Crisis facing single black women
March 1, 2010 (WPVI) -- There are 1.8 million more African American women than black men. Black women are graduating from college and getting advanced degrees at a much faster rate than black men. 42-percent of all African American women have never been married which is double the number of white women. And an alarming 70-percent of professional black women are single.Lisa Thomas-Laury met with 5 single professional black women at the Hyatt Hotel on Columbus Boulevard.
Most of the women agree that their expectations for a mate are based on tradition.
"I'm used to a man being a provider, more assertive, more of a leadership role," admitted Rachel Branson who is a corporate lawyer.
Lisa also spoke with 3 single, professional black men, who say their female counterparts need to alter their expectations.
"Some women I know will not date a guy that makes less than them," said Caleb Wilkerson, who is the National Director for Online Video for Comcast.
Salome Thomas-EL, educator and author of the "Immortality of Influence" says professional black women should be open to dating a black man who is less educated, with a lower salary. He points to First Lady Michelle Obama, who looked beyond Barack Obama's beat up car with the hole in the floor and President Obama, who wasn't threatened by the fact Michelle was once his boss.
"So if you have your master's degree then you tell your man 'how can I support you in helping you get your master's, your doctorate, your PhD?'."
Married to a professional black woman for 17 years, Thomas-EL says he wasn't intimidated by his wife's success and she didn't hold it over him.
"A real man, who is strong within himself, he wants a strong woman," he said. "But they can be strong and confident without being aggressive and without being arrogant."
These men say black women would be more successful finding a mate, if they were easier to approach.
"You don't want to go out and have this look on your face like you don't want anyone to talk to you because then likely no one will talk to you," explained Martin Nelson a computer software sales manager.
They also suggest giving some kind of eye contact. And some of the women agreed admitting that they do find it hard to find a date because they don't make eye contact with men which then make them not approachable.
But at least one of our black men has a different view and wonders why black men just don't step up so women don't have to settle.
But all agree, compromise is important. One guy even told us he said he would never date a woman with a child and he ended up dating a woman with a child. Black women should also broaden their horizons when looking for professional black men. The men said to stop going to the same old places. Our men suggest racially-mixed venues and anyplace where there's a live band, like Chris's Jazz Café.
There are also professional events: Urban Philly Professionals holds an after work mixer every 3rd Friday for locations, go to Urban Philly. Com.
The gym is also a good place to meet black men and if you're a single black woman, hoping to meet Mr. Right don't get into the habit of going out with your married girlfriends. Too many fingers with rings on them, they stop looking.
We recognize that black women are not the only ones with difficulty finding a life partner but it is a crisis in the black community. For those black women, convinced they will not find a black mate, there is the issue of dating outside the race.
While black men have long been willing to date other ethnicities the trend for black women is just beginning to change.
Statistics now show that the number of black women married to white men or someone other than a black man has doubled in the last decade.
special report, special reports, lisa thomas-laury
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