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*Many years ago, it was common for slave owners to “divide” their “property” by separating the male slaves from their wives and children.
This process was said to serve a specific and nefarious purpose for the overseer—to ensure that future generations of Negroes would lack the unity and solidarity required for any group of people to achieve lasting prosperity.
During this period in history, a female slave would often be forced to rear her offspring alone, thereby fostering a tradition of independence and self-reliance among “colored” women.
While historians agree that many Black families were kept intact, even more less fortunate slave households were divided for various reasons, but often for monetary gain.
As the singular caregiver to her children, the female slave would intuitively summon feminine and masculine energy while serving her role as both mother and father in the absence of her spouse.
Meanwhile, the stronger male slave was believed to more of an asset to his master as a worker on the field and thusly, many of them were shipped to plantations away from their families and forced to procreate with other female slaves. Black social scientists suggest this gave rise to a behavior of mistrust among Black couples that may persist to this day.
In the 21st Century, some studies have demonstrated that Black marriages are among the most fragile of any racial group, highlighted by a divorce rate that’s well over 60 percent.
Consequently, the existence of stable Black families appears to be fading with exceptional quickness, raising the odds of a much needed rebuild within the African American community.
This phenomenon has gotten progressively worse since the days of old when Black couples operated as a team in the midst of staggering oppression and dehumanizing racism.
Making matters worse, lingering issues like unemployment and economic instability have severely eroded the health and longevity of Black relationships.
Sociological studies suggest the lasting damage is causing a rift between both genders that grows wider with every passing day. It’s the byproduct of a generation still haunted by the vestiges and mental conditioning of slavery, combined with the realities of modern society.
In other words, a war between the sexes is brewing.
Relationships have never been easy to maintain. Maintaining a stable marriage in 2018 can be a daunting task. Unlike other racial groups, African Americans often encounter unique societal challenges that impact their mood, self-esteem, and mental health.
These impediments can wreak havoc on the interpersonal bond between two lovers, often causing stress and resentment between the parties involved.
“I’ve dated my fair share of sisters, and none of those experiences ended with my happiness or theirs,” recalls Nate Woolridge, a 29-year-old FED-Ex driver and new father.
“I’m a hard worker,” he said, “so money was never an issue. I have always been able to provide. But that wasn’t enough. It didn’t stop any of [women] from trying to control where I would go, who I would spend time with, and even how I would spend my own money. They wanted me to follow their lead, not the other way around. A real man won’t accept that.”
Nate explained that, although he is gainfully employed and currently happy with the mother of his young daughter, a few of his close friends have struggled to find jobs in the new economy, and it’s hurting their relationships.
“They never hear the end of it,” he continued. “One of my friends is dating a girl who earns nearly six figures, and she graduated from USC. Whenever they fight over an issue, she throws her weight around and brags about her education and the money she makes. She cuts him down in front of other people because she’s technically in the power position. My friend can’t really defend himself because she’s the breadwinner right now. He needs her. In my opinion, that’s a position most black women prefer to be in.”
Beginning in 1979, women began to outnumber men in U.S. colleges, attaining nearly 60 percent of total enrollment by 2017, federal education figures show. High school girls have been outperforming boys for years, sociologists say. And the social barriers that kept young women’s mothers and grandmothers out of college have fallen away.
Nationwide, about 36 percent of women aged 25 to 34 years have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with about 28 percent of similarly aged men, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, a Washington, D.C., think tank.
A new report suggests that Black women are now the most educated group in the United States.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, between 2014 and 2016, Black women earned 68 percent of all associate degrees awarded to Black students, as well as 66 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 71 percent of master’s degrees and 65 percent of all doctorates awarded to Black students.
On the flip side, Black men aren’t fairing as well educationally, and many choose the alternative of a regular job with minimum pay compared to their female counterparts.
Massive disparities in education and income between Black men and women has effectively produced two polarizing categories of Black women: Those who “date down” by settling for less-accomplished partners, and others who’ve ruled out Black men altogether as potential dating prospects.
“‘Dating down’ is a phrase that I only hear from black women,” said LA native Don Houston, 34. “I know plenty of guys who make an honest living, but they don’t earn the kind of money, or their jobs don’t hold the level of prestige that many Black women require these days. It’s causing many of us to move in a different direction. It’s almost like we have to show our worth to them, but other than a good job and a couple dollars, most of these women bring zero to the table on the domestic front. There’s no balance.”
According to recent studies, White women with an undergraduate degree are almost as likely to be married today as in 1960. But marriage rates are declining for Black women across the educational spectrum. A Black woman with an undergraduate degree aged between 35 and 45 is 15 percentage points less likely to be married than a white woman without an undergraduate degree.
“We’re not settling for less anymore,” declares Breanna Reed, a recent college graduate. “I live in Chicago, and the Black men I’ve encountered generally lack ambition, respect for women, and they’re either unemployed or still cranking out demo tapes for a rap career they’ll never have. [Black] women have a history of lowering our standards to accommodate unexceptional men. And now we’re beginning to realize that being single or even dating out of the race are better options than settling.”
In the midst of what seems to be perpetual conflict between African American men and women, both groups are spitefully choosing to explore the waters of interracial dating.
Ironically, when either a Black man or woman is spotted with a non-Black companion in public, it elicits whispers of contempt and disapproval on social media.
The wrath of Black Twitter recently fell upon rising actor Michael B. Jordan, who’s been repeatedly photographed in the exclusive company of White women. Viral images of his public liaisons with cosmetically enhanced blondes and brunettes have agitated dozens of Black women in cyberspace over the past few weeks, many of whom feel betrayed by the young entertainer.
“I’ve never dated interracially because I have a love for Black men,” explains Carolyn Emery, 49. “They understand me, we have a lot in common.”
She continued, “The breakdown of the Black family and of Black relationships isn’t entirely the fault of Black men. In my opinion, Black women have lost the understanding of how to be a good wife and a supportive partner. We’ve become a little too independent … it’s crippling our relationships.
“There’s also a generational divide,” she added. “Women today are influenced by television and what happening in the world. My generation values marriage, family, commitment, and we don’t confuse the natural roles of men and women. I don’t need to wear the pants.”
The Black Hat is written by Southern California based Cory A. Haywood, a freelance writer and expert on Negro foolishness. Contact him via: [email protected] and/or visit his blog: www.enterthehat.com, or send him a message on Twitter: @coryahaywood
The Virtual United Negro College Fund Tour Heads to NY, DC & NJ on Fri & Sat-Nov. 20 & 21 (EUR EXCLUSIVE!)
*African American students interested in going to college can attend the United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) Fall 2020 virtual Empower Me Tour. Set for this Friday and Saturday (November 20 & 21, 2020), New York, District of Columbia, and New Jersey will be repped. (This year’s tour kicked off earlier this month in Wisconsin and Illinois). To register, go here.
The Empower Me Tour is an extension of the goals of the UNCF. Founded in 1944, the UNCF, a non-profit, has raised more than $5 billion and helped more than 500,000 students attend 37 private historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
The EUR caught up with Stacey Lee, the tour’s director for four years, who discussed the importance of the event.
“The UNCF is the nation’s largest provider of education support to minority students,” said Lee. “The Empowerment Tour has been executed for the past 12 years and last year along we offered over $12 million dollars in scholarships.”
Lee continued, “I think the great thing is that during these times, even with COVID-19, is that a number of corporations (Wells Fargo/P&/FedEx/Disney/Goldman Sachs) and donors have really been providing opportunity and financial access to our schools and students.”
The tour is packed with information and resources so that students and parents have the right tools to make informed decisions.
“It’s a free event that provides educational support, scholarships, interviews with colleges, empowerment, and information on how to get to and through college. We also provide this information for parents as well. We have a parent section that focuses on financial aid and the things you need to get your students to college.”
Lee continued, “Sometimes we have students that don’t realize that they can attend college. They can receive scholarships. Some of them don’t even know what an HBCU is. So, it’s inspirational for me to see these students receive this information and the excitement that’s around this tour.”
In addition to college information, panel sessions on issues affecting the community will also take place. Legendary rapper Bun B will be part of a special My Black Is Beautiful panel. The panel will have discussions with girls and boys and the MC will lead the male portion.
“It’s about empowerment,” Bun B told the EUR. “It’s vital for us to lift each other up and amplify each other’s voices. We just talk about now what that role is in this COVID world. And with everything that we are seeing with young Black men on television, we want to keep them motivated and centered. We want to make sure that they are not discouraged in this moment.”
Ever since Kamala Harris threw her hat into the presidential race and elected vice president of the United States, a spotlight has shined on the fact that she’s an HBCU grad (Howard University) and member of the African American sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha. These facts are not lost on the UNCF.
“Kamala has really boosted people’s awareness about HBCUs and (African American sororities) and the type of people that come out of HBCUs. HBCUS have also provided so many people from science, mathematics, and engineering programs (STEM).”
Bun B added, “We have more than enough examples to show you how beneficial an education from an HBCU can be. So, there is no reason to not be a part of an HBCU because the world is just as available to you as it is for anyone else attending any other type of university.”
New Music Buzz: Jazzy Rita Shelby’s ‘Goodbye 2020’
*SB Music presents “Goodbye 2020” a new single for the times we are in.
“Goodbye 2020” is performed by Jazzy Rita Shelby and written by Miss Shelby (ASCAP) and Eddie Lawrence Miller (BMI).
It’s the perfect anthem to end a year that has impacted the globe.
EURweb’s Jazzy Rita is also a prolific lyricist who has teamed up with Eddie Miller for “Goodbye 2020” because it was timely and convenient for the birth of a song such as this.
Eddie Miller is a coveted keyboardist & vocalist who performs regularly with Brian Culbertson and he’s the Rhodes Festival musical director. Jazzy Rita rose to notoriety as host & performer at The Starlight Jazz Serenade, an annual benefit concert in North Hollywood with an A list of stars. As a teen Miss Shelby was inspired to write songs by the legendary David Porter.
This year has been a year like no other. “Goodbye 2020” is an ode to the world for the year that we have seen and the hope that lies ahead. Radio Programmers click here for adds.
“Goodbye 2020” is released on the SB Music label and was recorded at Wishing Wells Studio in Canoga Park, CA. Willie Daniels and Mildred Black perform background vocals along with Jazzy Rita. The video is produced & directed by Jazzy Rita (LaRita Shelby), filmed & edited by Reggie Simon of Simon Vision Media, with wardrobe styling by Jazzy Rita and Poet Roni Girl’s Army Couture. “Goodbye 2020” is available on most digital platforms. Click here to listen on Spotify.
Celebrate Halloween with ‘Spell’ Starring Omari Hardwick, Loretta Devine and John Beasley / WATCH
*Today/TONIGHT is Halloween and what could be a more perfect way to celebrate than with the release of SPELL? Enjoy the clips below to get you in the spooky spirit!
Omari Hardwick (“Power,” Sorry to Bother You), Loretta Devine (“Black-ish,” Crash) and John Beasley (The Sum of All Fears, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks) star in the terrifying thriller SPELL, coming to Premium Video-On-Demand and Digital today October 30 from Paramount Home Entertainment.
While flying to his father’s funeral in rural Appalachia, an intense storm causes Marquis (Omari Hardwick) to lose control of the plane carrying him and his family. He awakens wounded, alone and trapped in Ms. Eloise’s (Loretta Devine) attic, who claims she can nurse him back to health with the Boogity, a Hoodoo figure she has made from his blood and skin. Unable to call for help, Marquis desperately tries to outwit and break free from her dark magic and save his family from a sinister ritual before the rise of the blood moon.
DIRECTED BY | Mark Tonderai
SCREENPLAY BY | Kurt Wimmer
STARRING | Omari Hardwick, Loretta Devine, John Beasley
AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL PLATFORMS | Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, DirecTV, VUDU, Xfinity, FandangoNOW and more.
Rating | R – violence, disturbing/bloody images, and language
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