Many of you may have heard of or seen the series “Black in America” hosted by Soledad O’Brien and aired this summer on CNN. It was broken down into categories like Black Women and Family, Black Men and the King assassination. The topic of interracial dating and marriage even came up. Do you think that we are making great strides with the mainstream media finally looking at this topic or is it the same old same old, because we’re still talking about it?
The program Black in America aired on CNN a couple of months ago. I wanted to take a little time to marinate on it. There was so much information and stories that gave you hope that we are going in a positive direction, followed by heart-breaking statistics that wake you up and remind you that there is still so much work left to be done. If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out the show, you can buy it on-line at CNN.com…it’s a great investment.
In my close circle of friends I’ve been heard saying more than a few times that “I don’t like kids”. This includes my own. However, there is not a word or emotion to explain how I feel about people that take advantage, abuse or neglect children. It’s my deepest passion. The show “Black in America”, touched upon the staggering number of young black youth that is dropping out of school, the numbers heartbreaking. This is what I wanted to talk about, until yesterday.
Yesterday, I returned from a college tour with my best friend and his son. Two incredibly handsome, intelligent and kind young black men. We visited two college campuses both HBCU (historically black college/university). After the tour, as we sat and listened to the admissions person give his pitch, something he said made the two 17-year olds in the room smile and almost made me cry.
He told us that the ratio at his school and so many others like it was 80% female and 20% male. See, my friend’s son smiled because, although math was not his favorite subject, he had no problem understanding how these numbers broke down to his advantage. I almost cried, because all I could think of was who will these young well-educated women date and marry after they graduate?
Now I get that this is an interracial dating web site and the whole idea is to promote and support dating others in and out of your race. So, let me make this very clear, although we just happened to be on a black college campus, these numbers are not isolated here. Yes, the problem is much larger with minorities, but not at all exclusive.
So, what is a solution? What can we do to insure that our daughters, nieces, mothers even ourselves have a better pool to choose from? Great question. We need our men to step up and some of our women to step aside. Now before you start typing your “hate” responses, let me clarify. I understand beyond understanding what it’s like raising a child without the benefit of their biological father. The heartache, the struggle, the anger…yep, know it, know it well. What I don’t know (despite how many men I’ve dated or articles I’ve written about men), how to be a man. So, this being said, I can’t teach my son how to be a man.
I can certainly teach him the fundamentals of what men do (provide, protect, produce). But, I can’t show him by example. I can though, step aside (a little), and allow him to be exposed to other men of substance (first-hand). Let him see and hear for himself, let him educate and be educated on how and why he thinks and feels and reacts differently than me and his sister. Most importantly, how to use those differences to make a difference in this world in his lifetime.
It’s also about educating our young women about their role in this man-made, man ruled society. How do we fit in without giving in? How do we find our equal in a world that only talks about equality but doesn’t really practice what it preaches? Who will the young daughters of our world date when it’s their turn? Hell, who are we supposed to date?
No, education is not the only quality that we need in a man, however, with the economy being as such, we already know that your potential for earning is increased with the amount of education that you have, so it makes sense that we’d want to get as much and be with someone that has the same understanding of this principle. Right? You tell me. How important is education in your mate? We’ve all heard the expression “street smart over book smart”, I just haven’t met the street smart man that is making the book smart moves or money.
This is Leticia, and please don’t tell me that money isn’t everything, because with more than half of all marriages ending in divorce and the number one reason being finances…it’s something to someone.