Black Women Ambivalent About Marriage, Certain About Love

by Danielle C. Belton


“Everything want to be loved. Us sing and dance and holler, just trying to be loved.” – Alice Walker, “The Color Purple.”

A few years ago a study was done of black women and found that only 40 percent of black women were interested in getting married compared to 55 percent of white women. Many speculated on what this could mean. Did it mean that black women were simply more focused on education and career, believing self-improvement and self-sufficiency were the keys to happiness? Were black women more likely to reject the historical “bondage” of the patriarchy sometimes found in uneven marriages? Or did it mean that because of the historic high unemployment rate of black men and the more recent high incarceration rate, more black women had a nuanced approach to the idea of marriage.

Why hope for something that may (or may not) happen? Better to work on yourself, the one thing you can control.

And yet, there has been documented story after story after story of black women – often in a panic – over marriage. Personally, I think there are more panicking articles than actual panicking black women, but they do touch on one singular truth – some of us are never going to get married. Some of us really don’t want to be part of that some that won’t. So some of us say some really crazy stuff in this Great Man Panic of the 2000s.

Case in point, a lot of hay was made over a recent post on BallerAlert about how “Billionaire men” say “black women are for grown ups.”

The whole article together hinges on one unsourced quote allegedly made by wealthy businessman Ben Horowitz. Horowitz, who has a black wife, reportedly said, “Billionaires prefer black women, they are loyal and guard your interests. Black wives are for grownups.” Unfortunately, I can’t find an original news source for where this quote came from, which has been floating around the internet for at least nine months.

The article, and the many other articles also based on the quote, is meant to uplift that percentage of black women who feel society’s rejection the hardest by singling out a few wealthy white men and one Middle Eastern man who have married black women. It’s supposed to be a counter-balance to the “everybody panic” stories we often see. (As well as a “response” to certain black men who denigrate and reject us for looking and sounding like the women who birthed them.) But even it, as a counter-balance, has a slight feel of grasping at straws to it. Some of the men on the list aren’t billionaires. Some of the women are not wives (or even dating) the men they are pictured with. It’s an article too vulnerable to being picked apart. The context may be some billionaires marry black women, but the subtext is the vast majority of people, regardless of income or fame, tend to marry within their own ethnic group. Even black men.

But I get the implication of the article –  if everyone says we’re unwanted, here’s someone who wants us. Even if you can’t be married to Barack Obama, a black woman named Michelle is. Actor Robert DeNiro is taken, but he’s taken by a black woman. Dwayne Wade may have divorced a black woman, but he left her for another black woman in actress Gabrielle Union. The statistics are a lie! We are loved! Don’t panic!

And yet, some of us do.

If we ask ourselves why some of us still panic it might be rooted in the fact that for every black woman with amazing self-esteem, there is another who has bought the bill of tainted goods society sold her.

“You sho is ugly,” is what Shug Avery in the film adaptation of Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple” says of Celie upon meeting her. Shug was drunk, and in the moment, didn’t look all that great herself, yet those were the words that came out, representing that sometimes, when it comes to black women, we are sometimes our own worst critics. We see ourselves in each other and recoil back in horror.

But this is also a paradox, because statistically black women feel better about their bodieshow they look and their inner selves than any other racial group of women. This, in spite of a whole society bent on telling black women there is something terribly, terribly wrong with them. We’re like a nation of Sweet Brown’s proudly announcing “Ain’t nobody got time for that” when people want to tell us we’re inferior or unloved.

Some of us may not get married, but all of us can be loved. It starts with loving yourself enough not to fall for the hype of panic or the counter-hype of living vicariously through the marriages of other black women. Both those scenarios make us look desperate, and what do we have to be desperate about?

We should love ourselves too much to get caught up in the panic and statistics. We should love ourselves enough to let some things go.

  • MimiLuvs

    I hate those “See Sistas, we are wanted by (non-black) men too! We’re loveable!” articles that I see posted on blog sites that caters to black women. I avoid reading those as if I am running away from a flu.
    Mostly online, there are commentators (not just on this site) who claims that they are black men who are quick to black women that we’re terrible and not deserving of love. But, won’t pestering us when it comes to black women loving interracially (or inter-faith, inter-cultural, etc.). It is as if they want women to be miserable and unhappy. It’s a bit psychotic if you ask me.

  • zen

    I think that we need to get over the paranoia. The truth is that for a few generations our family structure has dwindled due to many external factors. Many of our men were forced out of the home bc women couldn’t have a man in the house to receive public assistance. Many men gravitated to the image of the so called hero in the pimp and drug dealers of the neighborhood. Many of us come from a long line of women in our families who are the leaders and the matriarchs because it was the theme that was inherited from slavery as the men were emasculated and the grannies treated as the figures of authority in the family by the slave masters. I don’t buy into all this we are rejected bs. Adopting that mentality can be very self defeating. I will say that a growing number of my own peers have unhealthy mentalities about our men bc they have been cheated on and they haven’t properly grieved and let go of that pain. Many of my peers are too materialistically driven and want only a baller. Some of my peers don’t know how to have standards and have sex with men before the man has properly courted them. Some of my peers also don’t know how to be a nurturing woman in a relationship in fear of being dominated bc they didn’t grow up the a man in the household and therefore have no blueprint. My point is its very easy for the media to look at stats and say that black women are rejected. That is simply not true and is a short sighted way at looking at a much more complex topic.

  • Velociraptor

    The only reason why I would agree to marriage is because I don’t want to live with the social stigma of becoming an unwed black mother. I’m perfectly happy not being married while cohabitating with my significant other. We really enjoy each others company without having to deal with the responsibility that is marriage. I don’t think it’s a “black” issue per se. I feel, from my personal experience and relationships, that young people aren’t prioritizing marriage the way our parents and grandparents did. Grad school and my boyfriend are the only two things I care to commit to at 25. I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

  • trueletterson

    Look yall they do the same thing to black men play games with our heads the purpose and the intent of it is to put enmity between black men and black women.

  • Velociraptor

    Thumbs Up x 1000

  • paintgurl40

    YES!! I think these are the REAL reasons that black love is hard to find. I try not to pay attention to statistics about black people that come from whites, because there may be a hidden agenda.

  • Knowledge

    Firs time posting- as an African-Caribbean guy originally from England, What some people seem to forget is that Interracial marriages-unions between Black women and non- black men esp white men, arabs have taken place for Centuries. its pretty common to see a white/arab/indian/chinese man with an black wife or gfs in large cities in africa and the west indies- what I don’t get is why people think that will change the predicament of all black women or black people globally? The simple fact is if black women don’t raise their “sons” properly to love and appreciate Black women in a “black society” – whether their father is black, white, asian, things will never change. Case in Point in London plenty of mixed race people with black mothers and white fathers, and majority of these sons still go on to marry other “mixed or white women” because that’s the society in England. Its not about individual relationships its about the structure of society. Mixed race men with black mothers will still be HIGHLY influenced by the society they live in. In fact the only time, I’ve seen mixed race men perfer black women Caribbean or African is when they are raised among black people- where black women are the standard of beauty. If black women can raise their sons (mixed race with non black fathers and with black fathers) to appreciate black women – then all is WELL but until then same tune that many have sung for centuries. I have no doubt in my mind that some of these beautiful BW pictured will have mixed race sons who will be highly influenced in terms of beauty by the community they will grow up in which is a “white” influenced one. American celebrities like kid cudi (mexican father), miguel jontel(mexican father), evan ross (white father), have white/latino fathers but non have dated anyone publicly who resembles their mothers. Like I said it society’s influence not the personal taste of majority of men.

  • L

    “Billionaires prefer black women, they are loyal and guard your interests. Black wives are for grownups.” Unfortunately, I can’t find an original news source for where this quote came from, which has been floating around the internet for at least nine months.”

    I dont really care where this quote came from, we all know it is the truth. Black women are loyal and will protect thier family to the end. “Black wives are for grown ups” YES… and unfortunately there are alot of grown little boys (of all colors) running around here.

  • Reality Check

    A young black man can want some of the characteristics of his mom in his woman/wife but I think it’s unrealistic to expect a young black man to be attracted to and want the same type of woman his father married. Most educated young black men fathers were uneducated low skill laborers.

    It seems that some black women want a black man who’s gotten an education, new career, new clothes, new car, new home, new neighborhood but kept the same old taste in women as the mailman or garbage man from the hood. Sorry, but that’s just not realistic. I don’t even think that realistic for these educated mama boys who (single) mother treats him like he’s her man. If you want a man who wants the same type of woman his father choose. (See movie Jumping the Broom. Completely different women). You probably should look for men who have the the same education and do the same type of work as his father.

  • Knotty Natural

    Ummm…why should the responsibility for self-love be placed on mothers of African descent? What happen to black pride amongst men of African descent? Sounds like a poor excuse to me. I don’t have an issue with interracial marriage or relationships as long as it doesn’t exist to breed out certain ethnocentric features :-|

  • GG

    Yes, I love that thinking! Too many people haven’t even built a 1 year exclusive relationship before having children it’s one night stands or 3 month stands.

  • Wanda

    “A young black man can want some of the characteristics of his mom in his woman/wife but I think it’s unrealistic to expect a young black man to be attracted to and want the same type of woman his father married.”

    But how is this expectation realistic when most of our young Black men are not raised in households of marriage or by their fathers?

  • Knowledge


    you should Be real ! there are some black women the same way, it goes both ways after all majority of negative stats about black men are posted on black media sites that are operated by or cater to BW. Unlike you I said some BW i didn’t generalize and say BW like you said black men. I don’t base my perception of BW on, BW internet trolls, Black media site and twitter. Why would any sensible person “rejoice” or even care what other races find desirable ? The only thing that should matter is if black people find each other desirable!

  • GG

    Yes, love that comment it’s the truth. Black women put the people they love first Many times! That quote should be on a T Shirt “Black wives are for grown ups” lol.

  • Reality Check


    Ok, his fathers baby mama. Is that better. lol

  • Reality Check


    (As well as a “response” to certain black men who denigrate and reject us for looking and sounding like the women who birthed them.)

    Excuse typos…. working. My comment was in response to the the above quote from the article.

  • Knowledge

    Its not a poor excuse- I like bw far more than any other race of women but how society dictates beauty is how majority of men will marry. I have cousins who are mixed race with British fathers their mothers never put emphasis on “black” so their excuse for not liking black women are ones like “i’m mixed race so i prefer mixed race” or “im half white, so why can’t I prefer white girls” you almost never hear them saying “my mothers black, so i prefer black gals” its just uncommon. – ITS NOT MY EXCUSE dating interracial in a white society will always put black on the end of the stick. For black men=money status or lack there of and for black women= beauty, attractiveness or lack there of. my mother raised my sisters and I differently, my sisters like majority of women take pride in their attractiveness, I like most men take pride in my status because we are judged differently.

  • Reality Check

    Are the mixed black women also not interested in black men?

    Interesting, because the white English women and men don’t seem to have a problem marrying blacks.

  • Love Lynn (@LoveLynnGee)

    If you truly believe that you’re deserving of love and marriage, you are, and you will draw that into your life. Words written in some magazine or newspaper (by someone who probably has insecurity issues of his or her own), don’t define you or your life.

  • Lola289

    @ Zen

    Plz can you write an article on Clutch!
    No offense to the author but ^^this^^ is the TRUTH…

  • Jalesa Montez

    How many times are you going to beat this dead horse?
    I’m curious in knowing when was this author’s last relationship? I’m going to go out on a limb & say…a long ass time…

  • Knotty Natural

    Either way, the biracial child will have at least ONE black parent, who has the responsibility to teach their half-black child pride. I don’t think that because you decide to marry outside of your race, that you have to abandon cultural pride.

  • Knotty Natural

    RE: I assumed because these men are being raised by black women who should teach them the value of black women.

    So these same men aren’t the children, grandchildren, nephew, or cousin of black women before him? Can he not use them as a barometer for beauty and the value of a black woman? If the woman who raised you to be the man you are today (we are assuming you come from a good family) isn’t proof of the worth of a woman of African descent, then you might not deserve one.

  • Pema

    Two of the three couples in the photograph are married…just saying.

  • diasporauk

    Well sex is a nice topic, sadly, totally overused as discussion fodder in black corners of the net.

    I mean, how many ways can you regurgitate

    why are black women single? and

    black women need to “broaden” their dating horizons to include white men?


    The dating travails we blacks are said to endure are a total invention of black online media who are too unimaginative, too uneducated and too complacent to cover the other aspects of the black experience where we really do face greater challenges than our non-black counterparts.

    So they churn this shit out over and over again.

    At some point we the black masses, have to demand MORE from ourselves and learn to rely less on people who take our patronage for granted.

    We see the outcome of not doing that most strikingly with Barack Obama who has done absolutely for blacks, despite having an almost 100% endorsement from blacks.

    The ignorance that makes us content with the lowest standards of service is appalling and there is no longer any excuse for it.

    We . . . YOU deserve better than this and you should starting behaving accordingly.

    We must call our OWN shots, we must set the agenda in our communities both on and offline and that agenda must be about SHIT THAT MATTERS.

    Not this BS.

    When you do that, people CATER to YOU, you don’t have to beg fren.

    The hard part is that getting there DOES take some effort, starting with putting away childish things like interracial dating and gender war – black woman vs black man bashing.

    If you’re not willing to put that effort in then

    shut up

    nothing you say counts because it’s based on ignorance, which is evident from the shit most negros chat, most of the time.

    We’ll call you when we need sheep to make up the numbers or to

    sacrifice . . . .


  • CeeCee

    I’m a little lost here. What was the point of this article?

  • Knowledge

    Men and women are judged and raised differently, biracial children are more than just biracial. Men of Afro descent take pride in their culture more than physical features of race be they African, African-American mixed and Afro Carib. Most men’s mother put more emphasis on personality characteristics that make them attractive to women- Leader, hard worker, provider, protector. While mothers put more emphasis on physical attractiveness, weight, skin color,style of dress. Biracial children are no different. All men carry on their fathers culture, while women are “suppose” to carry on their race in most cases- Drake, J-cole, are biracial rappers with white mothers who identify more with their fathers black culture, while Lenny kravitz doesnt really despite having a black mother. If black women can raise their biracial or black sons to like black women then all is well. but that rarely happens unless is in the west indies or Africa where black women are the standard of beauty.

  • ebony82

    Who know what someone’s intentions are.

  • BeanBean

    Soooooo is this a serious problem?? Marriage isn’t a priority for me, especially not now. If I happen to meet a guy while I’m working on getting my life together, then okay, if not that’s okay too.

  • MommieDearest

    Wow you too? I’m glad it’s not just me. LOL!!!

    Here’s my 2 cents anyway… I’m married, and most of my black women friends are married. Most of them were married before I was. Some of them are on their second marriage. The ones that are/were married are/were married to black men. The majority of my black women friends who are single are in a relationship. Most with black men; a few are in IR relationships.

    So, in my experience, these “woe-is-me-nobody-loves-me-or-wants-to-marry-me” stats for black women are not reliable. *shrugs*

  • Lillian Mae

    Well damn! Thumbs up!

  • binks

    This! I am kind of lost too but I am assuming the point is not to believe the hype. Personally, I think people are protesting too much from all sides. I find it comical that these studies, statistics, articles, internet sites, and people with agendas are way more worried about my love life than I’ am at the moment…lol I just don’t understand it and why all of a sudden black women dating/love lives or non-dating/love lives are under a microscope. This is why I steer clear from discussion like this because frankly it is none of people’s business. As for the billionaire article, I get how it is trying to combat the negativity in its own sort of way by saying “hey black women you are desirable to this sector of men too…” but at the same time it is also feeding into the beast and setting a bit of an unrealistic expectation. Let’s be real, most women be it black, white, Asian, etc. aren’t going to land billionaires (or extremely wealthy men) despite if they have everything going for them. So living through these women and thinking if you follow their blueprint you are going to attain the same thing is a bit naïve. I wish when it comes to this subject, since clearly it is going to be a ‘thing’ for a while, is to put all the negativity on the table and discuss then finally moving on and going back to when we use to discuss this topic in lighter and heartier notes because as mention it is like beating a dead horse because if you read one article on this topic recently you read them all (and all the comments it leaves too).

  • trueletterson

    Bravo you hit the nail right on the head, I have never under stood why on the hold word wide web only in black blogs and in black media black people are the only people begging for interracial relationships no other people not the white people, not the brown people not the yellow people and not the red people only black people always begging for interracial relationships or marriage..

  • SE

    I think it’s because a lot of black women have been hurt by black men so much that they think the grass may be greener on the other side when in reality, men are men. I don’t care if they are black, asian, white, indian, etc. men are men. You have to choose wisely no matter what the race is. It should be about the quality or the character of the man and not the skin color.

  • trueletterson

    What we have here is bitter, disappointed and naive educated black women and sometimes men with a overly inflated opinion of them self longing for, begging for and trying to promote interracial relationship and marriage there are no less than two article on each liberal or progressive black blogs each week begging for and promoting interracial relationship and interracial marriage as if it’s the norm, only black people beg for interracial relationships, so what do that tell you.

  • London

    Wow. How can I get down with your army, dude?

  • trueletterson

    Very good and thought provoking comment!

  • trueletterson

    See instead of you getting understanding or trying to get understanding in a wise thought provoking comment you opt to see reason for a gender fight and maybe that’s part of the problem to many black women provoking gender wars in front of their son which gave him the impression that other women are more desirable, less combative more lady like than his mother type!

  • iCrossMyHeart

    Your comment does not make sense. So a white boy who grew up with his white father and mother, should be attracted to Indians, Blacks, and Asians. Because hell, their fathers 30 years ago were not as educated as they are today….

    Some black men and their excuses….stop already.

  • RIF

    I think you missed the point of his comment.

  • K. Michel

    I think everyone’s getting more ambivalent about marriage (not just Black women), and it’s because of the economy. Everything else is just noise. Once it rebounds, especially for minorities, optimism and numbers will start to increase again.

    I will say that people should brace themselves for the end of marriage as we know it, anyway. It’s amazing how quickly it evolves in such short spans of time. I’m pretty sure guys will be able to legally marry more than wife (in the US) by the time I’m 70 at this rate.

    Lucky me.

  • K. Michel

    That should read…

    “I’m pretty sure guys will be able to legally marry more than one wife (in the US) by the time I’m 70 at this rate.”

    –Well, we might be able to marry more than just human wives too. Lampshades, goats …transnational corporations. This country’s headed in that direction.

  • Knowledge

    Some people Agree with my last comment some disagree- I only state the fact in which I see in blacks globally- the same story line. Society/surroundings dictates what men find interest in, and that is regardless of interracial unions. I used Lenny Kravitz as an example because – he can be seen as biracial African- American male but culturally his perception of beauty is very white- unlike drake or Jcole – who are also African American-biracial but there perception of beauty is very much Black, has to do with type of society they are constantly around that’s usually dictated by their fathers,male friends, uncles. Lenny obviously is around white men more than black- so he dates the norm among rich rocker white guys : palest, whitest women which he finds attractive. Drake and J-cole are around black people so they date the black norm- urban models,big booty, thighs, thick lips dark and light chicks. –

    I Dont want to put weight on BW shoulders but…..the “not dating black women trend” is not only among black men, but is also a trend among biracial men with a black mothers in particular those who are not raised in a “black environment”.

  • Done with Yall

    The statistics are not a lie sweetie. The black men I see around can barely speak proper English and they are American. Nevermind the ones with a prison record. The edumacated ones are with white women. Yup I said it.

  • Done with Yall

    We can pretend all we want but the statistic is real. Most black women are not and will not be married. Dang loser men around them. That’s why.

  • Knowledge

    I disagree with this quote as well, the notion that black women are loyal and guard your interest implies that black wives are there for their partners interest only as security, depending on how you read it. I love black woman and “almost” exclusively date BW but why should black women been seen as the mammy type caretakers,guardians of the world? this notion strips them of their femininity. which indirectly supports the notion that black women= are meant to be protectors of interest for their men non black and black a like, while “white asian latinas” are to be taken care of. Being that i am a responsible – black man i don’t need any women to protect our family, that is my job, i don’t need any women to provide for our family that is my job. Blacks wives are supposed to be just wives- loving, soft, sensual, sensitive,caring, cherished and taken care of by their husbands-not the guardian,protector or provider IMO.

  • Anon

    Well, I think it comes down to who is ACTUALLY supporting the black community, those who are benefiting from black women being alone, and who is ACTUALLY living their lives and don’t give a rat’s booty about what happens with black women. These things all intersect.

    For folks who want to support the black community… it is in their best interest to make sure that Juuuuuuuuuuuuusssst enough black women are married to spout out statistics (usually dated) about how we marry each other. Income levels, property ownership, education levels, or criminal records be dayumed, somewhere, somehow, back in 2000, most black people married each other. Included in those statistics are sixty/seventy something grandmothers. Not black women looking for husbands in the present. They’re looking to keep an island (no matter how small) around themselves in this society. So if they gotta fudge the statistics, they will.

    Then there is the group that is (silently) against black women doing something “too” against the grain (mainly, something the rest of the Western world does on a daily basis but said individual isn’t familiar with), or getting “too” much education b/c it means that that black woman may actually realize that her life is her OWN in the end, and may not be available for that last minute baby-sitting emergency/car-ride/car-loan once that black woman is spending more time in the outside world. Basically, their MATERIAL support is looking at jumping ship.

    And then there’s the group that says, “Do you boo. I’m over here getting mine, so God bless and good luck!”

    I’ll take the latter. A LOT of this marriage scare, and ALL of the press over black women over the past 6 years is over a STARK awakening that a lot of younger black women are NOT willing to give up their dreams of marriage, adventure, education, and an all around good life to “hold up” the black community. Like what black men decided over 25 years ago. Folks is OUT!

    It’s not a “We’re wanted by non-black men too” from everybody. Shoot, all you have to check is the year when some folks started hollering that… it was AFTER they saw other black women taking leaps of faith in their lives and a larger percentage than average had non-black spouses/boyfriends.

    THAT is the real reason that some women are smoke-screening it behind non-black men. They were going to leave anyway. It’s just easier to say that you were out the door for a man in the black community than to say, “hope it works out for you” and seem selfish.

    Folks will let you go for a man in the BC, less so for your own life and choices (which will most likely include a man).

  • Anon

    … … … =/
    No lies were told.

  • Joan


  • Tiffy

    I don’t think Knowledge is wrong because in most cultures the mother is a primary care giver. It’s because the order of how the world works that it’s usually up to women to structure their children’s thinking and at the same time I agree it shouldn’t be that way but it’s the patriarchal society we live in. I might get alot of thumbs down for thinking like this but it is what it is, I think we as black people no matter what are condition rich, poor, bougie, ghetto,educated etc. whatever need to teach our children from a very young age, practically birth to be “racist”. We have to make sure are next generation understands and believes us being of African descent makes us superior. This may begin to fix the damage done to our people by the Europeans. Start by teaching them anything you can get your hands on about how great Africa was in the past bring to attention the great things that are still going on there today presently to counteract the negative the things the media puts out about Africa. Remind your kids we are the original people and when the Europeans were in caves our ancestors were building empires. Tell your daughters they are smart and beautiful and when speaking on physical beauty dwell their features you have the “best lips best skin,best hair…..” I think this would encourage better self-esteem. Tell your sons they are smart and that they are strong and handsome, tell them “they can do anything teach them about great black men make sure they have strong male role model etc. Praise the beauty of all types of black women in front of him, point out beautiful black women all shades to him and say things like don’t you think she’s so pretty, does she have pretty eyes her complexion is a beautiful things shape his idea of beauty. As they get older and able to understand certain concepts remark and teach them about the terrible things whites have done to this world let them know it’s wonderful respect all people to everyone but love your own respect your own even in times when they don’t respect themselves. I can go on but this comment is already too long lol.

  • Several Seats Please

    So we have to be like the Germans and claim a “superior” race status in order to undo people treating us as inferior? Girl or boy, please.

  • lope32

    How are the responsibilities of marriage different from those of cohabiting in your view?

    Just curious honestly.

  • ajaveen

    Please do not speak for all Black women. I cannot stand generalizations.

  • Anon

    Get some hospital bills, a sick relative, a child, a job opportunity that involves a cross-country move, a rough patch in a relationship, buying a car together, a couch or any piece of furniture that’s over $400 and come back to us about how MARRIAGE is different than shacking up. FYI, if you gotta ask, there’s a reason why some chick SOMEWHERE is not your WIFE.

    When you’re good with just a baby-mama, odds are, whoever is your eventual wife, you won’t understand the meaning the bond that the title is supposed to hold.

    Stay single.

    -Sighed, the ghost of my parents & grandparents common sense.

  • Yas

    Beautiful written and insightful. Thank you.

  • Playwitit

    Lisa Bonet was not pale.

  • Playwitit

    O really? Because you have read every blog huh? I think you’re full of shit on this one.

  • simplyme

    I agree. Honestly, I think this is how I was raised…and how many African families in the U.S. raise their children. I wouldn’t call it teaching your kids to be “racist” at all. I think the concept of instilling a certain level of pride in your heritage is extremely important especially in the context of being in a place where you’re in the minority and when the majority of forces are working to do the very opposite. By “pride” I mean with regards to not just beauty, but intelligence, power, strength, and any positive character trait. If you think about it, the majority group gets these messages everyday on a subconscious level through the media and many immigrant populations do this at home with their children.

    My parents would tell us stories that were passed down about our ancestors and our people and what this great great grandparent did and how those traits ran in our family and were a part of us. They promoted the importance of knowing how great you are and never letting anyone tell you otherwise. That we were “different” from “them”…but still shedding light on the fact that we were all God’s children and everyone should be loved and treated as we would want to be treated. My dad used to show us old pictures of his mother and his grandmother when they were younger. He’d tell us stories about them and to me they were the most beautiful women in the world. I didn’t want anything other than to grow up to look just like them and be just like them. I still have one of my grandmother sitting casually outside in the village next to my grandfather wearing just her wrap and head scarf smiling like she didn’t have a care in the world. It helps to instill a certain sense of identity, pride, and a quiet confidence early on…before the damage of the media can be done. Its like a shield. Its not raging Nazi pride, it more like “I know exactly who I am and no one can ever tell me otherwise.”

  • Concerned

    What the internet has showed me is that a lot of my Black/African American women HATE themselves. The internet has showed me that a lot of dark skinned women think the world does not think they are beautiful. I am 51 years old and I did not know this until the internet because women of color, of course, do not go around saying what they feel in public. This is the saddest part about the internet & if I could go to each lady and say “you are beautiful no matter what” I feel I could do a service to our community. Remember, women are the “care givers” and your children will pick up on this and feel they are not beautiful also.

  • Tresa

    My husband is not the same ethnicity as me. I did not seek him out because of the color of his skin. I prayed and asked God to send me the other half of my soul. I love my husband and it troubles me to hear people say you have to preserve the races or blame the Europeans for what was done. Hate is a very contagious disease. It perpetuates self loathing and hatred against ones brethren. It devastates communities and people by eroding their self esteem and their ability to see that the only cure is love. What was done in the past or is presently done by others is not my husband’s fault nor is it mine. Fleshly eyes see the paint job on the temple spiritual eyes see the light shining within it Love yourself and love the people around you. See God in everyone and then you have no room for bigotry or racism. It you do not believe in a divine being then see yourself in your fellow man. I cannot change what was done to my ancestors but I can change what I do for my brothers and sisters right now. I will love with all the sincerity of my soul. I will see the beautiful light that shines in everyone. I will embrace God in my fellow man and I will be the change that I want to see in the world. I didn’t need to marry a person based on ethnicity or economic status to preserve my culture. I simply introduced that culture to the other half of my soul and he shared his with me. Long ago I had to learn to love me despite all of the pain that I had suffered growing up and then I was made ready to love someone else and It was worth it. My husband is beautiful regardless of the color of his skin. He is beautiful because I see God in him and he sees God and me. We are one and that is all that matters.

  • angela

    Number one the word is educated and the only reason why black men go with white women is because they know black women are below them.

  • mark

    One of the biggest problems is that black women still believe that all of this has something to do with how they look and how black men feel about themselves. When a man chooses to marry and build his future around someone, it is based on much more than that. Character is most important, not looks and beauty.

  • mark

    Yeah sure. Let’s see what happens if the billionaire loses all his billions. Believe me he’ll be singing a different tune. And he’ll be doing it as a single man.

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