade” after his rape conviction demonstrated this community’s lack of regard for black women and those who assault them. If you were too young to pay attention to these situations surely you didn’t fail to notice the reaction to the Dunbar Village atrocities and the way the NAACP came out in support of the perpetrators. We have issues of misogyny and sexism on a rampant scale in the so-called black community and all the internet does is shine a light on what’s already there. Many black women have talked about trying to address issue with black men and essentially hearing nothing but crickets in return. If you read Jill Nelson and bell hooks they talk at length about their disappointment in the response to these issues.

  • Metoo

    Word….people on this blog saying they didn’t know it was an issue aren’t being honest with themselves. Surely they must have noticed the lyrics in black music, watched the degradation of black women come full circle in the 1990s and early 2000s, and witnessed the way members of the “black community” typically rally behind the offender. C’mon people…WAKE UP!

  • King Jason

    None of this nonsense (and there is a lot of nonsense from men and women) translates into the real world. That’s the beauty of the internet, anonymous nonsense.

  • Janna

    Only if you absorb it all. There are plenty of issues out there, if it applies to you, than you’ll be keenly aware of it on the internet and see it magnified, if it doesn’t apply to you, I’ll ignore it.

    In this case it doesn’t apply to me. I’m married, he’s not Black and short of my father I have no need to have any relationship with any man short of a friendly one. So I don’t absorb this.

    The internet can’t make things worse if you don’t absorb everything that you read. Take responsibility.

  • Blakkheart

    Prior to the explosion of the internet, I experienced much hate and prejudice (being poor and unable to avoid what was a “fashionable wardrobe”) from black females growing up. As I got older the “mishaps” began to accumulate at a rate in which my friends would mock me for. I felt the need to vent my frustration, so I did so on the net. I was so naive to believe I was the “only one” (because not a single person I actually knew shared my sentiment) and was shocked to see so many black men who were in league with my thoughts and feelings.
    Funny thing is, I would have had no problem being alone in that area. But since I can clearly see that I’m not, I must admit that I find it to be quite disturbing. I felt compelled to conduct at least some form of casual examination of my own perceptions and thoughts and their cause. And of course, I began to examine why the deep seeded resentment from bw and bm. As the article indicates, there is countless finger pointing, accompanied by nobody wanting to accept accountability.
    As some food for thought, media (the social type) is being attributed for sparking this war of words. I personally believe it is media’s influence on our everyday lives that tinkers with how we interact and our expectations when it comes to courtship. We live in a very plastic society and too many of us have it ingrained into our psyche, thus being reflected in our actions. From pussy chasing, to gold digging. Many of us are getting burned in the process of all this “acting”. The irony is the fakeness has such real consequences.

  • BFS

    No it is not IMHO. The internet is simply a communication tool and a medium over which thoughts, ideas, etc can be transmitted, discussed, and shared. What the internet IS doing is giving voice to issues in the Black community regarding gender relations a voice they did not have before. I respectfully disagree with the notion that Black women are the “Leaders of the pack” in any gender war. Where are the Black female equivalents of Yung Berg, Slim Thug, Taio Cruz and similar tearing Black men apart as those and others like them tear Black women down?

    Roslyn & Metoo, I 100% agree with both of your comments.

  • EmpressDivine

    I just googled the Taio Cruz thing. I didn’t even know that happened. Then again I don’t listen to his music. O well he wasn’t gonna get my money anywayz.

  • CourtneyPooh

    The internet has made people in general more vicious and less civil.

  • Jinx Moneypenny

    No. I just think that it has become the biggest platform where people can speak their truths, as nameless and faceless as possible.

    If only we could have this type of courage face to face.

  • Eve

    I really hope we can get it together.

  • Xara

    Well said Chelle. I think the problem is that we simply don’t have a healthy relationship with one another nor with our racial identity. In my humble opinion, the reality is that we came into this world as individuals and this is how we will leave. Thus, although many of us choose to connect with and identify with our Blackness, we must humbly accept that this is a personal choice each Black person has to make. If a Black man or woman does not want to date Black people, they don’t have to. And frankly, the ones that are so bitter and negative towards their own race aren’t people I am really sad to see go anyway. Also, a lot of the baggage people are carrying stems from their childhood or young adult years. I came from a strong Black family, and I can’t help but compare the men I date to my father (which is not good either), but I look for men who show responsibility, ambition, dedication to family, and humility under God. Although I had a wonderful father, and many good examples of Black men in my life, I still struggle to trust Black men. I feel really guilty about that. I’m not sure if the media is at fault or if I’m just paranoid. But instead of choosing to be bitter, I’m trying to remember to take each person as an individual at their own merit (or lack). That’s the only way to be fair. I’m willing to work through these issues, not blaming Black men along the way. And I think if we could stop blaming each other, things would be better.

  • Xara

    Excellent points Alexandra. I agree. We as Black people do not “own” one another. I am primarily attracted to Black men, but I also don’t discriminate. There are some beautiful men in all races, and if I truly connected with one, I would not turn him down just because God didn’t cook him as long as me, lol!

  • Peter Sam

    If we know what is our problem then we should know what is our cure, lets meet. There should be a conference like they have at the UN, where we sign a peace treaty.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    ever hear about “divide and conquer”?

  • Betty Chambers

    Street harassment and bottles tossed at young black women existed before the Internet. Rape, murder, abuse and harassment existed before the Internet.

    Some people are vicious, and the internet has very little to do with it. If the material is offensive – stop reading it.

    Linking to a few vile web sites only feeds the drama.

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  • BFS

    Betty, I SO agree with your first sentence. The amount of denial about how Black women and girls have been mistreated in their own community before any internet is appaling.

  • binks

    I don’t think so, I think that people are just bold and extra online, since you are faceless then you can type and write whatever you want and with some people I notice they write bold stuff that wasn’t even pertaining to the topic just to get their user name out there. Plus, let’s not forget that a lot of blogs/sites do bait topics on heated discussions that brings out the worst in people. But is the Internet making relations overall between black women and men bad, no because you always have the option of not reading some things or getting baited into those discussions. But like others have hinted on, we had problems way before the internet

  • Nikki

    this is true, I have not seen this much discussion of black male female relations since Sherazad Ali’s Black man’s guide to understanding the blackwoman and her infamous “open hand smack in the mouth” advice to black men that lit up the talk show circuit! (If you’re too young to remember this fiasco,

  • http://http Yar

    It’s not the internet; it’s the nuts on the internet!!!

  • Mijamin

    er tI am a second year college student with a job pulling the strings in me and my woman’s relationship. We share black love for over a year now and planning on getting engaged. This is a side note, but personally as a brotha, I find Black women much more attractive when they say things like Black men are theirs. Brings us all closer. If only more Black men cherished the Black woman for all the goodness she brings. I think if men step it up considerably financially and in terms of commitment, then all women have to do is become more submissive outside of their usual “take-care-of-everything” lifestyle. There is nothing wrong with a Black woman being submissive to a loving, loyal, and job-working Black man. Really other than God, he is the only one she should submit to in terms of her life. Not be controlled, just be vulnerable to him. That decision lies within the actions of the Black man. Sistas find it hard to remembhat brothas have a lot to deal with socially and racially so if she is his vessel of protection and care, than nothing is more powerful than a Black couple for real.

  • http://http Yar

    @Nikki: I got the book, my sister! I can only speak for myself…the Black man’s problem with the Black woman is the self-hate he has for himself. You cannot love your own, if you hate yourself. This can also be said of the Black woman.

    These negroes think they can find love in another culture (cult), but it is not love; it is fascination! They are fascinated they are sleeping, dating or being seen with a white girl or boy! The government wrote the willie lynch letter; not some person name willie lynch! That is a myth. If you sit back and observe what is going on between the Black man and woman; the government is responsible for this self hate.

    He put the Black woman on welfare; which left the Black man out of the home. He gives the majority of jobs to Black women; then Black women say, Black men don’t want to work; then he sicks the white woman on the Black man and the white boy on the Black woman and the rest is his-story! Remember, the government made slavery legal and they also ended it [supposedly].

    Malcolm X said, “We have gone from ancient slavery to modern slavery.”

  • Hmmmmm

    A Female friend sent this to me…

    Indeed I hear folks saying black women should eschew any models that points a finger or lays blame on black men. Pity they didnt remeber to tell that to white women when they declared an all out war to extricate themselves from under the feet of men, not more than 5 decades ago.

    White women were allowed to take men to task for their behaviour as a collective towards women with no one rushing in to supress their assertions about men.

    Indeed I dont recall the likes of Gloria Steinem arguing for consideration to be shown for ‘the good white men’ out there. But then again maybe I am wrong and she prefaced her every comment with ‘there are good men out there including my brother, uncle and father!’

    A black woman walks into a shop with an object in her hand, she says have this object here that is shaped in a unique and different way. Can you find me a bowl/container that will fit round it or be enough to encompass it in its entirety?

    There is this white woman there managing the store and she has a group of assistants, these assistants happen to be black women and they look at the object and after a few minutes their faces take on a semi contemptuous look towards the object.

    Sorry they say, Your object has to fit into one of these standard containers we have here or it really isnt a valid worthwhile object, in fact you will have to go and file it down and knock off bits of it to get it to fit one of these ‘universal’ bowls, which is really the accepted container that all such objects need to be able to fit into!

    Well, this is exactly what bw are expected to do; to fit their issues, their responses and reactions, the nuances of their situation and their understanding of what ails them into accepted feminist frameworks developed from a white female perspective and thought process. If these dont fit, black women are expected and asked to take them away and make sure they cut off an arm or a leg so that it fits neatly with white female theories and views of the female world and their acceptable analysis of such things.

    BW need to take care because:
    A whole bunch of folk are trying to force black women into modes and models that are not ‘meaningful’ for black women and the black woman’s situation, in fact some of these models will lead black women into even greater ‘tragedy’.

    Feminsism is not about big language and something that exists in ‘theorectical space’. Feminsism is about the practical and how women can make it better for themselves in the now (more so for black women who are at the negative end of so many social trends). I mean what is the point if your feminsim is simply theory and all about intellectual debating as black women fall deeper and deeper into the pit. Surely your framework can only be useful if it provides for the immediate survival and rescue of the black female!

    If the terrain is different the wheel might need to be re-invented!

    White women have been granted the ‘social space’ to hash out their issues and come up with the approporaite models to work with. I dont see this happening with black women with all and sundry (white men, black men and white women) closing in on what should be internal debates to lecture them on what should be ‘the appropraite models’ for their struggles (of course models that skirt the exposing of the major culprits in their situation). My question remains, ‘Where is that granted ‘social space’ for bw to go through the process (as white owmen were allowed to), to come up with meanigful concepts, ideas and models for their situation? All I see is folks rushing in to force bw into models that continue to be ill fitting for the black woman’s situation.

  • mavenz

    The roaches have always been there, the internet just turned on the light-switch.

  • Malik

    Who cares about colors, genders of a race gossip? It’s all academics without spirituality…if we focus on who we are as spiritual beings inside of these human bodies, then recognize we all have a greater job to fulfill as self, family, community, nation and world. Right now, we need to be buying these “fixer uppers” in the neighborhoods, pay the property taxes so we can fuel our K-12 schools. At the same time take positions within the local governments and become diplomats to foreign governments so academic services along with cultures can be exchanged. If property taxes are getting paid then neighborhood value goes up (imagine major equity in a home you may have paid 11K for? BANK) and of course morale goes up for all and crime decreases drastically. It’s all about turning nothing into something like the ancestors keep telling us daily with khemistry and geometry. In geometry, you make your points like axioms and graph them with degrees (multi-dimensional meanings with astronomical approach) then make a path from one to the other point. For example, certifications are for making way for your own business so why not get a degree then certify yourself instead of working for somebody else? Now it maybe people who will be working for others as statistics with accountancy shows it but think about the basics…you need real estate, medical and health, food and water..transpose those needs into jobs within the neighborhood and watch out 1900s Tulsa and Helena…along with Africa (and her islands). Welfare goes away quickly and bartering comes back into play as well as free enterprise. Take up positions in the State government and make moves to change human law to set precedence. Most local judges do not even acquire degrees but we are worrying about love in the wrong places…the last time I remember if a beautiful Queen moves then a King sees…I’m from the super country and military so trust me when Malcolm X said “media controls the minds of the masses” people was sleeping and still is. We have a suitable force of spiritual beings able to move tacticful with wise decisions about life and karma is it. All a Queen wants to do is relax on her land, walk onto her land anytime she feels and command with authority while being graceful and sexy. And crowns comes with a heavy price so be prepared for whatever cause we did not create “The Hate U Gave Little Infants Fuck Everybody” that grew up more stranded than ever…the Queens just need to start teaching the children our way but we need to find some culture values first and pointing out leaders (this is what the internet is really for but time is running out…) Kings need to stop the banging and really patrol the neighborhoods (via self through local communities) Our childbirth rate is going up and is the highest amongst all humans so loving must be still going on…other than that it would be a higher rape crime rate along with assault. Kings and Queens need to be teaching real knowledge from a corporate and spiritual dimension…you only get half-ass corporate and cult impregnanted religions so yes we are mixed up to the max mentally to some capacities. Now going back to the homes and all…each and every Queen and King can have a kingdom of their own or together by keeping focus on the tax auctions and how to DIY. When have been the greatest at architecture from the minds to the hands but our pages are fading…our Ancestors had less of what we got now and look what is going on? Now the reason why I am on this page is because I was typing up some poetry to my soulmate I have not seen but only in my dreams and wanted to know if some spiritual beings living in African male bodies had a blog on if they could live without the opposite gender. I was just interested in opinions cause I feel as if I have missed her or maybe I need to hold-on and just master my knowledge and wisdom to feed my neighborhood of which I was born to. I myself feel honored to help Queens make moves even if we split ways; still eye helped her along the way as she helped me…I helped her for me spiritually cause I do not want my heart to be heavy and I do fear coming back inside this human body or another. We all cross paths for a reason so if you can share love and not be selfish about it then do it…cause what goes around keeps coming around like a planet on it’s orbital path. I tell all my homeboys this…whenever I get into a relationship with a Queen and her children (if she has any) I try to love her with all eye got without breaking myself totally…cause one day you’re here and the next day you’re gone. It’s all chess, geometry, khemistry when we are crossing paths so art everyday like it’s your last. We’ve all said some hurtful things but beginning and the end is what really counts as the last memories stained on the brains and minds until the end of time. So I dream then envision when my eyes are open and so, everytime I see a Queen and King out here with these Princes and Princesses then I’m living life to the fullest. The Kings are here but many Queens cannot see us clearly until they have moved on and vice versa but we all help each other make moves so it’s all two the good. Sacrifices and patience is what I have learned over the years…so I love Ebony for the reasons that I get to wash, massage and kiss her feet for the love of it and hands too along the neck and shoulders and back and arms and ankles and big foreheads too! I just like to love her like that cause 9 times out of ten she has not been loved like that….Much love to my Soulmate out here cause I am aching at night and day these times of mine. Hit me up anyone if you want to just network or exchange ideas. Hotep.

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