Do we appreciate our own men? Do we even like them?

Let me give you an idea of what I mean.

I dated a Haitian guy once. I completely adored this man, and the feeling was mutual. He was, and still is (long after we pulled the plug) very good to me.

When I first met him, the fireworks and butterflies were doing their usual thing. I told one of my good friends, also Haitian, about him.

“Ok tell me everything,” she screeched excitedly when I told her I had met someone I was feeling.

“He is gorgeous. Like I-can’t-talk-when-he’s-around handsome,” I started. “And he is daaaaaarrrrk, like blue-black dark, and you know what that color does to me!”

“Ha! Yes I do! Tell me more?”

“Well he’s getting his Master’s now, his family lives in New York, he’s Haitian—“

“What?” she interrupted me, “He’s Haitian?”

“Yup, aren’t you excited? I’m talking to your people.”

“Nah girl, if he’s Haitian…RUN!”

I called her out for being so pessimistic considering she didn’t even know him.

“Well, neither do you,” she responded. “But between your two-week experience with him, and my lifelong experience with Haitians, I know them best. Like I said…RUN!”

Have you had a conversation like this? It may not be as dramatic, but you start dating someone from a friend’s country, city, school or neighborhood and they are quick to warn you about the perils of dating them.

“L.A. ninjas are a mess! Stick with these East Coast guys you like.”

“Oh, he’s Nigerian? You better hope he is NOT Yoruba.”

“Ha! He’s from Missouri? Girl, why do you think I left?”

“The black men at William & Mary are lame! Stick with those UVA boys.”

“You know you are too nice to handle my Jamaican brothers? They’ll steamroll all over you.”

You get the point.

And I am not any better. I recently moved to a new city where I met up with an old friend from undergrad for dinner. As we filled each other in on where life had taken us, she shyly mentioned that she has been seeing a new guy for the past two months.

Like any woman would, I got really excited for her and wanted all the details. She shyly told me his situation: he was handsome, smart, kind and had a big heart; all A+ qualities.

“And he’s Kenyan.”

It was like everything positive she said beforehand about him flew from my mind.

“Ok, what’s really wrong with him?” I said before even realizing what was coming out of my mouth.

She was somewhat shocked, and I was too. I jokingly laughed off this fumble, and had to consciously keep myself from making smart remarks as she continued talking about him.

I know Kenyan men. I know their good, their bad and their ugly. I know their habits and wants. And though each man is different, each neighborhood/community/country tends to have a national deportment of how they treat their women. And no one knows better than their women

No one knows a Brooklyn man like a Brooklyn woman.

No one knows a black man like a black woman.

And like my Haitian friend said, no one knows a Haitian man like a Haitian woman.

The other day on Twitter, I read a tweet on my timeline that made me really think about this. It was from a Somali woman that I follow and it went something like this:

“Somali men, I don’t care what anyone says about you, you are the best.”

I don’t think I had ever heard anyone, myself included, ever say that about their own men. You could say I run with a negative bunch of women, but I doubt it’s that. Just like we know the flaws of men from our communities, we also know the things that make them great. I know those particular things that no one can do as well as a Kenyan man.

Like they are the most humorous people I know. Kenyan men really know how to laugh at themselves. And they are overly protective of their women; even if I am out with a Kenyan man I don’t know, he will ensure I am well taken care of and likely get home safe. Those are but a few of many positives

So I wasn’t surprised when I next spoke to my friend and she told me about a sweet gesture that Mr. Kenya did for her recently.

“Yeah,” I answered. “Our men can be sweet like that…

…sometimes.”

Do you ever find yourself bad-mouthing your own men to your friends? What are the pros and cons of dating a man from your school, town, city or country?

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  • Rhio2k

    Liz: I greet black women politely, without making any comments on their butt/body, and get a nasty look, but lewd thugs . It’s always something like this.

    Me: Good morning.

    Black woman: *ugh, what does HE want annoyed sneer*…hey. (apparently quickly tries to forget I exist)

    Random swaggering, unkempt black male stereotype: ‘Ey shawty, how yoo doin’? Yo frame looking tighta den a mug!
    BW: *shy/coy smile, would be blushing if she were white* I’m having a good day. How are you?

    Thug: Awright, awright. *spits on the ground* This a good day ‘n’ shit fa me too.

    BW: *Continues to smile at him, acting as if that was the most charming thing she ever saw*

    Black women seem to have something against men who are as articulate and polite as they are. I get the impression that they feel we’re (articulate, polite black men) something we should not be, like we’re all supposed to be coarse caricatures that behave more like rude teens than adults.

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  • Gina

    Some of these comments are interesting, even the stereotypical ones. I have an actual experience where I met a seemingly decent and intelligent Haitian man in January. We spoke a few times on the phone and spent about half a day together just talking and having fun. That night he called me telling me how much he loved me and wanted to marry me and have babies with me. That’s odd, considering I had only met him a week earlier. I still continued to talk to him on the phone. No matter what we talk about, even if its religion, he invariably veers the conversation. Towards sex, wanting to kno if I wine and grind in bed, how long I can *uck for, would I do a threesome, things you ask a hooker if you want her to star in a porn movie. He claims that he wants to know all these things because he loves me. I tell him I am not interested in him and he still calls me. I ask him not to call me late at night because I am working and he still does, leaving sarcastic messages when I don’t pick up the phone. He says he was arrested for hitting a woman, yet he wants to be with me. He is an active member of the SDA church so I expect him to abide by certain morals. He calls me cherie and thinks that will melt my heart and I will be in his arms. IS THIS NORMAL for Haitiian men? Incidentally, a Haitian girl I work with told me to run the other way, but she really didn’t have to. I did it on my own. Note: this guy is not the typical one you would label as a “thug”.

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    • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

      IS THIS NORMAL for Haitiian men?

      girlllll c’mon, you ain’t serious. What I want to ask you is,

      is THIS NORMAL for any man?
      He says he was arrested for hitting a woman

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  • Gina

    Gina, that part is abnormal for any man regardless of where he is from. You dismiss people like that immediately. Its the incessant stupid sweet talk and the obsessive desire tro find out what I’m like in bed that I have never encountered with any other nationality. I’m from Brooklyn so I meet people from all walks of life. That was sooo creepy!

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  • Alice

    I am from St. Lucia and was married to a very charming and sexy Haitian. We both have post-graduate degrees, good jobs and as far as I was concerned the marriage was going great, the sex was out of this world and we were great together outside the bedroom . We have two beautiful boys and he is a good father to them. BUT, after four years of marriage I found out that he had two children both one year old by two different women, both Haitian. This caused the marriage to unravel and in the process I also discovered a third child, conceived about a month before we got married. When confronted, he says that’s normal in Haiti and I should be lucky he married me. Even his mother was not perturbed by his multiple breeding and begged me to stay with him. I should have known better. His father has thirteen children and only eight are with his wife.

    All that education did not stamp out this very primitive promiscuous behaviour in him. I am not bragging, but I can’t see anything I did on the home front which would have driven him away. It is just how he and so many of his country folks are socialized. So many of their women don’t even expect monogamy from their men.

    I am now happily married to a lovely St. Lucian and have a very happy home. I don’t wish to lump all Haitian together, but I do believe they are an odd lot.

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