Relationship struggles between Black women and Black men have been debated in the media for decades now. Black women, who attend college at higher rates than Black men, and who go to prison less, have often had a problem obtaining a mate with the same sorts of goals, ideals and values as themselves—at least if they insisted on dating another African-American.
In the ensuing years, some things have gotten better: Education rates in the Black community have improved, as have average incomes. But many Black women are still having a difficult time finding a Black mate with whom to share their lives.
According to new census numbers, African-American women are single far more often than any other ethnic group. And because of things like incarceration and violence, which remove Black men from the dating pool, even if every available Black man was to marry a Black woman tomorrow, there would still be many women left without a mate.
“Number one is that there is absolutely an abundance of African-American men in prison," Kenneth Foy, a marriage and relationship therapist, told New Orleans news station WDSU. "Another is the drugs and alcohol ... [and] the high numbers of Black-on-Black crime.”
With fewer Black men to date, some Black women consider dating outside their race. But social taboos prevent a lot of them from looking at other ethnicities as viable mates. Outside of that, some women simply want a guy that’s going to look like their family has always looked.
“Before my father was deceased, [my parents] were married for 43 years,” one single Black woman, Krystal Williams, told WDSU. “For me, I've always envisioned my family looking like them.”
And that’s the problem with this sort of thing: On the one hand, telling people to abandon their “type” in order to be pragmatic seems condescending. But the fact of the matter is that ignoring suitors of other races because of social stigmas is silly, and it won’t help the world progress.
Love truly is blind, and if your values and goals align with someone whose race is different from yours, who cares what anyone else has to say? Black women have empowered themselves so much by pursuing higher education and great careers. Now why not take the next step and get empowered in their love lives as well?