Hundreds of black women packed the Porter Sanford Auditorium in suburban Atlanta in hopes of having ABC network provide them with answers as to why successful black women cannot find a suitable black man that is good marriage material.
Titled ABC: Face-Off “Why Successful Black Women Can’t Find a Man,” the show offset comedian Steve Harvey, actor-author Hill Harper and author Jimi Izreal with “The View” co-host Sherri Shepherd and radio host Jacque Reid to try to come up with answers.
But the premise of program was wrong from the start, says Harper, author of The Conversation. “The [title of the program] begs the question, ‘what’s wrong with the black man?‘ And it leaves out a whole other side. That question makes it seems like there’s only one side. But we’re talking about saving the black family.”
Secondly, there is a rarely published statistic that sheds light on this intraracial dilemma: There are 1.8 million more African American women than corresponding men. So even if every black man asked a black woman to marry them, nearly 2 million black females would be left out.
Another problem is the woman waiting years for their black boyfriends to marry them, says Harvey. “Women wait on man to ask me to marry him. You have every right to know what direction your life is going on,” he says.
Harper adds that “there’s 95 percent of women trying to date 5 percent of men.”
Harper also points out how black women undervalue a man’s potential to their own peril. He gave an example of a female Chicago lawyer who noticed that the man she hired had great potential even though he was entry level and had no money. The man that Michelle Obama hired that day is now the president of the United States.
Harper also points out what he calls the 95–5 rule. “Ninety-five percent of women chase 5 percent of good men,“ he says. “We aren’t communicating. There’s so much misinformation. Women spread misinformation amongst themselves. For example: when a married brutha [is] with a group of bruthas, he’s just quiet about it if he’s happy. But an unhappy married brutha you hear all about it. [It’s] not clear that black men and black women are even friends anymore. … [Women] want to be adored, men want to be believed in.”
Harvey added that entertainment has corroded the black man’s spirit. “Hip-hop took a bad turn, but it’s not hip-hop’s fault; it’s our fault. We benefited from the Civil Rights Movement. We were the first to succeed, we forgot to reach back and teach the generation behind us the business of manhood. Cool went out of of style, and now we[‘re] hard. We[‘re] the only race who degrade our women in our music.”
Hill said that men’s failure to check his friend who is mistreating and cheating on his black girlfriend comes back to haunt us all. “Where men fall down — when another brother is acting foul. We know it. We’ve been trained to do this, that’s just his business. … We have to man up when other brothers are doing foul [things].”