Black, Single and Sad?

May 30, 2010  |  

Can we finally put to all these “the state of black women” reports to rest?

For the past few years –remember that 2007 episode of Oprah revealed the statistic that 70% of African-American women were single? — the single black women has been the topic of countless articles and television segments. They say we are unhappy statistics who can’t find a good black man, and, oh yeah, we’re also looking for a network newsperson to do a roundtable interview about us so we can pour our hearts out. Please.

I’m a single black woman… and a mom. I was recently dating someone for a few months and before that I had been single for a long stretch of time. Was I looking for a great guy? Sure. But was I depressed and hating my life? Not at all.

I recently read this article full of online dating statistics, which claims that black women are the least desirable group to date among all ethnic groups, and closes with the statement: “…African-American women seem to face an uphill battle.”

I understand how the media machine works. A story is publicized and has some legs, so someone else writes another story, and then it just snowballs into a theme, and then it gets to the point where the Single Black Woman is an epidemic.

But we aren’t the only group facing challenges when it comes to love and marriage? In the 2007 article, “51% of Women Are Now Living Without A Spouse,” New York Times writer Sam Roberts analyzes census results and claims that this may be the first time in American history that more women are unmarried than married.

And while it is true, black women have the lowest marriage rates at 30 percent, according to the Census Bureau, about 49 percent of Hispanic women, 55 percent of non-Hispanic white women and more than 60 percent of Asian women are living with a spouse. Why does it feel a bit like black women are being targeted? I’m willing to bet there are Latina, white, and Asian women out there who are single and in their 30s and 40s. I’m also willing to bet that some of them — not all — are unhappy about being single and not impressed with the selection of available men.

I find it hysterical that when a woman (especially a black woman) says she wants a man who is attractive, trustworthy, kind, makes a good living and is caring, she is labeled “picky.” I’m not saying men have to adhere to a Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas (What Chilli Wants on VH1) type of list, but in these times women better have great standards and stick to them!! We can’t just give men a pass to be less than good men because of the law of economics — supply and demand — is in their favor.

As blogger Sister Toldja put it: “Surviving the ghetto doesn’t mean you are a catch. Going to college doesn’t make you a good mate. Making a ton of money does not a gentleman make.”

Are you single and happy? Does being a single black woman make you feel like a statistic?

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  • Take A Hike Brother.

    SINGLE AND WILL MAINTAIN MY STANDARDS! Marriage is old folks, not me. (Nina Simone)

    Again, the media has no clue about the secret lives of Black women.

  • LexiJ

    I'm a single, celebate, and loving it. I'm single by choice. I could date a man of any race and get married but I choose to remain single. There are many things I can do in life that will be easier for me to accomplish if I'm single. I'm not knocking marriage. The stupid media makes it seem as if you can't be happy unless you're married or coupled up (Even though the divorce rate is high). I refuse to settle for less. I'd rather be single and happy than unhappily married. When I decide to contemplate marriage I will look within and outside my race. Love has no color. I'll make sure I take my time when my search begins.

  • Dcgal

    Get out of denial – there really is a serious issue going on here when almost 1/4 of black men marry white, who knows the number who date and marry non-black women, not to mention the gay, dl's and criminals. burying your head in th sand won't help, it has many implications. You may not be looking for a man now, but when you do start, believe you me, yo'll experience the discrepancy. Black men just aren't growing at the same rate and in the same way as black women.

  • Kool

    Let the record reflect I LOOOOVE my Black Men! All of em' gay and all!

  • Kool


    Please dont misunderstand me, I have ALOT of "good" black men in my family, in my Life and in my circle – business and personal! I feel truly Blessed to have so many strong men to reflect on and have around. I just reflected on my experience from lastnite because I felt it was relevent to the article to say that alot of our good black meat, a black man who knows and adores black women. All of my gay friends love and spoil me and I heart them for being true to who they are (right now?) But its really saying the same thing that you're saying in a different way! And with all the different scenarios that you gave is entirely my point. And I will continue to acknowledge these strong beautiful brothers each opportunity I get.

  • Carm

    Kool, I agree with you on some points however I would argue your comment on "NOT a lot for us to have".

    Aside from the "All black men are gay, only want white women, have overly sexual perverse apettites, incarcerated and on the DL" negative stereotypes that the media has plagued our brains with – there are some good black men for the choosing.

    Lastly, we black women don't have to limit our dating pool to "black men". There are a ton of "men" to choose from.

  • natashaclarke

    A friggin MEN, I am single and enjoying everyday of my life, I am not looking for anyone, he will come along when the time is right.

  • Carm

    Kweli, you're on the money with this one! I also find it rather irritating and disturbing that single black women no matter how successful can't truly be happy for lack of a mate. I agree whole-heartedly that the media has controlled the thinking of the masses with it's foolish rhetoric and statistics regarding the epidemic of the "single black female". Gosh I'm so tired of this… Like you "mammamia" I didn't get the damn memo either!

  • mammamia

    It is so amazingly ignorant,but if you are a black woman from any continent, then people already know who you are and what you should be. I am yet to get used to the no. of people who get shocked at the fact that I drive a BMW.There must be a memo somewhere that I did not get which says because I am black, I must be poor.