Those Eligible Black Women

28 Dec

Professional black women remain single much longer than their white counterparts. Is it the shortage of eligible black men due to dysfunctions in the black community – or are black women’s standards impossibly high? This is an interesting discussion by 60 Minutes Atlanta, with Steve Harvey –


Posted by on December 28, 2009 in The Post-Racial Life


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25 responses to “Those Eligible Black Women

  1. nanakwame

    December 28, 2009 at 1:36 PM

    Nothing new; Black Man, the women are shaping the culture, the men need to step up. Our prison problems have hurt us the the most, that is for sure


  2. nanakwame

    December 28, 2009 at 1:37 PM

    And I wish U the best in 2010, BTW – hear none of the ladies talking about IT Black Men, hmmmm


    • btx3

      December 28, 2009 at 5:02 PM

      Yeah, I know. Don’t know why they just don’t “get it”.


  3. t-shirts101

    December 28, 2009 at 2:35 PM

    The things that brought and kept Black men and Black women together yesteryear are the same things that (should) bring them together today… honest communication, trust, mutual respect, things like that.

    In my opinion, the absence of these things is the cheif reason so called “eligible Black women” remain single. I say “so called” because marital status doesn’t determine eligibility, a woman’s heart and attitude does.


    • btx3

      December 28, 2009 at 5:15 PM

      It’s a saw which cuts both ways, t-shirts. Some of the women’s expectations are waaaaaaay too unreasonable – and some of the guys are waaaaaay too happy with 3 or 4 on a string to ever consider getting serious.

      There is a shortage of eligible, professional black men – driven mostly by the fact that 1) fewer (and seemingly fewer) black men graduate, and 2) hostility by hiring agents in firms to hire qualified black men even when they have the credentials.


      • t-shirts101

        December 28, 2009 at 7:39 PM

        Agreed, but…

        …sisters *should* be mature and observant enough to see when a brother is just playing around. I think some women really don’t care if some brothers have something on the side because of their own agendas.

        If a woman defines eligibility by profession (solely or primarily), then she deserves what she gets. I saw this all too often when I was single; just having a job and being responsible wasn’t enough. Estimated income and a survey of one’s vehicle were either barriers or tickets to entry.

        I remember seeing a news story a few years ago where this brother was being hauled off to jail for mortgage fraud – $1,000 suits, new BMW, and all. That was the type of brother many women were seeking.

        With regards to the difficulties professional Black men have, a thoughtful sister should be conscious enough to empathize and support.

        I do realize this is a two way street. But from where I sit (sat), dating just got worse and more off-the-hook as I got older. Rather than (some) women becoming more grounded and realistic as they got older, some seemed to revert back to expectations of a high school girl.

        I’m just not very sympathetic, apologies. Far too much of the professional black woman’s pain is self-inflicted, IMHO, even if I accept an unfair hand / limited choices.


      • btx3

        December 29, 2009 at 12:22 PM

        Being back in the market, I can understand what you are saying, Steve. But it cuts both ways. Some of the sisters I’ve met who do have their isht together get beat on by low-life brothers game so often they develop an ingrained cynicism. I know that a lot of women go though that “bad boy” and “shining prince” phase, but some of them never seem to leave it. I’d like to say it is sisters, but I have a white woman friend who I’ve watched chase that effing Prince for the last 25 years. She’s now 55, and there ain’t no prince, or marriage in sight – but there have been some spectacular failures.


      • t-shirts101

        December 29, 2009 at 12:55 PM

        As I’m sure many subjects are not limited to just Black women, the “I must find my Prince” preoccupation exists with women of other ethnicities. Admittedly, my experiences have rarely ventured beyond Black women – by choice – so I cannot speak to other races in this matter.

        One of the women in the video that spoke to having a list of 50 must-haves being broken down to just 10 – how realistic is that? C’mon. That’s the kind of thing I’m talking about; after compatibility / chemistry, attractiveness, and self-sufficiency, & similar/shared values, what’s left to fuss about? She’ll settle for the guy who’s just 6’2″ rather than 6’5″? Please.

        I’ll repeat the very valid observation you mentioned (and was referenced in the video): the difficulty Black men are having in this current climate. This isn’t meant to excuse the trifling, but recognize the efforts of those who are still in the game and are still making efforts to do the right thing. Since eligible black men are fewer, why not value those few who are not BS’ing?

        Just before I met my wife, I dated a professional Black woman (briefly). Conversation and attraction seemed to be there, but she stood me up one evening… called me back and apologized the next day, but with no clear cut explanation. I pretended to accept her apology, made plans to see her again (all the while making other plans, knowing she would stand me up again), and she did as I predicted. Never called or saw her again. She called me and left me a message on my voice mail a few months later asking if she could see me. By that time, I was dating a new person (my wife now). I let her listen to the voice mail before I deleted it.

        BT, I fully realize my reaction to this particular topic is a bit one-sided (and it may be somewhat unfair), but my experience has been that number of Black women who are 1) absolutely unrealistic about the criteria for choosing a man, 2) naive about believing the BS that comes from some men, or 3) victims of abuse and shouldn’t be dating anyway far outnumber the women who are truly down-to-earth, mature, and realistic about men and dating.


      • btx3

        December 29, 2009 at 2:17 PM

        Yeah – I hate to, but I have to agree with your summation. I intentionally didn’t date for almost a year after my divorce. Now that I am in the market again, I see some good, and a lot of bad. I’m not wed to the premise of only dating black women. My friends tend to be a collection of anything under the rainbow, so I’m as comfortable at a Buddist wedding as a Baptist Revival.

        Black women still want to check the bank account, which isn’t surprising given the black male/female climate. That one can cut both ways too. Professional guy with money, unless he wants a hootchie-moma or trophy wife, isn’t interested in a non-professional woman. And it isn’t the money, as much as fitting in the social structure and sharing life expectations, accomplishments, and goals. I can certainly understand why the women want the same thing.


      • t-shirts101

        December 29, 2009 at 3:38 PM

        The limitations (speaking for myself only) with regards to dating primarily Black women, are a function of time and place just as much as it is a matter of preference, maybe more so. Detroit historically (and today for that matter) is one of the most segregated, racially repressive communities in the US. I remember a 2000 census (maybe earlier) that stated Detroit was the Blackest city in the US (in concentration rather than size) and Livonia, MI (a suburb of Detroit) was the whitest. I wasn’t surprised. The attitudes reflected it. Being a young Black man growing up in Detroit, you DID NOT hang around in those suburban cities after dark – without a provable valid reason. And even that didn’t matter.

        Interracial relationships were rare, or at least, not very visible in my environment. The mind set that prevented such a thing was very apparent, and I had no patience or desire to rebel against it – although I experimented a bit when I was in my 20’s and early 30’s.

        The funny thing is, my wife is multi racial: her father was German (1st generation American born, his older brothers were all born in Germany) and her mother is Black, with heavy American Indian influences. (The American Indian influence can be seen very easily in her Grandfather’s face.) She grew up in Highland Park, which sits within Detroit and is just as rough as the roughest parts of Detroit, so regardless of her ethnicity, her sensibilities, perspectives, and experiences matched mine. That was the real conflict with regards to dating interracially (for me): perspective and mutual understanding, race was secondary.

        You know what’s funny? In my area, the so-called professional women’s ideas of social structure (read: night clubs), life expectations (what have you done for me lately, and what will you do for me now and tomorrow), accomplishments (limited to education and spending practices), and goals (anything and everything EXCEPT being a life partner and building a family) aren’t much different than the hoochie mommas. These types of women have more in common than many would care to admit. (Of course I’m exaggerating, but not much.)


      • btx3

        December 29, 2009 at 6:12 PM

        Things in this area are a bit different. Some of the black professional women are in power positions, which by nature are disconnected from the black community. Just as for black male power players, they tend to go to a lot more parties making white wine conversation to light jazz or Motzart than Old Skool and Hand dancing. What has happened is they have moved on from the old dichotomy of having a white professional network, and a black social network into both networks being integrated. And…

        Yes, there is a well-to-do (or at least wannabe) black social crowd, which affects the trinkets of success…

        But doesn’t own a damn bit of it.


      • brotherbrown

        December 30, 2009 at 12:00 AM

        BT, I understand Ursula Burns is single…


      • btx3

        December 30, 2009 at 1:18 AM



    • WiseJamaican

      December 30, 2009 at 2:21 PM

      t-shirts I agree with you and until these ‘eligible Black Women’ realized this they will continue to be single and wondering what is preventing them from being married and having a family that they truly deserve.


  4. brotherbrown

    December 29, 2009 at 3:10 PM

    I saw that program. It is a complicated situation, and I see it through the eyes of my daughter, a college graduate working in her field, and my son, a recent college graduate. His prospects of finding a black mate are bright, while hers are dimming.

    I’ve witnessed women actually competing for my son’s attention, and these are nice young women who have it going on for themselves. My worry for him is that he will never settle down because there is so much variety at the smorgasbord.

    On the other side, I’ve watched my daughter be totally devoted to this man, only to have her heart broken. The dude’s problem is that he was an only boy growing up in a house of women, and I would be shocked to learn that he had a male role model. He never rubbed be the right way, so when he did his dirt, for me it was case of good riddance.

    A year ago, the thought would have never crossed my mind that my daughter might/should date non-black men, but today, I no longer feel this way.

    At the risk of offending Christians, this business of being unequally yoked is a major monkey wrench in the gears of harmonious relationships as well. I say this because many black men are wary of christianity and other organized religions, but still lead an ethical, moral life. I count myself among them, and I’ve been married to a devoted Christian woman for 27 years. It might be worth it for women to get some understanding about why so many men are wary of religion.

    I’m the first to admit that many black men need to make some affirmative changes in their life. When I was rearing my son and we hit our inevitable bumps in the road, I relied on a series of books by Juwanza Kunjufu to provide perspective and practical advice. Boys need to know that it is not inconsistent to be popular AND smart instead of choosing between the two. Boys need to be able to see their fathers interact with other men on matters not related to sports or chasing women. Boys also need to see men who are nice to women, not just to try to get something from a woman, but valuing them as equals.


    • btx3

      December 29, 2009 at 5:57 PM

      Count me in as one of the black men wary of organized religions. One of my brothers is a major Church functionary in his Christian “sect”, and it has always bothered him that while we share many of the same beliefs – he’s never been able to move me from my belief that organized religion is inherently evil in result, no matter what the intention starting out.

      I have a daughter as well, and I recognize that the most likely mate she will find won’t be a black man – although both of my best friend’s daughters were able to find fine black men whose values, outlook, education, and careers were very similar to their own. But I’m not going to be upset whatever she brings home, as long as he can convince me he’s a good mate.


  5. Constructive Feedback

    December 29, 2009 at 3:35 PM


    IF the “Black Male” and how he is channeled is the problem:

    * Incarcerated
    * Absent A High School Diploma
    * Player / Multiple Baby Maker / Non-committal
    * Homosexual And Living As Such

    THEN which of these barriers to Black, long term and committed relationships are not CULTURALLY based?

    It appears that the “Community Cultural Consciousness & Confidence” domain has been unmanaged. In this domain the Black community AGREES that DESPITE the fact that IN THEORY a libertine and unencumbered disposition is more favorable…….the NEED in the community is for a more standardized and functional deployment of our human resources.

    In summary the pH balance in our “eco-system” is KILLING our “colony” via its acidity.

    Everyone can’t try out for “quarterback” and “runningback” lest you get CLOBBERED when the other team is on offense.


    • btx3

      December 29, 2009 at 6:19 PM

      You might wat to take a Prozac, Porch Simian – and come back and write that in English.


  6. t-shirts101

    December 29, 2009 at 3:54 PM

    “I’m not wed to the premise of only dating black women.”

    btx3 December 29, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Because you have freinds that are ethnically diverse, you chances of finding someone understanding – regardless of race – are greatly improved. Not having to explain yourself, beyond the norm – as a person and not just a Black man – is important. I rarely had that luxury.


    • btx3

      December 29, 2009 at 6:18 PM

      You can’t do what I do for a living and be solely dependent on the resources, market, and social connections in the black community.


  7. brotherbrown

    December 29, 2009 at 11:58 PM

    I understand Ursula Burns is single…


  8. caramelmochaqueen

    February 5, 2010 at 8:02 PM

    We as black women stay single because our expectations are too high… at one time that would have been my first answer… but why settle… why not have what our heart desires. Vise versa why should a black man settle… the whole reason ppl get along is because they see somethings in the other that are desireable… if you keep lowering your expectations to accomodate your – single phobia- than eventually resentment will kick in… in most cases. I waited and finally found the man I want… I think patience is the key.


  9. monie556

    May 31, 2010 at 5:56 PM

    I grew up in the Boston area. A lot of the future eligible black men for my future were put in the grave or in prison. I love black men and will date when they fit in what I am looking for. Now I am open to all men no matter which race. We have to open ourselves up to other possibilities.


  10. spiritintimacy

    December 18, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    The situation for black women is not an easy one, but should we have to compromise more than anyone would expect of others (white women, black men, asian women, etc.)? The issues of religion (not being Chrisitan or religious), educational level, and career sucess only complicate an already very difficult situation.



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