Celebrating Black Men: Gratitude & Compassion
A Love Note to The Brothers and Sisters
As you may have figured out, I’m once again single in the city! Most people either really love dating or completely dread it; I am somewhat in the middle. Truth be told, I am good at dating. Unfortunately, I can only tell you how to get a man, after that you are on your own to sort out the rest! One of my biggest challenges with being single is the negative commentary about being a single Black woman in her 40’s. The second hardest part is filtering the negativity about dating Black men. Wait….don’t be so quick to judge….the negativity is not all coming from white people and the media. This is a Black on Black crime! Let’s call it what it is! You may even be an offender…..
This post is a love note to Black men and my sisters. I am doing this series to change the dialogue we as Black people have about each other and our singleness. After my Part I post I received a lot of personal emails and texts from women thanking me for what I wrote because it made them feel good about Black men again. Surprisingly, I received more personal emails and texts (not comments on the blog) from men saying they really appreciated Part II. Black people, we can be hard on each other; let’s try to be just a little more compassionate with one another. Lets uplift one another. Black women stop saying there aren’t any good Black men out there and Black men, speak positively about Black women. We have all had bad experiences, but we can’t let those experiences dictate how we feel about dating within our race. Stop it! At the very least, do it for Black History Month…..
Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE Black men and truly believe there are some good quality Black bachelors in my age range. I am told after every break-up I should consider dating white men because I probably have more in common with them and they would appreciate and accept my quirkiness. My dad always says (yes, he is a Black man too), “I know a lot of single Black women who are beautiful, professional and have the whole package, but Black men just aren’t interested in Black women for whatever reason, they are dating other races and so should Black women.” Whatever, daddy. I will say this, for once in my life I “may” consider dating outside my race, but let’s be clear, Black men will always be my preference. I have never had a hard time meeting Black men, ladies they are everywhere in Atlanta (grocery stores, the GYM, reflexology, online, concerts…everywhere). I meet single men all the time. I know and believe they love me just as much as I love them, and God sends me little reminders on a weekly basis…………..Give thanks for that.
I never hear my white friends say they aren’t going to date white men after a bad break-up or two. Their families don’t encourage them to date outside their race and to go find a nice Black man (I know this because I conducted a short survey of white people at my job!). We have all had our hearts broken. After my last two break-ups I have every reason to rethink my love of and for Black men. Instead, I have taken lessons learned and will apply them to future relationships; my heartbreaks will not be in vain. I see a lot of Black love around me and that’s what I choose to focus on.
To my Black men, I will love you wholeheartedly, but at the same time hold you accountable for your actions. Mutual respect and transparency are requirements. There are so many reasons why it is hard to make “us” work, but there are even more reasons why it is imperative to make the effort. My brothers and sisters, let’s break the negative relationship stereotypes that are not only perpetuated by others outside our community, but that are also reinforced by those within our own. Let’s focus on how we can support, love and break these negative relationship cycles. Let’s stop the Black on Black hateration. Here is to Black love……
Photography by: Me