All Articles Tagged "black love"
Yes, you read the title correctly, and I can see your eyebrows raised and neck hairs bristling up. Don’t hop off the ride just yet. I need you to put on your seat belts and rock with me for a minute. I’m about to take you on a very personal journey that dropped me smack dab in the middle of Broken Hearts, USA.
I’m going to start with an urgent gripe of mine: Every time I turn around, the mating habits of African-American women are being scrutinized. There is always some broken-down bundle of research about how many Black women are single or an article about why we aren’t “suitable for long term relationships.” Gee whiz. I can’t digest any more of this crap. Check, please!
Perhaps what’s most disheartening is the fact that out of all the people who find fault in Black women, it’s brothers that are our toughest critics. They reject us for being too dark, having short hair, being plus size or having a less than bodacious donk (translation: a round posterior anatomy). Sisters are lampooned for not being submissive enough, soft enough or simply too vocal with our opinions. And the hits just keep on coming.
Is there any wonder that I say (with tears in my eyes) that “I didn’t give up on Black men, they gave up on me?” I came to this painful realization a few years ago, but it was a long time coming.
I can’t tell you exactly when I started feeling rejected by Black men; it was too many years ago to count. I have been told that I am “too opinionated”, “too assertive”, “too outspoken” or “too fat” more times than I can care to admit. In my 20s I tried to twist and conform to become less, well, me. But, it was like a lioness trying to become a kitty cat. I finally decided that I simply couldn’t make myself smaller for others to feel bigger – not even for the sake of love.
My plan was to wait patiently for that some awesome Black man to look at me through accepting eyes and embrace me flaws and all. Ultimately, isn’t that what we all really want from love – to feel it unconditionally? Sigh…Dare I say, I’m still waiting.
Read more on Essence.com.
Black Love At Its Best: EBONY Celebrates Black Marriages, Publishes Love Letters Written By T.D. Jakes, T.I. & DeVon Franklin
I could totally melt right now. But, for the sake of this article, I will attempt to get my life. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, EBONY Magazine is celebrating Black love in an amazing way. The iconic publication released their February issue with three special edition covers, honoring the subjects of this month’s cover story. Bishop T.D. and Serita Jakes appear on one cover, T.I. and Tiny Harris appear on another, DeVon and Meagan Franklin appear on the other.
In this issue, instead of simply interviewing the couples, the men were given the opportunity to compose some really beautiful love letters to their leading ladies. Check out the heartfelt letters below.
Bishop Jakes to Serita:
“What started as an idea between two young people who fell in love and dreamed about the future has burst into the effervescence of reality. As time has gone by, it has been amazing to watch you bud, blossom and bring forth fruit. The fruit of that love, that wisdom and that tenacity have been the nectar that has nurtured me as a man and made our children who they are. I take this occasion to thank you, to water you with my love and adoration, to fertilize you with the season of our experiences, hardships, tests and trials, which have brought forth the blossom of love that we so cherish. My life is better because of you. My heart is stronger because of you, and it beats at the memories, at the moments, at the affections that we have shared. My partner, my lover, my friend, my wife. Thank you.”
T.I. to Tiny:
“I let you know how much I love you all the time. I want to make sure it’s known on a day-to-day without me saying it. I don’t want to wait for one special occasion or a day. I want to make sure that everyday the sun rises and every evening the sun sets, you have a firm understanding of my feelings.”
DeVon to Meagan:
“I’m amazed at how incredible God really is. How incredible that He chose me with the blessing and privilege of loving you. You are my true love. I can absolutely say I started living when you came into my life. Each day, I’m so grateful I can love you and be loved by you. Our life together has been a whirlwind so far- the best time of my life- and we’re just getting started! Thank you for breaking me out of my box and showing me what real life and love is all about. You helped me become whole as a man because you’ve helped me love. God has used you to heal me, and I will forever be grateful. I still don’t think you fully understand how amazing you are. You have a brilliant mind. I love the way you think and how creative you are. You are so strong. I love how you are a reservoir of power and courage. You are so thoughtful. I love how you are so fiercely compassionate and caring. I’m glad to be with you and that we’re in this together. No longer do you walk alone, and when you get tired, you can hop on my back. I will always accept you, always pursue you, always delight in you and always fight for you…”
Aren’t these some of the sweetest letters you’ve ever read in your life?
Check out the next page to see the cover shots and more photos from the issue.
In a time when Hollywood marriages seem to last no more than 72 days, there are some celebrity couples that have stood the test of Tinseltown and time. While the words “Hollywood” and “marriage” can bring about laughs, snickers and cynical eye rolling when used in the same sentence, there are plenty of celebrity couples who have loved and lasted for years…even decades…in the midst of hot co-stars, tabloids, blogs, social media and paparazzi. Marriages CAN last in the spotlight, and these couples share their secrets on how they’ve been able to maintain their relationship and go the distance…with their marriages lasting longer than a Hollywood minute.
Tags:Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance, Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith, Barack and Michelle Obama, bill and camille, black celebrity couples, black couples, black love, celebrity couples, Denzel Washington and Pauletta Pearson, healthy marriage, Holly and Rodney Peete, John Travolta and Kelly Preston, LL Cool J and Simone, long lasting hollywood marriages, longtime couples, longtime marriages, Magic and Cookie Johnson, Mark Consuelos and Kelly Ripa, oprah and stedman, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson, secrets of marriage, secrets to a long, Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis, Will and Jada
From Single Black Male
I can’t be mad at Black women when they say that Black men don’t have a clue what they want. It’s hard even getting a straight answer out of a Black man on what he really wants out of a woman. It’s different for each of us. But at a very basic level, what’s on our wishlist? Well, is there even a such thing as a wishlist or do Black men find themselves in a position where we choose a type of relationship over the characteristics desired in that relationship? Let me run that back, are we more likely to want to be married or in a relationship than we are to have our wishlists satisfied? That may explain why some women are left scratching their heads when they see a man settle down into a relationship. Almost to say, “You said you wanted ‘A’ but you ended up with ‘B’? What gives?!”
On Dec 3rd, I’ll be joining an all-male panel in Washington, DC to discuss what’s on a Black Man’s Wishlist. When it comes to relationships, no man’s wishlist will be the same as another man’s. Some men put “loyalty” at the top of their list, while other men put “good-sex” at the top of theirs. Regardless of how extravagant or simple the wishlist, there are some basics that should be on every man’s.
Read more at SingleBlackMale.org.
From Single Black Male
I’ve written before about Modern Men Being Too Lazy to Court due in part to advancements in technology, like the computer, cell phone, and the evil cesspit of modernization known as “Facebook”. However, I never touched on how modern men became lazy in the first place. Technology is not the only culprit behind the rise of lazy men, because not all men are focused on meeting women on-line. In fact, many men still meet women the old fashioned way – in places that range further than from behind their computer or smart phone.
Technology has merely exposed what many women have been lamenting for years: men are lazy in their pursuit of women and generally take the easiest route possible to do so. This is highly ironic when you consider the fact that most women measure their value in a man’s life not by his words but by the effort he puts forth in pursuing them. This is the same environment where you have a corresponding – and likely much higher – number of men doing all in their power to invest the least amount of effort possible in pursuing these women. This is an obvious recipe for disaster. To avoid confusion here, let me state unequivocally that I believe modern men are lazier than past generations of men.
Read more at SingleBlackMale.org.
Matchmaker Paul C. Brunson Tells Madame Noire What’s What: “I Believe That Soulmates Are Made, Not Found”
You may already know about Paul Brunson by now. The relationship expert and author of It’s Complicated (But It Doesn’t Have to Be): A Modern Guide to Finding and Keeping Love has been working it in the past few years and has become the go-to guy (behind Steve Harvey) to dish out relationship and matchmaking advice. So of course we were delighted that the happily married man dropped by Madame Noire offices to talk about how he met his wife and address some of our readers’ biggest questions about love and relationships. For one, he doesn’t believe in soulmates. Yeah, that’s pretty interesting considering he’s in the business of love, right? Watch to see him explain his stance on soulmates and his other opinions about matchmaking.
I dated mostly white men in my younger years. I attended predominately white schools during those years and I had a lot of white friends, so relationships with white men developed as a result. I grew up in a single-parent household where husband and wife roles were non-existent. Thankfully it didn’t matter because white men showed me what I needed to know about love, commitment, and romance.
When I was finally old enough to date I went out with the first of many white boys. He held all the doors open, treated me like a lady, and paid for dinner. We discussed a variety of topics and he seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say (a rare find in the dating pool of the late ’90s). We didn’t date long, considering we were young and in school, but he set the precedent for all of my interracial relationships.
After dating more of these men I noticed a trend: All of my relationships with white men involved partners who took me out on actual dates, openly confessed their commitments to me, and tossed around the idea of marriage. My positive experiences with white men were stark contrasts to some of my female counterparts’ troubles with black men. They constantly complained of the black men they encountered, but even still, I wanted to find out for myself if there was any validity in their concerns.
I always found black men very attractive yet I hadn’t really dated any (and not because I didn’t want to). I considered myself an open-minded individual so I knew that my dating options needed to widen. Despite the negative comments I heard from a few friends, I started dating both black and white men in the quest to find the right partner for me. Unfortunately, that journey left me with a combination of confusion and criticisms of my own.
Immediately, I noticed differences in my dealings with black men compared to the white men I previously dated. For instance, the black men I met immediately requested visits to my place. Whenever I suggested going on an actual date some either wanted to go dutch or they politely declined. Sadly, their idea of a good time was watching television at my house while eating all of my food. If I hadn’t started out dating white men then I may have assumed those home visits and free-for-alls were the norm.
I also noticed that the black men I kept running into had communication issues. I am well aware that there are intellectuals of every race; however, the black men I met wanted to discuss nothing more than sports and intimacy. Safe to say, I was meeting and messing with the wrong types of men and must have been looking in the wrong places. Perhaps the black men I would have preferred dating were not interested, already taken, or in their own interracial relationships, but the ones I was dealing with were making the dating game more tough than it should have been.
On the rare occasion that I met a black man that treated me the way I was accustomed to and exhibited some of the characteristics I was looking for, I noticed his hesitation in discussing marriage although it was a topic that came up in every interracial relationship I had. All of their parents were still married and they were expected to marry someone…someday. Some of the black men I dated came from broken homes (just like me) so they didn’t understand my desire to get married and they didn’t find it necessary. Even though I grew up without the imagery of “love and marriage” in my home, I knew that I was not interested in being anyone’s long-term girlfriend. While I might have enjoyed their company, I knew better than to stick around with a stagnant man for too long, and I continued my search knowing that lowering my standards just because a guy looked good or because he was fun was not going to be an option for me. What else do you have to offer?
In the end, I’ve been blessed to find a man who is all the things I wanted and would have hoped for, and we share the same goals for the future. And if you were wondering, yes, he’s a black man. But I can say that my relationships with white men taught me to never settle for less than I deserved and enabled me to find my Mr. Right by not being comfortable with mediocre “dates,” and just being a girlfriend forever. They gave me the ability to differentiate between boys and men. They showed me the ropes of dating and the significance of marriage. And that’s not to say you have to date outside of your race to figure these things out, but in my experience, it helped me find the perfect man for me, one actually within my own race.
As a former NFL player, Matthew Cherry understood that there were a lot of misconceptions about professional athletes and their respective lifestyles. His insight informed the making of his film “The Last Fall,” which he wrote and directed and which focuses the life of an NFL player (Lance Gross) in between jobs and struggling to establish a relationship with his high-school sweetheart.
Here, Gross and Cherry talk about what brought them together for this film and why it was important to include Black love in the storyline. Check it out.
Anyone who knows me knows I am an absolute lover of gay culture ( I think they call it a “f*g hag,” but I’m not fond of the F-word), right down to my fondness for Lady Gaga, a fierce arched eyebrow and the nude beaches of Fire Island. I love my ladies, but the truth is, gay guys have more fun and do they do it with impeccable flair. I’ve attracted gay men in my bestie circle for as long as I can remember. And while I like to think of myself as the most liberal rainbow flag flying ally I can imagine, I can’t help but still be confused by the concept of bisexuality.
I guess it’s because my experiences with my closest friends coming out have always been preceded by a prelude of bisexuality which I guess in a sense made me believe that bisexuality was some kind of bridge to all out homosexuality as opposed to a sexual preference in itself. It was almost as if claiming bisexuality somehow made being gay easier to digest for others. I can understand being sexually attracted to both sexes because sex can be as carnal or as completely physical as someone wants it to be. Not everyone wants to always be catcher, sometimes you want to see what all of the positions on the baseball team feel like.
But pursuing a monogamous relationship on the other hand takes some level of commitment to a certain place on the field. Worrying about my man getting excited every time something with soft skin and estrogen walks in the room is one thing, but to know that at any given moment he could get butterflies for the bouncer or the cocktail waitress, I have a hard time wrapping my head around that. What strangers choose to do in their bedroom is their own business, but what’s going on below the belt with my boyfriend is something I want the CarFax on, whether it’s a part of his past or his present. And with me feeling like bisexuality is just the entrance ramp men take to the gay highway, dating a man with a bisexual past would make me feel like maybe a relationship with me is a last ditch attempt to truly make love work with a woman.
I’m well aware that there are all types of gay men, but we can’t deny that there are some stereotypes that gay men can’t seem to shake. And as much as I love sipping lattes and shopping for skinny jeans with my gay guy pals, it might make me look at my boyfriend a little funny if he were to be bi. I’m well aware that being attracted to other men doesn’t instantly make you a man-purse wearing, vogueing, card-carrying member of the LGBTQ culture and lifestyle, but there would be something about my guy possibly lusting after another dude that would bruise my attraction to all things alpha-male about him.
What bothers me even more is that this would be a completely different article if I were a heterosexual man writing about bisexual women. In fact, it might even be a top ten list titled, “Your Girlfriend’s Bi? Here’s Ten Reasons Why You’re a Lucky Guy.” In society’s eyes there is secretly something more hot and attractive about two women going at it as opposed to two men. Personally, I think that is the craziest double standard ever, but even so, the truth is that I’m not attracted to gay men. I’ll shop with them in a heartbeat, but I hate feeling like I’ll be labeled “homophobic” because I don’t want to sleep with them.
When Gavin Rossdale confirmed rumors that flew about his former teen fling with a cross-dressing pop-star named Marilyn, I couldn’t help but wonder how Gwen Stefani felt. Was she ashamed? Did she question her own attractiveness? Did she feel like their relationship was built on a lie? Even much drooled actor Tom Hardy confessed to having flings with men in the past. But surprisingly, many women don’t share my same sentiment. In a YourTango article titled, “48% of You Would Date a Bisexual Man” readers revealed that bisexuality wasn’t a huge deal breaker when it came to dating a man. “Everyone falls somewhere on The Kinsey Scale (0 “exclusively heterosexual” to 10 “exclusively homosexual”), so I basically assume that most of us have either experimented or at least fantasized about it,” says Rachel, a 34-year-old writer. Other readers expressed that adolescent experimentation or an isolated incident of bisexuality was acceptable, but an out-and-out declaration of bisexuality might leave them too distracted by the idea of their partner having a variety of options to actually be able to invest in a relationship. The issue is that when it comes to monogamy, you’re kind of forced to choose unless you want have a plural marriage, so inevitably I would think that you would have to be attracted to one sex more than the other. If that’s the case, is that truly the line between heterosexuality and homosexuality?
I must say that bi-sexuality is a completely different beast that I still have a hard time understanding. I understand the possibility of being sexually attracted to both sexes and even maintaining sexual relationships with both genders, but what happens when it comes to pursuing a real monogamous relationship? Maybe I need to get out more, but I still can’t help feeling that bisexuality is a red flag of a sexual preference with a little less variety.
Could you date a man who was admittedly bisexual?
Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog Bullets and Blessings .
There are women who could care less if they ever get married. Then, there are those of us who fantasize about the day that we will be given the opportunity to stroll down the aisle in a white dress and exchange vows in front of oo-ing and ahh-ing family and friends. And finally, there are those who take the desire to be married to a whole new level and become fixated and practically obsessed with the idea of marriage. As folks say about Kim Kardashian and J.Lo, you’re too in love with the idea of love and the fairytale ending. The ladies who ooze of thirstiness and desperation. While there’s nothing wrong with desiring to be married someday, there does appear to be some detriment that comes with being desperate. For one, desperation leads many women to settle for Mr. Here and Now instead of holding out for Mr. Right. Not to mention that most men can spot a desperate woman from a mile away. This could result in him heading for the hills or taking advantage of her thirsty ways and leading her on. But how can you tell that your healthy desire to get married has become an obsession? Check out these signs to find out.
You’re willing to settle down with just about anyone
Have you ever found yourself trying to make serious commitments to a man you just met or have only gone on a couple of dates with? Are you already matching up your first name with his last or imagining how your children will look? Pump your breaks, sis. Jumping into a relationship and trying to get all Cinderalla with any man who smiles at you is not the move. Slow and steady wins the race and marriage is supposed to be a life-long commitment, so try being more selective about the man you are willing to give your heart and time to. It may save you from potential heartache, headaches and thousands of dollars for a pricey divorce.