I was scrolling through the television channels and came across a show called Prison Wives. I was giving it a side eye based on the title alone but I decided to watch. Two women were profiled who had married men in prison. I felt sorry for those women. One was working tirelessly to get her husband a new trial and the other was preparing for a conjugal visit. They both met their husbands while the men were incarcerated. Again, I felt sorry for the women and wonder what could make women give men in prison a chance. There are probably a myriad of reasons and life is a series of chances but some things are just not worth the risk.
The show reminded me of an article I read in Newsweek back in March of 2003. We discussed this topic in a Facebook forum and most felt that dating a man in prison or fresh out of prison was not for them. The story was actually about some of the challenges black women share regardless of background or education. The conversation did eventually come to relationships. Author Teri Woods, a self made millionaire and admits that she would rather have a man from prison than be lonely — in so many words. Dating out obviously did not appeal to her. Star Jones, Mellody Hobson, Beyonce, Foxy Brown, Deborah Robers and Deborah Wright all weighed in. Remember this was 2003 but even today, some 10 years later many women think like Teri Woods. Many black women don’t or won’t expand their options to include non black men so some would obviously seek out men in prison. As a former Magistrate,personally I advise against it knowing the criminal element as I do, but each individual woman has to make up her own mind in these matters. And I do believe in the one exception to the rule but are you willing to risk that he may not be the one exception? What say you in BB&W land?
Author Allison Samuels profiled the entire round table discussion.