I was deciding whether to write this as two separate posts but I thought of the intersectionality of this latest dire prediction of unmarried childlessness for black women at MSNBC with what was a successful effort at combating it should be explored. The Free Your Mind dating event that was held in Los Angeles nearly two weeks ago was well-received!! Look for it to come to a city near you.
The organizer for the seminar, Fleace Weaver was interviewed by NPR.
Fleace Weaver, an L.A. socialite and the organizer of the night’s event, got the idea after noticing that many of her black friends had it all — a career, house, independence — but no man. Weaver is black. She dates men of all colors — black, white, brown — and wants more black women to do the same. “I am an international lover. All right; I am an equal opportunity lover,” Weaver says. “That means I love who is good to me. I don’t want anybody just because they’re a certain color.”
Yes! It bears repeating since a quick peek at the comment section at NPR had some pushback, but nothing compared to the all-out attack by the naysayers and denigrators at another forum that linked to the article. I included it so those that may still question how many are focused on uplifting black women versus those ready to attack any progress are bearing fangs at the mere idea of them making affirming choices! These Internet Ike Turners and outright haters take pleasure in causing confusion and holding women back. It’s imperative that we keep moving forward, try something different and let the miserable hang with their kind.
In the Marriage Eludes High-Achieving Black Women article at MSNBC, some of the usual stats are bandied about. If you’re successful you’ll be less likely to marry or have to marry down blah blah. And be childless.
Michelle Obama may have become an archetypal African-American female success story — law career, strong marriage, happy children — but the reality is often very different for other highly educated black women.
They face a series of challenges in navigating education, career, marriage and child-bearing, dilemmas that often leave them single and childless even when they’d prefer marriage and family, according to a research study recently presented at the American Sociological Society’s annual meeting in San Francisco.
One big reason why these women remained childless is, as one might expect, that they go unmarried, experts say. “Their marriage chances have declined,” Brueckner explained. “This may sound trivial but one reason is that they outnumber men in this education group.” The disparity in education is important because Americans have a strong tendency to marry those with equal levels of education, a trend that has only grown stronger since World War II. “So since there are fewer men with the same education,” Brueckner continued, “you either have to find another group you can marry or you are out of luck. You have nowhere to go.”
Highly educated black men tend to “outmarry” (marry outside race, religion or ethnicity) at a higher rate than black women, researchers say. Think of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates or Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Both married white women. (Funny how they chose two men who have displayed they have NO VALUE to us!!)
Black women are either much more reluctant to marry outside their race, or do not have the opportunity to do so. The answer is both, Clarke said. In interviews with a large number of black women, she found that community pressures on black women to marry black men can be more intense than the reverse. Of course if highly educated black women felt free to have children outside of marriage, they could still have a family. When some white women make that choice it is often seen as a kind of liberal empowerment.
But according to Clarke, black women are concerned about looking “ghetto.” Public interpretation of our actions matter for everyone, but especially for black women, Clarke explained. “When it comes to the issue of black women and should or should they not make a choice to have a child alone, these women are very much aware that the decision to do it makes people question their class status. We associate single unwed child bearing with poor African-American women.” Not all women who remain unmarried and childless are unhappy about it. But for a set of sometimes complex social reasons, some high-achieving black women find themselves disappointed.
This article brings up some interesting points. Married black women and apparently these “reluctantly single & childless” achieving black women are NOT having children at the rate of the underclass. That should be considered a seriously alarming trend because of the conditions of the residential areas and the mentality of many who are there. Your best and brightest not only won’t be able to compete, they won’t exist.
Now back to the NPR article which refutes this “you will die alone with cats theory”:
But Weaver argues that Mr. Right doesn’t have to be Mr. Black. “There’s no reason for us to believe we have to be alone. The only thing that’s keeping us from finding someone is that we limit ourselves,” Weaver says.
If black women are set on “black love only,” Weaver says they may be passing up good men. “Some of you all out here have gotten some signals, and you all missed them. Or you got signals, and you all blew him off because he wasn’t chocolate,” Weaver says. “But we’ve got to get over that — unless you want to be home with chocolate cats.”
Indeed the MSNBC article glosses over the indoctrination tactics used to hold black women back to me. It also doesn’t address the intra-black ethnic and cultural differences and how only certain groups of women have a more difficult time deciding to date caliber versus skin color. Which we’ve discussed here and at other blogs. There are plenty of men available for those willing to seek them out and it would be most beneficial if articles like this would speak truthfully and tell black women to stop limiting themselves.
We are free to be with whomever we want, to marry or remain single, to become a mother or not, to live anywhere and be treated with the respect and accord bestowed upon any other woman.
Thanks to CW, blog host of Black Women Deserve Better linking to Clutch (which I do read) I saw an entry from this blog. I just spent the better part of an hour perusing through photos of black women from around the world gathered by a designer from Sweden. I also notice he posted a photo of himself and he’s quite cute as well! Anyone in Sweden can look him up, lol.
Anyway I think all women need a bit of pampering and a pick me up from time to time and it seems this blog has nothing but admiration for us so I thought I’d give Andreas a shout out from the US. It does remind me of the time I lived in the UK and felt as if I had stepped into another world. I felt a 300lb weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
There were a few things going on so let me give a brief background. As an American I noticed the huge cultural difference between black Britons and African-Americans. We have the soul food, gospel music and specific traditions. There were a lot of interracial pairings but I hadn’t analyzed the makeup of the couples when there were so many other things going on with living in a foreign country. Now I realize domestically there are a majority black male pairings with white women like in the US.
The difference I noticed was the lack of trepidation of black women pairing with non-black men. No drama. No fuss. I also noticed the open admiration that white men have for black women there. Of course attraction is one thing and seeking a man of caliber requires a different set of priorities, but the main impetus I felt was the appreciation for the special qualities that we possess. Irish and Australian men – or at least the ones I met – were especially enthralled.
I felt it took me three months of picking up my jaw off the floor to settle into a comfort zone with meeting white men who’d approach you, buy you drinks, ask you out and tell you how beautiful they thought you were. Like any other woman. No guilt!! Being American also brought out some of the appeal. I really do think so many of us have trepidation about dating interracially that we unnecessarily limit ourselves. Now I had dated men from various backgrounds before but I wonder if the negative propaganda machine has stymied people in the US from relaxing into things. The Free Your Mind events are a good start.
Anyway reading Andreas’ blog brought back some fond memories and I’d like every women to experience being appreciated, admired and accepted just as she is.
Update: Ah how could I forget to add Gorgeous Black Women site as well. It’s on my sidebar and that’s run by a black woman for black women!!!