The Verdict is In: All Black Women MUST Consider Swirling.

Longtime Newsweek writer, Ellis Cose might just have stepped in a big old pile of doo-doo. Finally, an educated BLACK MAN has joined the chorus with Ralph Richard Banks (Is Marriage for White People?) to call it how he sees it. In his piece, “The Black Gender Gap,” Cose reports that black women are outperforming black men in both education and the workplace. And while men like Tyler Perry and Steve Harvey are writing books and producing movies to continue to brainwash highly educated and career-oriented black women to give their plumbers, gardeners and the ex-con at the corner a chance, the din of the zombie mantra, “lower your standards” is slowly quieting, as more and more black women consider what once seemed impossible, improbable and unfathomable. In short, the success of the black woman and the lack of it from the black man has brought up a serious dilemma–is it time for black women as a collective to give ALL races of men a chance?

But that quest brings with it a host of questions–some whispered, some loudly (even anxiously) debated. Is this new black woman finally crashing through the double ceiling of race and gender? Or is she leaping into treacherous waters that will leave her stranded, unfulfilled, childless and alone? Can she thrive if her brother does not, if the black man succumbs, as hundreds of thousands already have, to the hopelessness of prison and the streets? Can she–dare she–thrive without the black man, finding happiness across the racial aisle? Or will she, out of compassion, loneliness or racial loyalty “settle” for men who–educationally, economically, professionally–are several steps beneath her?

Let’s examine this quote, shall we? Cose asks the question, “Can [the black woman] thrive if her brother does not?” HAYELL YESS!!! Black women have been and continue to be asked (no; nearly forced) to be the mules of the race–to sacrifice, bear, suffer long, be patient, give, give some more, bear some more, accept, and deny for…oh…two centuries!! Are we never to know even a slip of happiness? Are we never to be allowed to be loved and cherished by a man on of our same station? Will the betterment of “the race” always, ALWAYS trump the peace, happiness and well-being of the individual?

I say all this not encourage black women to abdicate their blackness. To do so would be impossible. Just because you open your dating options to ALL races of men, doesn’t mean you somehow become less black. You will, and always will be BLACK. But your blackness should not be your yoke and your chain, attached to an increasing parasitic community that takes more than it gives. If you are shackled, consider yourself a freewoman. Today is Juneteenth.

And if you are the successful woman like Mr. Cose describes and you’re still getting flack from black men and women who want you to command you to to sacrifice, bear, suffer long, be patient, give, give some more, bear some more, accept, and deny, I want you to stop and consider what might be the motives of such an individual, knowing full well, like you, that the sky is blue, all while they continue to insist it is brown with silver sparkles.

Twenty-five percent of young black males go to college; 35 percent of women do. Only 13.5 percent of young black females are high-school dropouts; more than 17 percent of young black men are. The notion that college was a place to find a man has slowly given way to the conviction that decent, educated black men are rarer, to borrow Shakespeare’s words, than pearls in beauteous ladies’ eyes.

Someone might say, “I’m offended!! There ARE good black men out there!!” Listen ya’ll, I AGREE. There are. But NOT ENOUGH. Stop putting all the responsibility on black women to look under every rock, crevice, glacier and canyon to find those men. If they come, GREAT. If they don’t, don’t you DARE begrudge a woman for pursuing her GOD GIVEN RIGHT to have a loving partner, equally stationed, who will be a loyal and committed father to her children. HOW DARE YOU TELL BLACK WOMEN OTHERWISE? How DARE you supposed Guardians of All Things Dark and Lovely begrudge a black women–whom you swear to love–from finding happiness with man who is going to be good TO and FOR her? Is it because it is anathema to your own, self-serving agenda? Again ladies, always consider the source when someone has the NERVE to tell you how you should live your life.
And the reason why Mr. Cose and Professor Banks say what they say is the same reason I wrote SWIRLING: How to Date, Mate and Relate, Mixing Race, Culture and Creed. I am tired of seeing my sisters pining and whining, looking on the sidelines as others prosper and become fulfilled. Like every other race of women, we deserve an EQUAL OPPORTUNITY for love and happiness.
Cose continues…
Underappreciated by black men, many black women are looking elsewhere. Connie Rice, a Los Angeles civil-rights attorney and Radcliffe graduate, puts it plainly: “If you have to have the same race, your choices are limited.” For years, there has been a general assumption that while black men were comfortable dating white women, black women (for many reasons, some having to do with exploitation dating back to the time of slavery) generally steered clear of white men. Certainly, statistics show that interracial black-white unions, while relatively rare, have been much more common between black men and white women. But the marriage statistics are shifting. And if unpublished research by Tucker and her colleagues is any indication, the dating wall of Jericho is tumbling. In a survey of residents of 21 cities, Tucker & Co. found that 78 percent of black men (average age: 32) had dated interracially at least once, as had 53 percent of black women (average age: 34).
But of course, there will always be those left behind, and left alone. A woman in my book who is in her fifties–beautiful, smart, accomplished, has made the decision to NEVER consider dating outside her race. She admits that black men have hurt her deeply, but her love and adoration is stedfast. She also acknowledges that many non-black men have expressed an interest in the past, but she has never taken them seriously. At middle-age, the woman looks to the latter half of her life, fearful of living and dying alone because she has yet to meet that magical black unicorn she seeks, all the while passing up potential quality non-black men. That is her choice, and I’ll not talk her out of it. But I have to ask, do you want this to be you?
I’ll ask again. Do you want this to be YOU??
Remember that parable about the drowning man who asked God to save him, but passed up the dingy, the ferry, the ship, the seal, the whale, the whatever that could have delivered him to safety, and then when he died and asked why God didn’t save him, God told him that he sent the dingy, the ferry, the ship, the seal, the whale and he was just too bull-headed to see that God sends help in a variety of packages?
IR couple at garden
Think about it. Here’s your dingy. Your ferry. Your ship. Your seal. Your whale. What are you gonna do now?
Follow Christelyn on Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel. And if you want to be a little more about this online dating thing, InterracialDatingCentral is the official dating site for this blog.