Okay, so I just viewed the Niteline special on why Black, successful women remain single. First of all, let me just say that I’m on my way lol. Fresh out of college and endeavoring to create an awesome life for myself and my future children. So I would consider myself on the track to becoming a successful Black woman. Back to the topic at hand. I felt just a tad bit objectified at the beginning and sitting in a room full of other young black people (mostly women), I was not the only one who felt that way. It’s like a microscope is being held on Black women like “aw you poor things” so I had to get over that before I could fully get into the dialogue anyway! But I do feel that some great points were made.
First they spoke about dating men with potential. It is easy to see the potential in someone else if you are striving to reach your potential as well. Hill Harper pushed this point that Black women needed to date guys with potential. He had potential, Obama had potential…I totally agree. As a young 20 something, building a life, I can’t expect him to have all his stuff together either. But I am blessed to have a very active and accurate BS barometer. I KNOW when an n-word is shiftless and I know when a man is giving it his all! You can see that thing he is striving for pumping through his veins; you can see it in his eyes and in his stance. So yes, for me, I can look at his potential and date him! But I got Sherri Shepard’s point. She is on potential husband number 2. She ain’t 20-something. Isn’t she like 42? She is paying her cheating husband alimony which means she is not only supporting herself and their child together, but she is also supporting him, the woman he cheated with, AND the child from that union. She doesn’t have time to look at potential. So the sword is double sided. Is it now reduced to an age thing? I was unable to resolve this in my mind because what if he really doesn’t begin walking in his purpose until 40…and because he didn’t realize that potential “in time” (your time), you passed up on him….confusion.
Next, they spoke about how women can be intimidating. Are the brothers shying away because they are intimidated by success? Sherri basically said that she can’t apologize for her success and I don’t feel that she should. She worked hard! But Steve Harvey made such a valid point. He said that it may not be so much an intimidation factor but a shame that Black men carry because they have not reached their full potential while so many Black women are flourishing. This broke my heart just a little. If you think about your most shameful moment…when you are ashamed, you do not go around the people who will make you feel worse. You don’t even associate with the people who have what you feel you are capable of having. And if you stay stuck in this place, you can never reach your full potential. So if some Black men feel shameful, we aren’t really helping by throwing it up in their faces that we can take care of ourselves and that we don’t need a man but will simply tolerate one. This point, brought me to a point of clarity on how some Black men may be thinking.
There were a couple of other points (one about interracial dating but that’s a whole other post) but the gist of the conversation is this. Black women have to be more understanding and willing to share even if they “got it on their own.” I don’t care how successful I become, I can still be a successful woman and make my man feel like THE man. And what are all the riches in the world with no one to share them with. And I guess Black men (those who are shameful), should not live in that shame but do whatever they can to move to their next level. But I don’t feel a resolve after listening and processing this conversation. I don’t feel as if we are any further to figuring out why so many Black women are single. But this dialogue did inspire me to look within. Have I ever passed on a guy who truly had potential? Am I willing to share my life, even if I make more than my mate? Can I be a woman and still make my man feel like a man without losing myself?I think that Black women need to shift the focus from the whole group and hone in on self. We have to look internally for the answers. There is no easy way to fix it. There is no magic potion. But there is hope and potential. Amen for the possibilities...
Girl yes! The bus Malika. Mary met his butt at Quiznos but when they parted ways, he went and got on the bus!" They shared a laugh.
"Ewwl! Oh no! That just will not do! If he doesn't at least have a car, a house, a job with benefits, and a nice vaca package, we cannot date!"
"That's what I told her! Talking about, ‘He had potential. ‘ Ha! She's going to potentially be his sugar mama. Supporting all his little whim sickle come up schemes! He probably has multiple baby's mother's too!"
"Right! Well I worked hard for what I have Sharon! It may be hard coming to this big house all alone, but at least I have a house! I'm not stuck in some rental property, helping someone else acquire wealth."
"Yeah girl, I know I hate being in the house or always out with the girls every Friday and Saturday night, but at least I know that no one is getting over on me. And I have money in the bank!" Sharon let out a bitter laugh as she sipped her wine.. "MY money!"
"Yeah and I want to have children some day but when Mr. Perfection comes along, we can make as many babies as I want! Even though....I'm quickly approaching forty." Malika looked at the back of her aging hands. When would her Mr. Right appear?
"Well we are doing great for ourselves Ms. Malika. Don’t even let yourself get down. We got our own!”
“Yeah,” Malika let out a sigh. “Sharon we have so much. We are truly blessed…” They each sat with their thoughts for a moment before Malika tried to make the moment light again. “Hey, where is Mary anyway? I think I’m feeling Mojitos and fajitas tonight!”
“She’s out with Mr. Bus stop. This is like their second date this week. So I guess it’s just me and you tonight! I’ll be over in an hour.”
“Yep, just you and me.”