However, Black men are twice as likely to marry outside their race than Black women, and there is a unique, community issue of some Black men explicitly not wanting to date Black women at all, which isn’t as common in other races.There is no problem with a Black man dating interracial, but it becomes a problem if he refuses to date Black women based on stereotypes, preconceived notions and unconscious self-hatred.
This mindset is destructive to the Black community and himself.
Issues Come from Both SidesThe first step to fixing the problems between Black men and women is for both genders to own up to their faults. Read the comments section of any posts on interracial dating. You’ll see how quick we are to point out our issues with the other gender, but rarely accept hard truths about our gender or do anything to change them. What if we started thinking of solutions, instead of just the problems?
Could we get to a place of mutual love and respect for each other?Because, as a people who have historically received so much hatred, we, Black women and men, so desperately deserve love and respect. Here are the common issues Black men mention as to why they decide to not date Black women, where the issues stem from and how both sides can own up and fix them.
He Says Black Women Have AttitudesThis notion comes from the age old “angry, black woman” idea. Black men have used this as a reason why they prefer the more “calm, level-headed” White woman. The problem with this concept is two-fold:
Anger is a human emotionAnyone can be angry, even non-Black women. However, rooted in a white supremacy structure, White women are always assigned presumed innocence and purity, and it’s that very innocence that has gotten Black men wrongfully imprisoned or killed. This perception that comes from slavery pushes the notion that White women are sweet and docile while Black women are wild, angry and uncontrollable.
It is the way a man treats a woman that truly determines her “attitude.”Have you ever watched Snapped? There are plenty of White women on the show who kill their men out of anger, rage and jealously. Alternatively, have you ever seen a woman with a good man who loves and respects her? She typically is always wearing a smile.
Black women carry double the frustrationThink about the rage you feel living as a Black man in a country that has been and is systematically discriminating against and killing you and your community. Now, imagine that feeling, twice over. That is how Black women feel. Do we carry around frustration and anger? Yes, but this comes from being a double minority; it comes from being oppressed not only by White people, but by the only other person you’d hope would understand oppression and not inflict it upon you, but does so anyway based on gender: the Black man.
Black man, own up and fix itNot all Black women have attitudes.
This is an ugly stereotype that ties too closely to racism for you to even carry it around as a Black man.However, if a Black woman does get an attitude with you, ask yourself: Why? What did I do? Be honest with yourself. You want respect and to be spoken to like a man, but make sure you’re giving the Black woman that same respect back. If you don’t, don’t expect bad behavior to be met with kind words and non-reaction. If someone treats you badly, aren’t you going to react? If your woman caught you texting three other women after you were just telling her how much you love her and being with her, does that not warrant anger/attitude? If you prefer White women because they allow you to behave any type of way, then own up to the fact that it’s not that Black women have attitudes, it’s that you feel you have the right to disrespect women and suffer no consequences for it.
Black woman, own up and fix itYou know that life is difficult as a Black woman. You carry struggles and endure sufferings that no other human being would have the strength to survive, and yet, you’re still here. If you are someone that catches attitudes often, own up to the fact that the frustration from the struggle can spill over into the way you to talk to a man.
No man wants to feel belittled or disrespected.You know all too well the struggles a Black man must deal with, so don’t add unnecessary stress to his day. Before you go off or catch an attitude, ask yourself: Is there a better way to say this? Is there a better tone I can use? Is an attitude necessary or deserved? You can tell a man that you have an issue with him without getting loud or “turning up,” because it’s true that it’s not what you say, but how you say it. He may be more likely to listen, and if he doesn’t hear you out, then he lacks communication skills and not someone you should bother with anyway.
He Says Black Women Don’t Need a ManIf you say “I don’t need a man,” remove it from your vocabulary immediately.
Black women do need Black men, but this term doesn’t accurately reflect how.
Black women might not need providers, but still need partnersBlack girl magic is always flowing. Black women have the tenacity, intelligence and dedication to carry themselves and whole families on their backs, but that’s not how it’s supposed to be. It’s true that some Black women have had to fill the shoes of Black men in cases where the men have been removed from our community due to mass incarceration, where the men have chosen not to fulfill their responsibilities as fathers, or where the woman’s level of financial success has scared away some men based on his insecurity. However, just because a Black woman may not need a man to be a provider, this doesn’t dismiss her need to have him as a partner.
Why do Black women say itSome Black women feel the need to show off that they can take care of themselves because of other complaints from Black men that there are Black women who are gold diggers chasing money or “moochers” trying to get money by having children and collecting child support. It’s another ugly stereotype, and there are plenty of successful, educated, self-motivated Black women out there. Some of these women use “I don’t need a man” to say: “Hey, we’re not all like that. Some of us are different. We don’t need your money. See.” Unfortunately, however, this comes off to men as not wanting a man at all.
Black woman, own up and fix itYou’re successful, stable and have enough self-love that you don’t need a man, but you want one, right? If you want to be single forever, then this isn’t for you, but many Black women want a Black man to love and cherish.
Men, especially Black men, want to feel needed.They want to feel like they’re an important aspect of your life. Stop saying how much you “don’t need a man” because this doesn’t impress anyone and it’s more likely to keep you from having a good one. When a man enters your life, he’ll see what you have going on, your intelligence and your lifestyle. You don’t need to throw it in his face that you can make it without him or any man. Instead, show him the places you do need him, because love, affection, companionship and sex are things you likely still want from a man.
Black man, own up and fix itJust as you can be prideful, so can Black women. Some Black women don’t want to say how they feel lonely without a man, how they feel, out of all their success, he’s the only thing truly missing, and how they want nothing more than to give all of their love to a Black man, because, often times, if a Black woman is vulnerable and honest about those feelings, she’s called desperate by Black men. No Black woman wants to look like that.
Encourage her vulnerability and see that there are Black women who do want and need a Black man.Also, while a woman shouldn’t pursue a man purely for his money, if you really want to be a provider and contribute financially to her life, you can’t turn around and get mad when an independent woman asks you to pay a bill just because “she got it.”
He Says Black Women Don’t Know How to SubmitThe idea that a White woman knows how to submit and let a man lead, while a Black woman does not, is both contentious and false. It ties in historically with the above issues with White women traditionally being painted as more docile and Black women having to fill male roles that White women just haven’t had to fill.
Can Black women even submit at allCan and will Black women submit? Yes. Will Black women submit in the same speed and to the same type of Black men as a White woman? No. There’s an expectation that every man should be the leader, and his woman should submit to him. However, what about the man who does not have good leadership skills, the man, who if followed, could lead a woman astray, the man who is weak-minded and weak-willed, the man who is not a good man? A Black woman is not going to submit until she’s had enough time to see what type of man she’s dealing with and if he reveals himself to be a man not worth submitting to, then she will not.
Why can White women submit so easilyMany Black men who only date White women typically treat them better because they have assumptions about them and respect them more, and if you show a woman great treatment and respect, she has no problem submitting. These same men dated a few Black women but looked for the negative stereotypes in them, and thus did not respect them, and thus did not get the submission he wanted. Also, since dating a Black man is more of a novelty or thrill for White women, and they do not have any cultural context of growing up and dealing with Black men, they lack a certain hesitation to submit to them that would more inherently come from a Black woman.
Black man, own up and fix itSubmission does not mean she does everything you say, when you say it. You are her partner, not her father. You’re dealing with another grown person, and you are supposed to be a team. A good leader sets direction for the team, but doesn’t dismiss the voices of those following him.
Relationships are better as democracies, not dictatorships.Recognize that you must gain her trust before you get her submission, and if you do something to betray her trust, you can’t be upset at her lack of desire to submit at that point.
Black woman, own up and fix itSubmission isn’t always easy. However, if you find a good man, and he shows the ability to be a good leader, let him lead. Understand that you can’t try to run a man or a relationship, or you will end up just running him away. Doing something your man asks of you does not make you weak or powerless; it means you’re able to follow and compromise, which is something Black men want and need. There are issues on both sides, and things that we must work on as Black men and Black women, but abandoning each other based on stereotypes is just not an option. If no one else is for us, we must at least always be for us.
Here are mantras to leave you with:Black men: Always treat a Black woman how you would want a man to have treated your mother, a Black woman, and how you’ll eventually want a man to treat your daughter, a Black woman. Black women: With all the strength and magic you see in each other, don’t forget to see it in Black men, too.