Is there a crisis in black relationships? Despite millions of examples of loving couples, black women and men still have negative perceptions of each other. As a successful black woman in her 30s, marriage is on my mind. So I set out to find out where these perceptions came from—and if they are true.
Donna L. Franklin's 2001 book, What's Love Got to Do with It?, shows that 7 out of 10 black mothers give negative messages to their daughters about black men. Did my mom give me negative messages about black men? No, she didn't have to. I got them from watching my parents' relationship.
My father was a "player" proving his manhood through multiple families and women as so many West Indian men of a his generation did. My father's philandering definitely had an impact on how I viewed men in general and black men in particular: they were duplicitous, cheating liars who used black women, really all women for their own needs and egos. I would see this again when my brother cheated repeatedly on his wife and then left her for—you guessed it—a white woman. This is probably why I'm still unmarried. That and because I can't seem to find any black men to date in my social circle.