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2Apr

Fighting For The Attention of The Black Man By His Black Sisters

I have struggled as to what the title of this post should be. I started with fighting for the souls of our Black men but I figured the fight for their souls is about getting them off the streets and for them to make something of themselves. Hence, I settled on fighting for the attention of the Black man. You know when you want someone to notice you but hell, you do not exist in his world. I think that is fine…all you need do is get a sense of yourself, do what you need to do and get moving sister.

EssenceIn the March edition of Essence, Jamilah Lemieux writes a piece about her rage and anger at the fact that Reggie Bush, the NFL football player is dating Kim Kardashian, who is part Armenian and I believe part white. In my opinion, she is not entirely white right? She is technically mixed…at least, something somewhere got mixed. That is why they say, she is part Armenian.

She writes that after expressing her anger over Bush being on the cover of Essence magazine, she discovered through the comments left by other women on her blog she was not alone.  She goes on to talk about an experience she once had with a  Black brother who had heard her complaining about the same issue and he took her details under the disguise that he would want to take her out sometime. However, what he did was send her a lengthy email why Black men do not date black women. Stating, ‘the stereotype textbook that black women are bossy, nagging, angry, overweight among others to justify why he could not love a black woman.’ Lemieux says the email left her in tears. I say he is the one with the problem because he is myopically minded and has not experienced the educated, strong and yes, vulnerable, loving and caring Black woman out there.

Others on Lemieux’s blog would go on to say Bush does not represent the kind of brother who loves his Black sisters. Now, we can easily judge and say these women are bitter and twisted and should get over themselves. However, we cannot deny that this is a touchy subject in the US and here in the UK. Lemieux goes on to say she resents the competition with women of other races for the attention of the Black man. I say stop right there. Stop competing and get your own back – Live your life and your love will come to you. Lemieux is forthright in stating she is not okay with Black men choosing to spend the rest of their lives with non-Black women. Personally, that is not something anyone has control over.

Let me at this point state that 10 per cent of African American men/Black men are married to non-Black women. At the same time, 42 per cent of African American women have never been married. Based on this, Lemieux says it is ‘impossible to expect Black women to gladly share with other races in an already small dating pool.’ She goes one step further to list famous Black brothers who married women outside their race and the jobs such women were doing before they hooked up. For example, Kobe Bryant of the LA Lakers basketball team, whose wife used to be a video model. A job Lemieux says if a Black woman was doing, it would be deemed as unacceptable. I agree that there are some hypocrisy on different sides of this matter. Truth is, and without disrespect to anyone, we are all hypocritical about something. Its just life. She also talks about the marginalisation of African American beauty, the way their presence is diminished and the continuous reinforcements of stereotypes. Tell me about stereotypes, I am Nigerian. You think you got it bad right?

Jill ScottSo this takes me to the recent headlines made by Jill Scott about her comments on inter-racial dating, Commentary: Jill Scott Talks Interracial Dating. Some have called her a racist, to which she has said she is not a racist. I must say I understand the opinion she has on this and she is allowed to have an opinion. By the way, let me state, I love Jill Scott. I may not agree with everything she says but I love her.

With that out of the way, her point is that one should preserve one’s culture. She talks about the wince – we all know the wince by now, the one you get when you walk down the street, hand-in-hand with a White man or if it is a Black brother with a White woman, hell, he gets it bad.  She states that the wince solely has to do with the African story in America. I beg to differ on that. You also get it here in the UK. And so, she goes on to talk about the impact of slavery and what was done to men and women, the fight for equality by African Americans. But this is the deal breaker, the part where she talks about the betrayal of the black brother in dating a Caucasian sister. “We reflect on this awful past and recall that if a Black man even looked at a White woman, he would have been lynched, beaten, jailed or shot to death. In the midst of this, Black women and Black men struggled together, mourned together, starved together, braved the hoses and vicious police dogs and died untimely on southern back roads together. These harsh truths lead to what we really feel when we see a seemingly together brother with a Caucasian woman and their children. That feeling is betrayed. While we exert efforts to raise our sons and daughters to appreciate themselves and respect others, most of us end up doing this important work alone, with no fathers or like representatives, limited financial support (often court-enforced) and, on top of everything else, an empty bed. It’s frustrating and it hurts!” She concludes, Some may find this thoughts to be hurtful. That is not my intent. I’m just saying.”

 

 

I have heard this battle about Black men dating White women, and Black women getting all upset about it for so long, it is becoming somewhat ridiculous though I can also understand what the frustrations may be about. I have to admit that in the past, when I go to the theatre or out to a function and see a Black brother with a White lady, I used to ask myself, what did he see in her that his black sisters did not have? However, I do not ask anymore because I have reached the stage where I strongly believe it is time we as individuals stop boxing ourselves up where love and relationships are concerned. We need a global perspective on life on so many different things, why not where we find love? There is no rule that says because you are Black, you must marry Black or that because you are White, you must marry White. This was a focal point in my blog on April 1, Confronting My Preferential Prejudice. A title I intentionally picked to say hold on a minute, let us look past race and skin colour and ask what the heart of the other person is really about? Are they worth their salt? Do they live up to their own hype and expectations? What are their values in life? What do they believe in? What do they hold strongly? What do they think about the way the world is governed? What do they find interesting in life and about life? After all, these are some of the questions we ask the prospective man when we are reviewing his application to be the one for us? I must add that as an individual and a full blooded African with veins and arteries going through her body and raging hormones, I have decided its time to see beyond black and exercise my options as long as his heart is right. I do not do colour, I do heart.

Hence, this debate about Black men dating White women is one that will go on as long as America is as divided as it is. Please, do not misunderstand me. I understand where some people stand on on this issue and though I do not agree that you must marry a Black man or  Black woman in order to stay true to your race, there is a social, historical and allow me say political context to the issue of inter-racial relationships in the US. It is viewed as ‘Selling Out’ by some. Maybe we need to see past that because in order to heal the deep wounds in a society where the pain of slavery and segregation remains etched in the psyche of those who were and are affected by it, we have to confront our fears and understand that we are free now and so must live freely on our own terms

Fleace Weaver in a different piece, Black Women: Why You Shouldn’t Limit Yourself to Black Men, for Essence magazine encourages young sisters to date outside their race. She talks about the fact that men are men and while she was a big supporter of equal opportunity dating, she too got to the point where she had to make a choice. It took a trip to change her mind after men were falling over themselves when she visited Switzerland. You all just got a way out. Go to Switzerland and you will find yourself a man 🙂

I know some people argue that the more educated you are and if you show you are confident and will not take shit, this makes you intimidating to men. I would have you know there are strong black women, who are soft and gentle and can really love a brother and love on him. We do not need to fight each other. I would like to believe there is enough space for all of us to co-exist. Besides, I am tired of that strong Black woman with a hype attitude thing. I sometimes see it in other women and I must say it is very unattractive. You can be a strong Black woman without the attitude.

Sisters, the way I see it, do not limit yourself to your Black brothers. Get on with your life and date who you want if there is a connection. I don’t just mean the sex connection. I mean the deep intricate connections that keeps us breathing while waiting for tomorrow, so we can see each other. Why the hell not? Stop holding on to the idea that your man must be a Black, White, Green or Red. Let life take you on an adventure and live spontaneously. You might just surprise yourself. Stop holding out for a Black brother – African American or an African man that may never come your way.

“Black men marrying White women probably would not be such an acute problem were it not for the chronic shortage of Black males in the United States. One sees these manless women everywhere, singly and in tight little groups, in the cocktail lounges and bars at the house parties and dances, often, several of them huddled around one man. They are the divorces, the widows, and the never marrieds, lonely Black women on the make or resigned, finally to remaining hopelessly single. They do not intermarry to the extent that Black men do.” – Louise Meriwether, when she wrote a piece titled, “Black Man, Do You Love Me?”

That was from the first edition of Essence Magazine in 1970, 40 years ago and we are still talking about the same old shit without solutions. Girl! You better find a solution for yourself and live your life. The way I see it, stop fighting for his and their attention because if there is a lesson I have learnt in the last few years, a man whose attention you fight to get, it will never work because you are the one who will do the work for the rest of that relationship. He knows he can walk at anytime and that you will come running after him. Is anyone really worth all of that power in your honest opinion? I say H.E. double L. L. to the no! He is not.

I end on this note, what if, just what if, the man who is meant to be the world’s greatest lover in your book was Chinese, what would you do? Walk away? Chew on that y’ll.

 

Images: Essence Magazine Online

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14 Responses to “Fighting For The Attention of The Black Man By His Black Sisters”

  1. Happy Clapper says:

    Thought engaging stuff again B. I find myself laughing half way through and wanting to put some thoughts down before I forgot but needed to finish reading in order to get your entire view on the issue.

    I love it so much i’m sharing it on FB – great work!!

    An opinion of a Black man that has ventured beyond the black lines

    I think..here we go – I think what you’re exposed to determines your outlook in/on life, we are all impressionable poeple and our environment reflects our aspirations, style, mannerisms, etiquette, likes/dislikes, etc. I could not see myself dating someone that was not black when I was 20 yeas old; I remember a white girl asking what type of girl I was inclined to and my reply was “a black woman”. Nearly 15 years of living north of the M25; considering spiritual and superficial things are on point, I would contemplate any race. I put this down to the fact that my view on life NOW is not limited to my former surroundings and I believe that sometimes – a fear of the unknown is only a fear because it’s unknown and untried.

    I think it was Nelson Mandella that said the future of the world is in races coming together – I know some might see that statement as intimating “tolerating” each other, I’ll go further and say maybe it’s races coming together – literally. My aspirations and expectations are not necessarily race but spiritual and attraction – regardless of the colour> Does she love God as much as I do and I’m I attracted to her.

    My view on this is that you attract what you are and not what you aspire to. If I want a woman that’s not fat – physically fit, I should start going to the gym; If I want a woman that takes care of herself, I should take care of myself too – you get the point. If your game is on point and expectations are not out of whack – you should be ok…..this is where I see the starting point.

    The different questions get different answers from different brothers – Why do some black men go for white women? Is it because majority white females make more effort that the typical “black woman”; Is it because white girls are easy? Should a black man go with a black woman just because she’s black and strong? These are questions that differ depending who you’re talking with but a a lot of brothers I know that i’ve plunged across cutural divide talk of an easier life without a “strong black woman”.

    As an aside to going across cultural lines, there are some Yoruba (nigerian tribe) people that refuse to go with Ibo (another Nigerian) people and these people are from the same country – people’s issues are peoples issues and everyone should be allowed to adhere to their preferences.

    On the black women issue, I have a lot to say and some are not nice. You mentioned that black men tend to go for white women that are less o much to say and some m. Why is weave the most common hair do with black women; is it because there perception on beauty has long hair or is it because they want to flick their head like the white women. The truth is that most of the weaves i’ve seen are really badly done as well with showing tracks, visible unkept undergrowth, terrible quality hair and what is with the ridiculous fringe that doesn’t look good on most black women – but no they must have one!!

    Rant contines: What is with black women calling themselves STRONG?? As opposed to what when compared with other races?? Who came up with that silly adjective – Strong must stand for CRAZY!!! He couldn’t deal with a strong beautiful black woman Or he couldn’t handle a strong successful black woman – Synonymes for strong in my thesaurus is beefy, muscular, biting, heavy duty, etc – If that is the most distinguishing character of a black woman – something must be wrong. And when black women get with men from other races, my experience is that they leave their “strong” nature behind. Why is the black woman not soft? Why can’t she do less weave or do better quality weave?

    For balance – I love black women but the overriding requirement is not race.

  2. Belinda Otas says:

    @ Happy Clapper, strong and valid points. Thanks!

  3. Happy Clapper says:

    Some of it does not read well as I didn’t complete the statement. The typing was done quicly whilst on the train and there was not enough time to read over the stuff…

  4. Belinda Otas says:

    My piece or your comment? if its my piece, I am re-editing right now. Noticed a few errors myself when I was reading again. Thanks for pointing it out

  5. Fola Agwu says:

    Hmmmmmm this is deep and well written. Inter-racial and inter-tribal marriages never seem to go down well with every one. As one who is part Nigerian and part Antiguan, opposition came from every side. I grew up being called ajereke, omo kobokobo by some Yorubas and damn African by some West Indians!!! I was held responsible for slavery that occurred over 400 years before my birth!!! Then I compounded issues (in their eyes and not mine) by marrying an Ibo man!!! At the end of the day 21 years later (been married 15 years) we r still together. The race or tribe of a man/woman is not pertinent (in my own opinion). What is important is are the couple ready to stay together irrespective of opposition from any side? Are they willing to face down any weapon of mass destruction aimed at them? It will not be easy but so long as they stick together they will overcome every missile. And as you have written Sisters should not limit themselves and can be strong without the attitude. May our Sisters be located by a man that trully and deeply loves them.

  6. Belinda Otas says:

    @ Fola, thank you. We need to open our eyes more.

  7. Deborah says:

    what the hell is going on??????why throw away love because our ancestors had “difficult” times??? hello anybody out there???
    okay how about this… when i was growing up my dad used to say none of his children will ever marry from the Ora tribe (being my mum’s) and my mum will go none of her kids will ever marry from the Urhobo tribe (being my dad’s)… silly isn’t it….

    When relationships doesn’t work out as planned or as hoped what do you do? stick to it and please your ancestors that don’t even give a damn about you? or waste your life looking and waiting for Mr. or Mrs Black, White, Asian that would eventually come to end up breaking your heart? when i was reading i was laughing but now i’m boiling in rage… Whose life are you living? theirs that is history or yours that is present and future???? So what, there was Slavery. There was also War! Do you go tell the Austrains not to get involved with a German?

    There is racism going on, its a fact, I witness it almost everyday, but getting such an attitude from a young generation is just DISGUSTING!!!

    My Dear Sisters and Brothers, whatever “Colour” you are, if you find a heart that is made of Gold I advise you to dive into it even drown in it. Nothing is more worth than finding, accepting, living, and loving true love. I am drowning in mine and guess what…I AM LOVING IT

  8. Temitayo says:

    Interesting post…and comments.

    @ Deborah: Haha!…did you ask them how they got married? And how they still get along? And why would also do?

    @Clapper: interesting questions–Why do some black men go for white women? Is it because majority white females make more effort that the typical “black woman”; Is it because white girls are easy? Should a black man go with a black woman just because she’s black and strong? And the women too should ask themselves why they are so particular about ‘their’ Black men? Is it because ‘Black’ is on their prospective-man-must-have list?

    I think that choice of partners like many other things is just a reflection of the chooser’s mind. Now, I am getting silly ehn. I am wondering when people write down a list of people to marry, do they go like: black/Igbo/White, etc. Really funny…

    My mother insists that none of her children will marry anyone from the Ijebu part of Yoruba land. The Ijebus are Yoruba too…but she had some past experiences that made her reach her conclusion. Why should the script of my life be acted out based on someone else’s experiences? And for crying out loud, there will be people with biases against people from my own part of the country too…so what are we saying? I accuse you, you accuse me…we keep pointing fingers and never really move ahead.

    Now this is not just about marriage…some people will never have anything to do with some people simply because of their tribes…and really it’s their loss. Though I must say that it’s plain unfair that before even meeting someone you made your conclusions already.

    This is not saying that mixed marriages do not pose challenges. And maybe like other marriages too…so maybe in a way such marriages still isn’t for the faint hearted. Just like regular marriages too…if you find love in the hands of a White man? Why not? Hehehe..and the Black men are not finished you fear your mother will ask abi? No worries…you are the one getting married…if a ‘White’ ring sits well on your Black finger why not? I am sorry, I didn’t tell you how to fight for the soul of your Black brother..why is love so naggingly stronger than colour?

  9. Hans Schippers says:

    Wow, this article comes as a bit of a surprise to me… I had no idea this issue lived so strongly in US/UK.

    Personally, I understand how people belonging to a certain social group may feel that they need to stick together in order to achieve something. And how marrying outside that social group might feel like betrayal to some.
    So if we consider the blacks in the US a to be a social group who still have a long way to go in terms of equal rights, then I would understand how a marriage of someone in that group to an enemy of that group would be seen as betrayal.
    However, a crucial consideration would be here that being non-black does not necessarily imply being an enemy of the black community. In other words, marrying outside the social group does not equal marrying outside colour!
    Even more strongly: Marrying a non-black who is deeply sympathetic towards the civil rights movement, might be a more worthwhile addition to the cause than marriage to a black man who is indifferent towards it.
    So in that sense I agree: judge by heart, not by colour. Calling for indifference towards colour seems noble, but is probably unrealistic at present. However, at least we should consider that there are white people with black hearts and vice versa.

  10. Good Forex says:

    well, nice share,good article,very usefull for me…thanks 😀

  11. A great read “SISTERS STOP ASKING SISTERS, I’M A BLACK MAN JUST ASK ME” the book goes through a serious of uncut interviews with African American men on his take on black women and relationships. What makes this book different, the interview are conducted by a woman. Author Terrie Lynn is probing black men for the answers to the questions that women wrestle with. So if you have ever gotten caught up in the why….. a great read.

  12. Belinda Otas says:

    @ Terrie Lyn, your website is very interesting. Thanks for the comment.

  13. ndubuisi says:

    nice!!!!

  14. Jenny Browne says:

    Black women should get a life. I am one of them. I date and love men of all races especially white men. I dont particularly like black men especially American black men. They have so many excuses why they behave irresponsibly but sometimes they just dont want to work hard. Why do the men from Africa who are also black succeeed?
    Black women listen up please. Your loud ways are a turn off. The constant quest for materialism, the numerous out of wedlock kids all conspire against us. We need to put our house in order. The fact that we love black men should not make us settle for less; we should not excuse them when they make us pregnant, run away and we go on to the next one for more of the same. Black men can and should date whom they like and so should we. Stop settling for less. Its an attitude thing.

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