I was recently at a concert made-up primarily of middle-aged, middle-class black individuals, and I was reminded of just how much black women outnumber black men in our communities. This struck a cord in my mind, reminding me of the depth of racism and how much this “ism” has defined the course of African-American relationships.
Since African men and women traveled across the Atlantic Ocean in slave ships, there has been a systematic effort to objectify, dominate, and annihilate black men. In many ways, “white supremacy” has done its job successfully in robbing black women of our right to have a man of our own, and even contributes to the competition for partners seen amongst African-American women.
Except we’re stronger than this, the lack of men in our communities has bonded black women. This is why the “girl group” means more to us than it does to other groups of females. Our girl groups actually signify something. In many cases, the “girl group” provides us with the support we’re lacking due to the absence of a partner. Girl friends often are the emotional glue that holds many single-family households together, ultimately stretching to hold our communities together.
So, please know that an attack on Black men is an attack on Black women. Racism has intentionally stolen our men from our beds because the power-to-be prefers that the “system” be our husband.
The answer is not to feel bad about ourselves because we don’t have a man. We’re beautiful. We’re powerful and we’re deserving. Every woman is entitled to have her own man. Just know that part of the reason we don’t is systemic, intentional, and a historical plan to deprive us and to break down our family structure.
White men rather deal with us, than to deal with our men. They rather have Black women in the workplace than to have our men there because they have always seen black men as a threat to their authority and possible extinction.
So, I write this to say that there’s nothing wrong with us other than we’ve been attacked. And it’s time for us to see it as such and begin to operate systematically and strategically by beginning to reach across the aisle to our African brothers and sisters. I hate to say, “Africa unite” but ultimately that is the answer – unity.
We must learn from the oppressor. They united the Jews, the Italians, the Polish, and the Brits under one umbrella (whiteness). We must do the same. Then and only then will each of our daughters have a man of her own. It’s possible. We’ve made it this far, and our ancestors have not abandoned us.