This is a speech I did in my speech class Wednesday evening. Kibwe asked for a perspective on why women are single he might have neglected so I got double usage out of this particular essay. For his purposes it might be a little lacking cause I was constrained to a 5 minute delivery window, but anyway, here’s a femenist perspective on the state of black relationships. BTW this is an informative speech which means technically I was supposed to be stating facts. So I had to find a bunch of useless statistics to support my argument. That’s why all those bullshit numbers, and references are in there.
“…he made the mistake of trying to appeal to your mind, unlike the old dog with knowledge for tricks of all kinds, who knows that most times, to give less is to get more.”
The poet G perspective in his poem “Old Dogs Don’t Need New Tricks” is trying to express that black relationships in America are failing. The traditional ideals which shape the American culture black people have assimilated into are becoming more notably absent in their goals and practices. According to Jabari Asim in his article, “Black Marriage Day” in the Washington Post, only 41% of black adults are married as compared to 51% for whites, while 69% of black couples having children are not married. The American Dream has been modified from 2.5 kids and a house to two and a half baby mommas and a nice whip.
Black Americans have never quite made it over the hump to true American Ideals. Some ieals, like Christianity, blacks were forced into, others, like suffrage, they fought for when denied them. Both struggles have come about because of the institution of slavery. Because of the fundamental concepts of slavery they’ve never been able to truly embrace American cultural ideals, among them, monogamous relationships. “Keep the body, take the mind.” Denzel Washington playing the role of Melvin Tolson in the movie “The Great Debaters” echoed the sentiments of WIllie Lynch as the most basic rule of slave management. The descendants of these slaves have been handed down the oppression of an enslaved mind. Quit frequently the inner conflict of an enslaved mind struggling to understand its’ own freedom has steered the black man’s goals away from families and working for independence, towards achievement of its’ own misperception of success, i.e. material possessions and reclaiming manhood. This self-loathing consequently leads two places; greed and/or jail. 15.4% of black men were incarcerated at the beginning of 2006 according to the Department of Justice, and 7% of black men die before 21. That’s over 20% of men eliminated from the dating pool. This affords them enough time to begin a family but not enough time to finish one. This unbalancing act serves two poor ends, both working against the nuclear family. If a man isn’t around he can’t be a father. That being said the dilution of black mates serves to viciously enable those who would capatilize on their assets. Looking around this room, there is about a 6 to 1 ratio of women to men. Just as in any economy, women acting as relationship consumers are held hostage to the monopoly that educated, financially independent, attractive, black men have over the dating market. Supply of black males being so low mens they can raise the stakes however they choose. Often it results in them taking on multiple mates, which disempowers the black woman’s leverage and thus her control in the relationship. The black man fitting the ideal can “give less and get more.” which usually does not satisfy the needs of the woman involved. Such a parasitic relationship acts as a cancer because the necessary balance of contribution has been interrupted. This works against both sides because the male, now lacking in motivation to raise his own standards of performance, suffers because he can never truly achieve his potential while in the adolescent state of companionship. These men become incapable role models and serve the cycle of passing down misperceptions of success and goals to the the generations to come emulating the world around them. They grow up in unstable homes where fathers are absent because they choose to be or because they’ve been eliminated. Black boys grow up thinking they should abandon or take advantage of their women. Black girls believe they have to settle for what they can get. If a man wants sex they have to give it to him because he can and will get it elsewhere Young women without bargaining power are sexualized too young, and too early bear their own childrem doomed to fall into the same cycle. 13.4% of black women become pregnant between ages 15-19 according to the Guttmacher institute in their blogsite. Too small a population commanding too great a control with no checks and balances kills the democracy. Black relationships are dying becase when to have less means to be more, to give less is to get more.