The Loudmouth Protestant

April 22, 2010

Dear Successful Black Woman

I watched you last night on Nightline talking about how you can’t find a black man and I felt sorry for you. I felt sorry for you because I feel like you are beating a dead horse on this matter of not being able to find a black man. It started out that black women couldn’t find a good black man and then you went and added that you’re successful and you think because of your success black men are intimidated and as such your success protracts your singleness. I think you err in your perspective on the state of black men for black women and let me share with you why.

Now that you are successful, you talk a lot about that success. While making partner at your law firm, getting your PhD, leading a corporation, designing your own fashion line, hosting your own television show, and running the world around you at large is a great thing, it by no means defines you and makes you more of a great catch for the black man you are looking for. Your acquisition of positions of power doesn’t automatically translate to you becoming the woman of some man’s dreams. Who will care about your success if you have a hard heart and don’t even know how to love a man because all you know is your work? It is incredible that we, as black women, can finally rise through the ranks and run businesses and get the corner office, but remember, black men are doing the same thing, so there are very few intimidated by your success. And, if they are intimidated by your success, that’s their personal problem and insecurity that they need to deal with and your red flag that you need not worry about having a relationship with a man who prefers to be intimidated by your success rather than celebrate it.  But on the other hand,  maybe they are turned off by your glorifying your success more than who you are as a person. You are not your career. Seriously. None of us are our careers, so we all need to get out of this habit of using our jobs to validate who we are because clearly jobs are here today and gone tomorrow.  I once listened to a man tell me why he loves women. He talked about how we smell, the curvature of our bodies, our softness, the way we touch, our voices, our spirits, how we move…nowhere in there did he mention anything about our jobs, he was more impressed with how God created us. It is who we are as women that makes us beautiful and attractive to a man, any man. Sure he wants us to handle business but he doesn’t want that business to be what we use to define ourselves. The Proverbs 31 woman handled her business, but it’s the way she handled it that made her a woman to be praised. She wasn’t wagging her finger and talking about what she did, she just did it and took care of her home and most importantly, loved God.

But your success, isn’t really the issue here. What gave me pause when I watched you last night is that you were so intent on complaining about not getting a black man that you said nothing about getting love. The black man is not the issue, it’s your concept of love that is the issue. What you want is love. What you don’t realize is love might not be with a black man. It might be with a white man, Asian man, Indian man, Hispanic man….And that’s what so sad about this entire discourse on the lack of black men for successful black women. We are raking our brothers through the coals while not realizing that all of us are not meant to marry a black man. Yes, many of us want to be with a black man, it is our ideal. But we don’t not live in ideality, we live in reality. The reality is that we are all looking for love and that is the heart of this matter. It’s not about a black man or a black woman, it’s about two people finding each other and finding love with each other. But to find love we have to take the limits off of it. And to take it one step further, many of us are believing God for our mate, and if we are believing Him for a mate, how do we figure restricting our Boaz to a black man is helping God do what He does best? God knows what is best for you. For some of you, best might be a black man. But maybe for others, best might be a white man. And yet for others, best might be by yourself because there is so much work–not professional work, but vocational work or self work–that God has for you to do that He’s going to need you to be single for a little while longer than you anticipated. Black women, if what we want is love and we are trusting God to bring it to us, then we are going to have to do better at surrendering ourselves to what that love may be and what it may look like. We have to stop talking about not being able to find a good black man or a black man period and talk about finding love. I know in my heart what you want is love and I know that if you stopped limiting your thoughts on how that love is packaged you might actually be in love.

We have to stop giving Nightline, Dateline, 20/20, Newsweek, Essence, etc fodder for stories that are old news. Clearly with all of the time we’ve spent talking about our singleness and the lack of good black men the statistics still haven’t risen in our favor. Because of that, I implore you to start pointing the finger at yourself and stop pointing it at black men. Yeah, they carry part of the blame, but the amount might be minute compared to how we play a role in our protracted singleness. It’s time to be real with ourselves and talk about what we really want. We want love. I know I want love and I want it however it comes to me by God’s hand. I declare, “I’m not looking for a black man, I am looking for love.” The latter has far more permanence than the former, after all, God is love and He is forever. I’m trying to find my forever, aren’t you?



  1. Thank you for this post. This put my thoughts in so many words. I have already shared your post with others!

    Comment by Humbly Beautiful — April 22, 2010 @ 10:29 am | Reply

  2. This is right on point. What everyone is looking for is love and when you limit your search. You limit your results. This same story gets rehashed every couple years, I assume in order to target the new crop of recent college grads.

    We have larger issues beyond getting married. Too many women won’t keep their legs closed or allow a man to dictate what happens in the heat of passion. Too many women have such little expectations. Even on Wendy Williams last night there was a young mother just 24 years old, seeking advice on how to get her boyfriend to agree to have a baby now. Why? Because she already had a 6 year old son and wanted her children to be close in age. So, an unwed mother is pressuring her boyfriend to give her another baby. Not to marry her. The problems are rooted in broken families and a lack of role models for Black men. Why are there so many Jewish, Indian and Asian doctors, lawyers and business people??? Because everyone in the family is one. In many cultures having a profession is like getting your wisdom teeth pulled. Everyone does it.

    Comment by Judith — April 22, 2010 @ 11:44 am | Reply

  3. And one more thing, instead of doing a show or article on the same old lame duck topic, go find the men who graduated the class of 2000 at Morehouse, Howard, Tuskegee, Florida A&M, Southern, Harvard and Yale. Survey them to see where they are now and to find out how many of them serve as youth mentors in underproducing communities and churches.

    Stop talking about black men being dead or in jail and giving a pass to the ones who aren’t.

    Comment by Judith — April 22, 2010 @ 11:59 am | Reply

  4. Self fulfilling prophecy much? If every black woman left her house with the attitude “I will never find a black man”, then there would be no relationships to speak of in the black community.

    Comment by Kristen — April 22, 2010 @ 8:07 pm | Reply

  5. ummph deep

    Comment by chin — April 24, 2010 @ 9:54 pm | Reply

  6. I whole-heartedly agree with you. I’m so tired of hearing about successful black women not being able to find a man. My response to that is maybe they aren’t looking in the right place. I’ve never had problems attracting what are considered to be “good, black men.”

    Women, more specifically Black women, need to adjust their sights. While, I don’t endorse settling by any means, I agree we should be more open to finding love. If we keep waiting for some Prince Charming who has to be a certain height, certain complexion, and have a certain career that may never happen. We must look beyond shallow wants to find the man we really need.

    Comment by RaShonda — April 25, 2010 @ 2:52 pm | Reply

  7. “there is so much work–not professional work, but vocational work or self work–that God has for you to do that He’s going to need you to be single for a little while longer than you anticipated.” Totally agree!

    Comment by Wanda — April 26, 2010 @ 12:02 pm | Reply

    • i agree, we – single women in Christ, may need the gift God placed in you for a little while longer

      Comment by chin — April 28, 2010 @ 9:07 pm | Reply

  8. […] the perfect example of a man worshipping. And I’m not reneging on my word last week about looking for love versus a black man, Barack just happened to be the best of my search for a man in worship. Well, maybe not the best, […]

    Pingback by I Want a BMW « The Loudmouth Protestant — April 29, 2010 @ 2:41 pm | Reply

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