I love Jimi Izrael, and I cannot wait to read his forthcoming book, The Denzel Principle, but I have to take issue with his piece last week titled, "Memo to Black Women: Get Real." Did I sense a bit of anger or something going on? Let me say this about the line "lose the high ideals and get your priorities in order." Ouch!
When you look objectively and honestly at the sorry statistics that Jimi cites in his piece, you see that the problem is not with the sisters. Sisters are excelling—they are outperforming—they are handling their business in all aspects of their lives except one—in our relationships with our black men. Why is that? It can no doubt be a two-way street—with enough shared blame to go around. For what my two cents is worth—I do not fit the stereotypical educated, high-earning black female. I do not live in an urban area. I do not drive a BMW. I am not overweight (5' 3'', 110 lbs). I exercise daily. I am fun. I am happy. I love to cook. I love God (but I ain't a prude). I live in the country. I am nice, and I love to laugh. Oh, and I love black men—all black men. I also do not think they are intimidated by me—that is actually a dumb reason that many sisters tell themselves. Yes, I have dated white men (almost married one once), but my preference and my love is of black men.
The other key factor to consider is that the 70 percent of the sisters Jimi speaks of who do not have marriageable men, etc. are professional accomplished sisters—this is a key problem demographic. However, with all due respect to my brothers Jimi and Hill Harper (who also has a new book out called The Conversation) where do you get your information?
I feel like I can speak to this with some authority as my book about the lives of professional accomplished black women will be out in the summer of 2010—Smiley/Hay House. The difference between me and my esteemed brothers is that I live everyday as an accomplished black woman (that unfortunate 70 percent) that is unmarried and in my early 40s. More importantly, my book will be based on national qualitative and quantitative data where we actually ask black women and men their opinions, wants, dislikes, etc. so that we can begin to move forward instead of engaging in these endless debates that are based on subjective individual (often jaded opinions).
I wish we would stop all the finger-pointing and take a hard look at self because that is where the issues really lie. If you ask me my opinion, one of the most fundamental problems I see in black men is their lack of basic courtesy and chivalry toward black women. I know this sounds old-fashioned and corny, but as I said romance, and relationship is a two-way street, folks. Let's all look within and see what we can do to offer ourselves as better mates and companions.