Sunday, November 20, 2011

On the hunt for the "Good" Black man.

“One day you’re going to marry a good Black man. He’s going to be a Christian, kind, loving, caring and handle all the bills…”

-My aunt

All my life I’ve been told that I was going to marry a “good Black man”. To be successful as a Black woman depended upon three things (As society had me believing), and those things are a decent income, a good education, and the unconditionally loving Black man for my husband. Numerous magazines, blogs, and persons have tried to give definition to what it means to be a “good Black man” Even furthermore the questions is where can they be found? Are they all in hiding in a particular spot in the country, and even more so if found then what?

ABC Nightline News had a special that in a roundabout way pertained to what it means to be a good Black man and additionally what Black women aren’t finding them. There additionally was a follow up article pertaining to the special. It is stated that 60% of college graduate who are Black are women. Furthermore 71% of those who are Black in graduate school are women. (Though it should be noted that there are roughly almost two million more Black women than Black men) While the special received loads of criticism and some praise, it is noted that this is a “problem” (Being single, Black, and a woman).


Black women are openly criticized for being the reason why we aren’t married and in addition we are criticized for not being able to see the “potential” in our own men. Hill Harper is noted as saying “Black women need to date men who show potential despite their not necessarily having reached it yet” (Johnson, 2010). And as the search for the “Good Black man” continues numerous self-proclaimed experts (Steve Harvey, Tyler Perry, Hill Harper just to name a few) have begun giving Black women guidelines as to what we must do in order that we can even began to touch the blissful happiness that is having a good Black man.

Young (2010) goes into detail about this. It is stated that 48% of Black  men never get married so even if a Black woman is to find a good Black men there is a small chance that he will marry her (Young, 2010). If a Black woman’s definition of a “Good Black man” pertains to income then she is going to have an even harder time finding a Black man within a certain income bracket (With only a small percentage of Black men earning over the $100,000 mark annually), who is willing to get married and even more so willing to get married within his own race.

What does this mean then? Should all single Black women go into panic mode because Black men are unavailable to us? (The statistics look rather grim) What are Black women supposed to do? There are other alternatives of course. A  Black woman doesn’t have an obligation or a duty to marry a Black man. Though it does seem as though Black women are more fiercely loyal to dating Black men than vice versa and after all only 16% of us marry outside of our race (Passel, Wang & Taylor, 2010). So, the question then becomes what are we as Black women supposed to do when this shortage of “good” Black men is so evident? My solution is to think outside of the box, date outside of your race, and look for someone who respects and loves you regardless. Then again I’m okay with being single for the rest of my life so my opinions may not coincide with most. My success does not solely rely on finding a “good” mate/husband.


References

Johnson, E. (2010, April 21). Why can't a successful black woman find a man? ABC News/Nightline. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/FaceOff/nightline-black-women-single-marriage/story?id=10424979&page=2#.TsmwfPLlwkY

Passel, J.S., Wang, W., & Taylor, D. (2010, June 4). Marrying out: One-in-seven new U.S. marriages is interracial or interethnic [Online forum post]. Retrieved from http://s1.zetaboards.com/anthroscape/topic/3435925/1/

Young, L. (2010, June 14). High-achieving black women and marriage: Not choosing or not chosen? [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/love-in-limbo/201006/high-achieving-black-women-and-marriage-not-choosing-or-not-chosen

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