Do Black Families Matter?

Updated: Sep 20, 2020

For the past couple of weeks, we have watched countless YouTube channels to better understand the content being created today. We specifically searched out content geared towards or centered around black people. An alarming discovery occurred. There seemed to be a heavy emphasis on dating content in relation to black women. Channel after channel showcased black women offering advice and overall thoughts to those who would listen. Now, the volume of content we received may be due to Youtube's algorithm, but there were enough distinct voices to take note. Even professionals in industries unrelated to the dating content genre. For example, Anthony O'Neal, a team member of The Dave Ramsey show about finance, made a series of videos on the subject. Other distinguished black men such as Kevin Samuels, a professional image consultant, have included this topic (as well as marriage) on their channel.

So how does all of this relate to the title of this blog? Following the said journey on YouTube, we eventually ran into subgroups within the genre. These groups feature black women who exclusively date asian or white men. They share their experiences and try to promote other black women to join the movement. Normally, we do not comment on the personal choices that people make, but there seems to be an external unnatural push by different media outlets promoting black women to date outside of their race. The most alarming of the comments come from women who say that other men are better than black men.

How are we measuring what is better? Are we talking in terms of better family values? It is fair to say that there are a number of black people who come from broken homes and have not seen what a good family looks like, but to say that black men as a whole lack proper family values is problematic.

  1. We are overlooking the number of white people that do not come from nuclear family structures.

  2. The other side of the coin is black women who came from similar environments are not well informed on what a proper healthy family structure looks like either.

Are we talking in terms of money and wealth? From the latest 2019 U.S. census estimates, white people make up 63.4% of the population as compared to 13.4% of black people. From a sheer numbers perspective, naturally there would be more high earning white men that high earning black men. Are you saying that white men are better because they have more people that earn more? If this is the case, we would have take in consideration where you are in the country. Some cities have a higher concentration of available black men than others. It would be difficult to fairly compare different cities to each other.

This caused us to dig deeper into the subject. We stumbled across Cheryl Judice, a sociologist and adjunct faculty member at Northwestern University’s School of Education and Public Policy. She has written two books about marriages between black women and white men. In a quote from, she stated “Right from age 16 and forward, black women start outnumbering black men. For whites, that doesn’t happen until age 32,” she said. “As a result, if you don’t think about dating outside the race, then you may wind up single.”

"A white or black woman who marries someone less educated will suffer a household income of $25,000 less a year. Because educated black women more frequently marry a less educated man, the income deficit affects black families more often. A less educated husband can spell financial ruin – especially for black women." - J. Weston Phippen (The Atlantic)

What's most interesting about Ms. Judice's perspective is that it stems from living in Evanston, Illinois, where she met numerous middle to upper middle class black families residing in several North Shore communities. There seems to be a pattern from both Cheryl and from the other women who speak on the subject. They are all well off, or decently well off black women who have achieved some level of status or economic prominence. Within their ecosystem, there does not seem to be enough worthy black men for them to couple with.

As more women become CEOs and Regional Managers of large companies, we may see more occurrences where the woman of the relationship could potentially make more money than her male counterpart. Should the expectations of paying for the household needs be the same as in the 1950's? Men do not seem to have the same attitudes about the concept of "dating down." It is common to see a high earning man with a woman with less earning potential. Historically, the woman in the partnership during that era would take care of family needs and children. This has caused the stereotypes we refer to today. If we are moving into an era of gender equality, and the roles of men and women are becoming more fluid, then should women change their position on that concept? Are they the one's that need to adjust? Or should we preserve certain positions for men in order to keep enough high earning men in the market? It is our belief that we have not fully explored the consequences of this modern change.

However, taking what has been said, since supposedly black men are in short supply, naturally the white man is the next option. Somehow, people have turned this into white men are the best option. Within the genre, Twitter and Youtube are filled with the concept that black women should not have to "date down." The U.S. has a strange emphasis on money and making a lot of it. It is strange due to the motivation behind the desire. Rarely will you find the motivation behind making a lot of money is for the benefit of the community. It seems to be more of a personal pursuit for entertainment or material acquisition purposes.

To add to this, there also seems to be a push to convince white men that they should desire black women. Somehow, in doing so, black women would eventually gain the self-esteem they so desperately crave or deserve. What proof exists to support this theory? And if black women's self-esteem is solely dependent on how media or other races view them, what amount of control do black women have over their own self-esteem?

"Between issues related to skin color, hair texture, and low self-esteem, it is more difficult for black women to talk about it publicly to draw attention to the problem. I am tired of meeting so many women who have suffered in silence and simply given up on having someone love them for who they are." - Cheryl Judice

An active campaign to be the top source of desire in media, the economic successes of black women, the promotion of these successes using hashtags on social media (#BlackGirlMagic), and the steady decline of black men in the job market and in higher education has created an interesting dynamic. The modern average black woman now views herself superior to the average black man. According to these women, since there is a shortage of high achieving black men, black women should move their desire to white men who are higher performers. The term "Swirler" has been developed to describe a person who engages in these types of relationships. This may cause a lot of these women to fantasize and praise the idea of being with a white man.

If some of these women spent time talking to real people, they would realize that we all have issues that we are actively working through. The idea that all white people are well off is false. They experience being raised in single parent households, being poor, being on welfare and domestic violence as well. Most of the problems certain black women face and the attitudes they have are common among people from loose to no community structure. For people who come from strong communities like with certain southern black communities or our African counterparts, family values are strongly encouraged and are taught from a young age. At the end of the day men are men. Some of the issues may be specific to a racial group of men, but at large, if there's a laundry list things you don't like or can't tolerate about men, then most likely you won't like any man. Contrary to modern belief, there are distinct differences between men and women. It takes effective communication skills and understanding of these differences to build and maintain a healthy family unit.

The most unfortunate observation that stands out is the deepening divide that is being creating within the young black community. There are a lot of self-proclaimed "gurus" and "experts" who could be misleading an entire generation. According to Willam Bennett, a former United States secretary of education, "The family is the nucleus of civilization and the basic social unit of society." There is no black community without black families. Black people come from black families.

People should be free to love who they want to love. However, if we start to exclusively encourage our black women (and our black men for that matter) to date and marry other people, what impact does this have on the black community? If we complain that there aren't enough black men worthy of dating, what are we doing as a community to change that? Or does growing the black community even matter anymore? Let us know what you think in the comments below.