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Black Love, African American Love

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

Category Archives: Black Relationships

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

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.

read more

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.


Click to read more


By Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University


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.

Dr. Towanna Freeman has a lot to say about why Black People aren’t getting married.  In an interview with AOL Black Voices, the leading black news website in America, she was quoted as saying this:


“According to the U.S. Census, 42% of African-Americans are getting married, in comparison to 61% of Caucasians. 

There are four contributing factors for this current gap:  the evolution of the black professional woman in the workplace; the increased numbers of incarcerated black males; decreased numbers of black males in college compared to black women; and the increased number of single mothers as head of household.

For example, black women are more likely to marry men of equal or greater education and money earning potential.  Finding a prospective groom can be a challenge if the black male to black female ratio is 1 in 6 like in many major cities.  The workplace and academia are the most probable location to make a dating connection.  These are places you spend most of your day and you interact with the prospective and get to know them in a much better way.  However, if the number of black males in those environments is too low, the odds are slim for the black love connection.  This is one explanation for the increased number of interracial marriages in the U.S.”

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He’s afraid of the Big Bad Butt!! December 8th

by Nicole Spence 

Hey People!
Sorry I’ve been gone finals have been kicking my ass! But, Wednesday is the last day of school so I’ll be all yours again! 
Any who of course I got an interesting story, a tale of some bullshit! 
You know when I was a little girl my Uncle Mark always used to tease me about my big butt! He would always let me know, that when I grew up my boyfriend would love me for it though! Considering I was a little girl, and insecure about this big ol’ Rice n Peas butt, I didn’t know what he was talking about. I thought I was fat! 
Fast forward I grew up and my butt grew in size as well, and my Uncle Marky never lied! The Boys loved me for it. Well at least the ones that could handle the butt did! Lol. 
With that said one of my bootylicous girlfriends went out with this rapper, with only one record under his belt the other night and check what he had to say! 
You know I gotta leave names out so let’s call her Jenny! Well I love Jenny’s shape, she’s a thick girl, but not too thick, and a very pretty face! 
Here she was out to dinner with this lame eating and talking, and he tells her "you know Jenny you’re the first thick girl that I’ve ever dated"! Really? "Why" she asked! He goes on to tell her that he "normally likes to date smaller girls, because his joint looks bigger while hitting it from the back!!!" WTF?? Apparently he feels that with Thick girls, it creates a bit of an optical illusion, where his dick just magically looks smaller in comparison to a big ol’ booty!!
Now isn’t that some bullshit! Clearly your joint is just small! I thought a big booty just personified "Smash"! And you know his butt is all chubby and out of shape, but he wants to put emphasis on my girl’s body! I think not, you Loser! Accept your small tool and deal with it, don’t try to make her feel insecure at the party! 
Man I remember when I was younger, just new to sex, I had no idea about positions and so forth, just knew about the "IN, Out, IN!" But you know you’re still curious, so you talk about it with your girl and guy friends! I remember it like it was yesterday, when my friend at the time Tiba, asked me if I was receiving "back shots"! When I told him No, he questioned why! I had no answer for him, but he could tell by the look on my face that I was wondering too. So he said to me, please don’t think its because you’re butt is too big! Tiba knew I was insecure about my womanly body back then! "That dude ain’t hitting it from the back, because he can’t reach Nic, not because of you!" That shit never left my head, Yea! Its not me, it’s him! "He can’t work the middle, cuz his thing’s too little!" Lmao! 
Ahhh but I say all this to say, sometimes these dudes have a way of putting their insecurities on you to carry! Fuck that, let them carry their own shit! Love your body, and Rep every chance you get! Confidence is the sexiest thing you can wear in the bedroom, and now a days I never leave home without it! Church!


He’s superprotective of his gadgets. “The main way that trysts are found out is through the discovery of incriminating e-mails, IM chats, cell phone texts or bills,” says Belisa Vranich, PsyD, a clinical psychologist in New York City. So if he’s being unfaithful, he may guard his gadgets or act really defensive when you innocently touch his phone or computer. It should be a giant red flag if he readily gave you passwords in the past, and now he’s more evasive.
2. He steps up the grooming. “This is so obvious, but it’s a sign many women miss: If your man starts grooming down there without you requesting it, that could be an indication that he’s spending more time naked,” says Vranich. You can actually thank porn for this tipoff. Guys today are used to viewing manscaped dudes onscreen, so if he has another chick to impress with his sexual prowess, he may emulate those ultra-trimmed guys. Another clue: He’s spending more time at the gym.

Click to read.

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Taraji P. Henson is single and trying to mingle, but has some standards when it comes to dating.
“Most men are fragile,” the “Curious Case of Benjamin Button” star says in September’s Men’s Fitness magazine in a story that features some sizzling photos of Henson. “I’m a successful woman, in the public eye, and raising a kid by myself. It can leave guys feeling like, ‘Damn, how can I have a chance?’”

Click to read.

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I am a college student, and I have been in a long-distance relationship for three years with a man who is 11 years older. We met online, grew to be best friends and have been through a lot together. Recently, our relationship suffered a major blow when I was told by his godmother that he was still legally married to his last wife. I confronted him and ended up speaking with the wife. Eventually, we broke things off, and he got divorced, which was confirmed by the county clerk. Since then, we have been trying to rebuild, but I no longer trust him, and I believe it is make us both miserable. Moreover, my insecurities are making him going out of his way to show evidence of his honesty in even the smallest of things. I love this man, and we have overcome racial differences, an age gap and distance, so I know our potential. However, I don’t feel that I can ever trust him again after this. Is it possible for us to recover from this?

Anonymous, 21, Seattle

Click to read.

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Jamie Foxx

Yesterday during an interview on the Wendy Williams Show Jamie Foxx’s former cast mate Garcelle Beauvaix blabbed that Jamie has a new child.  This is how the conversation went:

Garcelle: We saw each other Easter Sunday at a friend’s house and he came with his lovely daughter and he told me that he had a new baby. I said, ‘Wow, Jamie do I know the baby mama?’ and he goes, ‘ No.’ Then I go (jokingly,) ‘Do you know the baby mama?’

Wendy: Wait a minute? Did we know that Jamie Foxx just had a new baby? Well thank you for the Hot Topic ticket!

WoW…I wonder if Jamie is upset about this???

Posted by LadyBaby at 11:50 AM 0 comments

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Rumor is that Kanye West knocked her up.  Does that  mean the baby will be bald too?

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Popular women’s site Jezebel has amassed in one place evidence that confirms what we always suspected. Most of the women appearing on ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ are hardly the rich women they pretend to be. Far from being pampered princesses without a care, NeNe, Kim, Lisa and Sheree are plagued with financial, family and relationship problems just like everybody else. Perhaps this makes for great reality television, because if these ladies were truly elite, they might not be as fun to watch.

Click to read.

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A pregnant woman has sued Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Dennis Northcutt, saying he arranged for his cousin to beat her up.

Sharri Henry, who claims to be four months pregnant with Northcutt’s baby, filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. She accuses Northcutt, a nine-year NFL veteran, of trying to harm her unborn child and permanently disfigure her face May 17 at a Hollywood restaurant.


Click to Read.



“Mother Nature is a wicked old witch,” it has been said. We like to believe that Lisa Nowak and all the rest of those who succumb to romantic jealousy are fragile victims of a bad childhood or are weak, narcissistic or deranged. 

But Mother Nature plays a role in jealousy. In an article in the Los Angeles Times on February 14th, David Buss, a leading evolutionary psychologist, wrote that some 93% of American men and 82% of American women were the focus of an attempted seduction while they were in a relationship.  Moreover, 53% of men and 41% of women had lost their partner to a romantic rival: mate poaching.

No wonder, as an Australian Aborigine wisely said, “We are a jealous people.”  We can turn murderous, too.  In a study of 5,000 people in six cultures, 84% of women and 91% of men admitted to having had at least one fantasy about murdering a sweetheart or a romantic rival.  Many of us contain this “green eyed monster,” as Shakespeare called jealousy. But many don’t. Buss reports that sexual jealousy is “the leading cause of spousal murder worldwide.”


Click to Read More.


NBA star Shaquille O’Neal has been ordered to steer clear of an Atlanta-area woman who took out a restraining order Thursday.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Richard Hicks granted Alexis Miller’s request Thursday after reviewing her allegations that the basketball player stalked her, threatened her with bodily harm and made harassing phone calls in which he breathed heavily into the phone before hanging up.

Miller, a 23-year-old hip-hop artist known professionally as Maryjane, claimed she ended an intimate relationship with O’Neal last month. She alleged he then threatened to pay performers $50,000 each not to work with her.

“It’s been very difficult for her,” said L. David Wolfe, Miller’s Atlanta-based attorney. “Her fears are not only for herself but also the people around her.” He said Miller, who has a young son, is “pretty traumatized.”

Wolfe said Miller had known the 7-foot-1, 325-pound All-Star center for about a year and a half, and that the two became intimate over the past six to eight months.


As kids go back to school, many parents are wondering if their daughters should receive the HPV vaccine. USA TODAY asked experts to address the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, approved in 2006.

Q. Is the vaccine safe?

A. Yes, says John Iskander, director of vaccine safety at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers tested the Gardasil vaccine, which prevents infection from four types of human papillomavirus, in more than 11,000 girls and women between ages 15 and 26 before it was approved.

Merck has distributed more than 16 million doses in the USA since then. The CDC has been monitoring suspected problems reported to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.

Q. Have patients experienced any serious health problems after getting the vaccine?

FIND MORE STORIES IN: Food and Drug Administration | Prevention | Centers for Disease Control | New England Journal of Medicine | Gardasil | Mark Goldstein

A. Yes, although doctors don’t think the vaccine caused these problems. About 6% of the nearly 9,800 events have been serious, including 20 deaths, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

There was no common pattern to these deaths that suggests the vaccine was to blame, according to the FDA. Health officials also reviewed any available autopsy results, death certificates and medical records, none of which suggest the vaccine was the problem.

Click to Read.


Essence Magazine recently released never-before-seen photos of LisaRaye’s Turks and Caicos altercation injuries. If these are any indication of the turmoil going on in the marriage of LisaRaye and Michael Misick, it’s no wonder divorce court is on its way!

LisaRaye’s bruised and discolored leg, after an altercation.

A scar on LisaRaye’s arm after an altercation in Turks & Caicos.

LisaRaye’s shoulder, bruised from an incident in Turks & Caicos.

All photos & captions courtesy of



Lady Drama

Apparently, Nick Cannon’s mama and daddy can’t stand Mariah Carey.  According to an insider interviewed by Media Takeout:

“Mariah loves drinking champagne by the bottle. Her life is like one big party. I’m not surprised that Nick’s parent’s are upset with his choice in a wife … they should be.”

There is also a report that Mariah went to meet Nick’s mother with all of her handlers, as if she were making a publicity stop.  His mother didn’t appreciate the disrespect.

MSN gave a list of signs to tell if your spouse or significant other is lying to you:

  • Covering the mouth while talking. It’s as if they’re subconsciously repressing the untruths they’re spouting. It may be as blatant as completely concealing the mouth or as subtle as a single finger placed in front of the lips.
  • Touching the nose. Scientists have found that lying can cause the tissue in the nose to swell, meaning that a quick stroke could be a sign of deceit (or that it’s allergy season).
  • Rubbing an eye. When lying to someone, the instinct is to look away in shame. Since that’s a dead giveaway, many people content themselves with a fast wipe of the peepers.
  • Touching an ear. Just as you’re supposed to see no evil, you should hear no evil as well. These nervous gestures can range from a small rub of the back of the ear to an outright yank of the ear lobe.
  • Going for the neck. Research has found lying can cause a tingling in the tissues of the neck, leading to scratching or pulling the collar. It signals that the speaker is feeling uncertainty, so be concerned if you see it right after your sweetie announces, “Of course this Prada dress was on the sales rack at Marshalls.”
  • Shaking the head no while saying yes. If he says, “Yep, I’m getting home late because I have a big assignment to finish” while nodding his head, he’s working late. If he sends the mixed message of saying yes while shaking his head no, look for him at the Spearmint Rhino (read: strip club).





  • Several weeks ago I wrote a column called “How to leave your husband.”

    It did not say “Leave your husband now,” “Get divorced immediately” or even “Wash that man right out of your hair.” It was about preparing yourself financially when your marriage is already ending.

    Yet judging by the letters and message board posts that poured in, you would think that I had launched a campaign to corrupt women by showing them how to destroy a marriage in 45 seconds or less.

    Here’s a typical letter, from an angry reader named Mike:

    “Women who think and act like this DESERVE to be divorced and hopefully left with nothing. As for the author of this article, what gives you the right to preach that it is OK for a wife to STEAL from her husband because she is not happy! You are a pathetic excuse for a woman.”

    Most of the letters were from men. Many were morally outraged. And most said: Why don’t you write about how to leave your wife without going broke?

    Fair enough

    So I called divorce lawyer Gayle Rosenwald Smith, the author of “Divorce and Money: Everything You Need to Know.” The advice she would give men facing divorce, she says, is pretty much what she would tell women.

    Although many of the men who wrote in swore that women get the upper hand in divorce court, Smith would argue that point, based on decades of practicing family law in Philadelphia.

    Click to Read More.

    Omarosa, the woman who does all she can to get attention, recently appeared on the Wendy Williams TV show.  Omarosa is a lot like New York, from “I Love New York”, just a little cuter on the outside, but far uglier on the inside.  She sold out another brother on The Apprentice, and seems to think that she is destined for stardom.

    As this woman works overtime to keep her 15 minutes of fame on the move, she will slowly find that all the social hoeing, hating, hooking and manipulating she is doing to get ahead is not going to serve her well in this life.  I am sure that her love and her men are just as shallow and fake as her smile and her breasts.  In fact, she probably can’t keep a man anyway.

    Omarosa, going head to head with Wendy Williams is cute, but the truth is that whatever you have inside of you that keeps you unhappy needs to be dealt with.  You’re an ugly human being.

    Will Smith, the big Hollywood superstud, has finally revealed his secrets to a successful marriage:  He gets busy with whomever he wants, as long as he tells his wife about it.

    Perhaps that is the reason this black man has no problem with his ball and chain.

    Smith, who earlier admitted that divorce wasn’t an option, told Reveal  that “Our perspective is, you don’t avoid what’s natural and you’re going to be attracted to people.

    “And if it came down to it, then one would say to the other: ‘Look, I need to have sex with somebody. Now, I’m not going to if you don’t approve of it’.”
    Smith suggested that his marriage would survive a permitted affair because of his and wife Jada’s honesty.

    He commented: “In our marriage vows, we didn’t say ‘forsaking all others’. We said ‘you will never hear I did something afterwards’. Because if that happens the relationship is destroyed.”

    What does this say about black marriage?  Well, there are a lot of folks who are honest about it.  Black men say they don’t want to get married because that whole “don’t cheat” clause makes it hard for them to deny their male urges.  Men who are honest about these urges are attacked for being dogs and lose half their assets in divorce, as well as future earnings due to spousal and child support.  That makes marriage a bad deal for many men.

    But here’s a secret ladies:  the man who seems like he’s not a dog, claims that he will never cheat on you and always seems to want to “do the right thing”, is probably a lot more like Will Smith than you think.

    “Women don’t give it to men the right way,” says one black attorney who doesn’t want to be identified.  “Men want multiple women.  So, if a man doesn’t get married, he’s dogged out.  But then when he does get married and gets with another woman every now and then, he is considered a monster.  It’s hard to make the balance, which is why marriage is too confusing for me.”

    Perhaps this opens the door for a discussion on what it takes for marriage to work.  Some have advocated for renewable marriage contracts or perhaps co-parenting relationships that allow for the rearing of children without tying the knot.  Either way, there needs to be a conversation, since black men are walking away from the alter, and white married men are not only getting divorced at a rate exceeding 50%, but the ones who stay married are the biggest supporters of online pornography.

    Ain’t that the pot calling the kettle a pervert.  Perhaps we can address this problem.


    By Dr. Boyce Watkins

    OK Lauren, we need to talk. Yep, I’m talking to Ms. Lauren London, the beautiful young woman who starred in the movie ATL with TI, my favorite rapper. Besides our favorite artist, you and I have something else in common: Menace II Society was one of my favorite films. The movie came out when I was finishing college and I consider it one of the greatest films of all time. In fact, the Hughes brothers, who made the film, are among the best film makers in the business.
    With that said, I noticed that in a recent interview with King Magazine, you mentioned that you really like thugs. Not just thuggish thugs, but hard-core, pee-in-ya-mama’s coffee cup, “I don’t give a *&^%” type thugs. I was intrigued by your comments:
    “I love guys who are street. I won’t even give soft guys a chance. Menace II Society is my shit! Caine was like my first crush. Actually, O-Dog was my true dream guy. I was in love with him, from that opening scene where he pops the convenience-store worker. He had me from that gunshot [laughs]. He was ’hood, and I loved that.”
    When I heard these words, I thought “Wow, this girl needs to have a few more relationships to realize how concerned we should be about these comments.”
    OK Lauren, I don’t think you are crazy, stupid or a bad person. Fantasies are natural, and we all have some. I dream about a sexy woman with a PhD feeding me honey barbeque wings in big furry bunny slippers (don’t ask about the bunny slippers, that’s personal). But there is a difference between what you want, and what you NEED, and that is part of growing up.
    You mentioned that Caine, the star gangster in Menace II Society, was not hard enough. You actually went for O-Dog, his over-the-top homeboy. O-Dog is likely one of the most maniacal, murderous and treacherous characters to ever grace the screen of a movie theatre. He was the kind of guy who would shoot first and ask questions later, or maybe just shoot first because you asked him a question. Tupac was originally slated for this role, likely because he did such a good job playing the lunatic “Bishop” in “Juice” another great film made a few years earlier. Like O-Dog, Bishop was known for being one thing….. “crazier than a m*therfu*ker” (excuse my French, but sometimes English can’t capture the essence of just how crazy a m*therfu*ker truly is).
    As a college professor, I’ve seen other young women have similar fantasies. I recall hearing a young Black Pentecostal Apostolic graduate student mention how she “loves thugs so much….they are just so FORBIDDEN!” Years later, after several abusive, meaningless relationships, a few venereal diseases and about 6 restraining orders, she actually sees the virtue of giving nice guys a chance.
    I respect the street and I know a lot of good brothers from the street. But even the good brothers from the street don’t consider men like O-Dog from Menace II Society to be great catches. In fact, they go the other way when O-Dog comes into the room. Many brothers could understand Caine, the conflicted young man choosing between good and evil. But if there was a devil and angel on Caine’s shoulder, O-Dog was the devil. Men like O-Dog almost always end up dead or in prison, and your mama always tells you not to go their house.
    You see Lauren, men like O-Dog are not the guys who love you, respect you or remain faithful to you. They are the guys who show you a good time and then stalk you, kill you and kill your dog when the relationship is over. They are the men whose girlfriends are killed in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting. They are the men who don’t give a damn about themselves, so they sure as hell can’t give a damn about you. That is not the place to go for love, fun and certainly not for a meaningful relationship. It doesn’t mean you can’t have a little thug in your life, or a little street. But you always want to have a man with a little common sense, a little self-love and a little commitment to his future. That is what I hope you will share with other young women reading your article in King Magazine.
    You, Beyonce and other women who sing Thug Righteous Fairytales are not the only ones who make this mistake. Far too many men go chasing the most beautiful, booty-licious woman they can find, leaving the nice girl behind. They then realize, the hard way, that the nice woman is the one who will be there for you and that beauty goes much deeper than the skin. Lauren, you are pretty enough to surely get any guy you want, but you must also realize that there is strength in kindness. A man who loves you and treats you with respect is just as strong as a thug who shoots men in the grocery store. You don’t want O-Dog, you want the man courageous and caring enough to PROTECT you from O-Dog. That’s the secret.
    I had a friend in college who also liked dangerous men. After spending over a decade married to a man in the penitentiary, I am willing to bet that her perspective has changed. I hope you don’t have to experience a lifetime of pain to realize that O-Dog is not Prince Charming. The same thing goes for the women looking up to you.
    Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and author of “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about College”. He does regular work in national media, including CNN, ESPN, CBS and NBC. For more information, please visit

    The Boyce Blog

    There are rumors that the Queen of the World, Oprah Winfrey, is in a relationship with Tyler Perry.  They were spotted in Italy together recently on a vacation.  We don’t believe the rumor to be true, since there are stronger rumors about each of them that provide another reason they might enjoy shopping together.  They both seem like the “shopping types”….and it’s not because they are rich.

    We’ll just leave it at that.

    To say that the recent statements of ‘Actress’, Lauren London – in a “King Magazine” interview – is disquieting, is both an underestimation and misunderstanding of the potency attached to the wordage of certain celebrities within our community. Young Black Women are continuously lusting after the aptly-described “ruffnecks” and “thugged-out” brothers within our culture. It was in 1993, when MC Lyte, rapped – on a song called “Ruffneck,” from the album, “Aint No Other” – “I need a ruffneck/I need a dude with attitude/Who only needs his fingers with his food/Karl Kani saggin’ timbos draggin’/Frontin’ in his ride with his home boys braggin’/Lying ’bout the Lyte how he knocked boots last night/But he’s a ruffneck so that’s alright.” At the time, such allusions were looked upon as little other than artistic-expression, but with the rise in domestic-abuse among black households, such sentiments are beginning to lead to open clues vis-à-vis black-female misjudment. It is an ancient blurb that the good guy always finishes last, but Miss London seemed to put the L in Ludicrous with her recent morally-reprehensible comments. When asked by the interviewer of her choice in men, she replied: 

    “An authentic gangsta—that deletes about half the rap game off your list. I love guys who are street. I won’t even give soft guys a chance. Menace II Society is my shit! Caine was like my first crush. Actually, O-Dog was my true dream guy. I was in love with him, from that opening scene where he pops the convenience-store worker. He had me from that gunshot [laughs]. He was ’hood, and I loved that.”

    – With such statements, it is no wonder our culture is dissipating faster than the dreams of ‘authentic’ actresses who are more than qualified, but are turned around as a result of their stead-fast belief in integrity. That therefore ‘deletes’ Ms. London off any such list.

    I’m against same-sex marriage as a heterosexual male that’s been married for 22 years. And, been having the same sex for 21 years. It gets a little old. “Turn out the lights, dear. Close the door, dear. Did you let the dog out? Did you let him back in, dear?”
    And now the government is seeking to ban the only sex I’ve been having and assume I’ll be able to have the rest of my life. Since when does the government care about what happens inside MY bedroom. It’s not that “sexy”. It just is what it is. I’ve resigned myself to it – so why can’t the government?
    For the record, I’m all for different sex marriage. But, you see, I’m not gonna bring it up to the misses. No, it’s worked pretty well the past 22 years and with any luck, for the next twenty-two years.
    Oh sure, once in a while – when the kid’s not home, we may go to a room other than our bedroom – but that doesn’t happen all that often. And there was that time in a hotel on a trip to
    South Carolina. But, for the most part, it’s been the same sex.
    Oh, when we were married, I thought it’d be different all the time. We were so young then, and I was so foolish. But it became pretty clear, pretty quickly that once a pattern was established, it was pretty much set in stone.
    The rules have never been discussed but they sure are crystal clear to me.
    ONE, never ask for sex – same sex or different sex. If you get some, be glad that it’s come your way. And always be appreciative.
    TWO, never ask for sex. Same sex or different sex.
    THREE, always make sure the light is out.
    FOUR, always make sure the door is locked – even when no one else is home.
    FIVE, always make sure the dog is back in the house before instituting rules three and four.
    So, you see, I know the rules. I know it’s gonna be same sex. And that’s good enough for me. And it certainly seems good enough for the misses. So, government. But out! Our same sex is none of your business. It usually is none of my business. But when I make it my business, I don’t need your help. And neither does the misses.
    Ben Merens is a public speaker and a talk show host at Wisconsin Public Radio in Milwaukee.
    He and his wife will celebrated their 22nd wedding anniversary on June 21st.
    Ben’s website is

    We, the people — in particular, those socially active seekers of romance, companionship and pleasure — deserve certain inalienable rights when it comes to charting the waters of the dating scene. And so, in honor of Independence Day (you’re looking for love, not surrendering your sense of self), here they are:
    You have the right to ask. If you meet a person of interest, you are free to ask him/her out. Sounds simple—but until you fully embrace this concept, you may hinder yourself socially. Asking someone out is not gender-exclusive (i.e., women can and should do it). And no one is out of your league (the worst he/she can say is no thanks). So unless the guy/girl you’ve got designs on is in a relationship or part of a celibate religious order, ask away!

    •   You have the right to the jitters. Getting to know a new person can be nerve-wracking. Pre-date anxiety is so common, it’s a safe bet the person you’re sweating about seeing is doing the same about you. It’s all right to not only feel it, but admit it. Indeed, saying, “I’m a little nervous about tonight” can work as an icebreaker.
      You have the right to punctuality. It’s a date, not a “stop by whenever…” open house. Expect to be met or picked up on time (so be ready or at the rendezvous spot on time), or called in advance if delays are unavoidable. Consider enacting a 15-minute rule. If a date is a quarter of an hour late, don’t wait!
      You have the right to free speech. Yes, you want this person to like you, but that doesn’t mean you should alter your ideas or opinions to voice what you think your date wants to hear. Speak your mind! That said, make sure you encourage your date to speak freely, too. No one wants to hang out with a conversation hog.
      You have the right to fun. Approach dating like a job interview, and a good time will not be had by all. While the impulse to ascertain someone’s long-term commitment potential is natural, it’s a bit self-defeating in the early stages of dating. Go on activity-oriented dates, where you can get a vibe about a person, as opposed to doing entirely talk-centric stuff that can make both of you feel scrutinized and squirmy. Think brief, planned encounters initially instead of random marathons. Keep conversations light on topics like shared interests (rather than delving into each other’s psyches and romantic histories right away).
      You have the right to undivided attention. A date is by and large a one-on-one activity. It’s not about two people and a gadget. Or two people and all of his/her friends at the bar. If the individual you’re out with constantly checks email or takes cell phone calls — or is so distracted by others in the room that you feel ignored — end the date early and move on.
      You have the right to bare arms—or long sleeves. Wear jeans and a T-shirt—or something fancier if it makes you feel more on top of your game. The point is: Dress comfortably for dates, donning an outfit you look good and feel good in. You’ll come off as confident—and be more naturally desirable. Of course, do aim to be occasion-appropriate (that slinky evening gown might not do for his backyard barbecue; shorts and a tank top won’t work for a candlelit dinner).

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