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Is There Really a Black Marriage Decline? post asks the question Is There Really a Black Marriage Decline?. The writer does his own research and finds that the real issue may simply be that black men and women are choosing to get married much later than we used to. Why do you think that is? Thoughts?

“How to Know He Loves You: Stress Him the Hell Out”

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I can’t be the only woman that has constantly had to get used to the way a man shows his Love. From mowing your lawn for you to picking you up from the airport late at night, the language of man Love can be a lot more walk than talk. Even though he may do for you, he’s not nearly as gifted with gab. And sometimes we women just want to hear his Love worded really nicely–like the guys do in the movies! Or as Mr. Right-For-Now might put it “now THAT’S a get back speech”. So if you’re still a little lost in translation, from the mouths of men I present to you How to Know He Loves You: Stress Him the Hell Out ( Fellas, do you agree that a woman can find out if her man truly Loves her by stressing him out? Do men only stress out over women they Love?

13 Reasons I Love Black Men

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I’m feeling a little Angie Stone-esque with this post. I concluded a few months ago that I really don’t show enough outward appreciation to my black brothas. In fact, I flirted with the line of hate and disdain. Why? Mostly because I held onto the negative advertised image of black men these days. I believed and perpetuated the lazy, violent, non-kid-raising, womanizing stereotypes that I’d seen and heard from the black men around me. But that’s not who the black man is at his core. And that’s not the only story I saw once I opened my eyes a bit wider. To all the black men I know who have touched my life positively, I want to say truthfully from the deepest depths of my soul, I Love You. I need you. I respect you. And I appreciate you. But that’s just the problem isn’t it fellas? I’m keeping it locked up and tucked away. Well, it’s time to let the world–and you–know how I feel and why. Because Love locked away and unexpressed might as well be hate. So consider this post a proverbial embrace–a kiss on the cheek just for being you.

I Love black men…

13. … for their cool

I’m going to tell you guys the real reason I voted for Barack Obama. Although I read up on them, it wasn’t completely because of his policies. It wasn’t because he reignited a belief in Hope or Change. And it wasn’t because he is an attractive guy. No. I voted for Barack Obama because he’s just so damn cool. There is something in the walk and talk of a black man that the world finds definable only by the word swagger. And even that word doesn’t quite do you justice. It is an indelible and endearing quality that’s got the world wanting what you’ve got in your back pocket. From politics, to sports, to entertainment, to business, to the pulpit–when a black man leads, people follow. He is the ultimate trendsetter. And it’s this cool that will continue to change the world.

12. …for staying good men even when we don’t believe you exist

You know how they say good guys finish last? That goes for brothas too. If black women are honest with ourselves, we laugh at the ones that are too broke, too short, too unendowed (or unblessed. Hmmm?), too ugly, too emotional, too nice, too Christian, too etc. Even if they are good men! As the black woman increases her education, gets a bit of money in her pocket, and navigates her dreams and goals, we find ourselves looking over the good ones while complaining about how lonely we are and how we’re the least unmarried. Because a lot of us women don’t know what we want. And I know a few good men out there who fight through the slew of black women who think they’re ready for commitment but always date the same kind of black man and then complain about black men as a collective group. I can only imagine how frustrating that has to be. Thank you for hanging in there with us and for putting up with our ignorance and misinformation.

11. …for your persistence in the face of an unjust system

I would like to propose a toast to the ones of you who know firsthand being black on a Tuesday is grounds for police harassment, having a car that’s a little too nice will get you in trouble even if you worked hard and honest to get it, and simply walking into an elevator can cause the old woman next to you to clutch at her purse with every bit of force in her feeble existence. There are parts of this so-called “black experience” that are uniquely yours. And I want to thank you for dealing with the facts of black American life with poise, grace, and a whole lot of comedy. And I give even more kudos to the ones of you who have managed to avoid jail time in spite of a system bent on giving you some.

10. …for your humor

Speaking of comedy, black men are hilarious! From listening to Steve Harvey in the morning to watching old comedy specials of Richard Pryor, I’ve watched and laughed with the black men who choose to fight injustice and racism with politically relevant jokes. Comedians have the right to do and say anything under the guise of humor. And some of them use those opportunities to talk about taboo subject matters. But as we laugh, bonds are broken, stigmas are torn down, prejudices are made light. The best part about it is, when everything’s all said and done, the only thing that hurts are our cheeks from laughing so hard. Thank you for lengthening my life with a much-needed laugh.

9. …for your enlightenment and spirituality

Black folk Love them some G-O-D. And at the head of nearly every church congregation or mosque meeting in our community stands a strong black man. Not every religious leader gets it right. Some are clearly called while others are made. But every once in a while, you get a truly blessed black man using religion as an opportunity to do some things in his community. One such man heads Zion Church in Glenarden, Md–Pastor Keith Battle. Keith Battle gives away offering money to the people in need in his church, makes services accessible and applicable for young people, and talks about topics that other people in the church don’t want to talk about. He is truly an inspiration to me so thank you.

8. …for your Fatherhood

You always hear about the good for nothing brothers who have as many kids as Samuel L. has movies. But you know what? That’s not always the case. Some black men know the truth–parenthood isn’t a choice but an obligation. I work alongside two very dedicated black fathers. Both of them have sacrificed time at work to be nearer to their households and help their wives out with their kids. They truly speak the language of the new black man, the 21st century black man, who does more than bring home the bread and butter. They are ACTIVE and ENGAGED fathers, involved in every bit of the child-rearing process. And I must say, I respect it–so thank you for showing me that.

7. …for your appreciation of us

Although not all black men appreciate black women, the ones who do appreciate us REALLY appreciate us. While mainstream society shuns our hairstyles, our butts, our lips, our walk, and our attitude–the black man has cherished those very same things. The black woman finds herself the object of admiration in many a hip-hop song, R&B album, and neo-soul croon. As Drake profoundly puts it, “…a little attitude problem? It’s all good, it’ll make sh*t last”. The “angry black woman” who might pose a problem for some is a prize for you. I Love it when a black man declares that there’s no other kind of woman that he’d rather have by his side but one of us. And not because there’s anything wrong with any other group of women but just because he prefers the kind of woman who raised him. Because he knows her strength, he knows her glory, he knows her pain, and he shares her story. There’s nothing on Earth like a black man’s Love. Thank you for hollerin’.

6. …for your leadership

From Malcolm and Martin to Medgar and Huey, the revolution has been televised and the Best Supporting Male Lead goes to you. Many of the fallen soldiers on the frontline of this war on racism, have been you. And you’ve lead us with peace, with God, with guns, with words, with art, with Love, with silent protest, with athletic excellence, with academic perfection. Thank you to the black men of the past that sacrificed their lives, their Loves, their dreams, their hopes, so that I could have opportunities not afforded to them. Thank you for always being Kings.

5. …for their entrepreneurial (aka “hustlin”) spirit

As Cassidy raved, a black man could “sell Raid to a bug”. Many a cover of Black Enterprise magazine features the black men who have finessed the world with their business knowledge and innovation. Some of them know how to make money and make it honestly. Although I’m no huge fan of Tyler Perry, the idea behind his monumental success is a brilliant one. Perry found it important to own his movie making studio so that people could never keep him from making movies by refusing him funding. And I respect the hustle.

5. …for your creativity

Andre 3000. Kanye West. Spike Lee. Will Smith. John Legend. Musiq Soulchild. Tupac Shakur. Louis Armstrong. Marvin Gaye. James Baldwin. James Van Der Zee. Aaron Mcgruder. Some say art is more real than life. And the black man has consistently and abundantly contributed to art for life’s sake. Our art forms have transformed the world one canvas at a time. I am inspired and humbled by the beauty in the things the black man creates with his hands. Thank you for your art.

4. …for our shared history

When black women stood up on those auction blocks, it was black men chained next to them. When black women were tired from a long day’s bus boycott, black men were at home to rub tired feet. When black women complained about the itchiness of weave, black men stepped in to take out our sew-ins. We have stood and fought alongside each other since as long as we’ve been on this Earth. I can’t say that about any other kind of man.

3. …for your intelligence

Everyone likes to talk about the brothas that don’t go to college. And I know and Love those black men. But this particular section is for the ones of you that pursued higher education in spite of all the obstacles. This is for the brothas who enjoy reading books and learning about their history, their culture, their contribution to this country. This is for the men who took the things they learned in school with a grain of salt because they understood that education doesn’t always come from a curriculum. I applaud you for educating yourself and for adding to my stimulating conversations–intelligently. Thank you for not being too cool for school.

2. …for your excellence

A person shows true excellence when they succeed in spite of setbacks. Few men in America know setbacks like black men. And yet our people have excelled in all aspects in this country with great help from you. As astronauts and engineers, as professional athletes and hip-hop moguls, as real-estate tycoons and entertainment powerhouses, as men. You have set a standard of excellence that I can only hope to follow. I love you for setting the bar so high.

1. …for being the other half of Black Love

This needs no true explanation. You are apart of me and I, you. To Love you is to Love me. And that’s why I do.

Are We Living in A Dream World?

"We are a unit. We have always been a unit. We  function best as a unit." D.L. Smith

Freshly crocheted dreadlocks swung in unison, falling slightly below her shoulders, drawing my eyes to her slim waist and protruding lower half. Covered by a modest dress, she left more to be desired.  She held a torn and tattered Bible in her right hand, indicating hours of studying and living with God’s word.  Her walk embodied soul music, not the kind found on the radio but the kind found on city street corners, poetry lounges, and in Grandparents’ vinyl collections. Her joys and fears, anxieties and triumphs radiated from her skin just as much as the melanin.  We are related–not by blood but by spirit–a match felt most at the heart. Her eyes captivate me, keeping my attention strictly on her mind as we discuss life, love, and our communities. “I wish these black men would step their game up.  Too many of them act so immature and they’re always avoiding responsibility.  Where are all the real men at? … (Sigh)  I’m gonna end up marrying a white man.”  As these words poured from her mouth, I heard the frustration in her voice and watched the despair on her face.  It was as if she had been unwillingly subjected to a life behind bars.  I ask her, “Do you think marrying a white man is helping the problem or hurting it?”  She paused, and then replied, “It’s not my fault there are so few successful black men.  I just want to be loved.”

This is where the problem lies with black men and women.  There is a fundamental disconnect.  It is all of our faults collectively that there aren’t that many “successful” black males and females.  Though we have been systematically separated since slavery, we stay separated partly due to our own mentalities–which are born from the situation the original separation produced.  The oppressor society benefits from us hating each other. It is by design.  Divide and conquer.  As long as we remain at odds with one another, how can we ever expect to rise together as an entire community?  Black men and women need to stop thinking individually and more cohesive.  We are a unit.  We have always been a unit.  We function best as a unit.  Once we begin to think of ourselves as a team then we can look at how society has continually tried to split us up.  We can redirect our anger away from one another and towards an unjust society.  However, in doing so, we must not simply place the blame for our condition against the system.  We have to take on responsibility and hold ourselves personally accountable for our actions as well as the actions of our counterparts and community.

Black women it is your fault there aren’t as many “successful” black men as you would like because when loving black men becomes difficult, you choose the easier route. You condemn us instead of accepting the calling to nurture us.  It takes a village to raise a child.  It takes a bunch of strong, loving black women IN that village to raise a black male.  For you to negatively criticize and condemn black males, without much sympathy towards our collective struggle, you are only part of the problem.  It is easier to shun than to love.  The reason why you have to take responsibility is because no one else will! No other race cares about us the way you do!  Us black men don’t even care enough to save ourselves!  Love produces love and abandonment produces more abandonment.  Please, save me from myself and Love me.

Black men it is our fault our women feel abandoned.  It’s because we don’t take the time to gain the knowledge and realize that we try to play a game that isn’t made for us to win.  As long as we keep playing by the oppressor’s rules, we will continue to fall into the same life traps (jail, drugs, unemployment, etc).  It is up to us to demand change.  We need to be part of a society where our presence is needed and from that we can provide for ourselves and our families.   We have to realize that sellin’ drugs, pimpin’ hoes and blowin’ money fast are community breakers, not builders.  We have to realize that us endorsing these issues only makes us look like clowns. Meanwhile, other communities leave us in the dust.  We must realize that being smart is cool.  And where I’m from (Cheaptown, USA) blowing money fast is NOT COOL.  We too, are also guilty of thinking too individually.   We think having the flyest clothes and most money equates to manhood.  Meanwhile the Gucci CEO doesn’t give a damn about us and our little cousin can’t afford to go to college.  Our women feel abandoned because of the countless “successful” black men they see in society married to white women.  We see the white man as having power.  So we strive to do anything we can do to be like him–even take his women.  He will even encourage us to TRY to become like him but the fact is we will never become him.  When we do so much jockeying in an attempt to be like him, we ultimately turn our backs and look down on our own.

Black men and women it is up to us to take our community back.  It is a shame that 7 out of 10 black children grow up in single parent households.  The cycle will continue unless we take individual and communal responsibility.  No one else will save us.  If we are all surrounded by positive and long-lasting relationships the chances of our own relationship being positive and long-lasting, skyrockets.  So bruh, if it’s out of love, then marry that white girl (Yeah… I said it!). Love sees no color boundary.  But if you are marrying her because you think it will give you status or you will be free from “attitude,” forget it. You’re still gonna hear her complaining about you not being emotional plus the cops, court system, and banks still think yo’ ass is black.   So come on home, at least there will be some good food (with seasoning on it).

To all the black women in my life and to the ones I’ll meet in the future, thank you for saving me.

“I’ma do the best I can do, cuz I’m my best when I’m with you.” Common – “Come Close To Me”

“When Great Sexual Chemistry Isn’t Such a Great Thing”

Just because the sex is great, it doesn't mean you and your partner are compatible!

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“The Reappearing Man: Why Men Always Come Back”

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“6 Questions To Ask on a First Date”

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What questions do you ask on the first date?

If we’re all honest, the first date can be very awkward (Read about my first date with Mr. Right-For-Now here). And the only thing worse than having a friend set you up on a blind date with a gremlin is having nothing to talk about with said gremlin. Even a date with Mr. Perfect or Mrs. Perfect can lull in the conversation department. You guys don’t know each other well enough yet to know what to talk about. Hell, even people who’ve slept next to each other for 30 years straight don’t know what to talk about. Sometimes landing on the ultimate conversation piece is a bit like finding Waldo–it happens on accident! But a good first date already knows what questions to ask. I read an article recently on, a website run by (ding ding ding you guessed it!!) single black males that like to talk about any and all topics relevant to black men. This particular article, “6 Questions To Ask on a First Date,” gives the black man’s perspective on the types of things you should be discussing between sips of white peach sangria.  And I’m the type of woman that’s all ears when black men have something to talk about besides their disdain for Lebron James. I found it pretty insightful and thought provoking. It included some valuables like encouraging women to ask a man about his relationship with his family. It left me wondering about my first date behaviors. Admittedly, I’d been a lot more interested in Mr. Right-For-Nows past relationships than how many times a day he called his mother. And apparently, my priority of inquiries might have been a little out of order. Check the article out here!

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