That was the question we had to address at the end of our session last Thursday. And unfortunately, the responses were mixed. At the beginning of class, we viewed a clip of Malcolm X where he drops one of his most famous lines about Black women. I used that clip to anchor our discussion on Black men showing love to Black women. We then engaged in a brief Google search on Black love, Black men and Black women, etc., which resulted in several dead ends (go ahead and google phrases to see the results). I also shared historical and modern-day examples of how Black men show love to Black women with more surprises there as well. We then engaged in a deeper discussion of this month's semester topic.
In the end, most of us felt that Black men are NOT really out here showing sistas love (as we see with Black men like the Kentucky AG Daniel Cameron and his complete indifference to the death of Breonna Taylor). One person spoke for the 20 & 30-year-old crowd and stated that most of the Black men that she sees in this age group are not in healthy relationships with other Black women. Another person felt differently because she has been blessed to witness so many of her friends and family in positive, healthy relationships with Black men. Could age (and maturity as a byproduct) be the determining factor then? Or is it by and large a generational shift--a shift in how Black men think about commitment? I also have to bring up the fact that ready access to porn might be a factor as well. Recent studies have shown that porn-addicted men have a difficult time maintaining intimacy in their relationships. Their notions of sex, love, intimacy and romance get skewed due to the kind of imagery they have been exposed to.
There can be so many reasons as we're just scratching the surface here. Nevertheless, in the small bit of research I have done for this particular class, I see a consistent pattern of Black men not showing us love. Yes, I feel it in my own home from my husband, but out in the broader society, not as much. What will it take? Obviously, more awareness that the problem exists; Black men should actually be having discussions on this topic with one another. Then the next step is for Black men to take action by showing love to all of the Black women in their lives, whether that be their wives, mamas, baby mamas, baby mama's mamas, aunties, grandmas, daughters, etc. We need Black men who will fight for freedom, equity, and justice for all Black women!