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Black Love, African American Love

A Black Love Blog that explores every dimension of African American relationships

Category Archives: african american marriage

Jaleel White: 'Family Matters' Star Accused of Domestic Violence

From YourBlackWorld.com

Jaleel White, better known as Steve Urkel from the television show, "Family Matters," was accused of beating his girlfriend, Bridget Hardy, who is also the mother of his 10-month old child.  She reported the abuse to the LAPD, stating that White punched her in her breast implants while they were on the highway driving in their car.

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This poll was taken in response to the article Does the black church keep women single and lonely? – The majority of black women believe that they should open their dating horizons in general and that in spite of what Deborah Cooper has to say, the church can be a good place to find a Godly man.  What do you think?

Black women need to open their dating horizons in general

50%
266

No — It’s a woman’s right to seek a Godly man

22%
118

Yes — It’s a bad place to meet men

10%
51

No Comment / Not Sure

9%
49

Either way, I find her views judgemental

9%
47

A black woman put a list of her dating requirements on my facebook page as part of a broader conversation some were having about black relationships and why they don’t work.  I wonder what others think about this list and whether or not it’s healthy to have a list like this in your quest for true love.  Here is the list:

 

I don’t date men in jail
I don’t date men with children
I don’t date men who don’t have a job
I don’t date men who  are not career oriented
I don’t date men who have a criminal history (it’s called a background check and I highly recommend it)
I don’t date men who carry guns
I don’t date men who abuse drugs
I don’t date men who are verbally or physically abusive to anything OR anyone
I don’t date men who borrow money
I don’t date men who reject education
I don’t date men who can’t cook and clean
I don’t date men who can’t cry
I don’t date men who disrespect their mothers
I don’t date men who worship their mothers
I don’t date men who are still in love with his ex
I don’t date men who are married
I don’t date men who are separated
I don’t date men who are legally separated
I don’t date men in open relationships
I don’t date men who have girlfriends
I don’t date men who have a girlfriend
I don’t date men who brag about taking care of their kids
I don’t date men who don’t take care of their kids
I don’t date men who don’t know how to get rid of an ex-girlfriend
I don’t date men who are disrespectful to their ex-wives
I don’t date men who refuse to take an AIDS test

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

It appears that the singer Brian McKnight is now a not-so-proud father. Well, the child isn’t exactly a baby either. According to TMZ, the child is a 14-year old that Brian hasn’t exactly claimed to be his own. Well, whether McKnight chooses to address the child as his own or not, a Florida judge has ruled that Brian must now take financial responsibility for the child. The amount owed? $341,640, which comes out to just over $2,000 per month for every month since the child was born.

The mother of the child, Miriam Lee, took Brian McKnight to court to establish paternity last year. Why she waited so long to do so is not clear. From this point on, the singer is responsible for making child support payments in the amount of $11,388 per month. The ruling was a default judgment, since McKnight was not in court and didn’t respond to the woman’s claim of paternity.

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The age of the Hoochie Mama is over

by Dr. Boyce Watkins | TheLoop21 in Culture & Society

It’s time for hip hop, and its audience, to grow up.

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by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University

A note to Slim Thug: You probably just need to be quiet for a while. It’s not to say thatyour comments about black women were outside your rights to freedom of speech, but if you keep dissing the audience most likely to go out and buy your records, you are probably going to end up in the same poorhouse as MC Hammer. Don’t get me wrong, black men love your music (at least I do), but the bottom line is that brothers don’t buy albums, books, or anything else put up for sale. But when black women turn on you, it’s a wrap son. Settle down and go back to the studio; it’s good for your financial health.
I wrote yesterday about the comments made by Slim Thug regarding how he perceives white women to be a better dating choice than black women, as well asColumbia Professor Marc Lamont Hill’sresponse to Slim Thug’s words. It seems that the debate has taken a life of it’s own, now that rapper Talib Kweli has joined the conversation. In a recent essay he wrote for Vibe Magazine, Talib Kweli was ever the diplomatic artist, as he showed respect for Slim Thug, but also expressed his own concerns for his colleague’s remarks about black women:

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To read more about the debate regarding Slim Thug’s comments about black women, click here.

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by Lola Adesioye, Huffington Post

Over the past few months, black women and their relationships – or should I say, lack thereof – have been getting a lot of attention. The Washington Posthas done a couple of features on it. Then ABC’sNightline did a show asking why there are so many single black women.

All of a sudden the mainstream media is taking a keen interest in our love lives. We are being told that there is a ‘crisis’ amongst black women, particularly educated professional women, who are apparently unable to find a ‘decent’ black man.

Last night, ABC continued once again, with the airing of "Why Can’t a Successful Black Woman Find a Man?," a taped discussion featuring Hill Harper, Steve Harvey, The View’s Sherri Shepherd and others.

There’s no doubt that it’s a topic that sparks heated debates and discussions amongst black women and men. It has for years. But is it really that bad? Or is the media – now that it has found a hot topic – exploiting this issue for all that it’s worth? I’m an educated black woman and I personally have no problem with meeting eligible, educated, great black men. Whether or not I choose to date them is another thing, but they are out there.

I am somewhat perturbed by the slew of stories on this topic. They are negative, unhelpful and only serve to perpetuate negative ideas about black men and women which often become self-fullfiling. They basically say ‘oh, poor black women. They try so hard yet can’t find a decent man … Boo hoo, black women are victims. Ooh, it’s all the fault of those pathetic black men. You know, they have no education or are locked up in jail.’ Sorry, but I do not subscribe to that view.

 

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by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Finance Professor – Syracuse University

As a Finance Professor, I find it incredibly ironic that many people get married without talking about money. They talk about every kind of compatibility from emotional, to spiritual, sexual, and professional, but they seldom take the time necessary to ensure that they can tolerate the idea of sharing their financial life with a person who may not be on the same page. This problem is compounded in black relationships, where many women describe economic hurdles as one of the reasons that black women have trouble finding the right mate.

 

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By Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University

blacklove

I watched an ABC News special the other night featuring Steve Harvey, Jacque Reed, Sherri Shepherd and my homeboys Hill Harper and Jimi Izrael. The show covered a tried and true topic that is sure to get sky rocket ratings from the black community:  The topic was, Why successful black women can’t find a good man.   I am not going to risk bringing on the wrath of black women by saying things that some of them may not want to hear, but I have to be honest about what I saw.  Let me just cut to the chase and lay the issues out one-by-one:

1)  Why are black women taking relationship advice from Steve Harvey? Not to disrespect Steve’s ability to drop knowledge, but isn’t he a comedian?  If we are taking relationship advice from a comedian and our relationship turns into a joke, who do we blame in the end?  Bottom line – perhaps learning how to love another person means that after you put aside the book by the comedian, you should go out and buy a book by a relationship expert.

2) Most good women have little trouble getting married to decent men:  One has to be skeptical of the beautiful, intelligent, fully capable woman who simply says that she can’t find a good man anywhere.  Most women I know who are well-balanced and who also appreciate the idea of respecting men in the same way they would like to be respected have no trouble finding suitable mates.  Sorry to break this to you, but the only constant variable in your relationships is a person called YOU.   Rather than pointing the finger at the world, a bit more introspection might be called for:  perhaps you have to reconsider your laundry list of expectations or wonder if you’re not doing a good job finding men who are open to commitment (it’s easy to find a man, just not easy to find a man who is willing to be with you and you only- maybe different types of men should not be held to the same standards).  You may be fishing in the wrong ponds in the first place or using the wrong bait to catch the fish you’re bringing home.

3) If you want something bad enough, take a class: There are classes on relationships and marriage out there that don’t cost much money.  If you are determined to be the best mate you can possibly be, it might make sense to take a class (not just the counseling you get from your pastor) that explains all the subtleties and challenges of being married.  A relationship is not about a mate filling your long and detailed list of needs and expectations.  The bottom line is that if you hope to receive more, you must first fully commit yourself to giving more.  Some of us are taught that we should expect the world and not offer anything in return:  that’s a perfect recipe for getting dumped.

4) Big mistake – always chasing the alpha male: I know a lot of “regular guys” who are unable to find a woman that is interested in being with them.  This is especially true in their mid-twenties, when everyone is single and living fancy-free, with little expectation for long-term commitment.  Some of the women these  ”regular guys” are interested in are not paying them much attention, mainly because the woman has become enchanted with the dream-like alpha male:  the guy who fits every single portion of the checklist (height, income, education, toe nail length, swag, etc.), but who may not be available for a monogamous, long-term relationship.  What many women seem to forget is that there are some men who always have room for another woman on the roster.  If you’re wasting all your time with the lying, cheating, super dog, you might miss out on the chance to be with the man who will love you forever and father all of your children.  He may not come in the same package, and by comparing the two without considering the differences in what each of them offers, you may be passing up on your opportunity.

5) Relationships should not be a pissing contest: One of the by-products of many black children growing up in single parent homes is that their relationships become highly contentious.  I once saw a neck swinging, energized woman say, “I need a man who can handle me!”  What I wanted to tell her is that your man should not have to “handle” you as if you are a wild bull with his testicles sewn together.  The act of love is a process of being open, feeling and sharing, not trying to dominate one another.  So, if you need to be “handled” in your relationships, realize that you are likely going to only attract men who are mean, rough and insensitive enough to handle you effectively.  Fighting and domination is not the same as love – let’s not get it twisted.

6) There’s nothing wrong with a few gender roles: Sherri Shepherd, during an especially volatile segment of the ABC News show, swung her hands around in the air saying, “I don’t have time to validate you every day!” – referring to the fact that she doesn’t feel that it’s her job to make her man feel good about himself on a regular basis.  What’s interesting is that most women want their man to make them feel beautiful and to feel like a woman.  So, why is it not acceptable for a man to expect his wife to make him feel like a man?   A man doesn’t want to marry another guy – or rather, a woman who feels that any and all gender roles are an insult to her feminine independence, who expects the man to be willing to be regularly emasculated.   It’s O.K. to make your man feel like he’s THE man, a king and a leader.  A good man will surely return the favor and make you feel like a beautiful woman.

7) Let’s be real- many men aren’t as excited about marriage as women: As much as we want to believe that men grow up fantasizing about their wedding day the same way that many women do, the truth is that this is not the case.  Many men see marriage as a frightening commitment that will cause them to be vilified for actions they can engage in without consequence when they are single (notice the millions of dollars that Shaquille O’neal and the rapper Nas have paid to get out of their marriages – every man gets petrified when he reads these stories).  A woman who gets her husband is the one who makes the man WANT to be married: she let’s him feel free, strong, needed, loved and supported.   While this may seem to be a primitive concept, the reality is that the reverse is true for sex:  Men and women both want it, but men know they have to work just a little bit harder to “get some.”  They’ve got to buy flowers, take the woman to dinner, and make her feel comfortable.  It would be silly for a man to think that a woman should buy him flowers and beg him to have sex with her.  The converse is true for marriage – where getting a man to overcome his anxiety is a great way to get him to give you what you want.

I love black women:  My mother, daughter and grandmother are black women and there is not a more precious group of women on the planet.  But the truth is that this “woe is me, black men ain’t sh*t” attitude has to be replaced with something more constructive.  If not, we’ll be having these same forums 20 years from today.  I had a conversation on black women and relationships with Lola Adesioye from the Huffington Post.  Click here if you’d like to listen.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and the author of the book,“Black American Money.” To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

by Dr. Boyce Watkins 

Singing great Anita Baker barely missed going to jail Friday in a dispute with her ex-husband over music royalties. The 52-year old Baker found herself in a heated battle with Walter Bridgforth, her ex-husband, over the details of their divorce settlement.
"I’m so happy. … I have never been in such a position before," Baker said in the hallway outside court. "And we don’t intend to ever be in such a position ever again. I just wanna go home,and I’m happy to go home. … As horrific as it could have been, it was lovely to feel supported, though, on the other end."
Baker was faced with a deadline Wednesday to sign documents that empower court-appointed music contract expert Howard Hertz to obtain information from record labels regarding how much Baker owed her ex-husband. The deadline passed and Baker still had not signed. This led to the Wayne County Chief Family Court Judge Lita Masini Popke ordering Baker to either show up in court on Friday or go to jail.

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Jennifer (name changed) didn’t have sex with her ex-husband on their wedding night. "I chalked it up to fatigue," she says. But should it have been a red flag? Well, maybe.

It’s not that it didn’t happen that one night that was the problem; it’s that it was the first of many sexless married nights. As an engaged couple, Jennifer and her fiancé were doing it about three times a week, but once they said their vows, it quickly dwindled to about once a month — sometimes less.

Some experts call marriages that average 10 rolls in the hay per year or less "sexless," but other experts take the word more literally, like Susan Yager-Berkowitz, who coauthored (with her husband) "Why Men Stop Having Sex: The Phenomenon of Sexless Relationships and What You Can Do About It."

 

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“It’s unfortunate when business is out there about your personal shit, especially when you’re really not the guy to be having his shit out there,” Nas said. “The sad thing is, you’ve got to get used to it. My skin is so thick that I probably need to write a book for people who are not ready for anything crazy.”

“I heard that I was a cheater,” Nas told Straight.com. “It almost sounds like I was a bad husband. Not to say I was the greatest—I’m not perfect in anything I do—but I think I deserve a fucking trophy. If I do say so myself, without sounding too cocky, I gotta say I was a hell of a husband and a hell of a dad.”

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