Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Shortage of Good Black Men: Epidemic or Farce?

Let me start by saying that the impetus for this article is very positive. What I mean by that is, for anything to be considered a shortage it has to first be "in demand". I think it's very positive that "Good Black Men" are in demand.

The other day, my best friend Kailei forwarded me a link to a YouTube clip about the reported shortage of Black Men. It was quite thought provoking as it addressed and disputed all of the usual reported numbers of Black Men in jail, gay or not educated. It took a stand and asked viewers not to believe all of the alleged statistics about Black Men. I even felt a goose bump or two as the narrator ended by basically saying that there are indeed good Black Men out there, so don't believe everything you read. I was ready to say "You go boy!" when it hit me.....I can count on all 10 fingers and toes the numbers of intelligent, accomplished, attractive, not crazy young Black women who are single and wishing they weren't. On the other side of the coin, I can name quite a few Good Black Men who insist they can't find a good Black Woman. How can this be? How can two groups of people who are looking for each other, be so "lost in the sauce" trying to find each other?

In speaking with my girlfriends, guy friends and even my counseling patients, it became abundantly clear that "good" Black Men meant many different things depending on who I was speaking with. Some defined "good" by level of education, looks, income, humor, chemistry, maturity, or some combination thereof. Others rattled off lists of criteria from here to kingdom come describing what "good" meant to them. The truth is, the longer your list is the smaller your pool to pick from.

To all Men and Women, here's my advice: It's okay to have preferences, but for your own sake, narrow it down to a few "deal-breakers" and let the rest be icing on the cake. If you have a laundry list of criteria you may in effect be sabotaging yourself (I'd need a virtual couch to address this topic!)

So is there a shortage of "Good Black Men"?....Well, I guess it all depends on how you define "Good".