Monday, October 4, 2010

Black Women: Start with "Hello"

A few weeks ago in conversation with a good friend of mines, we identified a great problem in the black community: when black women are in the company of black men, they tend to avoid contact and not even acknowledge their presence. We laughed and joked about our theory. We even presented several reasons why this phenomenon may be occurring but we never thought there was any truth behind our laughter.

Walking away from our conversation, I was determined to a) find out if this theory of ours was in fact a reality and b) to shatter it if there’s any truth to it.

My “field research” began in the gym, 24Hour fitness, a place you will find a plethora of black men…single ladies please take note. I started out by making eye contact and saying hello, good morning and waved to all black men within my vicinity. Men that I’ve ignored for the past three months were all of the sudden subjects to my research.

Guess what their responses were black women? Usually a simple reciprocal hello or good morning! However this one morning the response was different. A good looking black man was walking toward me, our eyes met and continuing with my research I did as times before and said “good morning” and he responded with a typical reply: “good morning”. Two minutes later that same man approached me and said “in the two years I've attended this gym and in addition to two other locations, you are the only sistah that has ever spoken to me”. Ouch! Those were his exact words.

We talked and laughed a bit about the ridiculousness of this occurrence but once again I can’t mind my own business and leave well enough alone. Is this issue only specific to the black community or does it occur among all groups? The other question I've been grappling with is why? Why are black women apprehensive about approaching black men?

My girlfriend and I came to a number of conclusions of this phenomenon one is: black women are apprehensive about approaching black men they feel might have a chance at “sealing the deal”. That’s right, there’s a fear of rejection; a fear of not being fully accepted by black men. There’s also a fear of being disappointed once and if a relationship strikes. We've heard all the jokes about men being dogs and the Maury Povich baby mama drama and many of us have already been hurt by them; either by our own fathers or by an ex. Let’s face it; we have low expectations for the black man. The other reason we’re not willing to admit is the sexual tension that seems to exist as eyes of two perfect strangers meet; there’s an instant attraction, like physics’ potential energy waiting to be explored. That attraction forces us to look away and not even attempt a conversation. However, I think we can retrain ourselves to not allow this attraction to be sexual. We can admire a person without it being tied to sex.

I think it’s time black women; it’s time for us to put down our guards and look at these beautiful black men as created beings. They are created beings that have the same needs as every other human being; to be loved, cherished, respected and acknowledged. And, no they were not created to replace the father that could not love us as we needed to be loved or to compensate for the ex-boyfriend, fiancĂ© or husband that left a gaping hole in our hearts. They cannot carry the burdens of this world, there’s only one Man of which I know can do such a thing. So black women, I challenge you today: look deep into the eyes of these beautiful black men and pour dignity back into their souls; they are waiting for us and they do take notice.

Black women, start with a HELLO!