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Dr. Boyce: Want to Know Why Black Women Aren’t Getting Married? Just Look at the Prisons

marriagessby Dr. Boyce Watkins

If you don’t think that the mass incarceration epidemic affects you, you might want to think again.

When I met with Min. Louis Farrakhan for several hours in a private meeting to discuss our upcoming forum at The University of Illinois at Chicago, one of the topics that came up was the mass incarceration crisis and how it has served to destroy the black family in America.

Nearly every conservative on the planet loves to tell black people that our problems would go away if would simply choose to get married.  What they forget to mention is that the primary reason for the decline in marital rates is, according to numerous studies, directly linked to the fact that the US government created a set of Draconian drug laws in the 1980s that literally sucked tens of thousands of black men out of the community.  It’s hard to get married if there are far fewer men than before.

In a very compelling article, The Economist magazine stepped away from its standard delivery of international political updates to dig deeply into the experience of the African American woman. In the article, economists analyze dating for black women as a market, where men and women enter the market to search for a suitable mate.  My PhD is in Finance, which is a sister field to Economics. So, I am in agreement that one can think of dating as a market, similar to a grocery store, stock market or a labor market.  When one side of the market is out of balance, it can cause the entire ecosystem to collapse into dysfunction.

The author starts off with a simple example to help make his point. He says “IMAGINE that the world consists of 20 men and 20 women, all of them heterosexual and in search of a mate. Since the numbers are even, everyone can find a partner. But what happens if you take away one man?”

Then, citing the work of Tim Harford, an economist in England, the author says that because one out of the 20 women faces the possibility of never finding a husband, she tries harder to get a man, perhaps by dressing more seductively or doing things the other women might not do. She may even steal a man from someone else. This then affects what other women do to find and keep their own men, and also the behavior of the men themselves.  Anyone who has observed black dating over the last 20 years knows that standards have changed dramatically in the competition for men…even hip-hop artists are allowed to say things today about women that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.  The idea of respecting black women has become as out-of-style as eight-track tapes and biker shorts.

The example used by Harford describes, to some, the challenges that black women face in the age of mass incarceration. In the United States, one in nine black men between the ages of 20 and 29 is in jail or prison. Not only are currently incarcerated men typically ineligible for women to date, many women avoid dating ex-convicts at all. In the US, those who’ve been formerly incarcerated have difficulty finding jobs, and some may have been infected with venereal diseases as a result of prison r@pe or other forms of abuse resulting from their time in prison. Scientists have linked the spread of s*xually transmitted disease within the black community back to prisons and jails.

The author says that the explosion in incarceration between 1970 and 2007 can be linked to the fact that the proportion of married African American women dropped from 62% to 33% over the same time period. Two scholars cited in the article, Kerwin Kofi Charles and Ming Ching, also agree that prison has played a huge role in the drop in marital rates for black women. Their analysis determined that a one percentage point increase in the incarceration rate resulted in a 2.4 percent decline in the proportion of black women who get married.

According to the analysis, less-educated black women suffer the most in the social asymmetry that has occurred over the last 40 years.  When I hear from working-class black women in cities like Chicago, it honestly sounds like nearly every woman I speak with is dating a felon or has dated one in the past.   Those who think that the incarceration problem only affects criminals or people who make poor decisions should realize that all of us break the law at some point in our lives, and it’s only the strictness with which the law is applied that determines whether or not we go to prison for our offenses.

As of 2007, the Pew Research Center says that only 11% of black women aged 30 – 44 without a high school diploma had a spouse with a job. But although less-educated women are getting the shortest end of the stick, things are not so easy for educated women either.

“I thought I was a catch,” a black female doctor told The Economist. “It’s like, what are you going to do extra, to get his attention?”

Nearly everyone has something to say about this imbalance between men and women in the African American community. Even the comedian Steve Harvey encourages women to “think like men” in order to get what they want. I personally don’t find Harvey’s approach to be appealing, since the last thing I’d want to date is a woman who thinks like a man.  Also, the implication that relationship warfare should be conquered with more warfare just leads to an even greater mess than the one we have already. Love should not be about war, winning or any kind of competition; you can’t find true love if you are always prepared for war.

With that said, a few things can be done to help deal with the breakdown of black families in the age of mass incarceration. First, our own relationships should be analyzed and managed on a micro level. The deep dysfunction of the African American family requires careful reflection on the things that keep us from loving one another properly.

Reading books written by certified relationship experts who scientifically study this problem for a living can go a long way in helping all of us to understand the day-to-day decisions and care necessary to make our relationships work. Many black men and women suffer serious psychological scars from their own anger toward a parent who may not have done their job properly. When we bring this anger into our relationships, we can end up destroying one situation after another without even realizing what we’re doing. As my friend Terrie Williams, author of ‘Black Pain,’ likes to say, “Hurt people, hurt people,” and black folks are pretty good at hurting one another.

The second thing we must do is address the broader macro-political roots of this problem. The issue of mass incarceration of African American men affects us all, not just black men. These men are our sons, fathers, brothers and (for black women) potential husbands. We must all demand that our political leaders (starting with the Congressional Black Caucus, President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder) find ways to acknowledge this issue and help us to create solutions to the fact that so many men are being sent away for decades without any hope of returning to their families in a healthy way.

Even if draconian sentencing is not done away with, prisons can be a place of rehabilitation and opportunities to create a better life for the children you’ve left behind. Keeping these men out of the job market and making them political non-entities long after they’ve done their time speaks to a larger, more insidious effort to destroy the African American family either via apathy, racism or devious financial incentives.

When Minister Farrakhan and I gather for our forum on “Wealth, Education, Family and Community” this month, mass incarceration will be at the forefront of the discussion.  As I mentioned recently, prisons have become the new slave ships of America, and recent studies have shown that the black family is worse off today than it was 30 years ago.  We are not just worse off for what white America has done to us, we are also worse off because many of us do not care.    If we want a better future for our children, it’s time that we wake up and smell the coffee: Racism is alive and well in America, and we must fight it as a family.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and author of the lecture series, “The 8 Principles of Black Male Empowerment.” To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

55 Responses to Dr. Boyce: Want to Know Why Black Women Aren’t Getting Married? Just Look at the Prisons

  1. Sass

    November 27, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    The first line of this article is the very reason why the black family is in crisis. “Mass incarceration” due to “draconian sentencing policies” while biased and in need if changing doesn’t excuse the criminal activity that sent most of these men there in the first place. Let’s own up to the fact that it’s the choice to commit crime or hang out with criminals in the first place that is the bigger problem. Lack of accountability and continuously framing our problems in the context of relentless racism is doing more to destroy out families today.

  2. nina p

    July 12, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    I am doing research on the topic of that statistics showing black women get married at an alarmingly low rate. I would like to share this article in more ways than one and wanted to make the suggestion that you intergrate more social sharing sites and the ability to email. Thank you. Very good article. I understand this on a personal level.

  3. Offthepink

    July 6, 2013 at 9:09 am

    This is all on the sisters. They complain about there being no good men…but us GOOD MEN know that these women systematically dismiss us because we aren’t thugged out, we don’t act like the media’s image of a black man (basically a thug right out of a hip hop video). Don’t try that “Urkel” thing, because there is no such thing as ANYBODY who is that messed up. We’re just normal guys, we’re not socially awkward computer geeks like indian guest workers or something, we speak proper english, who know pants are meant to be worn above our asses, and we have regular haircuts instead of dreads in girly fashions like pig-tails. We have dependable employment…we may not have the jobs women fantasize their “dream man” having, like being a multi-national CEO or some other implausible crap from a movie, but unlike the thugs that are desired, we have the ability to STAY EMPLOYED and contribute earnings rather than catching some pre-teen attitude and ending up mooching off of you, laying in your house playing xbox and smoking weed all day, or being unemployable due to convictions or never being able to pass a drug test. Black women don’t seem to be paying us much attention, but the dreaded, sagging JOKES that consider themselves men get all the attention, while we get a sneer and sucked teeth when we try to start a conversation with a comment on the weather. I see what’s going on. MANY black guys like me see what’s going on. Black women want to roll with the filth of our community, and then complain when they get grimy. I was tipped off to this hearing my cousins talk about a dude

    Cousin 1: How many times has he been to prison?

    Cousin 2: Twice now. He’s on probation right now.

    Cousin 1: OOOO! What’s his number?!

    Me: *mentally* Sweet Jesus, WTF?!??!

    now…I’m not calling black women liars when they say they want a good dependable man…but we hear you say what you want, and we see you are highly attracted to the exact opposite: immature, criminally-inclined adults with the attitudes, sense of responsibility, maturity level and minds of little boys. You can talk about God all you want, but until you leave the thugs along and start checking out the dudes you keep ignoring, nothing will change for you. We’re honest. We’re not the ones who “have game” because the entire goal of “The game” is to trick a woman into believing you’re something they want long enough to get what you want…and that’s just what the thugs and playas have been doing since the 90′s.

  4. Jaquette Ross

    June 8, 2013 at 11:34 am

    I am 41 years old,not married and no kids. Simply because its what I wanted.

  5. AAnn

    April 2, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Ii have been married before and I made some “bad” choices. I would like to get married again but I don’t want to rush anything. The men that want to get married too quickly are out for what they can get & the others don’t want to commit.
    The Bible says “when a man finds a woman that is a good thing.”
    I dated a widower for 7 years and he would not commit to me(various excuses) and he was a “good man.” Some of my friends have gone online and met men outside of the race. I’m not opposed to it but is that an only option versus an ex-con? I realize we all have our issues (including me) so I’m not knocking anyone who is truly trying to change. I have a son who is currently married but I also have a grandchild
    who ‘s mother is a wonderful person and has never been married.
    We really need to pray for the younger women 20-40 because they should have the opportunity for marriage like women from other races.
    Black men & women need to get over the stigma about seeking counseling.

  6. Marie

    March 11, 2013 at 12:29 am

    To sum up the whole matter, seek God Jesus Christ who is soon to return. Be bless all I love u . Oh, one correction, somebody on this forum mis-interpret the Bible. Being in equally yoke is between a Christian believer and non believer, not between opposite of one’s race. Read the word to show yourself approve into God.

  7. Marie

    March 11, 2013 at 12:16 am

    Carly Lee, u got me laughing, you are so correct, thank you. There are a lot of intelligent women out there (men also) who are looking for a person of interest with integrity; however, I do find a lot of black men who don’t want to committ. This is not every black male; however majority.

  8. Marie

    March 11, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Carly Lee, u got me laughing, you are so correct, thank you.

  9. James

    March 10, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    Why do we keep repect the Big Lie. there isn’t more Black men in Jail then College.Let look at the College
    ages group is 18-30,There more Blk men in College then Jail.

  10. James

    March 10, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    Why do we keep repect the Big Lie. there isn’t more Black men in Jail then College.Let look at the College
    ages group is 18-30,There more Blk men in College then Jail.

  11. darkandlovely

    March 10, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Everyone needs to pick up a copy of The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander, and then revisit this topic.

    And just once, I would like to wake up and not see something negative about black folks. Everything seems to always be from a negative vibe.

  12. Amy Johnson

    March 10, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    RACISM IS ALIVE AND WELL IN AMERICA AND IT IS CLEAR THAT WE HATE OURSELVES, JUST LOOK AROUND:

    We have great leaders, scholars, great communities
    Yet draconian laws are the blame for mass incarceration, we take little responsibility
    We have become masters of consumption without accountability;
    We enjoy the savings at all manner of big market retailers and fast food joints(need I name them?);
    We have access to every manner of “social” media available.
    Yet we turn our backs to local family owned businesses and miss out on jobs, and the rich networking that lead to collaboration;
    We have the business of the church in some places on almost every block, yet people are suffering…

    Time and time again, I speak with young talented men (some with records) that simply want to work, contribute to his family and community and yet there are few busineses to employ him/or care to. Thousands of men are released onto 125th Street every week with no where to go…no job and little hope….
    We have falied to connect the economic dots??
    Time and time again we refuse to own up to the fact that if you:
    Spend all of your money on someone else’s house (car, whatever) nearly everytime and not your own house, it will likely collapse—-PURE AND SIMPLE!!!
    This is very basic economic stuff that we don’t seem to want to disuss, yet we have no problem complaining. WHY is that???Could it be that you’re a racist? You hate yourself! Why else would you sit by and let your house fall down without barely lifting as much as a finger to fix it??? YOU DON’T REALLY CARE!!! This is not a photo op, this is stuff that you do that flies under the media radar but makes a lasting impact in someone’s life. What have you done lately to help anybody in the community, any child any organization, anything??? You spend that money on coach, LV, etc., but never contribute a dime to a scholarship fund. If you answered nothing, you are a racist!! You’re no better than the guy that stood in the crowd to watch a lynching. You are guilty. Look in the mirror, what have you done, what will you do to make a diference?

    • Jeff

      May 6, 2013 at 7:31 pm

      Well said. The fact is, people are about talking big and complaining. This is a common theme among black people with the slave gene–from Jamaica to America-it is the same thing: Blacks give big speeches, attend marches and write books, but you can’t get one stupid niggger to frequent a local business–especially one with a black owner.

      • Ofthepink

        August 3, 2013 at 5:21 am

        What black businessess out there don’t make you feel they’re trying to use you to line their pockets and rip people off?

        Barbecue: Nobody’s eating barbeque every week, multiple times.

        Rims, car parts, and stereo: Never last. The latino and white places doing the same thing has better selection, prices, and service.

        Supermarkets: Inferior goods, dented cans, high prices.

        Compared to other races we make the least, so why should we pay higher prices at black-owned places for inferior products and service? THAT’S why nobody supports black businesses.

    • Jeanette Reese

      May 16, 2013 at 11:35 am

      I agree that black people are racist. Because we are racist against our own. Yes, in our community, there is a church on just about every corner. Besides this, the only other business we have is a funeral home and a hair salon. There are no black owned banks, beauty supply stores, or grocery stores. These businesses are usually ran by foreigners. As black people, we choose to consume rather than pull our resources together and start our own businesses. Yes, it takes money to start a business. But it can be done if it is done collectively. This is how the foreiners are able to make it. When the foreigners do something, it is to benefit the entire clan. As African Americans, we have become very selfish and self centered. We have developed a selfish, individualistic mentality. “I have mine, so you go and get yours.” We do each other worse than the KKK ever will. Carter G Woodson was right when he said, “When you control a man’s thinking, you do not have to concern yourself about what he will do. When you control a man’s thinking, You will control his actions.” Enough said.

  13. hhh

    March 9, 2013 at 9:45 am

    The disproportionate incarceration and unemployment of Black men and women has done a number on our community. Black men do not respect their women or themselves, Black woman do not respect their men or themselves. We are at odds with each other both angry at the other for our failure to provide stability and progress. Black singles today are operating in an environment that is comprised of two generations of dysfunction. Many are traumatized before they even reach dating age. We are part of the problem, we are certainly the solution but we are not the cause. We must stop hating each other first and foremost. Black men are not weak,ignorant, lazy or irresponsible. Black women are not immoral, belligerent, or conniving. We have allowed media that we do not control, regardless of the face of the artist, to define us in the frame of street culture: Pimps, Hoes, Gangsters, and Thugs. This is not us.

    • Jeanette Reese

      May 16, 2013 at 11:59 am

      As African Americans, we play into the stereotypes that media has put out there. The stereotyping in the media is not going to change until black actors and actresses stop accepting these roles. It is not going to stop until these famous actors and actresses stop being so obsessed with their fame and fortune and start caring more about their integrity and how blacks are being portrayed. We tend to forget that there are sill places where people of other races do not have that much contact with us. And this is right here in America. Besides here say, the media is the only other way that others recieve their information about us. But we can do something about the stereotyping to. We can stop playing into them. You don’t have to act like a fool because someone else is expecting you to. We need to stop letting others defined who we are. We need to start defining ourselves. We should stop concentrating on what the white world thinks of us. They will always have their opinions about us. It is up to us to change ourselves. Like Michael Jackson has said, “If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at your self and make a change.”

    • Jeanette Reese

      May 16, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      I am commenting about black men not respecting black women. Ladies, this is what you need to do. If you are dating someone, pay attention to how he treats other people. especially his mother and other females. If he is treating you like gold, but mean to others, look out, because your turn is coming. He may be nice to you now, but sooner or latter, he is going to get tired of trying to impress you and he will start treating you like he does everyone else. If he does not have respect for his mother or other females, he will not have it for you. Ladies, despite what others are saying to you, you do not have to settle. It’s ok to be by yourself. When we were born into this world, unless we are a twin, we did not come into this world with a partner. We came here alone. Having a partner will not make us whole or complete. Having a partner is about having someone to share and enjoy life with. If he does not respect you, or if he mistreats you, then you don’t need to be with him. When we work on imrpoving our selves, then the right mate will come along. Sometimes, it is more important to be the right person than it is to find one.

  14. ronart

    March 9, 2013 at 3:26 am

    Jeez. The comments above clearly show how f*cked up you blacks are. Good luck.

  15. ronart

    March 9, 2013 at 3:25 am

    Jeez. The comments above clearly shows how f*cked up you blacks are. Good luck.

    • SayWhat

      March 11, 2013 at 6:43 pm

      We can thank your ancestors for that!

  16. greyeyedgirl

    March 9, 2013 at 3:00 am

    People need to get a life and stop worrying and attacking black women for whatever they choose to do as if it is anyone’s got damn business!

    • Ofthepink

      August 3, 2013 at 5:32 am

      It IS everybody’s business. The bastard children she has with thugs are tomorrow’s criminals (boys) and future thug factories (girls). Without a father, boys will seek to emulate gangsta rappers idea of manhood and start committing crimes. The girls will seek out said criminals as the ideal of manhood and have children with them…becoming single mothers. And the cycle continues over and over. A big part of standard IQ tests is pattern recognition. With such poor pattern recognition skills (black on average according to the IQ test have an IQ of 85 or less: retard levels), is it any wonder this huge negative societal factor for our race just keeps happening? QUIT MAKING BABIES WITH IRRESPONSIBLE LITTLE BOYS (thug niggas). Choose MEN who have outgrown that childish life. You are causing the downfall of our race, and making our future neighborhoods dangerous.

  17. hiroader2

    March 9, 2013 at 2:26 am

    ALSO considering a whole assortment of issues “Why Black Women Aren’t Getting Married ” besides blackmen being incarcerated.. Social, economic, cultural, educational, government family interference… All since the mid to late 70′s …

  18. Cindie

    March 9, 2013 at 12:38 am

    The Bible says, “be ye not unequally yoked.” Finding a black man and woman that are “equally yoked” is very difficult today…..and the older you are, the less likelihood of that happening…..

    • greyeyedgirl

      March 9, 2013 at 2:47 am

      A black woman does not have to be with a black man to be evenly yoked. Thank goodness I don’t fall for religious bullshit like this.

  19. Elizabeth

    March 8, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Sorry, but most African-American men don’t like the women in their ethnic group.

    • greyeyedgirl

      March 9, 2013 at 2:51 am

      So you must think you’re better than black women or something right? You are nothing more than some white chick that some black dude like, big deal…so many of us simply do not care…I in speaking for myself;never needed a black man to be happy so you can get down off of your pedestal now.

  20. fred-5399

    March 8, 2013 at 9:17 am

    If you are a black woman with a degree and a career you’re in better shape a than a black woman who has neither. Better to be paid and alone than broke and abused by a fool who rather thug than work.

    • greyeyedgirl

      March 9, 2013 at 2:57 am

      Intelligent black women know this which is why most of them that are married are married out or dating out.

  21. WrongAgain

    March 7, 2013 at 2:33 am

    Uh Anthony there are not plenty of black out there. Ones who are not in jail, on drugs, in a gang or lazy bums. The ones who are available HATE black women for the most part. Sad to say but our people don’t want to admit it. So let’s come up with other reasons/excuses.

    • Ofthepink

      August 3, 2013 at 5:46 am

      Lemme speak up here. The ones who are available are IGNORED by black women because we are not thugs. We start conversations with “Good morning/afternoon/evening” when we approac a black woman we don’t know. We get a nasty expression, rolled eyes,and get a “Tch”. You know that crap immature little girls do when they suck their teeth in disdain. However, some idiot who looks like a gorilla dressed hm in the dark, with sissy Pippi Longstocking pigtails in his hair and showing his underwear comes waddling up (can’t even walk normally cus his pants would fall to his ankles) comes up screeching “DAAAAAMN, gurl, you lookin’ fine-er dan a MUG!”, and this bimbo gets a shy smile and gives a coy “Hey, you’re looking good, too, papa.” I’ve seen this crap time and time again. A polite, normal black dude can’t get the time of day without a black woman getting an attitude, but a thug walks up, not even respecting the woman and oh, she just ADORES his ass. Apparently, the less you act like an oversexed male chimp in drag (“swagger”), the less attenton black women pay. But when she finds out he was cheating on her (thugs always have other women on standby so they have another place to live when their number 1 kicks them out. They live in a state of semi-homelessness), the woman lump ALL black men in with the thugs she prefers ass evil, cheating dogs. As if it’s OUR fault she only goes out with they type of men KNOWN to be polygamous.

  22. Oh No

    March 7, 2013 at 2:31 am

    Uh Anthony there are not plenty of black out there. Ones who are not in jail, on drugs, in a gang or lazy bums. The ones who are available HATE black women for the most part. Sad to say but our people don’t want toto admit it.

  23. Anthony

    March 6, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    This whole conversation of why black women aren’t getting married is silly. There are plenty of good Black brothers out there & Black women don’t want them. They spend their 20′s dating thugs, cats in and out of jail, and players then wake up 35 years old with 3 kids by 3 different dudes saying I need to find Mr. Right & life don’t work like that. There are around a million black men in jail so what about the the 15 million ladies?

  24. Anthony

    March 6, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    This whole conversation of why black women aren’t getting married is silly. There are plenty of good Black brothers out there & Black women don’t want them. They spend their 20′s dating thugs, cats in and out of jail, and players then wake up 35 years old with 3 kids by 3 different dudes saying I need to find Mr. Right & life don’t work like that. There are around a million black men in jail so what about the the 15 million ladies?

  25. Real Talk

    March 5, 2013 at 2:17 am

    Black men and black women DON’T want to be together. Even some married couples, if money wasn’t an issue would divorce and marry a mate of another ethnicity. I hear it all the time. We’ve mistreated each other so bad that we no longer want each other!

  26. Barbara

    March 3, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Am I the only one to notice that photo of the Black woman and White man next to this article above that says “Click Here To Join” interacial dating? Is Dr. Boyce trying to send a message with his choice of photos while talking about Black men in prison?

    Dr. Boyce, you need to know that a high percentage of those Black male prisoners are first, second, even third generation IMMIGRANTS. Talk to some of the organizations in our communities that represent immigrant populations.

    I remember a horrible crime of a triple murder of a father, a mother and her young son. It was a Black man who did it (Jamaican drug dealer/pimp); but only one of the local TV stations mentioned that he was Jamaican. “We” ain’t doing all this crime!!

    • Jah Larry Dread

      March 4, 2013 at 8:59 am

      Barbara, pay close attention to commercials and tv shows…The black women’s love interest is the white man.

  27. Sharon

    March 3, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    Prisons are trading on the stock market now, our men have become commodities !! Instead of the slave trading block, our race has been put on the “market block”…..prisons are being built at records rates and young black males are being targeted in elementary schools from their lack of development at a certain age. So, everyones talking about this, what are we going to do about it ?? We need to stop talking and take this seriously….Attack this problem, its like we don’t realize how we have to fight for every little thing we’ve ever gotten in this country !!! This is no different people, lets fight back for our families, or to prevent the further lack thereof…..

  28. hiroader2

    March 3, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    YThe old cliche’ “Doctor it hurts when I do this” comes to mind.. With black community’s revolving penal system doors Young men & women can’t socialize now adays without incarceration temperament or tolerations.. Keep in mind we’re only just one generation from the CRACK EPIDEMIC that devastated almost every black community in the country., Yet here we deceive ourselves that our culture is stable while this generation of broken families & convicted criminals are fed goldigging, gangstering, pimping & stripping as cultural existing by the music & media industries.., I believe the doctor’s remedy for that was “Don’t do that”… When farmers plant crops they don’t mix in weeds, shrubs & garbage. Black culture or cultivation has to start new to farm crops of soldiers, doctors & lawyers etc …

  29. Keith

    March 3, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    I admit, I did not read the article. I also admit that the Prison Industrial Complex is a problem for “Black” males, thus the “Black” community, but this article sounds like more propaganda to me. I know many good “Black” men that have not been to jail and have careers and some have even started a second career. Black women are not getting married because they do not want to get married. If you listen to them they have succeeded in everything but getting married. They have the education, they have the career, they have their own money, they have their own house, they have their own cars, they this, that, and the other – BUT no husband! Having all those material things is fine and dandy and more power to them, but… If it meant as much to them to have a husband then they would put just as much effort into having a husband. They think that having all those things will bring a good “Black” man? A good “Black” man does not look at those material things. A good “Black” man looks for the qualities of a loving wife and the qualities of a nurturing mother to his future children. Good “Black” men are not attracted to that peacocking. Peacocking is something used by males of almost every species to attract females. Now if you want a feminine man well just go ahead and just work on the material without working on the wifely and motherly attributes. Speaking of which, many seem to think that they do not have to act like a wife until after they are married! WRONG! And how about marrying outside of the “Black” ethnicity? I’ve heard that “threat”, which no one really takes as a threat. I say marry whoever, whatever ethnicity. But if women are not wifey material, then they just are not wifey material for any ethnicity.

    Peace and Love from a “Brother” looking for a wifey, Black, White, Brown, Red, Yellow, whatever… I have all my own ish so just pass me with all that and tell me about how wifely and motherly you can be.

    Again, Peace and Love!

  30. Ishmar Muhammad

    March 3, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    This Reminds me of something Granny used to Say! Baby the only people who keep running in & out of Prison are individuals with no Sense or fools who are Homos lol funny but very true in most cases! These Devils want the Blackman off the Street because His Wife loves to use the DarkSide lol and the Darkside is strong! To my good Family Brothers Do Not let other Negroes Corrupt you,Envy Jealousy Negroes Drinking Hater-Aid & want to take what you got! Your Wife Woman ect I feed these Negroes with a long-Handle Spoon it’s a set-up so upset the set-up! Take your ass home at night with your FAM if you love them or else you love them Niggas on the street! Don’t be looked at as Suspect? Fag lol Go Home at night F the club & Bar they Butcher Pens anyway! Free Game like it’s Cheaper to keep Her! She is your Heaven!

  31. Ishmar Muhammad

    March 3, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    These Dysfunctional Younger Blacks fools under 30 are lost like What! When I was coming up We were taught Right from Wrong! And We had Parents & Grandparents Uncles Aunts & people who really Loved & Cherished Us! But don’t get caught with Personality Flaws because Granny & Grand Dad would beat it out of you! Greed Selfishness all this would be checked! Now-A-Days fools sell they Mother Crack? We have Shit & fell back into it as a people! If you are Dumb as A Brick how can your child be MLKing? They won’t they will be lost in the system! Teen pregnancy & a host of other self-Destructive activity need to be corrective actions! Wake-up Blackfolks & get some sense in your Head! Use your Brain instead & stop listening to crackers & Unite with our own!

    • PRINCESS

      March 9, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      Brother Ishmar you are correct!Some blacks don’t understand the importance of sticking together,when we didn’t have anything,including equal right’s we felt we didn’t have an choice but to stick together,Now that we can work an acquire material thing’s we have forgotten the struggle!The struggle is not over!.I Have dated an variety of black men in my life,i am forty eight years old.I’ve been told i’m an pretty good catch!I own my own home, no children no, baggage,and very attractive and down to earth!I still have to fight everyday for an black man’s respect!I am an lady all the time,i should not have to do this!A black man should want to respect any woman that’s being one!I never wanted to build an empire alone,i had no choice but to be independent!If I met an good brother today,i would share with him,but I’ve met some that just want to use you!So it’s back to step one,trying to prove to the brother’s that you are an good black woman.Ilove black men so I don’t want to date out of my race!I have been asked out by white men,but I politely tell them the truth!I want my own!I don’t think anything is wrong with that!I don’t understand some black’s today!but I know I love myself,and I love black men,and I love black people!I just don’t love what we have become!peace brother!

  32. Kerri

    March 3, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Pattycake, I always enjoy your posts. Yes, I watch Downton Abbey, I love the show. I don’t feel a loss in my life with the choice of not ever dating again. I just realize that I have a history of not being a good picker, and I’d rather direct my energies to things that I know I’m good at, and become great at them. I continue to work on my weaknesses as well, but I don’t need to sit on a hot stove twice. Or three times. I don’t think that all Black males in prison are no good criminals. My son is a public defender, he works very hard to help people who have been wrongly accused. He puts in 80 hr weeks but is on salary. He has 22 jury trials scheduled for March. Although some will plead out, the reality is that he truly listens to the people he is defending, and he is willing to go to trial for some of them. Race is not an issue to him, he considers the facts and the situation. Obviously I can’t say that for every public defender, but I can sure say it about my son.

  33. BigWill

    March 3, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    If you want to know the ‘temperature’ of the BM/BW relationship here in good ole US of A, check out youtube and the hundreds of BITTER “gender wars” videos posted by each day by angry BW and BM meant solely to defame, degrade, destroy, disgrace, dishonor, put down, ruin, slander, tear down and vilify each other. Can this negative behavior be blamed on outside forces?

  34. Pattycake RN

    March 3, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Also, some people may or may not know me or my situation and may not want to know and that’s ok. But if I am never able to say another word I’d like to say one more thing. In the words of Tony Tone Toni…”IT FEELS GOOD”.

  35. Jacqueline McSwain

    March 3, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    I am one who can agree with Dr. Boyce, the writer of this article, as well as add that there are many males who are not in prison, or beating the odds of not going back into the prison, and cannot adjust to what is taking place within society today.Men are going to prison daily, but if they are with their families representing what a family man should be, or do, the arrest rate would be at a minimum. There are many distratctions in the streets and some men are not strong enough to stray away. For example, bars, strip clubs, casinos, and many women willing to fulfill the needs of men in more ways than one. Giving men their money,or not respecting the home in which the man is providing for.
    Black Women are now becoming self-sufficient, returning to school to obtain degress to provide a better life for their children and themselves as single parents.
    It is very tough being a black single parent and encountering the haters that don’t want to see them get ahead because of their misfortunes. It is also tough having the backs of men.
    Men become jealous and no woman wants to deal with that, or a lazy man and their lying, cheating, fighting, or accusations of what she is not actually doing and what he is doing.
    It is also tough to encounter a man and gain his trust. Many women have just gotten to the point to put their trust in God and be happy.

  36. Jacqueline McSwain

    March 3, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    I am one who can agree with Dr. Boyce, the writer of this article, as well as add that there are many males who are not in prison, or beating the odds of not going back into the prison, and cannot adjust to what is taking place within society today.Men are going to prison daily, but if they are with their families representing what a family man should be, or do, the arrest rate would be at a minimum. There are many distratctions in the streets and some men are not strong enough to stray away. For example, bars, strip clubs, casinos, and many women willing to fulfill the needs of men in more ways than one. Giving men their money,or not respecting the home in which the man is providing for.
    Black Women are now becoming self-sufficient, returning to school to obtain degress to provide a better life for their children and themselves as single parents.
    It is very tough being a black single parent and encountering the haters that don’t want to see them get ahead because of their misfortunes. It is also tough having the backs of men.
    Men become jealous and no woman wants to deal with that, or a lazy man and their lying, cheating, fighting, or accusations of what she is not actually doing and what he is doing.
    It is also tough to encounter a man and gain his trust. Many women have just gotten to the point to put their trust in God and be happy.

  37. Jacqueline McSwain

    March 3, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    I am one who can agree with Dr. Boyce, the writer of this article, as well as add that there are many males who are not in prison, or beating the odds of not going back into the prison, and cannot adjust to what is taking place within society today.Men are going to prison daily, but if they are with their families representing what a family man should be, or do, the arrest rate would be at a minimum. There are many distratctions in the streets and some men are not strong enough to stray away. For example, bars, strip clubs, casinos, and many women willing to fulfill the needs of men in more ways than one. Giving men their money,or not respecting the home in which the man is providing for.
    Black Women are now becoming self-sufficient, returning to school to obtain degress to provide a better life for their children and themselves as single parents.
    It is very tough being a black single parent and encountering the haters that don’t want to see them get ahead because of their misfortunes. It is also tough having the backs of men.
    Men become jealous and no woman wants to deal with that, or a lazy man and their lying, cheating, fighting, or accusations of what she is not actually doing and what he is doing.
    It is also tough to encounter a man and gain his trust. Many women have just gotten to the point to put their trust in God and be happy.

  38. Kerri

    March 3, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    There’s a real easy way to stay out of prison. Don’t break the law. Don’t put yourself in a position where it appears that you’ve broken the law. Don’t hang out with people who break the law. Go to school, study, do your homework. Libraries are free. Library cards are free. Make the conscious choice to be a better and smarter person today than you were yesterday. Don’t look back at the mistakes you’ve made and let them define you. There ARE small business owners who will hire people who’ve been in trouble, once they see that you recognize your mistakes and have moved away from the state of mind which caused you to make them. Honor your mother, aunts, and sisters. Support your children OR DON’T MAKE THEM. Have some self-respect. Quit listening to gangster rap. Go to church, pray. Plant some flowers somewhere. Clean the leaves out of the gutters of some old man or woman in your neighborhood. Pick up the trash around your house that gets thrown out of windows by passers-by. Every little bit helps.

    • Pattycake RN

      March 3, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      Kerri,

      In theory, your comment sounds right on point. However, “acting right” would work for everyone if everyone had the same situation. Unfortunately some models (i.e. opportunity, support systems,education, religions, spiritual beliefs) are more diverse than that. I think that we as a people need to dig deeper into the origins of the situation. A lot of it may have to do with ego and power. Black men may feel that they have too much pressure. They may want to look “as good” as their white male and in many circles, that means leaving a sister behind, (especially if the sister is seen as having too many problems, or is not the “right type”) I have had a lot of “so called” brothers try to break me down and turn their back on me in order to look good to the white folk. I’ve even had the same reaction from some “so called” sisters. I think the problem is the “GAME”. The game is competition run amuck. Not only do we have to play their game, but we have to also keep each other down to get ahead. I’ve been run out of a lot of circles for not trying to emulate the general consensus of the group mentality, whether Black or white, male or female. Shut down and told to keep quiet too many times. Well I’m tired of being the “Little Girl Left Behind”. If anybody else feels like me, HEAR US NOW!!! “NO MORE!!!”

      • Kerri

        March 3, 2013 at 3:12 pm

        How we “feel” is a choice. I used to be highly competitive, until one day I decided that I no longer wanted to be competitive. I held anger at my mother, older sister, and younger brother, who were horribly abusive. Still are horribly abusive, actually. I chose to let it go and move on. I’m almost 50 years old. I’ve raised four kids of my own, and a few others that I didn’t birth, and I filed for divorce from a horribly abusive man. We are a product of our environment, but we can change what we accept as normal any day of the week. For me, sadly, it means that I will never date again. I am a bad picker based on what I grew up to consider normal. At some point, swimming against the current was exhausting. We have to repair ourselves as individuals. We have to stop accepting as “normal” things that are destructive and hurtful. So, I found a little place in the river behind a boulder to rest, and heal, and recharge. I had to separate myself. It hasn’t been easy.

        • Pattycake RN

          March 3, 2013 at 3:26 pm

          Thank you for sharing that Kerri. I as well have faced many obstacles and betrayals. And many of us have faced obstacles as well. I empathize with you and wish you had not shut yourself down to dating. Many of us are in the same boat and I totally understand where you are coming from. However, how we feel may not entirely be a choice. There are times when how we feel does not make a bit of difference. There are times when a person can make up their mind and have a totally positive attitude, i.e., mind over matter. But, at the risk of sounding negative, sometimes your mind don’t matter. I’m not sure if you have ever watched “Downtown Abbey” on PBS, but one of the servants whispered into another servants ear that another servant had his “Lordship’s” ear. Even if you have never watched the show, I think we all know how that story goes. Now some may think that one should go on in spite of that. Well I’ll tell you what, think about why there are sooooo many Black Males in prison. You best believe it ain’t because all of them are a bunch of no good criminals.