Illustration for article titled Why Has the Black Marriage Negotiations Video Gone Viral?

In this animated YouTube video making the rounds of Facebook and the rest of the Internet, a black woman sits across from a black man at a boardroom conference table and makes a series of unreasonable and contradictory demands for what she wants in a mate. She is the stereotypical materialistic "strong black woman" with attitude, while he is the beleaguered target of her free-floating hostility — a setup that either seems grossly contrived or utterly hilarious, depending on your sense of humor. You imagine that she would be snapping her neck when she says, "I want a man who will pay all the bills, yet recognize I am an independent woman," but because the video and audio are computer generated by a "text to movie" tool, her demands come out in a flat, automated voice that sounds all the more ridiculously calculating. This sepia automaton is looking for "a man who can take charge, lead and direct his household, at least until I disagree with his direction — then he must turn over his b—-s and give them to me, because I'm a strong, professional womanist."

We think it's hardly worth taking seriously — black woman aren't all castrating gold diggers, any more than black men are all irresponsible cheats. But clearly a lot of people are taking notice, and even creating copycat videos from the woman's perspective, and more. Anyone care to venture a guess at why?


Sheryl Huggins Salomon is senior editor-at-large of The Root and a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based editorial consultant. Follow her on Twitter.

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