Let’s Talk About Something Else: 3 Conversations That Steal Black Women’s Joy
By Kara Stevens
It never fails. You and your girls decide to get together after work or over the weekend to catch-up. The conversation starts light and airy; the usual—shoes, annoying coworkers, and recaps on all of your favorite ratchet reality shows. But then it happens. The conversation that was doing a good job of lifting your spirits, nurturing your soul and keeping you positive, reveling in your “young, gifted, and black” abundance goes awry and stays there when one of you kills the mood by bringing up doom and gloom–type topics that, without question, suck all the joy out of being a black woman.
If you or anyone in your crew is looking to audition for a Waiting to Exhale sequel, keep the following conversations flowing:
Conversation #1: Ain’t No Good Black Men Left
This kind of talk gives black women the toxic message that, unlike any other race, we are exceptionally unlucky in love and that most of our men do not know how to sustain healthy, enduring, and loving relationships. This mental model of scarcity is bound to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. With this view, we enter into new relationships already stank, expecting them to fail and for our men to disappoint us. If you think most black men are either gay, triflin’, in jail, or with white women, believe me, all you are going to run into are black men that are gay, triflin’, on their way to jail, or exclusively into the swirl.
Instead of giving up on our black men, why not shift our way of thinking and use our sister-girl circles to brainstorm ways to find our good black men? When we meet up, we need to call each other out on this tired, defeatist way of viewing and seeing love. We have to ask each other those hard questions that, when answered, may reveal that each of us has some growing to do:
Where are you looking for these so-called “good black men”? Are you still going to the club? Have you joined professional associations, civic organizations, or cultural groups where more “good black men” may hangout? Have you asked your married friends to introduce you to someone nice?
What is your definition of “good”? When was the last time you revised your “good black man” checklist? Has your definition of Prince Charming changed since the days of Jodeci and Boys II Men? Is tall, dark, handsome, and wealthy still the only type of man that you want? Are you opening yourself to date outside of your height, weight, color, income, religion, age, and country of origin (i.e. black immigrants from South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Africa) requirements?
How good are you at learning from the past? Are you blowing the failures of your past relationships with black men out of proportion and taking it out on some new poor, unsuspecting black man? Are you allowing the failures of your past relationships to control your life and make you bitter?