As a successful black woman in corporate America I had a very hard time finding black men who understood and weren't intimidated by my busy lifestyle, weren't already dating or married to white women and who weren't gay. When I left the corporate world, and moved to black-man-friendly Brooklyn, I had a much easier time finding black men, but unfortunately far too many of them were players. I'll admit though, I'd often choose a "bad boy" over a good prospective partner and have a bad experience. It seemed the odds were often stacked against me: 9 out of 10 times, the good-looking, smart, articulate, cultured black men I met were in multiple relationships, had a girlfriend, or were married and "forgot" to tell me. In fact, had it not been for the tattoo of his wife's name on his arm I might not have known that the last man I was out on a date with was married.
My own experiences aside, harmful media stereotypes of black people don't help. We see negative images of black men and black families on an almost daily basis. Prejudiced and manufactured statistics depicting disproportionate numbers of black men in prisons and single mother or broken homes continue to show blacks in a negative light. Stereotypes that black women are "aggressive," "harsh," and "hard" haven't helped black relationships either. But when did black men and black women become frenemies? When did splintering off to date outside the race, looking for a successful partner anywhere but within black America, and promoting the myth that black men are "players" and black women are "emasculating" become the norm?
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