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Troy

Black Male Crisis – The Cause: Equal Rights for Women

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Of course I’m not saying that women don’t deserve equal rights. I believe they do. What I am saying is: in the course of creating the major cultural changes required to give women equal rights to men, the “traditional” roles of men and women, within the family structure, was cast aside without a suitable alternative structure being put in place. As a result, the family, more importantly the father's role in it, has been undermined. The result is what we see today.

This is not a problem limited to Black folks, but given the additional challenges we face the effects are much more severe.

Man’s role as head of the family, with the mother providing support to the man; sounds absurdly conservative by today’s standards. That model however was largely unchanged for a millennia until the 1960’s.

The skills, knowledge and cultural wisdom normally imparted to young men by their fathers, is no longer valid. Indeed the post equal rights era role of the father is completely unknown, unaddressed.

Today, fathers don’t raise men, because they were not raised to be men, nor were their fathers before them. In many families today the presence of the father is not viewed as necessary or even desired. Many of the high school boys we are talking about are three generations or more without a father in the house.

Meanwhile our post equal rights culture further devalues the importance of the male figure. The government provides more financial assistance to families without a father present. Today it is easier than ever to get a no fault divorce. The list of well intentioned, but destructive legislation provides incentives and enables women to raise children alone while releasing men from their responsibilities.

The role of the woman is up for grabs as well. The sexual revolution has left today’s woman without a road map for how to deal with men. Birth control and abortion has changed all the rules and we are more confused than ever on how we should treat each other. Every generation has to reinvent the wheel. The increasing number of books and articles on relationships don't seem to help. Today most Black women will never marry. Of those that do get married the vast majority of those marriages will fail.

While we witness the absence of fathers in the home; another alarming trend will rise as well – absentee mothers. As women continue to strive for “equality” with men, and free themselves from the burden of raising children alone; they too will abandon their children. An increasing number of children in our community TODAY are not raised by their mother or their fathers. In some communities a significant number of children don’t know who either of their parents are!

There is no quick fix for this problem; at least not one that would virtually eliminate our freedoms.

The only solution may be time. In the meanwhile, things will get worse before they get better – especially for us…

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Sorry to read that some black men only know their role or how to lead if they can subjugate other humans i.e, women. That doesn't seem like leadership at all. If it was possible to lose those leadership abilities it was actually never theirs in the first place. For you can't lose what is yours by divine right. Further, this crisis you speak of, seems to be a challenge that afflicts the lower socio-economic class. This doesn't seem to be a challenge in other other western cultures. In other cultures, including the prevailing 'ruling class' it seems as though men seek out women who come from equal or higher socio-economic classes and standing in an effort to advance in this society.

As for the equal rights for women side of this argument; the civil rights act of 1964 didn't actually give women equal rights but rather it made it illegal to discriminate against women in the workplace. The ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) proposal is still in the works and has been since 1923. So far ERA has not been ratified therefore it is still not law. Which brings me to this; there is an axiom in the military which is - in order to lead you must first learn to follow. It seems with the strides that women are making in the workplace, entrepreneurship, finance, family, education etc, sans having a man in the home, I believe we women have learned this lesson very well. For those men who are having a hard time finding their footing in this 'new age', I suspect it is time to follow the leader. AGAIN.

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While my title might imply that I believe equality for women is the cause of the problem; I don't believe this, I do however believe, while we were sorting out ways to empower women we forgot that the same effort still needed to be directed to empowering our young men. In this regard, we have failed abominably.

It seems with the strides that women are making in the workplace, entrepreneurship, finance, family, education etc, sans having a man in the home, I believe we women have learned this lesson very well.

Mel this, viewed in isolation, is a great thing. The problem however is that Black men are failing to do the same – regressing even.

Additionally, I’m not so sure that Black women, despite the advances, are all that happy. Considering the types of books that cross my desk; a significant portion of them deal with relationships. It is already a worn out cliché that “there are no good Black men out there”.

The old line from Mahogany: "Success is nothing without someone you love to share it with", rings truer today than ever.

This problem hurts both sexes.

Apparently the assumption was that the men would be alright, that they (we) had all the advantages – it’s a man’s world after all.

Maybe following the woman’s lead or example is part of the answer. But whatever we decide to do, we’ll need to do it together otherwise we will both fail.

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Well, Troy, this is complex as it not only involves the individuals involved but changes to the world around them. Black women benefited from two cultural shifts - women's movement and anti-discrimination laws. In the years following, if a woman chose not to have a traditional role, there were many other acceptable pathways for her. Even after the civil rights movement died down, women of all races continued to advance. However, to be "successful," black men were expected to adopt Anglo standards -- something which is not always easy, and which many men of color choose not to do. Other cultures are able to thrive without assimilation because they are not dependent upon outsiders for their means of support. On top of that, in this post-racial, post-sexist world, individuals can begin to look past "survival" and direct their life toward self-actualization. Some may say that this has transformed women into becoming selfish or "too" independent and "having no need for men." I don't agree. Women still need men but we don't necessarily need them to fulfill a traditional role. Today's black women have simply achieved a higher level on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs because we could. However, if we want to become family units again for the greater good of children, both sides will probably have to shift their perspectives a bit so that they are working toward a common goal. Men may have a hard time, though. They need other men whom they can trust to bring them to another level.

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Additionally, I’m not so sure that Black women, despite the advances, are all that happy. Considering the types of books that cross my desk; a significant portion of them deal with relationships. It is already a worn out cliché that “there are no good Black men out there”.

Absolutely. There is something very special about the relationship between two people who are truly in love and who choose to spend the rest of their lives together but seeing every cultural group except American blacks having this opportunity leaves me feeling profoundly sad. There are "good" black men out there. Again, the trouble is that we are not in the same place, which makes relationships imbalanced and fraught with difficulty.

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Guest Rabin

Interesting. Found out about this discussion via @MosaicBooks on Twitter. Surprised that the destruction (or attempted destruction) of the African family unit via slavery in the Americas has not been mentioned. It would seem that the role of men and women in the Black community was affected long before the 1960's. In fact, the women's lib movement has always meant something slightly different for women of African descent, as we have been forced to assume traditionally male responsibilities almost from the moment of setting foot on these shores.

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This is one of the few times that a topic has come up that I don’t have a definite opinion about! The subject is so multi-faceted that I can’t articulate a consistent response, which is to say that I have mixed emotions about the feminist movement. "I am woman hear me roar" - after I purr.

Where the woman's movement is concerned, liberation from oppression is one thing; equal rights is another. Because they are biologically and physically different, males and females are not equal. Their emotions are also wired differently. So the idea that women should be firefighters, construction workers, combat soldiers, Navy Seals, jail guards, and other pursuits that require brawn I personally find problematic. (Obviously I don't put racial equality and gender equality in the same category.) I also don’t think that married women of child-bearing age should be competing for CEO positions for obvious reasons. Prospective motherhood is not conducive to giving your profession your undivided attention. Others inevitably have to take up your slack.

Of course, none of this has anything to do with intellect. Which is why women rebelled, insisting, among other things, that to level the playing field they have a right to expect exceptions to be made for them, and that they deserve equal pay when they hold the same job as a man. It gets complicated when they are performing the same physical tasks as a man but not with the same amount of exertion. Whatever. Mentally, women are also reputed to be more flexible and insightful than men; more observant, more compassionate. I’ll drink to that.

When we look at the natural order of things, we can conclude that through the evolutionary process in order to procreate, males and females became a role-playing unit wherein they embraced the skills for which they were best-suited in order to stabilize and preserve the family dynamic. Presumably this also served to cement a relationship between couples, based on mutual appreciation. This is the best case scenario when it is efficiently carried out. But Life is about variables and randomness. Shit happens. External factors came into play and where the black race was concerned, roles began to overlap and even reverse. Black women rose to the occasion. Black men faltered. Why? Because mental flexibility serves you better than brute strength. And so it goes.

Now, other factors appear to be creeping into the brotha/sista equation, - what seems to me to be a growing tendency toward lesbianism, something possibly influenced as much by disappointment, disgust, distrust and dissatisfaction with black men as by chromosomal aberrations. This scenario is also emerging among other races.

Welcome to the first decade of the 21st century. Order is gradually descending into chaos. Maybe the sexes will become interchangeable and the mating scene will be just one big free-for-all, and children will be raised by committee.

Or, like Troy says, maybe things will come full circle and the dilemma will work itself out.

Or maybe, I just don't know what the hell I'm talking about since I'm from a different generation...

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As a Christian minister, I would like to add a different take on this issue. After reading all of the comments, I immediately noticed that God, along with the specific mandates that He has set forth concerning families in the Bible, was not mentioned. In my view, the breakdown of the family structure is not only due to the psychological chains of slavery, 100 years of legalized segregation, an ever widening economic gap between Blacks & Whites, the introduction of "crack" into the Black community, the elimination of the prefix neighbor from the word neighborhood, the glorification of the "nigger," the proliferation of Black motherhood at the alarming ages of 12-16 years old, the low enrollment rate of Black males in college, and the lack of positive Black role models, but the Black church itself has turned a deaf ear to these critical issues that has affected the Black community as well as the foundational structure of the Black family. More emphasis is placed on preaching the false message of the prosperity gospel, than the preaching of a Christology that emphasizes social justice issues that affect the African-American community.

Believe it or not, the Black church is filled with dysfunctional families, many of which are headed by women. I, myself, am a product of a fatherless household, but the tremendous strength and tenacity of my Mother was amazing, It is no surprise that African-Americans make up 12% of the population in the United States, and at the same time African-Americans make up 79% of the prison population. Most of that prison population is made up of Black males who are fathers and grandfathers who became caught up in the "system." We are presently living in a world dominated by White supremacy and White domination (See the book: White Like Me, by Tim Wise, also on YouTube). Therefore, the struggle to succeed as Black people remains an uphill climb. Many have reached the pinnacle of the mountain, but many more still find themselves marginalized at the foot of the mountain, bling-bling and all. Until the Black community gets back to God and begins to build what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., called the "beloved community," we will continue to have conversations like this.

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As a Christian minister, I would like to add a different take on this issue. After reading all of the comments, I immediately noticed that God, along with the specific mandates that He has set forth concerning families in the Bible, was not mentioned ... the Black church itself has turned a deaf ear to these critical issues that has affected the Black community as well as the foundational structure of the Black family. More emphasis is placed on preaching the false message of the prosperity gospel, than the preaching of a Christology that emphasizes social justice issues that affect the African-American community.

The struggle to succeed as Black people remains an uphill climb. Many have reached the pinnacle of the mountain, but many more still find themselves marginalized at the foot of the mountain, bling-bling and all. Until the Black community gets back to God and begins to build what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., called the "beloved community," we will continue to have conversations like this.

You're right. Interestingly (but not surprisingly) God has not entered much into this conversation. I suspect it's because the role of the Black church as the primary support network for Black people has been on the decline for years. Considering the fact that we are no longer concentrated into the same neighborhoods, everyone doesn't live in a community with a Black church, we belong to multicultural faiths such as Catholicism, Episcopalianism/Anglicanism, Islam, etc., the common bond of being a Black Baptist, for example, doesn't carry the same force that it used to. My father and his family had a rich church life that extended to other relatives and socialization. However, I was not raised that way by these same people.

I am not disagreeing with you that faith should play a role. But what should it be, now that our lives are so different?

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Newbie, You have raised some very imnportant points, and I would like to address them. I agree with you that the church, that is, the Black church has been on the decline for years. The reason for this is that the Black leadership has failed to change with the times. Think about it, most African-American preachers spend more time whooping and hollering, splashing sweat, and throwing hankerchiefs, rather than taking the time to address and deal with the many critical social justice issues that's plaguing our community. This type of "preacher" was acceptable for many years. But in this day and age, the Hip-Hop generation is not attracted to the magnetic pull of this type of worn out form of preaching delivery. The present generation is searching for something with substance, something that appeals to the intellect and not to the emotions only. Dr. King was right when he said, "We place more emphasis on muscleism rather than on spiritualism. We have more religion in our hands and feet than we have in our hearts and souls." What the Black church is in dire need of is leadership, both male and female, who have taken the time to educate themselves in the classroom at the level of obtaining, at a minimum, a Master's level degree from an accredited theological Seminary. It is not surprising to see ministers pastoring churches with only a high school education, if that. Maybe that was acceptable "back in the day," but today that is unacceptable. I say this because if I wanted to become an attorney, I would have to be accepted into and graduate from a bonifide Law School and pass the Bar Exam. If I aspired to become a Doctor, I would be required to attend and graduate from Medical School and after that, complete a medical residency before I could practice medicine. On the contrary, to reach the highest echelon in the Black church, all that one needs to do is to have is a good whoop, and if he/she can sing, all the better. What I have described here is a huge part of the decline of the Black church. Sadly, some of our people still appear to be attracted to the Skittles color suit wearing, 'gator shoes wearing, fake pinky diamond ring wearing, whooping and hollering style of preacher. It's all a case of supply and demand. Once the demand ceases for this type of preacher, the supply will literally dry up.

As far as multicultural faiths is concerned, I find no fault in that. I believe that the church should be, ideally, multicultural. This provides the best environment for Christians to dialogue with each other, especially when it comes to social justice issues and concerns. I am somewhat concerned as to why you included Islam on your list. Islam is one of the three main Religions of the world, and they should be included in social justice dialogues, but if done from a Christian perspective, problems may arise. Plus, Islam is viewed so negatively these days, especially from fundamentalist Christians, that a civil dialogue with them is going to be volatile. But if different Religions and denominations can come together on common ground, then it may be possible to reach a consensus on solving the problems that's killing our beloved community.

But since the lives of African-Americans are "so different," then those differences need to come together at the table and talk with each other. This must begin at the grassroots level, and not with the leadership, per se. I say this because when you have a top-dowm mentality when it comes to social justice issues, problems persist, because a group of Black preachers together in the same room is a huge mass of egotism and jockeying for position. I believe that the conversation must start from the bottom-up. Only when those people who are marginalized, oppressed, and socially invisible in our society are given a voice, they will never be heard. I am a product of the Civil Rights Movement, and I remember the time when the women of the Movement (Miss. Ella Baker, Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer, Mrs. Septima Clark, ect.) did not have a voice. They were the main organizers of the Movement in those days. But the Black preachers sure did have a voice! The problem is that the church hour is the most segregated hour in America. Christians favor being around their own group (clique). Once we move from an exclusive mindset to an inclusive mindset, things will begin to move forward. Until then, we will remain in this rut.

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As a Christian minister, I would like to add a different take on this issue. After reading all of the comments, I immediately noticed that God, along with the specific mandates that He has set forth concerning families in the Bible, was not mentioned.

Personally I didn't mention a christian god because the male and female sex are mutually exclusive of theology. Gender roles are a societal construct and independent of I AM. I believe in I AM and THE I AM that I believe in has no sex - for if I AM did - it would be human being and not worthy of any more praise than I give you or anyone merely because of divine nature contained within each of us.

Using the judeo-christian patriarchal theological explanation of why a man should lord over a woman is no better than our ancient ancestors in Ethiopia and Egypt (KMT) (who came before the god of abraham) using the fact that since women can create life sans a man itt was reason enough why woman should rule over man. We were once one who became two...We dealt with that change and that had to be the biggest obstacle of all. So this societal change of men finding new footing should be a small thing to a giant aka humans.

So as society changes men and women simply need to change with it. It is my belief that we are all embodied with Divine Intellect -therefore when someone moves the cheese - we needed to be able to seek it out. Those who can't will unfortunately get "LEFT BEHIND"

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Additionally, I’m not so sure that Black women, despite the advances, are all that happy. Considering the types of books that cross my desk; a significant portion of them deal with relationships. It is already a worn out cliché that “there are no good Black men out there”.

The old line from Mahogany: "Success is nothing without someone you love to share it with", rings truer today than ever.

This problem hurts both sexes.

Troy, the only time I've ever been unhappy with a man is when I tried to control him and he didn't want 'ack' right lol. Seriously though, I don't know why some women seem unhappy. Contrary to popular belief, I've found black women to be some of the most submissive women in the western culture. I've seen women settle for men they know weren't right for them. I've seen women allow their men to beat on them, harm the children and even bring sexually transmitted disease to them sometimes resulting in fatalities in the worse case scenario. Therefore letting a man lead them can not be the problem.

Everyone of my inner circle friends is either married or working on marriage number two or three. Personally, I've never had a challenge having a relationship with a man from any ethnic group. I did notice there was a bit of difference between having an intimate relationships with white men versus black men. After getting a divorce and until recently I didn't want a serious relationship. I perceived having an intimate relationship interfered with my definition of success and getting to understand me.

Speaking of which maybe that is the challenge - not so much letting a man lead the household but rather having a woman in the household at all. I know in my travels and position as a flight attendant - I can't tell you how many men of different ethnicity have told me - I couldn't possibly be married because no man in his right mind would let me fly around the world on my own...I always respond "let me?" :blink::lol:

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Troy, the only time I've ever been unhappy with a man is when I tried to control him and he didn't want 'ack' right lol. Seriously though, I don't know why some women seem unhappy. Contrary to popular belief, I've found black women to be some of the most submissive women in the western culture. I've seen women settle for men they know weren't right for them. I've seen women allow their men to beat on them, harm the children and even bring sexually transmitted disease to them sometimes resulting in fatalities in the worse case scenario. Therefore letting a man lead them can not be the problem.

Everyone of my inner circle friends is either married or working on marriage number two or three. Personally, I've never had a challenge having a relationship with a man from any ethnic group. I did notice there was a bit of difference between having an intimate relationships with white men versus black men. After getting a divorce and until recently I didn't want a serious relationship. I perceived having an intimate relationship interfered with my definition of success and getting to understand me.

Speaking of which maybe that is the challenge - not so much letting a man lead the household but rather having a woman in the household at all. I know in my travels and position as a flight attendant - I can't tell you how many men of different ethnicity have told me - I couldn't possibly be married because no man in his right mind would let me fly around the world on my own...I always respond "let me?" :blink::lol:

This made me think of a comment I read today on the Mad Men forum about Joan Harris, the knockout, indispensible, 1960s era ad agency office manager at Sterling Cooper Draper Price. It said that "Joan's finding the right marriage fit was always going to be problematic. She's too strong, too dazzling, too bigger-than-life for the average man. Most of the men around her know that. As for the few who would be her equal in star quality, they were scoffed up by the "Bettys" of the dating world long ago."

For those of you who don't watch Mad Men, the Bettys of the dating world are stereotypical "arm candy" wives.

Joanie did get married ... to a young, handsome doctor ... but he's so threatened by her independence that he raped her on the office floor one night.

True, these are characters on a TV show but something about it rings true with me, as I have many female friends who are accomplished but the men (even those who are similarly accomplished) choose arm candy or they stay single. Can one of you guys please explain this phenomenon?

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Guest SpenserAvery

I try to speak from experience. Being raised by a single Nubian female before it was cute to be one. I (and my brother) received a lot of Love, council & instruction from the males within our family. My Father's Father would pick us up and take us to see his side of the family sometimes but often it would be to get some cheep labor from us also.

Fast-Forward---> My sister In-Law has "Chose" to have 5 children. While my Wife and I do what we can, the whole situation over there is out of control. My wife and her sister obviously grew up within the same house. I've been married to my Wife for 22yrs and was attracted by how she was raising her younger brother's and sister. Again, my Mother had me in HS and my Father was soon sent to Vietnam only to return a shell of his former self from what I'm told. I was 3.

While we ALL have our own baggage, scars & wounds from childhood to young adulthood (& on for some of us). I have chosen to do What-I-Can-Do. No more, No Less. Being with my children is VERY important to me. It is not for many others.

We have young men walking down the street singing "On to the Next One" as their National Anthem.

While my Mother (& Grand Mother) are the most powerful women in the Universe. My Brother and I would be just another statistic without the Men (brothers, uncles & yes some of Mom's boyfriends) that took the time with us. To do SOMETHING with us. We MUST start to rectify this as close to HOME as possible. I don't need to correct every little Nubian boy or girl. I just need to talk to my family and spend some time with the little ones.

After all. They took time with ME!

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So, what is the consensus in regard to Troy's question? Is the black male crisis caused by the equal rights for women movement??????

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Cynique I was waiting to read your perspective. Regarding your last question; keep in mind the title I chose to use was deliberately provocative. I'm not sure how useful the question is since it is premised on a title designed attract readers -- that is unless of course the responder thinks the statement is actually true.

Mel I have no idea why your photo is so big -- I just thought you REALLY wanted to be noticed. LOL When I get a second I'll look into it.

Theologian your description of why the Black church is in decline is mirrors my sentiments so closely I thought I wrote it.

Perhaps the turning point was not the 60's women's movement, but the point when Black men stopped going to church...

I have many female friends who are accomplished but the men (even those who are similarly accomplished) choose arm candy or they stay single. Can one of you guys please explain this phenomenon?

Luckylois, this one is simple; but first I have to point out that "accomplished sister" and the "eye candy sister" are not mutually exclusive. They are often the same person.

But for the sake of argument I'll answer your question as posed: An accomplished sister, with any semblance of self-esteem, will want a grown assed man -- full stop. A grown man will have development enough common sense to avoid doing jail time and will have learned enough in school to get a high school diploma. Judging by the number these types of dudes are increasingly short supply and are readily snapped up when available.

Adult boys can’t deal with standard of behavior demanded by an accomplished women. These brothas opt for the shallower relationships, often based upon looks or other "skillz".

Finally, someone posted a comment on my discussion board that really made a lot of sense: "The system is founded on white supremacy .. so the system is working JUST FINE." Clearly White folks with real wealth and power are doing quite nicely.

Certainly we can not rationally believe that the problem facing the Black male will be addressed, in the current system, unless of course those very few folks with the wealth and power are actually faced with losing what they have as a consequence of Black folks suffering.

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@ Mel Hopkins, your comments on the "I AM" is debatable. I have heard this argument before, but from a strictly Biblical perspective, I see no concrete substantiation for your reasoning. But I don't want to get into a back-and-forth debate on this because, based on past experience, a consensus will not be reached.

I also noticed a sprinkling of Feminist ideology in your comments. We need to talk.

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@ Troy, Have you read Juwanza Kunjufu's book: Why Black Men Don't Go to Church? Also the lastest book by bell hooks entitled: Rock My Soul: Black People and Self-Esteem is a very good book that could be consulted in this dialogue.

@ Mel, I have found in my experience that "some" women prefer the thug-man over the "nice" man. This attraction for the thug-man usually begins at about age twelve or thirteen and lasts until around age thirty to thirty-five. Usually during the mid-thirties the light bulb comes on, and now she is ready for the "nice" guy, you know, the one that was totally ignored in high school, the smart one, the one that focused more on his academics than his "mack." The problem is that she doesn't know how to interact/communicate with the "nice" guy because all of her experience has been with the thug-man, the man with the street edge, the man with the street swagger, the man who is exciting sexually (perceived idea), but is ineffective when it comes to intellectual stimulation. There is no connection with an educated, together brother. The solution? She will, more than likely go back to what she knows best, that is, the thug-man. This type of sister can be found from all walks of life, including the "successful" ones. Therefore, most guys will just succumb to the "eye-candy," because they just get tired of the ridiculous drama and games. The majority of the Black "nice" guys will be snapped up, in all likely-hood, by White sisters, even though, rarely, a Black sister will attract one. Ironically, even the "nice" Black sister is attracted to the thug-man. What I have presented is something to think about, and ponder.

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I have found in my experience that "some" women prefer the thug-man over the "nice" man. This attraction for the thug-man usually begins at about age twelve or thirteen and lasts until around age thirty to thirty-five. Usually during the mid-thirties the light bulb comes on, and now she is ready for the "nice" guy, you know, the one that was totally ignored in high school, the smart one, the one that focused more on his academics than his "mack." The problem is that she doesn't know how to interact/communicate with the "nice" guy because all of her experience has been with the thug-man, the man with the street edge, the man with the street swagger, the man who is exciting sexually (perceived idea), but is ineffective when it comes to intellectual stimulation. There is no connection with an educated, together brother. The solution? She will, more than likely go back to what she knows best, that is, the thug-man. This type of sister can be found from all walks of life, including the "successful" ones. Therefore, most guys will just succumb to the "eye-candy," because they just get tired of the ridiculous drama and games. The majority of the Black "nice" guys will be snapped up, in all likely-hood, by White sisters, even though, rarely, a Black sister will attract one. Ironically, even the "nice" Black sister is attracted to the thug-man. What I have presented is something to think about, and ponder.

I write the following from what I have personally experienced/witnessed so I realize it does not apply to everyone, but it's another perspective to consider.

I know a lot of women and none have ever been interested in thugs. We came of age before the era of the glorified thug. It may explain problems in the 20 - 30 age range, though.

What I have encountered with men my age (40s - 50s) is that while in their 20s - 30s, they choose to remain single while replaying their adolescence. Having earned college and professional degrees, they were making good money, had their own place and a nice car. As the "cream of the crop" the pool of available women grew, and they could pick and choose. On the other hand, their female counterparts, with whom they'd shared high school and college, and with whom they had socialized for years, were forgotten. Add to that the onset of the thuggish male generation, and the pool of "good men" for these women shrank. So, a generation of eligible women was alone for the better part of their prime marriage/childbearing years. The good thing is that many of these women use the time wisely to build their education and careers. I even know a few that have adopted children.

Quick story: A man of 35 who was interested in me called me "an old B" (literally) when he found out I was 39. Eight years later, this man is still single at 43 and still very much the adolescent despite his other life accomplishments.

As for dating/marrying outside the race, I only know a few black man who are married to white women. A lot of black men date/marry Latinas, because (I am told) when seeking a woman who is "traditional" and beautiful, they have the complete package. However, I have started to notice an increase in the number of black woman/white man relationships/marriages -- especially black women dating/marrying European men -- who don't have the same racial hangups that Americans have.

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@ Mel Hopkins, your comments on the "I AM" is debatable. I have heard this argument before, but from a strictly Biblical perspective, I see no concrete substantiation for your reasoning. But I don't want to get into a back-and-forth debate on this because, based on past experience, a consensus will not be reached.

I also noticed a sprinkling of Feminist ideology in your comments. We need to talk.

That was my point. There is no need to bring in theology in this discussion because it would not produce anything to bring us to a solution. I AM has no sex so why bring it up. As for feminism unless you want to talk about the equal rights amendment- I'm not sure what else there is to say other than the proposal has been in out of congress since I believe 1923. It has yet to be ratified.

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@ Mel, I have found in my experience that "some" women prefer the thug-man over the "nice" man. This attraction for the thug-man usually begins at about age twelve or thirteen and lasts until around age thirty to thirty-five. Usually during the mid-thirties the light bulb comes on, and now she is ready for the "nice" guy, you know, the one that was totally ignored in high school, the smart one, the one that focused more on his academics than his "mack." Ironically, even the "nice" Black sister is attracted to the thug-man. What I have presented is something to think about, and ponder.

Oh my! I couldn't find any other Mels on this page so I think this was meant for me. I don't know why I would ponder this :lol: Are you assuming about things you do not know? :D

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Troy,

What is the real crisis here? Is it single black men? Is it single black women? Is it lost black boys? No one for black men to lead? Is it black women in the workplace? Not enough black women willing to stay at home? Not enough wealthy black men? What is the crisis?

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Troy.

I tried to be with you on this. I dressed up in a black leather suit and started strutting around like Shaft. I smoked a big cigar. I drank too much and talked about sports. I held my self between the legs and stood around doing the Chrishayden Sag, where you keep your pants up but let your drawers hang down.

It really bugs the establishment.

I saw a guy on a motorcyle and projected an image of myself on a chopper wearing a chrome Nazi stormtrooper helmet and some iron crosses.

Nothing worked.

I gotta say

YOU CAN'T BLAME THIS ON THE WOMENFOLK!!!!!

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Guest F A Mason

Just read your commentary, and I strongly disagree with the presumption implicating equal rights for women as the cause or a cause. If there is to be finger pointing as it relates to us Black people in America, certainly our racist society is a major culprit. On the other hand, the other major culprit in the "Black Male Crisis" is us...the Black community, and Black men in particular. We (men and women) are guilty of colluding in our own oppression. We have accepted whatever has been thrown to us; have been "bought" by $$$, prestige, and positions like "spooks" sitting by the door. Instead of standing up in solidarity to risk death for our human dignity as a people, one by one we've maintained our slave status, as well fall prey to the whims of our dominant society that has never had our best interest at heart. Have you ever read the German philosopher Immanuel Kant? One should be estute in studying the underlying philosophies that have promoted capitalism in our society, and it's exploitative impact on oppressed peoples.

Black brothers must take full responsibility for making "white males" (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant Males) the standard and model of "manhood" instead of recognizing that Black males could never and should never measure themselves according to dominant white male cultural standards in this society. Unfortunately, we have failed our children and their children because we opted for "equality of American civil rights" thus trading our uniqueness for the ethical and cultural standards that supported us prior to 1965. Our models of manhood are rooted in Africanity, and I'm not talking about "colonialized" Africanity...as corrupted western standards and values have sought to overtake traditional societies.

While forever grateful for our advancements through American civil rights, and the movement lead by Dr Martin Luther King...he was also an unconscious colluder of white society. As a minister, he fell from grace for his quiet "sexual" escapades with white women although a married man.

The true model of Black manhood was none other than Malcolm X...the brother white dominant society will never recognize. Malcolm's transformational life remains an authentic model of Black manhood today. I believe Malcolm X would surely be dismayed by the so-called Black Male Crisis, and even more so angry by the community's destructive and genocidal behavior.

By the way, human equality and changing roles are not the same. While male and female biology determines some natural ways of behavior, our intellect is the primary controller of who we are and whose we are. Let's be clear instead of Black men fighting to be the "heads" of the family, we should be focused on "leading our families by example." One's position in the family is less of a concern than the responsibility to support each other, and by all means nurture and protect our children. If anything, the positive contribution of Black gay males in our community has been to ridding Black males (heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual) of negative Black macho images that have resulted in male repression of emotion, feelings, and nurturing. Maintaining a "hard exterior" and "wearing masks" among our own is killing us.... Brothers on the "down-low" are killing us...instead of being open and honest...whether heterosexual or homosexual.

As for Black women, although they have suffered mistreatment by white society and Black men who have adopted white male patriarchy as the standard model of manhood, they too "unconsciously" and sometimes "consciously" collude in the oppression of Black males and the community by lowering their ethical standards; accepting Black male macho styles so they can "have a man" instead of finding fulfillment and definition in themselves, and becoming more like "white patriarchal women" in their judgement of Black males. Black women in our country have been and remain strong, carrying within them the "cultural legacy" of our ancestors, but that's in jeopardy. Black women must rid the community of "baby mama drama." It would be better to uphold virginity and chastity then fall-into wicked traps set by society and our lost brothers.

Suffice, Black women must be forever vigilant against dominant society's contempt and covert exploitation of themselves; the clever ways society causes rancor between Black men and women, and the community's acceptance of negative criminalesque behavior of Black males, to define the moral standards of the community. Unless we treat the Black male crisis with urgency instead of a chronic ailment...I'm afraid of our future as a once proud and beautiful people. Pamoja Tutashinde!(Together, we will succeed!)

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Hey Mel, to answer your question about "what is the crisis?"; I'd have to say the crisis is in the American culture. The "loss Black boys" which prompted me to start this conversation really does stem from the destructive nature of our own culture.

-----------

This problem will ultimately become EVERY American’s problem. But like the proverbial canary in the mine shaft, Black men are suffering first and will suffer the deepest. Therefore I don’t see a remedy of this problem that does not address a significant change in our culture.

I stated that the cause of the problem was equal rights for women. I thought I made it clear in my original and subsequent posts that I do not lay the blame and that change – indeed I think that was a progressive and necessary cultural change.

While I admit the title of the discussion was designed to spark interest in reading and participating in this conversation (and it worked). I do however believe that the changes in the culture marked by the changes the woman’s place in our society, simply left the family structure to the wolves…

This is a complex issue and I’m, necessarily, over simplifying things. But the roles of the mother and father in the family, for example, are so ambiguous people don’t know what to do – so they wing it.

Winging it over the last 40 years has led to increasing level of failures in marriages, educations levels and incarceration – and not just for Black boys.

This is not to say that the goal of the man being the bread winner and the women being stay at home moms was ideal or even realistic (especially in the Black community). But it was a cultural goal something people strove for we if you did not make it.

Again it was part and parcel of a culture that said having children out of wed lock, going to jail and dropping out of school was bad.

When the rules go away people are lost, confused.

Today the number of books on raising children, holding a marriage together and finding a mate should tell you something. This type of information should be so firmly embedded in the culture that anyone past puberty should be able to address all of these issues with clarity and confidence.

Today 40 years olds don’t have a clue and struggle with the most basic aspects of a culture.

-----------------

FA Mason, a few things:

  • While I’m not familiar with the German philosopher Kant; the exploitive nature of capitalism is obvious. What would you replace capitalism that would result in no one being exploited. If would also be helpful if you can site some examples where this is working.
  • Heterosexual males have not cornered the market on the macho image – There are many homosexual males that hide their emotions and are as rugged as the most macho dude out there.
  • Despite your elevation of Malcolm X as the true model of manhood there are many people who would disagree with that premise.
  • King was not an “unconscious” colluder with white society. Indeed, he fought hard to work within the constructs of this society to obtain equal rights. This was probably the best strategy at the time.
  • I have no idea what you mean by, “Our models of manhood are rooted in Africanity…”. Maybe you can clarify that (maybe in a new conversation). The cultures in pre-colonial Africa were diverse, and can not be described on a continental level. But even if we could take on a pre-colonial Afrikan culture how would an African American male adopt these roles 600 years later? Would it even work in the 21st century?

Agreed with your last paragraph, but for the vast majority of the African American’s whose ancestors where dragged here on ships or who have been here for more than a few generations, I’m afraid the “dominant culture” is our culture too.

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Troy,

Things won't improve for Black men until their prospective fathers and all other Black men - elders and peers alike - fundamentally CHANGE their view of what being a father IS and how it is valued amongst US...as MEN.

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wow! There's so much going on in this discussion. Where do I start? Well, I could start with the minister's comments but that would take too long. His blanket discription of the black preacher and the black church was so deplorable that I can not repond in a respectful manner. Yet, more importantly, based on his opinion of the black church, he seemed to imply the that the downward spiral of the black american is directly related to some ambiguous misadventures in the church. I'mm left to do nothing but shake my head at such careless banter.

On another note, I think we all can agree that there's a deep deep bottom that none of us we be around to witness. All this talkk about what "we" need to do, and what our youth "need" to do is like pissing in the wind. It's just a bunch of blusterous bullsh*t! There no real solutions on the floor, it's just talk.

Having said that, I only have a few words for a few good women. I mean, I read in one of the comments, something about the trite phrase "there's no good men around". I know we've killed that issue, however, I have to put my spin on it (cuz that's what I do ;) ). And, the rest of the other comments were too deep for me.

And see, as bloggers, we talk a lot of sh*t, and sometimes we don't go back to see if our words left any lasting impressions, or if they rang true. And since we've talk about this current issue (many times), I am going to go back to see if I have to eat crow.

**Pssst, get close to the screen so I can whisper something in your ear. Okay, I don't think I am going to have to eat my words on this one. Some women are very predictable***

Now I am not a relationship guru, yet I am a single black man in America, so it's natural that some things have been starring me right in my face. Well, it's become apparent to me that the majority of AALBC's readers are females, and so, maybe they can answer my questions, or decide if they are true or false. But see, I do not want to offend anyone, but I gotta do my thang. I mean, some may take this personally, but if nobody told you that they loved you, I do.

Can I be serious for just a few moments? Is that okay?

I just have a few questions that is burning in my soul.

Tell me...

Can a man be so undesirable that it's likely he will never find a good woman?

I am leaning towards yes. Well, what about a woman - huh? Is it possible that some women will not be able to catch a man even if she was locked in a penitentiary with a thousand men? Silly I know - it is a stretch isn't it - but let me tell you a little story...

I was lured to a woman's house. The particulars of that enticement are not important, but when I got there, things weren't right (I was there to conduct a business transaction that had nothing to do with sex). She lit a few candles and turned on some soft music. The look in her eyes told me she wanted something other than the purpose of my visit. But wait.... I didn't say why she really fired up the candles. It would be wrong for me to tell her business, but again, something was askew. This wasn't my first rodeo, so I shifted into auto pilot. Before I had a chance to lay down my magic to tell her why I had to rush away, she appeared from a darkened room. She wasn't wearing a damn thang, and things were still askew. When I grabbed my hat and shook out my coat, she said, "What?... you don't like sex?"

Now I am not going to tell the end to that story (lol), but, is it possible that a man can be tricked into a relationship or be mislead, and thus, have the right to terminate it when he pleases? For instance, aside from the many other trickerations that woman employ, what good is a woman that can't cook - huh?! Somebody has to tell me, because isn't that like a car without tires? Where are we going? Where... to bed, then what? Okay, we're in the bed, we do the thang and then we're hungry. It's 3 am and there's no leftovers because she doesn't cook. I am sorry, but isn't that what prostitutes are for... hit it and be on with it? They don't cry about being dumped or used. We don't hear Sugar daddies expressing feelings of being manipulated. So why do so women believe the groove thang is the highway to heaven?

I know I've taken a few liberties by embellishing a couple of small details, but this is a serious issue. Seriously, some woman are crying in the dark and I need to know why. I am of the opinion that a person gets what they give. I mean, granted, love is what love do, but a person can't find love with a fly swatter. Hold up.... I simply mean, birds of a feather seem to flock together. Consequently, if a person is drawing flies.....or alone, I seriously wonder why. I mean, at whose door should the be laid?

I am relatively sure there are some women that agree with me. See, they see all the disguises women use, and hear their cries about the man waking up, and walking out - forever. Now see, all that unpleasantness could be averted if women didn't come through the door wearing a costume - out of season. Come on now, for real, that hair from South East Asia and Nicaragua, looks real good. Not to mention those push-up bras and fake eyelashes. I mean, those are disposable items and not a part of the original package. When those thangs come off, the game done changed. Thus, some men have to respond. They changeCheck Spelling right with it, and catch their hat - forever. Wouldn't it be easier for women to stop crying about being dumped, and instead, dump all the games. Cleaning her house would be a good start. Stop hiding men under her bed would be another great place to start. Stop looking for love in all the wrong place's... might be something to consider. And lord knows many of our black sistas get their tips on dating from TV. If they would just turn off their televisions and stop watching Tyler Perry, they might find Mr Right.

But look, I am not trying to tell all my business, but a woman once told me she likes her pleasure without protection. I said, "damn baby, I ain't trying to be baby daddy # 4". She said she didn't mean she wasn't protected. She said she had her own thang. I told her I wasn't trying to be funny or disrespectful but..... "it appears your own thang has not been working". Then again, maybe it was working. I mean, what's up with women that have multiple babies by several different men? Is that what it takes for some women to keep men around.

Seriously, this mess ain't funny, and Congress ain't talking about it, neither are most women.

Don't believe me? Turn on Oprah and see what she's talking about. Turn on Dan Blather and see what he's talking about. Tyler Perry is talking, but who watches that coonery? We need to talk. Am talking about the real thang.

I personally know some women who will not accept a man who does not earn a specific salary. Yeah, and then they holler... "There aren't enough good men!". To be fair, and honest, there are men with the same mindset. The begging question: Is that wrong? Hey, come on now, you know it, I can be broke and miserable by myself.

Maybe it's me, but I am tired-tired-tired of hearing women moan when they ain't bringing nothing to the table but a groove thang, a funky attitude, or an unrealistic check list. Maybe it's just me but I have a sneaking feeling I am not alone. Trick & Treat is on October 30th of every year. but some women keep the mask on - year round. See, we need to talk, cause something just ain't right.

Something just ain't right in the old hen house. Can we talk? Well, that's all I want to say on this subject. I don't know a damn thing about the Black Male Crisis, no,r what to do about it. But wait, I will say that racism has a very large foot in that door. Don't get it wrong, I am sure there are other issues that relate to our problems, yet, underneath all of that, sits the white man that's shaping and pulling all the strings. Hell, he even make money on black men that goes to prison. AND the beat goes on.

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