Happy Black Women Would be Bad for Media Business
By Theresa Lasbrey
Week after week, media reports remind single, educated, black women to worry themselves to death. Since when did the media become this obsessed with the state of black womanhood? When did they start caring whether we made it? Why all the recent concern and even coverage from Nightline?
An in-depth conversation with a male friend brought about the revelation: it’s The Obama Effect. You may have noticed that since the commencement of the Obama presidency and declarations of our “post-racial” country, there have been numerous incidents that point to how race continues to matter and divide– it’s as if the Obama presidency rang an alarm.
President Obama, in being the first person of color elected into the U.S. presidency, fueled new possibility. Suddenly, children of color could dream of something as seemingly absurd as becoming president.
President Obama’s election had another surprising effect as the cameras exposed the interaction he has with his wife. During interviews pre- and post- election, you could see him look at Michelle Obama with open, unabashed desire & admiration. His chest would swell as Michelle addressed issues with the grace, precision and intelligence she wields so effortlessly.
And what does the media do to counter such a perfect and powerful example of a black woman–and her man–in love? They launch an anti-black woman campaign:
The Obamas are not the norm! Do not dream of this for yourself!
To the media, the Obamas are unusual, given previous reports that successful black men “do not marry” black women. To them, it is an anomaly that the most successful black man in the country, if not world, chose a super-educated, unambiguously black woman to live with and bear his children—whom he treats with equal respect and admiration.
As a result, media talking heads, producers and money-makers have found a jackpot story angle: harp on the single black woman’s sufferings and remind her how impossible it will be for her to attain Michelle Obama’s dreams. The “impossibility” of being Michelle Obama will spur a “single black women” discussion for infinity and keep the media channels busy for a long, long time. Cha-ching!
Well. I refute the belief that single black women are in danger of being miserable for eternity. That is not my lot life. I have loved and been loved intensely by formidable matches whose breath I took away as they did mine. I’ve encountered and dated black men of prominence and unparalleled intelligence again and again.
You can be completely and utterly loved whenever you choose to love.
There is hope. Do not allow yourself to be ravaged by statistics and media reports. They are not your reality. They’re the reality shaped by predictability and suppression. You do not have to choose that reality. Bask in the glow of the Obamas’ ultimate example of Black love attainable. That simple hope will give you a future that the media says is improbable because they don’t know the enduring power of your dreams.
Theresa Lasbrey is a business strategy consultant with a penchant for poetry & self-actualization which makes sense for someone who studied literature at Cornell University. Follow her journey at www.tessism.com and on Twitter @tessism