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Enough of this selfishness: Time for black men to act like men

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Mitchell column: Marriage is for black people, too.

Black man, it is time to get married. No more pathetic excuses about not being ready, or not being able to get along, or not having a good enough career.

In the old days, when a man got another man's daughter pregnant, the father would march the expectant father down the aisle at the end of a shotgun. We don't believe in forcing couples to get married these days.

And look what's happened.

At the rate black men -- many of them fathers -- are not marrying, the entire race may be at risk.

Here are the simple facts, according to credible research:

African Americans are significantly less likely to marry than are whites. Only 50 percent of African Americans born between 1960 and 1969 were married by the age of 30 (compared with 78 percent of whites).

African Americans have higher rates of divorce than do other racial and ethnic groups.

And because of lower marriage rates and higher divorce rates, African-American women are about half as likely as white women to be married at any one time.

But marriage is no longer a moral issue.

It is an economic one.

According to research found on the Web site for National Healthy Marriage Resource Center, "marriage is clearly linked to economic, psychological and social benefits."

African Americans who are married have more money and higher-status jobs than unmarried African Americans, and the economic benefits of marriage for blacks may be more important than they are for whites," researchers found.

Not just poor people
This is not a lot of right-wing mumbo jumbo.

In fact, the next time a politician starts downplaying this problem, notice the wedding ring on his finger. Just about every high-profile civic leader today is or was married, and made the effort to raise his children in a two-parent family.

That goes for the political rock star, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, too.

But when was the last time any black leader made a pitch for marriage? More of them have defended same-sex marriage than have pointed out that the lack of marriage is destroying the black community from the inside out.

This is not a ghetto problem.

There are a lot of educated black women who should have been at the altar a long time ago. Instead, they settled for the challenges that come with raising children alone.

It wasn't always this way.

In 1970, African-American and white marriage rates were statistically comparable, says Edward Laumann, professor of sociology at the University of Chicago and author of "The Sexual Organization of the City," a landmark study that looked at sexual behavior in black Chicago neighborhoods.

"Over the next 10-year period, the rates just dropped like a rock," he said. The causes for that drop included "stagflation," he said.

"Inflation was going up and the economy was stagnant in areas like Chicago, and one argument is that this hit the black male population very hard. So their ability to take on the role of principal breadwinner was compromised. At the same time, there was a fairly big rise in the incarceration rate of black males and an increase of males who had felony convictions, which lessened the willingness of another party to marry them," said Laumann.

More dropouts, violence
While that explanation makes some sense, it doesn't account for the educated black men in their 30s and 40s who have children out of wedlock and are still juggling other relationships. These men aren't committing, either.

"Black men are more permissible about extra-marital relations and about two-timing women and that sort of thing. They now are in a buyer's market and they can demand a price," Laumann said.

Their price is pretty high.

Black women are waiting longer and longer to walk down the aisle. By the time some get there, they have already had one or two children. If the children are by different fathers, these women's lives are further complicated.

Common sense should have told us there would be consequences for this selfish behavior.

By now, so many blacks have ignored the warnings about the harm caused by the absence of black fathers that those consequences are now overtaking communities in the form of high dropout rates and senseless violence.

Black man, this is not an attack. It is a black woman's plea.

We are tired of seeing our daughters travail in such sorrow. We are tired of watching our grandchildren cling to fragile family ties. And by now, we are clear:

Politicians can't fix this problem. Preachers can't fix it.

There's only one real way to ensure that a black child has the best chance to succeed in this life.

Black man, marry your baby's mother.

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289 Comments

I couldn't agree with you more!!!!!

If more men married the mother of their children, prior to having the children, there would be less of a need for "Child Support".

Thank you Mary for this poignant article. So many black women are unmarried and it is really a shame. Out of my female friends, we are all black, single, and highly educated, and attractive, and would all like to be married eventually. This is not the case I have seen in my white counterparts. For me personally, I would like to be married soon, but every black man I encounter is afraid of comittment or doesn't want to be "tied down". I am a Ph.D. candidate, attractive, and in touch with my faith; finding a like partner should not be this difficult. The whole situation is truly a travesty and hopefully your article will help to wake our men up!

Mary,

While I have ALWAYS admired you and so love your columns, I have to disagree with the solution to this lack of marrying problem within the black community… that these black men should marry the “babies’ mamas!? You are insinuating that black men are the ONLY problem in these relationships and the ONLY ones who are selfish and that’s simply not ALWAYS the case.

I am in a relationship with a man who has 3 children by two different women. I have a teenage son that I have raised on my own since he was 2 years old. I have a sister who is married to a man who came into their relationship with 3 children from two different women and they had 2 additional children. I have another sister who is a single mother in which her child’s father married another woman and lives in another state. For myself (engaged to my companion) and sister who married her children’ father, the BABIES’ MAMAS were and are the problem the reason why these men did not marry THEM in the first place!

I’m not only speaking from what they have told us, but from what we’ve actually, visually have witnessed. In my case, my fiancé’s children have not and are not faring well with their perspective mothers either emotionally or financially. The oldest child (teenager) receives no real emotional or financial support from his mother. She doesn’t provide any real mentoring or guidance to this child or other children she has reared from her current husband she now has. My fiancé’s youngest 2 children are okay but not really doing that much better. They live in a hugely much better neighborhood/environment (western suburbs) but she provides no attention to the children (unless her current husband’s children are around) and despite receiving child support for them, still calls on my fiancé for items I feel she can and should be able to provide for them. The children are only getting the attention they want and need from their father alone which is sad in itself.

I’m not saying they should not receive mentoring, caring attention from their father. But it appears that these women literally just “washed their hands? of their own children because their father refused to remain in unhappy relationships with them.

My sister who married my brother-in-law raised one of his 3 children since they’ve been together. This child’s mother was (is still) a drug addict. The other 2 (teenage children) are in the same state as my fiancé’s youngest children; they don’t receive the needed attention and guidance from their mother.

My sister who is raising my niece on her own was more than quite difficult with her daughter’s father during their relationship the reason why they didn’t last. And this is my own sister I’m referring to. She’s a good person at heart and will stand by you through thick and thin. She seems to only have major problems in maintaining a healthy relationship with men.

While I do understand with your suggestion and feel that these men who rear these children with these women SHOULD definitely marry them, it is not always the healthiest way to build a strong family unit! In some cases, your stronger family unit can survive and fare much better with finding that mate that shares your dreams, goals, etc of what a relationship and a family unit entails. My sister and brother-in-law just celebrated 9 years of marriage and they’re still growing strong.

We have to look at ALL the different avenues of how these relationships are faring and faltering. The one advice I have for some of these women is to STOP GETTING PREGNANT WITH A MAN IF YOU’RE NOT POSITIVELY SURE HE’S GOING TO ACTUALLY STICK AROUND IN THE FIRST PLACE! Do not use the children to keep them around. If they’re not in the relationship to be with you alone first, then having kids with them, trying to trap them is not the answer. Build a STRONG, HEALTHY relationship with the person you’re involved with, wanting and/or planning to spend the rest of your life with.

This could be one major step in resolving this on-going problem altogether. Stop having babies for the sake of trying to keep, trap or land a man. That’s just plain ridiculous and stupid.

Hi Mary, Thanks again for touching on such an important subject. Let's also have successful marriages by being loyal and not violent towards our spouses. I'm a 38 year old professional male and I have been married for 6 years with three kids. I have continued to have good things happen personally and professionally so I can relate to your article. I know I would be less happy and secure without my beautiful family. Keep addessing the important issues in our Community Mary. C M Williams

Mary
I think most black young men dont marry is because.Marrage has been put in such a negative light from older black men,friends that are married,and male figures that are close.That there afraid to, they almost never here the positive thing's about it.Me personally I married my "baby's momma" before she was a "baby's momma"

You didnt find it strange that all the articles that you had about racism was met with more racism and personal attacks against you by mostly whites who are happy with the status quo and dont want to change ms.mitchell..no front pages though,but as soon a negative story like "black men dont marry"which is a generalization due to the latest research which stated overall that people in general are getting away from marriage.Men are not to blame themselves women should not discriminately have sex with multiple partners and then when they get pregnant think that automatically because a guy has a nice car hes a good catch and will marr them.It doesnt work that way ,if slavery could not destroy or race ,this will not either.the societies preoccupation with sex ,the media does project bad examples not just listening to rap music (the stated reason by whites for violence etc.)in our world.What rap music did Hitler the KKK and Mafia listen to?If you want to get married that is a personal decision between two people not a forced shotgun style thing that people think it should be.Men ,black and white should be responsible that is true, the reichwingers and neo-con(Artists)have presented the issue as if though they have the moral high ground and continue to use racist codewords and fearmongering to portray black men as irresponsible and animalistic(even though 84% of all serial killers are white) "Message to black men get married!"front page?the statement black men are more permissible about extra marial relation and two timing women is ludicrous.I can bet if you had a positive article about black men it would not be on the front page at all,Whenever whites do something criminal they shove it on page 25.the bottom line is ,IF you love someone and make that commitment to marry that is their choice.That is why we have so many broken families people shoved into unhappy marriages(pregnancies,etc.),not a black men only problem, but a human problem.write something positive about black folk and see if your editors splash it across the front page like the did this topic! even take a look at how the front page looked..Black men get married!Obama not perfect?how about black men get married sometimes just lie whites.And whoever said Obama was perfect.Im sure he didnt.Bottom line we are all human and not perfect and we shouldnt live our lives to meet others expectations because if you put you faith in man you will always be disappointed.Marry when you're both ready not to please others.

So grandma, why aren't you married? And why don't black men want to marry your daughter? Could it be that maybe you women aren't good candidates for marriage? Naw, couldn't be...

Ms Mitchell; Who cares??!i don't consider myself a "brother" to all Blacks! I just love bein "lumped in" with all of them too. It's sad people are "too, overly socially inept" that they have to remind the rest of us who we are. I guess the second part of your article will focus on the woman who MAKE the babies with these LOOSERS!! Because as a man, I'd never even think of makin a baby (or babies) with a woman without marrying her first. (I guess I'm not Jerry Springer-ish/hip-hop/ghetto fabulous enuff.) When will Americans just totally ignore race?

You foolishly assume that marriage will fix the problem. What you fail to see is that these women are unmarriable. It took two people to make that baby yet you only blame one, the one with the most cashflow. You don't know how many guys I know who wish they could just have a decent relationship with a black woman. The ones who are actually settling down aren't doing it with sistas. The modern black woman is not built for marriage. Sure she might have aspirations of being a bride but in most cases she lacks home training. She has to be the top authority until something goes wrong, then she's the victim. Most can't cook, atleast not anything that not fried. I've seen chicks struggle to make cold cereal, it's either a drop of milk in the bowl, or they drown it. Why is that? They've become too accustomed to eating out, either with dudes that they're stringing along, or because mommy and daddy shower them with money so so that nobody will "exploit" their financial instability. Nobody gives a damn about a black man's instability. The simple truth of the matter is that the black world values black women more than black men and that's the root of all of this. There's no point marrying a woman you've knocked up as marriage just creates more problems. If you leave it doesn't matter because a black man is seen as having little value in the first place. You look at these children as if they're failed attempts at marriage when in fact most are succesful attempts at a passive income on part of the woman.

Moderator, you bring up some good points in this column.

Until black women as a whole start making some sort of effort to try to have children by responsible men..they have nothing to say that I want to hear.
Black woman there is only one way to make sure that your children have a good man for a father. You must find a good man, marry him and then have HIS children.
If you don't want to be a babys mamma then don't be a babys mamma.[Double negative intended.]
I am sick and tired of black women not accepting responsiblity for the chioces they make when it comes to bedroom partners.
Your generation of black women [I am going to assume that you are a baby boomer.] should have raised your daughters to respect their bodies, cherish good black men and to desire a strong family...but many of you didn't
Bed. Made. Sleep in it.
Baby boomers have no right to expect resonsible, young men to provide a life for their out of control daughters.I have met many young black women that would have made good wives if only someone had raised them better. Taught them the basics of morals and survival skills.The sad fact is many sisters make excellant bedroom partners but horrible wives. They know all of the bedroom tricks but when it comes to wit and widom they are pretty much hopeless. And thats what your generation should have taught your daughters if you wanted them to attract strong men. [Also baby boomers did not raise many strong men either.]
After 40yrs of the "I don't need no man" talk many brothers have very little desire to get married.
I am single black male homeowner. Just a regular guy.
I will get married when I am good and ready. If some black woman with two kids by different fathers feels I am wrong because I am depriving her of acces to my resources...then thats just too bad.

Why????? So that she can divorce me when times are rough or inform me later that she had not lived before getting married? There are countless of brothers who have been burned by the sisters that marriage is a joke. Plus, these days, you have so many barriers that influence wives; bitter girlfriends who have so much good advice for your wife or the so called "friend" who is always in the picture to comfort your "unhappy" significant other. It is sad but it is what it is. Mary, they do not make women like Grandma anymore.

Ms. Mitchell,

This is a very important issue, I can agree with you there. And it's certainly true that the marriage rate is very low in the black community, and that there are huge numbers of black mothers whose children are fathered by multiple men.

But I notice that you place all the responsibility for fixing this problem on the black MAN. You say it's time to sack up and marry, and give these children a father.

I have to wonder, why aren't you addressing the other side of the issue? Men cannot have babies without partners. In fact, they can't have babies at all. They can only sire them. And I'm reasonably sure that the vast majority of children born in the black community were not the result of rape.

So, why aren't black women making better choices in their men? Oh, I know drama and danger are exciting. And a man who will stand by you, take care of you, respect you, and never beat you isn't a great source of drama and danger. Even though women say they want a nice guy, who winds up being their multiple babies' daddies? The thug, the gangsta, the rapper.

The man who would be glad to have a woman to love, who would love him back and bear his children, well, he's boring, isn't he? And if you pay attention to him at all, it's only so he can listen to your problems with your thug boyfriend, and then watch you go back to the thug time after time after time.

Even the thugs leave you. Do you ever wonder why? Think about it. If you were a man, and your woman didn't take care of herself, berated you, demanded you support her and someone else's kid, and expected you to put up with her screwing around because you weren't exciting enough, what would you do? And then, even if you do put up with all of that, she decides to divorce your ass and the courts start garnishing your paycheck to support other men's children, what would you do?

Seriously ladies, you should count yourselves fortunate that the vast majority of men aren't killers.

Here's an idea. Stay away from the thugs, treat men with respect, and keep your legs closed until you get married. That would solve the problem.

Lady Mac

Western women are the problem, they make horrible mothers and wives. You should mention that in your article.

Ms. Mitchell, I would just like to send cudos out to you for having the guts to write this article no matter how painful it may be. I am a black male(no kids) and it is so disheartening to see black men and are plight. I often give black men a positive response when I see them taking on the responsiblity of rearing there children(even though this should be the exception and not the rule). Ms. Mitchell keep up the good work. I not only read your articles, but I have watched you on "Chicago Tonight" with Phil Ponce. It is nice to see a sister who provokes thought and has substance.

Mrs mitchell i agree on some of the things you write in your columns, and sometimes i believe your not in touch with what really goes on in our communities in this present era. it seems like the black man always get's the bad wrap for what happens in our relationships with our black queens. were not living in the 60's no longer, all of today's black youth are being influenced by the fancy car's, the extra expensive clothes that they grow up watching on T.V. Our black women will sit and talk about good brothas are hard to find and this and that, but their still here, just not in the fancy cars with big rims or on the corner with a package to sell all the time. it doesn't take long to figure out the kind of person that your dealing with before you close that bedroom door. Our queens want that status symbol guy, so now when she get's pregnant and he show's his true colors, we all get labled as bad. As far as marriage, it's overrated, you do not have to be married to raise a productive child as long as the common goal is shared by both parents, which to me is, it's about the child. they're are enough blame to go around, but i never see you writing about how the mother keeps the father from seeing his child because it doesn't work out between them, like i'm going through right now. And then she bad mouths the fathers you want to be an active parent in that childs life as no good. it's time for our queens to step up and share some of the beat down the the good black men have endured for way to long. Just because you mother a child don't make you a good one.

Mary Mitchell, do me a favor and just do not say anything else to black men, at least not until you are one. Can you do that? That'd be great, if you could just do that, yeah, great.

First off, could it be that part of the reason for the falling marriage rate is (shock!!!) black women? SUre they will all have their stories of the man who got away and their 'babies daddies' but I am sure there were other opportunities but they chose a 'player' and got 'played' (so sad).

And you need to check your 'old days' for just as many, if not more girls dissappeared out of town when they got pregnant as did get married.

Why don't you point your rhetoric at 'SistaGurl' and leave it there. Because to be honest, black men are so used to being blamed for every-damned-thing wrong on the planet, you will get a good, 'Yeah, whateva."

We get demonized, even since our youth, yours is just one more voice in that choir. Big deal. Tell us what to do, call us names, tell us how to be, what to be, who to be, how to act, etc., etc., etc...

You, like every one else in that long line, ain't heard a word we said, so many of us just stop talking all together.

"Black man, marry your baby's mother."

You know, coming from a black man that has ALWAYS, and i stress, ALWAYS in previous times (I currently do not date at all.)did only faithful long term relationships, i tried that. She wanted me to change but didn't want to change herself. What did she want of me? To be better with money. Ok...that's acceptable, however when you don't address insecurity issues that threaten a relationship you cannot just marry to get married. I want more than an issue ridden relationship full of naggin on me and her seeing herself as perfect. My son's mother and myself are friends but i would not put myself through that now even if my life depended on it. I have my son equally, and love him with all my being.

I am a black professional and have been for almost 10yrs now in Atlanta, GA. I have been brushed aside time and time again for being the nice guy. Ok, so you want me...a guy that has been loving. Trying his best to follow a Christ like mentality especially with women, no...black women as those were the only i've dated to just marry them? Set myself up for financial ruin via divorce? Are you crazy?!?!?!

And where is the woman's accountability in all of this in relation to why men aren't marrying or can you not see that far with your perception?

I won't waste any further time her on this as it will more than likely be ignored but let me tell you this....

Men...black men are getting real tired of a certain behavior from black women. Women in general in this country and it shows.

It will not change with your words. Our experiences with you have taught us much better and we now vote with our feet...in the opposite direction. You are a strong black woman who does not need us remeber? Have fun with that.

Ja na

Mary,

As a married Black Man raising a family, I have to say the overall tone of this column is dead on. Our community is seriously lacking the leadership that only the Black Man can provide. But at the risk of sounding mean, you are letting sisters off the hook too easy. I can't come to grips with the fact that a Black Woman will allow someone to become their "baby daddy" (a disgusting term I really wish never hit the main stream). I know we don't have a patent on out of wedlock children, but the responsibility of protecting ones self and chastity is solely the responsibility of that Woman. When a MAN: black, white, red, or green, is afforded the opportunity to "get the milk for free" he is going to take it. Period. That is the nature of men. Of course some woman are the victims of unscrupulous men, but I cannot feel sorry for an adult woman who has made the conscious decision to lay with someone, unprotected, who has not made some kind of pledge to her or the potential child that will result from that episode. When women show up to talk shows to pick out the father of their child from what amounts to a Police lineup that cannot be the fault of anyone but that woman. Being raised in a wonderful two parent home has obviously afforded me some knowledge and self-respect I know lots of our people do not have. But the job of a mother begins with a woman DECIDING who the father of her children is going to be. That is the key to the family, the MOTHER. I truly believe Black Woman need to get on their job.

here's a better idea: black women need to stop "settling" for having babies by men that won't commit to marriage with them.

truth is more black women would rather have a baby than a husband. i know. as a black man WITHOUT children i get more puzzled looks from black women when i tell them i don't want children. yet the mention of me having never married does't invoke the same response.

truth is...black men AND women need to get their thing together. don't just put it all on black men. we fertilize the seed...but the woman makes the seed blossom. it's on her just as it is him. peace...

I am appalled at the information that you choose to disseminate about African American Marriage. I am insulted to think that when I am faced with an ignorant assumption that it is unheard of to be Black and married at 32, but to hear that same ignorance from you is disheartening. "Marry your baby's mama"? and "marriage is an economical choice and no longer a moral issue". That leaves room for the mass population to believe our children are not being taught or having values instilled in them. You do our communities no justice and no good with this awful choice of journalism that you have published this week.

I personally know two black guys who have each fathered 6 kids with 6 different women. How can these guys marry their baby's momma? Why should they marry their baby's mommas when the mommas don't care if they're married?

You're just tired of being single Mary. Yelling at the men isn't going to get you a boyfriend. Check out the professional athletes. A whole mess of those rich athletes are married to blondes, real blondes, with blue eyes and white skin. Times have changed Mary, get with the program. Rich black men get blondes, black women get babies. Your job is to figure out how to blame the whites for this mess.

Mary,

You're intractable. Have you dated or slept with any of the women whom you're saying we should be marrying? I am not a black woman basher but I'm out here in the mix
dealing with sisters. Most black men would agree with me when I say that dating many of them isn't easy. That's putting it mildly. And please don't push the, 'Well,
if they're good enough to sleep with they're good enough to marry' angle. I don't think too many people, male or female, take a roll in the hay anticipating a baby.

I don't have any children but I have enough common sense to know that you don't marry a woman because she's with child. You marry a woman because you want to be with her for the rest of your life. We can get into the immorality of extra-marital sex and fornication later, but for now, be mindful that it takes two to tango. Also be mindful that not all baby mamas
want to get married.

What you need to write is a piece in which you tell black women to STOP sleeping with na'er do well black men who don't even bother acting as if they want to marry OR take care of a child.

The onus is not on black men solely and I'm not going to remain silent when you or anyone else says otherwise.

C'mon now accountability in our own community. Why do that when it is easier to blame Republicans? The big fraud.

For the record, I am a college-educated professional Black man. I am in my 40's, unmarried and I DO NOT have children born in or out of wedlock. Now that I have established my credentials, let's get to business.

I agree with Ms. Mitchell's comments 100%. However she did not go far enough. These women choose to have children out-of-wedlock.

Using a condom is a lot easier than preparing baby formula.

I have lost track of the number of well-educated, professional women I've known who after becoming sexually active in their late teens or early twenties suddenly becoming pregnant in their late thirties. I guess the biological clock is ticking. Further, women PICK these no-good men. They will walk right pass the average-looking brother with something going on and seek, pursue and bed Mr. Pretty Boy who is having so much fun, he doesn't see any reason for matrimony.

When a child is conceived two parties are EQUALLY responsible.

It is not just the black man--cowards come in all colors.

"Black man, marry your baby's mother......"

Mary, should that have been the last line of your column? How about asking not to get her pregnant even before you think about marriage?

Just an idea.

Stepping up to the plate Ms. Mitchell. This is not a time for Black men to be sitting in the dugout of life. HAVE to get into the game of Life, and throw some elbows, metaphorically speaking, but literally if we must, just not at one another brothas!

Ms Mitchell, not being ready, or able to get along are excuses. But not having a good enough career (which equal little to no finances and savings) is problematic in all marriages, but seems within the relationships between Black men & women, there is a constant struggle over money, and belittling the male, or the male having low self-esteem. Why are there so many articles, surveys and studies asking "What is Wrong or Why is the Black Male Under-Achieving?".. hhmm..Another topic for another day.

Comprehending the entire spectrum of Black male life, these are NOT excuses but realities, yet ones Black men must continue to struggle against and fight through.

To divert for a minute, I liked the shotgun wedding scenario, only because a Black man, was NOT going to let his daughter go around shaming herself, the family, and by Jesus Blessed Name, make Daddy look like he was not on the job being protector of the family!

Getting back to the marriage issue, at one time Black women married Black men who had limited education or no education at all, while they themselves might have been high school or college graduates. Why some African-American women with higher education levels felt compel to do this was because of Segregation & Jim Crow laws. Before any White person start yelping ("See, blacks even blame us for them NOT getting married! See!"...*smile*), this is not the initial thought or critique.

Obviously, mixed marriages were frowned upon in previous years much worst then now. Segregation kept us in a smaller conclave of communities, therefore it was natural to marry the boy up the street and vice-a-versa!

With the advent of the fallacy of racial equality, beliefs that we can now live, marry, open businesses, and work where we want while BLACK women have been left out of the Marriage Game!

Why? Because she was/is still looking for her Black Knight in COOL BLACK SHINING ARMOR, which is hard when he's constantly struggling with self-identity, which now is permeated through the television airwaves, print media and a harsh law enforcement presence allowed to beat, shoot and emasculate a Black male, while judges & juries allowed them to go free, stating it is justifiable.

The Black Man is fighting with himself, with his Black woman, with the euro power structure at large, and sadly sometimes with other Black men.

With African American women gaining higher educational levels, and salaries to match, she don't see a need for that Black Man, who would stand guardian/protector over her, and the children the best he could!

Regardless, he was the MAN of the household, now he is reduced to being one of the children, if salary, education and material items are NOT on an equal footing as hers. This is not the Black woman's fault, but she should be aware of the onslaught of media-hype of being an Independent Woman!

Ms Mitchell, would you want me, if I could not in the year 2006, come up to the standards set forth by this society, which has you and I fighting over a job, but you win out, and now I am the House-Husband, or relagated to making $20K per year compared to your $85K per year? I guess I am asking, "Will you still respect me in the morning, though now the roles have reverse financially, BUT, I still maintain my spot at the head of the househould?" It sounds chauvinistic, but really it is not.

Respect and the desire for marriage has left the black male due to the breakup of the family within our community. Youth of the last 20 years see and hear nothing but music and television that promotes material values, promiscurity, and the fact that it is ok to be wild sexually before marriage. I remember my days in high school having strong feelings for the sisters, but by the time they were of dating age, they had been used up from dating older guys. Hell, by senior year I did not want to have anything to do with them. I did not realize until I was in my 20's and early 30's that many black males felt the same way.

We'll be waiting to see if any negative commentary will make it into your comments section.

The odds are currently posted as "low"; the women as victims (tm ) chant must never be questioned right?

When black leaders like the Reverend Jesse Jackson have children out of wedlock and leave the mothers to raise their children alone, why would other black men not do the same. The black community turned the othe way when that affair became known instead of excoriating and isolating Jackson. As long as such behavior is appropriate for leaders, it is appropriate for the community at large.

I can't thank you enough for writing this article. Perhaps this will wake up the Black man. I raised a son alone, did all the right things, and am still waiting on the "return" from my "investment". The truth hurts, but your article is just the medicine our Black man need!!! Kudos to you my sister!!!!

(am I the first to answer?) Mary totally agree with you. I saw this nonsense of non-marriage taking place in the 1970s when I was a social worker. And young women with multiple births out of wedlock. But it's the environment that shapes that attitude. My sister and her daughter have multiple children by different men and it went against our family tradition of women getting married first and having babies second, or as you state, a shotgun wedding -- happened three times on my cousin's side. At the very least the child has a "name." But let's look at this little tidbit: My niece has her first child by a man who went into the service. He wanted a DNA test to prove paternity, she wouldn't do it. Guess who loses? The child because if he gets killed the child can't claim Social security benefits, and while he's alive the child can't get medical benefits.
(most)White women immediately have children once they're married and this lays claim to medical benefits, pension rights, sharing of property monies should there be a divorce, alimoney and child support. So these silly black women are losing out on a lot of money. What's even more galling is once they have the child, they brag about it and move on to another man, and when these men get married and get a job, then the first woman wants to get claim to all his child support. Hey- what did you talk about when you were in bed? Did you mention that MAYBE you would like to get married first? Bill Cosby is leading the education campaign, it's time for the black preachers to lead the "marriage" campaign. We can start a little slogan - Marriage equals prosperity? How does that sound.

Mary,

Though I agree with your premise that the marriage rate in the black community is a major problem, the solution is not simply telling these men to marry their "baby mamas". How does this fix anything if the men still cheat on their wives, bring home HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases? How does this fix anything if the men have no earthly idea of what it takes to be a husband or father - partly because they have grown up in homes with no male role models? How does this help anything if the men are not prepared to take on the financial responsibilities of a family?

Frankly, this is a complex problem and it will require a myriad of approaches.

Here's a start: "Women, stop having unprotected sex with men that are not your husbands".

Miss or is it Mrs. Mitchell,

I would have to say that your article in today’s paper was a very interesting one. As a 30 year old, educated, never been married, single black male with no kids it kind of hit a cord with me. I guess the title first off “Time for black men to act like men? is not appropriate. Do you really feel that because a man chooses not to wed his child’s mother he is not a man? Do you really think that just because two people have a child out of wed lock that heeds a walk down the isle? If you do you must live on another planet or didn’t really poll enough 30 – 40 year old women and MEN to get your answer! To me it seems you are looking at this whole situation from a woman’s stand point.

Its 2006; the days of the shotgun weddings are a thing of the past. Speaking of past, most of your statistics that you present are exactly that the past. Your comparing the past as if all the same rules apply…they don’t. Our parents needed each other financially and emotionally. We (blacks) didn’t have the educations like now to hold high paying jobs like today. Also if you ask a woman today do they need a man; they will smirk and say “I’m independent and don’t need one?. As you stated the roles have been reversed. It used to be the man was the bread winner but now women are doing just as well as some men so that changes things. Technically money and emotions are not involved in marriage all the time. I will agree that economically it is more of a business deal now than in the old days of “I love you, you love me? era.

Then there is the real root of the problem that I have with this article. Who is to say that every woman out there with kids or with out kids, educated or uneducated, and successful or unsuccessful should be married. Your article makes it seem like the woman is always the victim. Black men are not all to blame; men can only do what women let them do. If women stopped believing that a baby is going to keep him around and start expecting more this problem would not be so big.

In the first paragraph you say “No more pathetic excuses about not being ready, or not being able to get along, or not having a good enough career.? How are those excuses? Marriage takes a maturity level, communication level and a level of financial responsibility. I shouldn’t have to say that statistics show that the #1 killer of marriages is FINANCIAL PROBLEMS, you should already know that. Also as you say “There are a lot of educated black women who should have been at the altar a long time ago.? Is that a true statement? I know tons of educated black women but because of their mentality, way of thinking, and set ways have pushed good men away because of the way they carry themselves. And please don’t say the intimidation factor because there is a huge difference between intimidation and just being obnoxious about their status. So it’s not always the man’s fault that marriage is not in his future with these women.

Realistically the idea of marriage has changed and with the way society shows it doesn’t work people already have a bad taste in there mouth. So you can’t blame men or women for their own personal demons in regards to walking down the isle. I personally want to get married some day, have the whole 2.5 kids and dog. But I will say this I’m not going to neglect my comfort of living or future just because some one feels that I need to help out the community and marry one of the as you put it “should have been to the alter already black women?.

Now before I decided to send some kind of response I did send this to many people male and female. Most of their responses were that you seemed pretty bitter. I hope that is not the case, I hope you just made judgment on what you’ve heard and not actually been through. I found this very interesting but I also found it to be one side so I just wanted to give you a bit of what some men thing. Think you should have done a larger poll on both before you put this out.

Thank you for your time and an interesting tool for sparking conversation.

Leroy Craighead Jr.

Quality Engineer

30 years old

Never married

Single

No Kids

You're right, this isn't about morals, it's bigger than that. It's Spiritual. We have lost our place as a people. As one stanza of Lift Every Voice and Sing states: "Lest our feet stray from the places our God where we met Thee.
Lest our hearts drunk with the wine of the world we forget Thee." The devil knows if he can destroy the Head (Males)the rest will follow.

You know if, women would put a pad lock on their private part, and stop taking care of men, it would be a lot more marriages in the black community. The reverse side of it, women being in Leadership roles, could be the reason for propositioning males like they do. The men that want a women to take care of him have low selfesteem and no respect for his man hood.

Miss or is it Mrs. Mitchell,

I would have to say that your article in today’s paper was a very interesting one. As a 30 year old, educated, never been married, single black male with no kids it kind of hit a cord with me. I guess the title first off “Time for black men to act like men? is not appropriate. Do you really feel that because a man chooses not to wed his child’s mother he is not a man? Do you really think that just because two people have a child out of wed lock that heeds a walk down the isle? If you do you must live on another planet or didn’t really poll enough 30 – 40 year old women and MEN to get your answer! To me it seems you are looking at this whole situation from a woman’s stand point.

Its 2006; the days of the shotgun weddings are a thing of the past. Speaking of past, most of your statistics that you present are exactly that the past. Your comparing the past as if all the same rules apply…they don’t. Our parents needed each other financially and emotionally. We (blacks) didn’t have the educations like now to hold high paying jobs like today. Also if you ask a woman today do they need a man; they will smirk and say “I’m independent and don’t need one?. As you stated the roles have been reversed. It used to be the man was the bread winner but now women are doing just as well as some men so that changes things. Technically money and emotions are not involved in marriage all the time. I will agree that economically it is more of a business deal now than in the old days of “I love you, you love me? era.

Then there is the real root of the problem that I have with this article. Who is to say that every woman out there with kids or with out kids, educated or uneducated, and successful or unsuccessful should be married. Your article makes it seem like the woman is always the victim. Black men are not all to blame; men can only do what women let them do. If women stopped believing that a baby is going to keep him around and start expecting more this problem would not be so big.

In the first paragraph you say “No more pathetic excuses about not being ready, or not being able to get along, or not having a good enough career.? How are those excuses? Marriage takes a maturity level, communication level and a level of financial responsibility. I shouldn’t have to say that statistics show that the #1 killer of marriages is FINANCIAL PROBLEMS, you should already know that. Also as you say “There are a lot of educated black women who should have been at the altar a long time ago.? Is that a true statement? I know tons of educated black women but because of their mentality, way of thinking, and set ways have pushed good men away because of the way they carry themselves. And please don’t say the intimidation factor because there is a huge difference between intimidation and just being obnoxious about their status. So it’s not always the man’s fault that marriage is not in his future with these women.

Realistically the idea of marriage has changed and with the way society shows it doesn’t work people already have a bad taste in there mouth. So you can’t blame men or women for their own personal demons in regards to walking down the isle. I personally want to get married some day, have the whole 2.5 kids and dog. But I will say this I’m not going to neglect my comfort of living or future just because some one feels that I need to help out the community and marry one of the as you put it “should have been to the alter already black women?.

Now before I decided to send some kind of response I did send this to many people male and female. Most of their responses were that you seemed pretty bitter. I hope that is not the case, I hope you just made judgment on what you’ve heard and not actually been through. I found this very interesting but I also found it to be one side so I just wanted to give you a bit of what some men thing. Think you should have done a larger poll on both before you put this out.

Thank you for your time and an interesting tool for sparking conversation.

Leroy Craighead Jr.

Quality Engineer

30 years old

Never married

Single

No Kids

Mr. O'Reilley, oops, I mean Ms. Mitchell, when did you turn into a self-hating right-winging Aunt Jemima? Reading your unfortunately sad but true coomentary (and what has generally been common knowledge for years by most people), I thought I was reading the words of any number of the detested white male conservative scum that permeates our media and who have been castigated for addressing this very issue for years, like a Mr. Bill O'Reilley not a beloved black female liberal, like a Ms. Mary Mitchell! I hope you've prepared yourself for the verbal whooping you're going to get from all the dopes in our society who think all the brothers out there should be able to hit-and-run all the sisters out there whenever the uncontrollable adolescent urge strikes them because you know the barrage is coming. Oh, they'll all yell at you and find a way to blame whitey for their lack of self-control and responsibility with the same old tired excuses like: "That's the way the slave owners taught us to treat our women." or "We're irresponsible because we've been oppressed for four-hundred years." or one of my favorites "The white racist police blah, blah, blah." The dregs always find a way to somehow blame the police for their shortcomings. But if those phony excuses don't work, they can always come up with any number of other lame excuses they will surely get from Jesse or Al Sharpton or his highness King Louie, who will defend their anti-social behavior to the death, no matter the consequences, as long as them dollars keep flowin' in! But all that aside, Ms. Mitchell, your column was excellent. Now if only it will sink in and urge at least some of the hit-and-runners out there to do the right thing for a change, your column will not go for naught. And hopefully it will urge some of the hit-and-runees out there to wake up and enforce the issue! We will ALL be better off for it. Good job Ms. Mitchell!

ALPHAKaOs@aol.com wrote:
This sounds so good in theory but let us not act like the disillusionment of Black Male/Female Relationships are solely rested upon the shoulders of Black Men.

I know plenty of Black Women that are self inflicted Single Parents. Educated, Talented, Ambitious females that by all intents and purposes are ideal candidates for matrimony. I am not saying that they lacked sufficient reasoning to dismantle the relationship, but I can say that for every certified dead beat dad I have met, I have met an equal number of females that should have been sterilized at the age of conception.

There are three men that I have much respect and admiration for that I consider to be mentors in my life. These three men all happen to be members of my fraternity but that isn't what made them unique or admirable in my eyes. Like me, all three of these men were married and divorced: but they had custody of their children. These were what I called the woman above: Self Inflicted Single Parents. I am sure they have to bare some of the burden and strain that lead to the disillusionment of their marriage but when it came down to it, they stepped up and assumed their role and responsibility for the rearing of the children. I know more men dealing with "Crazy Baby Mama Drama" than I know not willing to assume their parental role as a provider. But maybe that is just the circle I run in.

More often than not, the scenario above doesn't pan out that way. It is usually the mother that has custody of the children or exercises control of parenting of the children. But just as men in the 1970s & 1980s allowed their ambition to get in the way of their responsibilities, women are more and more seeking to disavow themselves of liability, especially when that liability will be a financial burden to them. This was the case for all three of my mentors. There was no fight or struggle or lengthy court battle for custody in either case. But this is what happens after the fact.

Long before the decisions are made as to who will rear any off spring, something tragic is happening in a household that necessitates change. The way this story reads, Black men impregnate a female and walk away. As if the choice to leave or stay is placed squarely on the shoulders of Black Men. Today we are reading this piece by a concerned Black Woman who views these situations as Black Men absconding their manly duties. But before the end of the year, I guarantee you will get 5-10 emails instructing Black Women to leave their no good man, finding a man that's equally yoked (one of the most misinterpreted quotes from the Bible), or the trials and tribulations of the Independent Black Woman. Who's writing the poems about weathering the storm in 2006? Who's writing the neat little antidotes about overcoming adversity and fighting for your marriage, relationship, or courtship opposed to fighting to get out and searching for lost happiness?

No one will argue that the rationalization for getting married is invalid. Now tell her to rationalize today's stubbornness, sense of duty, or self gratification in both males and FEMALES. We have some serious misunderstandings when it comes to our every day thinking as it relates to relationships. Men want to court but women want a commitment followed by a forensic evaluation of his personal character, earning ability, ease at being manipulated, and willingness to put up with her "shit" as the needs be. I meet a lot of "spunky" women like this who are in their late 20s and early 30s. They date promising men that are very marketable for the dating scene and who would make excellent spouses. The problem is you see them with another dude every 2-3 months. Maybe...just maybe...it's YOU.

By the time they learn to tone all that down, they are about to cross that Mid-30's threshold and now they are in a panic. This isn't the life they envisioned and for the life of them they can't understand why they are alone at 34 or childless by 40. That man in his late 30s that the author spoke about who also did not marry his baby mama...he just met that chick I wrote about earlier. Her clock was ticking and right now...anybody will do. She was just as irrational in her late 30s as she was in her 20s. It aint always the dude. Females come with their own hidden agendas more often than irresponsible men. You usually can spot them from across the street because they dress their reality. But females...everyone can spot the "hoe" but there are so many degrees that women can fall into that it's a struggle to just find a plain old everyday girl with decent looks and sense of family about herself.

But keep waiting for men to fix this. I have said this for years now, women set the morality of our community. If the thing to do today is be a hoe, men will acquiesce and conform to whatever the standards are today to attract a suitable mate. But if the standard is to be an upstanding citizen, a refined lady, educated, and well versed; men will acquiesce to those standards. The problem with this scenario is that it appears there is a free for all taking place with all classes of women. We used to say on line that you are only as strong as your weakest link. In this case, when the majority has no high standards, everyone is lowered to the highest level of the dominant class. Trust and believe if rejection was issued more often to men that did not qualify to be with a certain segment of females, we would up our game. I saw the other day, a school teacher being fired from her job after having to bail out of jail because her boyfriend was a notorious drug dealer in our community. I know a nurse that lost her nursing license because she was pulled over and they found her boyfriends drugs in her car. Not to mention the absolute drop dead gorgeous women that continue to be bought and sold to the highest bidder. That's not unlike the laundry list of financial instruments some of our educated Sisters put out there as a means to secure a relationship with them.

When our core values are restored, our families will fall right in line. But as long as the main priority is "stuff" and the ability to obtain "stuff" our relationships will simply be a business transaction. I find it amusing that the strongest point the author made was the financial arrangement of a marriage. That's business as usual which has nothing to do with values and relationships.

But that's just my take on it...
...the opinion of a Self Inflicted Male Single Parent.

I read this article and it hit home like a ton of bricks. I have been with the father of my 2 girls for almost 12 years and we are not married. I ask him time and time again to get married so we can complete our family. His excuse is I complain too much, I don't support him, and blahblah... It's all a bunch of bull! So recently he purchased some property and didn't include at all. So I decided it was time for me to leave. I do think that a man will take advantage of a woman if she let him and I am not sitting around anymore. It is time for the black woman to take a stand and let the black man know that it is not okay! Our children deserve to be in a two parent home and not be shuffled from parent to parent. Our women also need to know that we are not just baby momma's but wives!

Amen!...
good advice for ALL men.

are you serious? no man (or woman) should get married for economics. what if the husband is an amoral, unemployed, drug addicted thief who is abusive towards his wife and children? you'd rather a woman raised her family in an environment similar to that? please. "i can do bad by myself seems to be the drum beat of every black female, period. however often that drum gets taken out and beaten to within an inch of its life, it is the anthem of black women everywhere who raise their children alone. you have more men grow up respectful towards women BECAUSE they are raised by women, not DESPITE the fact. gone are the days when women felt like they had to have a husband by a certain time in their lives. we don't need a man to make us whole, or take care of us and our children. no. men don't enrich us, we enrich ourselves. men should, however, take care of their children and attempt to teach them the difference between right and wrong. but sometimes that moral compass is broken and only leads in one direction: to mama.

Mary,

In the spirit of your most recent article regarding black men and their reluctance to marry their babies mothers, my wife and I were wondering if you had any ideas on why so many black athletes and entertainers marry outside of their race, particularly white women in the case of black men. We beleive this would make a great topic for you to explore and would definitely create quite a dialogue among your readers. Keep up the good work.

Wow! Very powerful, Ms. Mitchell. As Bill Cosby found out, you are saying what needs to be said regardless of the backlash, and I admire you for it.

in the old days as you call them, there was no choice but to have a baby if a girl got pregnant. The thing that was considered fair then was to have both people responsible for the baby being born to take care of the kid. Now in the 21st century, things have changed. Women have a choice they can choose to have the baby or not and the man has no say in the matter. I live in canada, and here, 1 out 4 pregnancy end in abortions, this is about 100 000 abortion for 400 000 pregnancies (Canada population is about 30 millions).

Karen DeCrow, former president of the National Organization for Women, writes:

"If a woman makes a unilateral decision to bring a pregnancy to term, and the biological father does not, and cannot, share in this decision, he should not be liable for 21 years of support ... autonomous women making independent decisions about their lives should not expect men to finance their choice."

The fact is the law today has made it clear that the baby does not belong to a men even if he is the father.

This article shows how the states is allowed to view a man as just a sperm donor if the mother wishes (on the other hand, the state can treat the man like a walking bank machine if the state wishes that to.: http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20061020/custody_battle_061020/20061020?hub=CanadaAM

The thing is, men are not stupid, they know how they are being viewed, and I have seen these topic discussed by regular guys from time to time but never in mixed companies because for fear of being called sexist.

As a professional black man living in canada, I understand your plea, but it falls on deaf hear, sure marriage has some benefit but after seeing my father go into debt, depression and attempting suicide after is second divorce because a malicious woman was able to lie her way through the justice system and get rewarded for it, I doubt I will be walking down that ailse any time soon, its is in fact something I am determine to avoid.

If your article was not an attack, I would hate to see what you consider an attact, maybe this is the type of reasoning that keep men away from many women.

In a story like yours there are bound to be at least two sides, luckily I don't need to write about the other side, this has been done for me in this article.

http://www.kenyanewsnetwork.com/artman/publish/article_1380.shtml

maybe if you had been more fair and objective about what you wrote it would not look like an attact, but you attempt at a disclaimer does not do if for me.

Dear Ms. Mitchell:

I think it's high time for all of us to stop blaming black men. They will only rise upon the demand of their women. No nation can rise higher than its woman. The responsibility to reverse the high out of wedlock rate falls on the shoulders of black women. It's time we demand more, and my group, like others does that.

her rantings
really don't address any wrongs that black women play.i'm wondering why she omitted any reference to GOD.as he tells us about the man/woman concept
she never addresses the black mother daughter relationship.
she brings credible research.yet she never shows or says.that her reaseach only addressess one point of view.
i'm at a loss for words
why this educated black woman. hasn't deleved deeper.instead she's stood atop her high and lofty black female mountain.pointed out what black men are not doing.
since we know that GOD gave men and women minds
she's implying that black women are somewhat limited
in the thinking for self department. yet again another black woman not holding black women accountable for anything
she wonders why black men are not rushing into marriage with black women.
why would any black man that has a sound mind be bothered with black women of the description. this woman has very boldly described. because these black women are educated. does that mean black men are to overlook the very real flaws these women may have.for her to be as educated as she is.her degree did not come with common sense.i'm sure black men are thrilled. that we can only be judged by GOD

First off, I'm white. Want to get that out of the way right now.

You attempt to shame black men into marriage. Your assumptions seem to be twofold:
A. Black men are selfish louts who care not for their children or the women in their lives
B. Black women are just rushing to get hitched to one of the big minority of black men nationwide who are either dismally empoloyed or unemployed and/or in prison.

I'd reference you to the modern concept of "no-fault" divorce as to why marriage isn't really a good option for any man. This, I believe is having an affect on the marriage rate as a whole as men of all races increasingly realize just what a bad deal it is.

But black men tend to have several other reasons for not marrying:
A. Welfare. Prior to the 1996 reforms, for nearly 25 years we actively discouraged ANY male in the inner city to get involved with a low economic status female. She'd lose her welfare eligibility if he did. She had to choose between his low wages or government welfare. She often chose welfare as the better of the deal. Course some daddies paid "under the table" so to speak.

B. Most women want to "marry up". Whether this is biological in nature or US women are products of a greedy culture, it doesn't really matter. Black men tend to be less educated then their female counterparts, and many of them have criminal records. Black women, therefore, have a smaller pool of acceptable mates.

Undoubtedly the "player" culture doesn't help. But that's the product of female-headed households and lack of adult male role models. Certain virulent forms of feminism and the prior ill-designed welfare policies are coming home to roost.

I suggest less blame and more research.

I agree totally with what you say. I am a black man divorced from a black woman and remarried. Unfortunely every attempt I made to help raise or guide my sons (3) and daughter (1) by her was shot down by her. I was just a check. I said I would wait until the time came. It came. I was fortune that they all moved to where I am living and we have a wonderful relationship. I was taught by my father that MAN has that responsibility to his children. When the gangs came around our neighborhood, the fathers chased them out. Our numbers as true Black Men is dwindling. Yes I consider myself a true black man. I also think we are targeted and helped to fail. Drugs, the love for money, jealousy, all play a role. I was taught, I teach, and hopefully mine will teach and send it down the line and keep it going. Being a black man can be hard sometimes, but like my father said. "Everythings going to be all right"

Dear Ms. Mitchelle,

I read your article pertaining to black men and marriage and I feel that it serves as an injustice to black men such as myself. We're all not as selfish as your putting it and a lot of us are getting fed up with black women trying to dominate us and using our kids as pawns. I've been married now for four years now and I'm just about fed up with my wife and black women all together. My wife has a habbit of going against every decision that I make for our family and whenever she couldn't get her way she left. She did it before and she did it just recently last year. I'm sick of the strife and I only deal with her because of our son we have together. As soon as he reaches ten I'll divorce without having the fear of losing contact with my son.

oak park misery.

Why doesnt Mary mention anything about being a good father after getting married?!? or give a good argument showing that the Black men she talks about will likely learn to become a good father, husband, and man if they get married? Just because someone throws a ring on woman's finger certainly doesnt mean he's ready or likely to become this good father, husband, man. The thinking regarding marriage has evolved and demonstrated that an often physically absent father is often better, or at least less psychologically harmful, than an emotionally absent or possibly abusive father. This might seem like an obvious argument, but Mary never really faces it, nor takes into account that the consequences of the troubles faced by Black men over the last few generations have often ill-equipped them for the pressures of a nuclear family system, whether they have money or not. Anyone, Black or white, who has been married knows that these pressures are often too over-whelming and lead to disastrous results. This is not an apology for divorce or single parenthood, but rather an argument that the spectrum of problems for most single Black men and women and their children will not be alleviated by rushing to the alter. Thats a band-aid approach to what seems to be a growing wound. There are more comprehensive, realistic solutions to the woes mentioned in the article other than telling Black men to jump into a commitment that has a 50% chance (American average) of complete failure.

I can understand where you are coming from but, why are we not teaching responsibility too right along with marriage? I see many couples who get married and continue to keep that piece on the side. Is that good for the black family? I think it is just more visible in the black community that a lot of us are not married. I believe it may be to all the infidelity we see among blacks and if you are married is life over. Alot of men hear that and just run. I for one have seen it. In the back of my mind I am thinking am I going to be able to hang out. Is life over when I get married? I personal have dated women with a child and it is hard because here about how baby daddy is not doing this and that and then they wish he was like you. Then you want to marry her but there is all this stipulations. I personally feel that you should treat a women like you would treat your mother or sister with the utmost respect. Also, I don't expect a women to bring what I bring to the table all I ask for is a honest women who knows how to trust and knows what she wants.

Its time for the black american self-delusion to end although maybe it won't (just look at most videos or movies featuring blacks). I am black and I say this. We are not less human than the men who fought and won at Marathon (490 BCE), or more recently our own forefathers of the Fifty-fourth regiment during the american civil war. Family can mean something to all men, including black american men. Could the problem be that we don't see ourselves first as men and second as black men?

Good Morning Ms. Mitchell,

After reading your column, I just could not resist responding to yesterday's topic, Time for Black Men to Act Like Men.

Although I agree with much of your opinion regarding this subject, I also believe that we also need to address what role and responsibility black women have in this situation.

I am the product of a couple that really were not compatible with each other. After casually dating, my parents had a "shotgun wedding" in order to to "legitimize" an unplanned pregnancy. From the beginning my mother second guessed my father's ability to be a responsible provider and even his love for her, but she overlooked her instincts and believed she was doing what was in the best interest for her future child. After four years and two babies later, this man left my mother angry and frustrated to raise and support three children on her own. Although we struggled, my mother somehow managed to rear three successful children on her own.

The point I wish to make is that I have witnessed on many occasions that black women are a little too accommodating and casual about the men that we let into our lives. I do not know if we are just so desperate to have a man, feel loved, low self-esteem or just want to have children no matter the consequences, but we make it too easy for black men to just come and go in our lives, and our families suffer because of it.

We black women need to set higher and reasonable standards for what we expect out of our relationships with men and do not back down even if it means having to be alone for a while or look across racial lines.

Women should devote ourselves to those who have demonstrated and proven respect, responsibility and love for us. Get to know the person before sharing yourself intimately. Find out about their upbringing, principles, their perspective on relationships and rearing children, and what their life goals are and where he envisions you in his future. Most importantly - get the ring before starting a family at that point you should know who you are dealing with before the babies come.

I am so tired of hearing these sad stories about children who have been abandoned by their fathers because their mothers did not take the time to do their "homework" and find out that the person they were seeing was a "grown boy" disguised as a man. This man has already showed the woman in so many ways that he is not ready for fatherhood - when he is not gainfully employed and/or still receiving help from his parents. So what I don't understand is why do the baby's mothers act so surprised and disappointed after he has already demonstrated to them that he is still a scared little boy.

If a potential suitor does not have the minimum qualifications:
A legitimate/stable job and is self-sufficient
Have his own place of residence
Is not able to take you out on a nice date
Cannot be depended on when you need a favor
Act respectful and responsible towards you and others
Has multiple babies mamas and/or women
Then we women should save ourselves from being another notch on the bedpost and keep walking. Fatherhood is a gift and I believe only "real men" should be honored with this gift. Unfortunately so many women settle for man-sharing, shacking and, hanging on to men that are not doing right by them.

I believe some black men have been so coddled by black women that they no longer have any incentive and motivation to get their lives together and "Act like Men" because there is always a "simpleton" desperate to give him whatever he wants without him having to grow up.

Either way I still believe that men should stand up and take care of their responsibilities, but I also believe women need to stop making so easy for men to pass through our lives.


Linda Daniels
Northside, Chicago

I am a 35 year old responsible black man, educated, single, and with no children out of wedlock. However, I'm walking the fence in a relationship with an amazing woman who wants to get married. I'm doing it for the same reasons that you expressed in your article. "I need to make more money", "I want to enjoy the single life a little longer", you name the excuse and I've used it. This article is pertinent and so relevant to me because it has reiterated what I already knew and was just too afraid to deal with. I am officially out of the single "game". I'm going to ask her to marry me so we can get our "black family on." Wow. Thank you for that Mrs. Mitchell. I'm making a vow to you and every other black woman interested, I’m going to hold my black woman up as the most important element in my life from this day forward. Peace and love.

Following up on our race being at risk, does anyone remember the rukus when Disney used the “Ho? word with reference to Black women? At the time, I thought, wait a minute, it was Black people themselves, through ebonics, Black comedians, and TV shows that the “Ho? word became associated with Black women. A "Ho" is not a White woman. A "Ho" is a stereotypical Black woman. The entire world has seen her. How she dresses. How she talks. How she tells someone off. Her body movement, like rolling her head around and snapping it. The type of shoes she wears. It is she, not some Black man, who is in control.
World wide Disney brought forward a perception that mirr the way the various races of the world view American Black women. As Ho’s. This is nothing new. One could say, the continuation of a trend. Black women far out number any other race of women in the category of miscegenation in the U.S. In old times, Black women were actually breed (to be mixed with White) and sold as "fancy ladies" to houses of prostitution. They had no say in the miscegenation. They were slaves. Today’s American Black woman justifies continued miscegenation in the name of everything except keeping our race pure. And for this reason, other races see Black woman as "Ho s". Women with no self-respect for their race. Who will have anybody’s baby.

Look, Mary, you are right on men who impregnate women and then refuse to marry the woman or care for the child. On the other hand, why can't the women make the choice themselves by refusing sex, insist on the man wearing a condom, or by taking birth control pills. On the news yesterday, a married black man whose wife was seven months pregnant went out and raped a woman on a street. They caught him by the keyring he left behind. His wife said, "That couldn't be my man." Right. Posters are up in my neighborhood warning of a 6 foot tall black man raping a woman after saying he had a gun. This crap eats into our society, spreading fear, loathing, and prejudice. It is destroying our communities, black and white. You want these guys to marry the women with whom they have sex? Would you want a guy like one of these guys as your son-in-law? How can you tell the rapists apart from the guys who just do casual sex, make babies and walk away?

Enough of this selfishness: Time for WOMEN to take responsibility for themselves.

You are so far off on this one that I do not know where to start. Should I start with the lack of economic and social benefits for men, anti-male climate in our courts and society, or with women's apparent lack of ability to use the wealth of tools at their disposal to prevent unwanted or unplanned pregnancies? I think I'll start with the first subject.

Suggesting that ANY man get married in today's society is just wrong.

Now, part of what you said is true. There are certain economic benefits to marriage. Marriage is often an indication of stability. A married man has little choice but to go to work every day until he drops to support his family. This is one of the reasons why you see married men in almost all of the top positions in corporations and government. There aren't too many other economic benefits?

What about dual incomes you say? Well, here's my answer to that. What is the largest group of consumers on the planet? Women. That's right. Women are. It's not an accident that television is filled with shows directed at women. Even traditional male bastions of entertainment such as sports have been vaginized in an effort to attract women. Guys, how many of you are tired of all of those "faces" on ESPN? How many of you have been to sports stadiums where you couldn't cheer on your team in traditional fashion or shout insults at other teams because the stadium officials want to create a family environment? All in an effort to attract the gender that does the vast majority of shopping.

Back to what I was saying. The dual income myth is just that, a myth. Since women do make less than men on average (this because of personal choices that affect your job, not sexism), they contribute less to the average household. However, they do a majority of the spending. Ding ding ding! If a man doesn't live with a woman, she won't spend his money. Granted, he's likely to make less in the long run, but he can save more because a woman won't be spending it. Let's not even get into children. I think that everyone here is in agreement that children are an endless money pit.

What about the emotional and health benefits? I did not forget about those. Studies have shown (and I'm sure that you've seen these Mary) that married men have better health than non-married men. However, and this is a big however, married men are also more likely to be fatter than their single counterparts (Cornell University). As are married women. Why are single people in better shape? Well, any person who actively dates will tell you that it is easier when you look better. I hate to say it, but duh! So why would a married man have better health than an unmarried man? Well, I think that any guy, or wife for that matter, will tell you that a doctor is not a man's best friend. I hear different reasons all the time. "I have no insurance." "He'll tell me that I can't drink beer or eat bacon with everything.: :I don't like needles." "I don't like being told that there's something wrong with me." The reason is irrelevant. Married men are more healthy because their wives will nag them into going to the doctor. I would also tend to think that they would be more likely to have a steady job that provides health insurance, but I haven't seen an studies that prove that.

What about mental health? Well, that is debatable. Now, let's assume that the 50% divorce rate is true. I don't imagine that men are happy up to the day that they get a divorce. In fact, I'd be willing to be that those men are miserable. What about the men who don't get divorced? Are all of them happy? I'd be willing to be they aren't. I haven't seen any studies to bear this out, but I'm sure that a majority aren't. I'd be willing to bet that a majority of those men are stuck in a bad marriage, whether it's for the sake of the child, low self-esteem, or because they can't afford to get out at this time. Either way, I'm sure that a significant percent of men who get married are not better off than unmarried men. See Australian journal's Oct 4, 2004 edition of Family Matters for evidence of this. The risk of divorce is too great for men's emotional health.

So, what about the anti-male climate in our courts and society? This issue is more poignant for black men than other men. The fact that black men are discriminated against in our courts is nothing new. However, that combined with an overall anti-male climate creates a system that gives absolutely no benefits for a black man to get married. What are these biases? Well, I'll tell you.

It is hard, if not impossible, for a woman to be able to see this issue from a man's point of view. Let's take getting married. How does it work? Well, it's not much different than starting a corporation. You have two separate entities who create a plan to merge their assets into one corporation. To do this, they pay a tax (the marriage license tax) and create a legally binding CONTRACT that is sent to the secretary of state's office for approval, much like how corporations merge (at least that is how it's done in my state). So, now the man is bound by a legally binding CONTRACT that states that he is responsible to provide for and care for his "family". Since the man generally makes more than the woman (not so in the case of black men, however), he obviously has more to lose in the event that the two get a divorce.

That's not all, though. Quite often, the man loses his freedoms. Women frequently use claims of domestic violence (which is funny because I don't understand how violence against women is any worse than violence against men, but that's another topic for another day) to get their way in courts. They don't even have to prove that there was violence. All they have to do is CLAIM that there was violence and the man will be separated from his children, thrown out of his home (and still be forced to pay the mortgage and all the bills), be thrown in jail, possibly lose his job, and be saddled with child support payments (which are often just a cloaked form of alimony). All of this is done with the force of federal law which, incidently, was pushed passed congress by extreme feminists.

Let's touch on child custody. Even though it is now illegal to give custody based on the parents gender (which means a court can't give custody to mother solely because she's a mother), a father still has to PROVE that gross incompetence on the mother's part to get custody. 85% of all custody goest to women. About 33% of that is shared custody, which means that over half is still given solely to women. Keep in mind, these are national statistics, not racial statistics. I am talking about men, not just black men. Now, women are more likely to be awarded child support than men by almost 20% (census.gov). Both sexes receive child support by almost the same percentage. Men actually receive child support 3% less than women. With regards to black men, this can be more devastating than for black women since black women are more educated and more likely to earn more. And, since child support formulas aren't based on the needs of a child, child support orders are, in theory, limitless.

Going back to divorce, despite women's group's claims, women have almost all of the cards in divorce. Men still make most of the big ticket purchases in this country, though women are quickly making up the difference. Men also contribute the most to retirement funds. This is where it gets interesting. Without a prenup (which were invented, by the way, to provide protections for women with large dowries), a man stands to lose half or more of all that he has accumulated, regardless of whether the woman was there to help him earn it or not (it's amazing how so many women sided with Jessica Simpson when she argued against alimony for her ex). Military men are at more risk since their retirements are smaller than most. Again, what she doesn't get in alimony payments, she'll be sure to make up the difference with child support payments.

These are just the most serious reasons why men should not get married. They are some pretty serious reasons, though. Loss of financial well being, weight gain, loss of property/job/freedom, loss of children. These are things that should give men some pause before taking that plunge. One solution to some of these problems is the pre-nup. For those of you who don't know what this is, it is a legal document drawn up by lawyers that plainly states who will get what in the event of a divorce. It can also stipulate who will be responsible for what during the course of a marriage. It CANNOT include anything that is illegal (drugs, battery, etc.) or anything to do with children. A pre-nup should always be drafted by a lawyer (both the husband and wife may be required to have lawyers depending on your state) before any date for marriage is discussed. Heartache and loss can also prevented by just not getting married. If you must, at least give yourself some protection by getting a pre-nup. If she refuses, that should be a clear indication of her true intentions.

Now, let's get to title of my little rant. Why is it a MAN's responsibility to fix the black community. You know, for almost four decades women have had complete control over their reproductive abilities. Yet, they choose not to take responsibility for their actions when things go wrong. Instead, they choose to blame men. Mary, and all of you ladies reading this, listen closely. You have over a dozen different forms of birth control available to you (not including abstinence). You also have RU-486, abortion, adoption, and the ability to drop a baby off at a police station or firehouse with no questions asked. Men have but one available to them. The condom, one of the most ineffective forms of birth control ever invented. I don't include vasectomies because of the limited availability. I myself have tried to get one and have been turned down by DOZENS of doctors because of my age (25) and because I do not have children. Vascetomies are simply not an available option for most men. Many men also want children in the future and the vasectomy is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. SO, the onus is on women. Since women are more likely to get custody and make the final decision as to whether the child will be born or not, it is women who are responsible for their actions.

Now why aren't women using birth control properly, if at all? Well, in more than a decade of sexual activity I think that I've heard all the excuses ever used. "It makes me fat!" Which form of birth control makes you fat? The sponge? The IUD? The pill? The shot? The cervical cap? The implant? Which one? "It messes with my cycle!" Yeah, the pill will mess with your cycle. Here's what it will do. It will change the time of month of your cycle. If taken correctly, you will have your period at the same time every month. "I'm allergic to ." Let's take latex, the most common excuse that I've heard. Ok. So you're allergic to latex (it's amazing how many women are allergic to latex). Let me tell you, you should see their faces that I made sure that I bought a polyeurothane (plastic) condom and spermicide for just that reason! They're speechless. Well, almost. That's when they start making other excuses and when I put my clothes back on and run for the hills. "I can't afford birth control!" Well, if that's the case then you really can't afford a baby. You know what happens when you have sex without birth control? YOU HAVE A BABY! If you can't afford to buy birth control, it's time to stop having sex. IF YOU ARE HAVING SEX WITHOUT BIRTH CONTROL, YOU WANT TO HAVE A BABY! If you are too stupid to realize that sex leads to babies, I might suggest going back to school.

Now, all of these things should be discussed with your doctor. There are a host of factors that will interfere with the effectiveness of birth control. If you're overweight (I don't know why people are having sex with you anyways), birth control might not work. If you are on certain meds, birth control might not work. If you are stressed out, birth control might not work. Talk to your doctor.

The point, is that women are responsible for children being born and thus most responsible for the current situation. I am in no way making excuses for men who don't use condoms or discretion when choosing partners. They are at fault, but women are more at fault.

Based on all of this, I can't really see any reason for a man to get married, let alone have anything to do with women beyond having sex, and even that is risky. The only true beneficiaries of marriage are the state, women, and children. That children benefit from marriage has been proven by numerous studies. That women benefit from marriage is obvious. That the state benefits from marriage is obvious. Less crime, more successful men, and income from child support agencies. Men get the short end of the stick here. The risks far outweigh the benefits.

So black men, shut your ears to this woman's pleas (as well as any other woman') that you help fix the problems that they and the government are largely responsible for. The price for you is too great. If you truly care about your child's future, don't have them with a woman who chooses not to take responsibility for her own actions. Use condoms. When the male birth-control pill comes out (and it is coming), jump on it. Use it religiously. Take back the power. Live your own life. Let these women lay in the beds that they've made. As for me. I've chosen NOT to be a victim of women and the government.

Amen! But don't just marry your baby's mother, stay with them.

Whoa Mary, marriage is not for everyone. In fact (if your going to go with the marry your babys mother argument) in many instances the baby's actual biological father is really probably not the man the woman should settle down with (or raise the child) or even have laid down with in the first place. Yes they both (and I do emphasize both) made a decision to "lay down" together but not everyone makes the decison to even stay the next morning for breakfast yet alon make the life commitment. Again I state that Marriage is not for everyone and I am a married man who is stating this, there is the good and the not so good on both sides but again this is on an individual, case by case basis. There are many who are on the outside looking in and like I tell some of my friends who ask, its not as easy as it looks. You can also speak in reference to the financial aspects of marriage but there is no gaurantee that your financial picture (in marriage) is more rosier than it would be as a single person. In a marriage many of the decisions have to be agreed upon meaning a discussion or disagreement about how finances (along with everything else) should be handled. I had an easier time deaing with my own personal finances. In addition sometmes the new additional extended families tend to put a drain on the finances (and no I am not talking about kids) Thankfully I was raised in a home of a successful marriage and had the "blueprint" of what it takes. Part of the blueprint was indeed having the best partner possible. I have a wonderful marriage and from what I seen I have been blessed and very fortunate. There have been instances where my wife has been on the phone with one of her friends that are berating a man their dating or walked in during a "hen party" that really should be book club meetings where men (generally black men) are being read the riot act. Hearing some of the complaints and actually knowing these women a man knows why their not married. Mary black men alone are not the ones to be encouraged or solicited and yes many of us (black men) are playa playa's (Holla) But there is a reason for it and no >gasp

Actually black women can fix this by saying no to sex outside of marriage. The LDS -(Mormon) culture expects this as a qualification to get married in the temple. And Utah has the highest marriage rate in the country.

Myself, and all my boyfriends, all my girlfriends were all virgins when we married our spouses. Believe me, these men are focused and motivated.

It's worked for centurie why wouldn't it work now if women stick together and set this as their standard. Instead they are giving the milk away for free, and sometimes throwing in some incentives to take the free milk.

It's very tragic how powerless women have behaved in this arena.

Susan Reeve
Mother of 7
New Jersey

I read your article about Black men standing up, no more excuses, get married to the mother of your children.

Well,earlier this year your paper ran a series of articles about the new young upper and middle class blacks. One part of the series talk about black women not being able to ever possibly find a mate that is of their equal i.e. same education, same salary, if not the same profession, i.e. entreprenuer, lawyer, doctor,CEO whatever.

Your article respectively, contained to many general statements referencing what black men were most likely not to do and what sisters wanted and desired.
Which is a total contradiction. I think those lower, upper or middle class men or women who want to marry will marry and those who want to play the field will play the field. It doesn't matter if they have children or not.

Some people are the marrying type and some are not. Some women just want a baby and some just want to be comfortable with a companion. Marriage does not carry the same weight that it use to in America.

Great, with the elections on Tuesday, it is time to beat up on black men now and overshadow what is taking place around us. White people will now use this as a rallying cry. Thanks Mary. You were on a roll now you take three steps back. This is old news, though it is needed, right now, these elections are very important. I would much rather have seen focus on Todd Stroger and the other poverty pimps who continue to help ruin black's chances into the ground.

Good day Madam.

I am a black man who is married... to a Japanese woman.

We black men are aware that the black family in this country has been destroyed.

We also know why... programs such as the Great Society, that subsidize family breakup by removing the necessity for a male breadwinner.

We also know that with no fault divorce, marriage no longer exists as a stable and enforceable contract.

We also know that feminists, black and white, have passed misandrist laws that favor women over men in all aspects of life.

On my humble blog, I detail my critiques of feminism in more detail. Please stop by and visit if you have time.

For the time being, I would strongly advise men from marrying any woman, of any race, until such times as laws and attitudes in this country change for the better.

Don't get married!!

Thanks for reading.

Dear Ms. Mitchell,

I read not only your article with interest, but the commentaries in the blog also. It troubles me that many of the comments are so embittered and/or fearful. I've lived as a single parent and as a wife and co-chair of a nuclear 'corporation,' so I can see both sides of the female perspective on committment and contribution toward myself and my society as a whole. I was married when I bore my children. I merely wanted them to look like permutations of myself and the man that I loved and for all of us to have the same name. A family. People who went on vacation and took pictures on their Christmas cards together. No fantasies of chattel ownership and property settlements.
I lived the other side also. When it became apparent sometimes that if my children and I were going to eat that night and have a roof over our heads the next month that I had better become marketable. And independent. Yet nuturing and optimistic and spiritual. It's a daunting task for a young person to do alone and not show the signs of stress and struggle to her children. And I can understand anyone wanting to guard what they've earned with all that they are.
I just want to say that I was saddened that the terms like "love," or "legacy," or even the "biological drive to procreate," were not mentioned by the bloggers.
It's as if we as a people are afraid to solidify. We can't always blame race for not making the best decisions for everyone involved. Unfortunately, we can't always will our lives to be what we envision. Love and happiness involves risk and loss sometimes.

This is not an issue about the failings of black men or white men, we are both treated equally when it comes to women in this country, it is an issue of men vs. women.
1. The success rate for marriage in this country is approx. 46% and what happens at the time of divorce, A. The woman gets the children in 90% of the cases and approx. 50% of the mans net income. The extreme pain for men of loosing their children results in 80% of male suicides, and the rate for men is 8 times higher for men than women. The courts in this country hand out restraining orders to women like they were candy which is an automatic jail sentence for men in 95% of the cases. Most studies show that DV in this country is a 50/50 proposition, women beat men as often as men beat women, but the courts put men in jail at a rate of 25 times higher than that of women. All of the above and more and more accurately characterizes the state of affairs for men and marriage in this country today, women get it and keep shoving more and more of it down our throats, men are just starting to get it.


A white man in Cottonwood,Calif.

Instead of creating life with someone who doesn't share the same expectations and vision, don't lay down and make babies randomly. Many men leave it up to the women and many women fool themselves that he's a good guy or he is good to the kids he's already got. If more people actually listened to the other person, folks would probably hear and understand the truth not the fantasy that creates broken homes, broken dreams, disparity in the community, and a lot of baggage on both sides. I'm a product of a single mom home. While one parent can do the job, it's proven that it's a job that should be done by two. Marriage doesn't always ensure this ideal (many of my friends from two parent households have had one parent or the other be a bump on the log, emotionally unavailable, or in many cases, abusive because they felt forced to stay in an unhappy marriage). No matter how staggering the rates of STDs, the lack of available marriage material claims from men and women, and the decline of social expectations surrounding the marriage contract, no one seems to think about how it all affects the children of the next generation to not have one parent or the other be a part of their lives. In the heat of the moment, values fly out the window. If one person or the other is not committed to raising a child emotionally or financially, abstain or both parties use birth control so that one party or the other isn't chasing around a dream of what someone should feel morally compelled to do.

A second point regarding men not marrying.If you scream queens would direct your energies toward the gutless and corrupt politicians who you used to legislate men into the hole were in and straighten around the court system which you own, thus leveling the playing field, men would again embrace marriage. I doubt this will happen, you women simply would have to much to loose, the money,control,power,the legal ability to destroy a mans life.Too many good things would be lost.

A white man in Cottonwood,Calif.

I am a black woman, 41, single and childless. I have issues with the whole baby's momma thing. Mistakes happen ok I am not talking about that but I got issues with women who date "men" with like 6 babies (and 6 babies mommas. And then they blame the babies mommas for everything both parties should have been more responcible. Mistakes occur but not that often! One of the comments mentioned knowing you were going to be with the guy before getting pregnant. How about marrying him before you get knocked up??? Mary I think you message is great for guys when the error happens the first time. But these guys or chicks with 4,5,6, etc babies out of wedlock are pathetic. PLEASE stop making excuses for them the pill is easily gotten and rubbers are not too expensive either. I hate it when women look at the guy as if he is the only one to blame when they get pregnant. We like in an age where there is a miriad of birth control options, in addition there is an epidemic called AIDS. Everyone should be using condoms especially if they are not married to their partners. We also need to choose more carefully DUH you don't want a man with 3 babies mommas HE abandoned someone. His track record indicates he may do it to you. Men DUH you don't want a woman with more than one kid out of wed lock Her track record indicates a suspicious pattern as well. Now the wonderful thing about living in the 21st century is... we can protect ourselves we both men and women can have mad sex and not get pregnant as long as we are responcible and careful.

So where are all of these fantastic black women that want to marry? If you are not some rich athlete, CEO type persona making 6 figures or even a phony guy who runs into many of these after hours spots with a empty briefcase and a suit full of business cards, black women will not give you the time of day. Women that lay around get pregnant do so based on guys that lie to them. It takes a man and a woman to conceive a child. End of story. You cannot place the blame all on the man. How is it women get a free pass in your article? I know of several women who have gotten pregnant by married men or men with three,sometimes more other children. Purposely. Give me a break with the "no good black men out here". There are many single black men in Chicago. I have a friend who has had the same job for over 20 years, no record, no kids, but when he tells women he drives a bus, he gets laughed at. So he works, goes home (he owns a home, and it is paid for) and shakes his head at articles like this one. There are many other stories like his. When black women stop trying to run the show, be so demanding yet when the fire is burning and there is no water then yell for help we will see a change. Until then, don't hate the player, hate the game.

MITCHELL COMMENT:

You consider failing relationships in the black community a game? That seems like the problem to me...

marry; why r u always male bashing (black men that is i know your favorite is REV JACKSON) does it help u get along better with your white counter parts? or r u really that clueless
as to what really goes on in my community

Ms. Mitchell:

No doubt there are too many brothers who are woefully irresponsible in their relationships with women and in the treatment of children resulting from casual sexual encounters. Such men clearly contribute to the problems that plague our community. That said, I found your Thursday column "Enough of this selfishness:" neither illuminating nor constructive. Both you and Professor Laumann make sweeping assertions regarding black male attitudes that I as a black man find painfully obtuse. You attribute lower marriage rates and higher divorce rates to the apparent ubiquity of black male selfishness and our so called permissive attitudes toward extra-marital relations. Wow.

Last time I checked, it takes two mature people to establish and maintain the committed, nurturing, mutually supportive marriage relationship that is the foundation of a healthy African-American community. You place the blame of failure in this shared responsibility squarely on the shoulders of black men and have the nerve to say it isn't an attack. You admonish black males to act like men and call it a plea. You trivialize marriage by calling unreadiness or the inability to get along a pathetic excuse. Do you really think your column provides a path to healing in apparently tenuous relations between black men and women?

While the BMAS (Black Men Ain't Sh**) approach may be cathartic for you, I find it not at all useful for us as black men or us as a black community.


Darrell Williams
Kenwood

Ms. Mitchell
I am an 25 year old MBA student in Taiwan, African American. I read the times online everyday and am really getting tired of hearing you bad mouth black men. It seems like I've been reading nothing but negative comments from you for years. There are lots of us out here doing great things! I implore you, please stop this bashing us/me, its racist and its just wrong. Please stop!
MBMcWilliams

This problem is spiritual and until Black women and men go back to God for guidance..........No chance of anything good coming out of it. We as black people will continue to lag behind other races.... Go Back to God Ma People !!!!!!!!!!!

Ahhh, Mamonaku. A name that I recognize. If can't convince anybody that marriage is a lose-lose situation for men, maybe he can.

If many of you are unaware of what is going on around you, I might suggest visiting his site or looking into men's rights websites.

This is not a black problem or a white problem. It is not a rich problem or a poor problem. It is an American problem. That the problem is more dramatic in the black community only means that black men need to have all the facts before they make a decision that has the potential to take away what little they already have.

The major news networks rarely report on the problems affecting men. Part of the reason for this is because television industry's purpose is to sell advertising and those advertising spots are aimed at the one group that does the majority of purchasing in our country. The major networks can't risk alienating the viewers that they depend upon by airing anything that might be perceieved as offensive towards women.

So where can men get information on issues affecting their lives (i.e. marriage laws, child support and custody laws, employment laws)? Well, Mamonaku's site has plenty of links to other bloggers and sites that deal with these issues. A simple google of "men's rights" yields plenty of sites. Of course, the first step is recognizing that there is a problem. It will then be up to each person to get the information and make a decision on best how to use it.

This quote by Dresden James perfectly illustrates the problem and why men, black men especially, need to think twice about taking Mary's advice: "The ideal tyranny is that which is ignorantly self-administered by its victims. The most perfect slaves are, therefore, those which blissfully and unawaredly enslave themselves."

For you men who have not yet opened your eyes to the problems with the "institution" of marriage, it's time to wake up.

Thanks for posting Mamonaku. Hopefully you can help at least one man realize that there is a better way.

I am going to wade into this debate.

Ladies, have respect for yourselves. Don't be with a man who doesn't want to make you his wife. Living together is NOT the same as marriage. I have done that and I can say I prefer life as a married woman. Stop being so selfish too. I can understand wanting to have a certain level of income/comfort, but it might not happen. Support him (if he is trying to do better)and you can both reach your goals. Continually nag him about what other people have and you don't; well, you'll see why your are still Miss, not a Mrs. Ladies, we need to take responsibilty for ourseleves.

Men, respect your women. You will never be a playa for the rest of your life. It looks ridiculous when you get past a certain age.

Everybody, stop blaming society on why your won't get married. People get divorced, that doesn't mean that you will. I think the reasons that so much is wrong in the world is because everyone thinks that stuff should be easy. Marriage, like anything worth having, is hard work. You invest your time, love, emotions and your return will be happiness. As with every investment, there is risk. People should not go running at the first sign of trouble. I am not some old, churchy, conservative either. I am young and liberal, and more young liberals need to embrace marriage instead of thinking it is an outdated institutuion. I was once with someone who didn't want to marry me. I found someone who did and I have not looked back. Kudos, Mary.

Hmmmm..

When it rains, it pours.

To what definition can a woman give as far as a man being a man, I wonder... ..to what definiton can a man give to a woman about being a woman, I wonder... Damn good questions, if you ask me.

I am a product of the hip hop generation, its music, style, some of its views, etc; a black man of 32 years who just recently got married a little over a year ago stationed overseas, with a loving wife raising two children that don't have active fathers in their lives - completely and totally missing in action, (my nephew and my stepdaughter), so which one of you black women will have the audacity of standing before ME and tell me I'm not up to it? That I am incapable of it? That bruthas cannot and will not do it? It's about time I bring school in session for some of you grown folks out there, and the test comes later so pay attention, check it:

I spent my entire adult life, up to last summer single for several reasons, two stick out in my mind as ringing paticularly true. The first reason was because of my chosen profession at the time; working nights and being a flight mechanic on military cargo jets flying all over the world - it flies I fly with it. Secondly, the sistas never took a vested interest in bruthas like me from the beginning...too stable, the strong silent type, not prone to having a whole bunch of nonsense in my life, an overall nice guy..ding ding ding! Women in general will not appreciate a man like this in their early years - even if the man in question is in his early years too - but some women will come around later on in their late twenties and early thirties. For some black women, that still isn't the case. Being from Chicago, all I heard from black women is that they don't need us, or we're not bringing enough to the table, don't make enough money, don't have this, not enough of that, etc, etc etc... I've heard that pretty much my entire adult life so why should black men be in such a rush to get married? I don't need money, material things or status to define myself in a relationship, like it really matters totally who makes more money than whom - what folks should be worried about is what are you gonna do with that dough? I was doing great by myself financially, me getting married just made things that much easier. I won't let a woman cross my line about what being a man is all about, but on the same token I won't cross hers about what being a woman is all about, because I don't know - and anyone who decides to engage in that deserves just what they get. As an adult I've always had nice cars, good clothes, a few dollars in my pocket - that wasn't the singular defining trait of my manhood though, it was that way because I liked it that way, had nothing to do with what folks thought I should be doing. With that being said, you had better believe I'm not going to sit by and not speak on the plight of some of the bruthas out here who are not just trying to do the right thing, but those of us who are trying and succeeding in doing just that. I wish black women would take just as much notice to that as they do to pointing their fingers to the riff raffs out there that make ALL BLACK PEOPLE look bad. Think about it...

I told ya there would be a test later so here it is, check it: My black people in Chicago; black women and black men, look around in your daily lives. Do you see something wrong with our people as a whole, esp with our children that can be corrected at the lowest level? You can? Good..get on it! In addition to critiquing, offer some instruction. If you need to get some reinforcements then go get 'em! Get some guidance if you need to while you're at it and see where it leads you. We all have a failing grade as a people because of not doing this, in addition to other issues. Who's up to the challenge? We didn't get to this point overnight and by ourselves, but it will be us and us alone who will have to bear arms against it and not with one singular definitive event, but with several decisive victories against ignorance and contempt...for our children's sake.

So the issue here may not just be with black men and marriage because love and happiness is where you find it. Never ever settle for anything less than how you want to be treated as a human being, and give as good as you get...but you have to do what's right in the process for others to be inclined to treat you as such. That goes for all races of people.

Peace..from Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

To Rita Sallie - in answer to "my wife and I were wondering if you had any ideas on why so many black athletes and entertainers marry outside of their race, particularly white women" - the answer is because those women are smarter and won't settle for less than what they think they're worth. Period. End of story. If they sleep with the man, you better believe they're talking marriage and babies along the way. And if the man doesn't marry, the women 1) don't get married; or 2) get as much bling out of the relationship as they can. Smart women.
Now I have a solution to all this marriage talk - how about do like the gays and have "civil unions", nothing legal, but it would at least give the children a name. I know it's half-stepping, but if Black males are gun-shy about marriage maybe calling it 'civil union' would get them closer to the real thing.
Now, to chastise my sisterhood: ladies stop getting pregnant out of wedlock. Please just don't get pregnant until you have a ring on your finger or a pre-nup, or contract, or something to show your worth. As stated before, you're missing out on economic prosperity by going it alone, I know. In my 50s, I wish I had a partner to help carry the load - you know the bills, the groceries, and half the rent!

I read the article and the comments that followed and just had to chime in on the unmarried issue. There are many reasons why blacks are less likely to get married and all of the issues cannot be addressed in just one article. But, speaking as an unmarried woman that is also a parent. I do not focus on the fact that I am not married. I think we focus too much on the negative and not the positive. Getting married is not going to suddenly make the world better and won't suddenly make women or men better. It is also a fact that single women are mentally heathier than married women and married men are mentally heathier than single men. I won't get into interpreting that, but I am using the time that I have being single to achieve the dreams and aspirations that would not be an option if i was married. This is the time to do those things when I don't have to consult anyone about what I am doing. I use the resources I have to take care of my daughter and encourage her to be productive. Also, the bible speaks of using your time of singleness to draw closer to God. That is what I am doing. Every human being makes mistakes, but it is how you turn a negative into a positive. No, I do not want anymore children out of wedlock, so therefore, I have to do what is necessary for it to stay that way. If I had a chance to marry my daughter's father, I would not because we would not be good together, but hindsight is always 20/20. I am a college educated woman and my daughter's father is college educated so being uneducated and lack of opportunity is not the reason I am not married. I don't feel I have to settle. A man won't settle for less than what he wants why should I. If I should never marry, I will choose to be happy and I will always have God to take care of me.

A rich black man will marry and blond, blue-eyed white woman because he knows that she will do anything to secure a future for herself and her children. White women have condoned and supported slavery, discrimination, murder and all kinds of torture (IRAQ) just to make sure that their white children wound up on top of the food chain. Can you argue with the result?


How is all of this my fault?
I was labeled and undesireable potential criminal before I was old enough to walk or speak. In school, white, AND black parents would tell my teachers specifically to isolate their children from me. Why? because I was a black male who came from a poor family. It didn't matter that I was a well-behaved, educated child, or that I read at a 12th grade level.

Now that I have pulled myself out of the guttar with the support of my mother, I can say with confidence that I am not guilty of any of this. Black women should choose men who are dependable and responsible, no matter how little money they have.

These black women are choosing to have children out of wedlock because they don't need black men for support. Society will feel sorry for them. Who will feel sorry for us?

My problem is not with guys who don't get married to their pregnant girlfriends, I couldn't care less if they do. My problem is when a guy of any race runs out on his kid and doesn't pay child support and never sees the kid. To me, a guy like that is the lowest form of life.

I agree that there is a need for the black community to rise up and become family oriented, as we once were in the 50's, 60's and 70's. And I agree with much of what you said in the article. But to say that it is time for Black Men to marry their babies mamas? I'm not feeling that statement. Marrying a baby mama wouldn't do much to solve the woes of our people. Good jobs, equal education leading to equal opportunity, better housing etc. would be a good start. But marrying JUST because you have a baby with someone is not a reason to get married. It could certainly be a determining factor in many situations and circumstances, but let's preach marriage for ALL for the right reasons. Love, compatability, economic stability, building black nations TOGETHER. Not because of a baby. If there were a study done on the success of so called "shot-gun" marriages, I'd bet cold hard cash that those marriages have higher rates of infidelity, domestic abuse, alcoholism and divorce AND the kids grow up with all sorts of issues from having been raised in chaotic households. I know plenty of people miserable in their current marriages after trying to do the RIGHT THING in marrying the baby mama. Those usually are the ones who cheat, stay out all night drinking with their buddies, fight with their wives or are just plain depressed because the home is UN-happy. A baby is not a prelude to marriage. And to women who are bitter because your baby daddy didn't marry you. . . there probably isn't anything you can do other than teach your daughter to get married FIRST - then have the babies.

Enough of this already! I am a "baby mama". I had four kids by he time I was 24. I am here to tell you, the blame goes 50/50. We all were too young to know what we were getting ourselves into. Also where are the parents to tell young men and women kids before marriage is not he way to go. I tell my girls all the time "love yourself enough to be a wife THEN A MOTHER". I TELL MY SON "LOVE YOURSELF ENOUGH TO BE A HUSBAND THEN A FATHER". I DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT BLAME THE FATHERS. I HAVE TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY.Although I would have loved to have been a wife, maybe I should have demanded it. No one is going to love you more than you love yourself.

I have to compliment some of the posters on this topic. Some of the posts on here are hilarious. Here are a few examples- One guy said that on talk shows(I think he meant the Maury Povich show)there is a young woman on there trying to identify who the father of her baby is and that amounts to a police lineup. Another guy said some guys just hit and run women and that woman need to use better judgment and stay away from the "hit and runners". Another guy said too many women aren't interested in a nice guy and prefer the "bad boy" who is on a street corner "selling a package". I have to tip my hat, that is some funny rhetoric. But to comment on this marriage thing. A big part of the problem, and this pertains to all races, is the feminist movement from the 1970's. We could all look to Gloria Steinum(I think that is her name)and blame her for the lack of marriages. It used to be women were content to stay at home and raise the kids. But now, women are so shallow and materialistic that they want the high paying jobs. Well, there are only so many high paying jobs to go around, and it amazes me when a woman is disappointed in how much money a guy makes. Doesn't the woman realize that if she took herself out of the job market then maybe her boyfriend would have a better paying job because he would only have to compete against other males for the job? The women of today are just not made like our mothers were when they were 21 years old back in the 50' or 60's. Women back then were much more nurturing and much more suited to be married. For the most part, women today are only Friday or Saturday night women. What I mean by that is they are only good for going out on a weekend and getting loaded and then staggering back home and closing the deal. That is why I find myself more and more saying that instead of being born in the early 1970's, I wish I was born in the early 1930's or 1940's. BTW, I read black women being singled out and described as difficult on this blog. Well, I am here to say that pertains to all women of all races because trust me, there are a lot of white women who are just dreadful people to be around. Too many of them maybe come from affluent backgrounds and have been spoiled into thinking they are God's gift to men. Because I have met and worked with many gruesome, horrible looking white women who expected to be treated like royalty, and I even had to tell one a few years ago that with her looks she should feel lucky that a guy would even give her a second look.

Mary, you can not blame half of these brothers not wanting to get married. Heck, after hearing drama after drama with some of my "sistas", I can understand why.

If Black Women wish to get married, we need to first look inward before we start blaming our brothers!

It's alright to think highly of yourself, but there are a lot of black women who are extremely stuck on themselves, and they expect black men to bring it all to the table and they only bring themselves. That's a lot of BS.

Also Black women are too materialistic. They want the man with the money, or he has to be a "baller" or something do to with sports, or some high rolling thug. They do not want the blue-collar man, the hard working man or the man who is going to school and working. Period.

What most of my sistas do not realize is that what a good, hard-working Black Man will be able to give you that money can not buy is: LOVE.

The first thing that we need to do as mothers is teach our daughters to be independant..if you really want all that stuff, here's an original idea: GO BUY IT YOURSELF. That's what my mother taught me. Also, to all my sistas life for you as a freeloving woman ENDS the moment you decide not to practice safe sex and you bring a child into this world. So practice some control. Motherhood may be hard and unthankful at time, but it is the greatest blessing you will receive from God, and it is a beautiful thing.

Marriage is also a beautiful thing. We need to start stressing that to our children!! It's hard work, but I have been married for over 10 years and as long as God is the cornerstone of your life, nothing is impossible.

From a happily married African American woman.

P.S. Black Men, a suggestion..please push education as much as you push sports. Your son does not have to be the next Michael Jordan, etc. Your son could be in physics or an engineering, a teacher or pastor. That's what we need more in our community.

This article was right on time. While there are many issues to address in regards to eye-balling the overall problem, I think this was a great start. I must admit that I was dupped into thinking that the man that I was with and gotten pregnant by last year was in my corner and had the best interest of our unborn daughter in mind. At the time that we’d discovered I as pregnant, he was gainfully employed, living on his own, and helping his mother manage her properties; which he was suppose to be doing when time allowed. What happened? A month after, he’d quit his job and stated that he just wanted to concentrate on his mother’s properties. Oh don’t let me forget, he wanted to move in with me and he actually stated that I can take care of things while he gets this stuff straight with Mom. “It’ll only take me about 3-4 months,? he said. Note, I said his mother’s properties. I know she’s not paying him the over $45K that he has the potential to make + benefits. Maybe it all had something to do with him looking at my paychecks….OK…WHAT ABOUT PREPARING FOR THE BABY??? Well, I don’t know if it was this unforeseen desire of his to be a pimp, but he hasn’t been back to work in over 16 months. Because, I didn’t want all of the drama of the courtroom, I allowed him to pay me $400 a month until he started missing payments. When I told him that he doesn’t make an effort to pay regularly, he replied, that’s when you should use your money. HELLO….I do!! That $400 only covers half of the monthly child care expense. Now I know someone other woman will listen to his side of the story and come to the conclusion that its all my fault….blah blah blah! Wake up and just tell me one thing…is $400 a month and a able-bodied BLACK man refusing to return to work acceptable?

Mary,

I am a Black man, have an MBA, and can be pretty selective about who I date. I am also divorced, and have a son from that marriage. If it were up to me, I would not have gotten divorced even though I was absolutely miserable with my ex. Despite her emotional issues, and other considerable baggage, I had to wash my hands of her completely once she made up a story to the police and had me arrested because she was embarrassed that I caught her with another man. I felt I was in danger because of her immaturity, willingness to lie, and obvious disregard for my well being showed through. All this from a woman who has a PhD. To make a long story short, she manipulated the courts to get full custody of my son, makes it difficult for me to see him, and is horrible with money and I suspect doesn't use my child support for my son's benefit.

After going through this ordeal and seeing what can happen, and how laws are slanted against men when it comes to divorce, what motivation do I have to get married again? It is not so much the break up with the person that you are married to, but how you pay for it in the courts if you make the mistake of becoming legally attached to the wrong person. I lost property (that my ex had nothing to do with), money, my son loses the benefit of what I have to offer, and the benefit of what a two-parent, two-household income family, and many other intangibles.

Until the system changes (and it may probably never will in my lifetime) and is fair about child support, me and all of my educated, responsible buddies will always be skeptical about kids and marriage. None of us want to effectively become the equivalent of someone’s part-time job for the next 18 years. All we want is to be with someone who we enjoy being with, work well together with, and be responsible parents. Not just someone’s source of part-time income, and a part time babysitter to our children. Pampers and formula cost the same whether the father of a child makes $20,000 or $200,000, so why put bulls-eyes on higher earning men? If I were given a list of my son's expenses for the month I would not only pay my fair portion, but 100% of the expenses. But to give money to an irresponsible person who I no longer am responsible for, and frankly have many reasons not to like or respect is somewhat of a punishment and an ordeal I am not interested in repeating soon. I don't know how practical it would be, but I think a list of a child's needs should be determined and a financial responsibility for those needs should be assigned to each parent, possibly based on each parent's income, and factoring in for location and cost of living. I think something like that is much fairer than the current system, and possibly takes some of the unscrupulous people out of the equation who try to take advantage of the system. Visitation schedules are negotiated all the time so why not the financial portion too? Even if my suggestion isn't practical, a more equitable solution should be considered.

Another issue to overcome that I see, especially with my formally educated friends, are the battles that they go through trying to compromise and negotiate with many highly formally educated women. These women are many times very competitive (to a fault sometimes), have a win at all cost attitude, and have no clue how to compromise. I think that attitude is great if you are competing in school or the workplace. It can be counterproductive if not controlled in a relationship. I am only 38, but it seems like in prior generations there were clear defined roles in relationships which made for a tighter, smoother riding family machine. Seems to me you can drive a car a lot better with one person's hands on the steering wheel instead of both people trying to steer.

My advise to Black women- ease up just a bit, use all of your tenaciousness, competitiveness, and intelligence for the good of your relationship. You already have the beauty. Who wouldn't want that package? Show you are a team player, be fair and have a good heart. Then watch Black men step up.

Hey Mary didn't your childs father Mary you. You all are a happy couple today, Right?

Hummm

WHOA Mary?! I do not read your articles all the time, but when I do I typically agree with your assertions. I am sure you expected to get quite a bit of feedback around this latest one and based on the comments I have read thus far - you have, and rightfully so.

I did marry my baby's momma, we are still together today, but it was a huge mistake for ME although it seems to be working well for everyone else involved. Frankly, all of the sacrifices have been pretty one-sided, I made them and everyone else has benefited.

Would I describe myself as miserable? Nope. Happy? Definitely not. Content? No, not that either. I am somewhere between slightly pissed off and learning to just get over it. To my brothers out there, if that is where you want to be in life then by all means - marry the baby's momma. At this point, I am merely hoping that the last fifteen years I have basically given to my family while pretty much giving up or seriously delaying most of my plans will allow my children to enjoy a life with more of the happiness that seems to have eluded me.

Now with that said, what you should advise your readers to do Mary, is ABSTAIN from having sex UNTIL you get married as that would give them a better defense against baby's mommas, overwieght lovers, child support, divorce, and the like. Getting with that Honey, no matter how fine she is could be fatal to your life's ambitions. There are some crazy, treacherous broads out here - and a lot of them are fine. I know because I have come across several of them over the years.

I am not going to preach a sermon but, every time we attempt to do things contrary to God's direction we will typically find ourselves in a bad situation. THAT is the largest problem confronting our race today, not brothers refusing to get married. The last six commandments are very logical suggestions as to how we as human beings should treat each other. If we would allow our Creator to help us to follow those rules, it would eliminate most of the problems you described in your article.

Just a thought....

As I said, Ms. Mitchell, I hope you're ready for the verbal whooping from the dopes, and those dopes have truly given you a verbal whooping! But all the lame-brained, whiney, excuse-laden rhetoric aside, the bottom line is this: without any doubt, the overwhelming majority of uncivilized scum that occupies our prisons because they contribute absolutely nothing to society and do absolutely nothing but rob, rape, pillage, and murder the good, decent, law-abiding people of civilized society, are indeed from single parent homes where the missing parent is usually, of course, the sperm donor, or as some might call him, the man. And as long as these unsupervised bastards (in the truest sense of the word) are still being born and bred and are still stalking our neighborhoods like the predators that they are, we will ALL continue to live in fear everyday of our civilized law-abiding lives and the carnage will never, ever cease. That is just the sad reality, the plain and simple truth of it all. And none of the whiney, excuse-laden, lame-brained rhetoric that has been stated above will change that. Period. Have a nice (and hopefully safe!) day Ms. Mitchell.

I am a 33 year old Black woman with a Bachelor of Science, Condo, no kids and very much single.I know how to make a house a home. I can name 20 female friends just like me. I am not or ever will be a baby mama.

Yes, Black men need to hone up to their responsibilities. Example: Look at all these basketball players who have 5 kids by 5 women and neglect child-payments. But so do White men when it comes to shucking responsibility. We aren't perfect, either. Thats for sure. Its beginning to be an American problem. Why, because its becoming a 'me', 'myself', and 'I' society. Another Netherlands and Denmark. The liberals want it this way. Stress 'secularism' and not traditional values or religious beliefs. And yes, the Black Community seems to pay the hardest price. 70+ % born out-of-wedlock. Sorry to tell you this, but a child from a one-parent family (usually a very very young mother with minimum education) will have a starting line further behind a child from a 2-parent family. And don't blame another community. Its YOUR responsibility. YOUR fault. Hey, there are alot of liberals who are depending on your community to 'keep digging itself to a deeper bottom' so they can keep throwing 'crumbs at you' (remember, just the crumbs), brainwashing you to keep voting for them. Alot of civic and black leaders want to keep living a high lifestyle and need you to keep 'shooting yourself in the foot' with a 70+% born-out-of-wedlock. Otherwise, they'd have to actually work for a corporation, a 9-to-5 job for somebody else, worry about making ends meet like most working-class people of all races, and might not be invited to be on TV shows. You wouldn't want them to lose there jetset-lifestyle, mingling with Hollywood celebrities, having a big entourage, staying at very expensive hotels, and $750 ringside seats at title-fights. Why they'll even set the example having children of there own out-of-wedlock. And deny it and hide it for 2 weeks until a DNA threat comes along. But you know what, having said that, its NOT all the man's fault (white and black). Hey, women feel they don't have to be married no more. Mary, you forgot to mention that. The feminists organizations have seen to that. Everybody brings up the word rightwinger, but fact is, we have a 'Leftwing Conspiracy' going on. Also, so have the trial lawyers seen to it. A man gets married now, he had better get a pre-nupital agreement. Because he stands to not only lose money when it comes to child support and alimony and home, but also his pension and other future benefits. Whereas a woman with a good job and high income seems to not get destroyed by the courts. Sorry Mary, but thats the truth. There is a double-standard. Don't forget that, also. Alot of blame to go around. Alot of fault on ALL sides.

The problem is 65% of black males are in prison and the other 25%is on there way to prison and another 7% is dieing on the streets in the united states at the same rate blacks are dying in West Afica and nobody knows how to step in and stop it. The other 2% is dying of AIDS and the last 1% is barely holding up because at any given point s*** can happen and one can hit rock bottom at the blink of an eye. I have a lot of information to be shared to these blacks males. Men like me work hard everyday mentally and physically and have been there and done that will never be given the chance to go main steam with solutions to reduce recidivism by at least 50%.Too much like right huh??

Ms. Mitchell

I do thank you for your insight. As a single black professional woman with no children I find that it has in fact become increasingly harder to find a lasting relationship. I agree with your comments on the "buyer's market." I must say that a breakdown surely occurred when Black women began accepting mediocrity from black men. I.E. having children with a man who is not your husband, being aware and accepting that a black man is juggling several different relationships, etc., etc., etc. He is not going to marry his baby's mother if there is a lack of respect from the beginning!

I have just finished reading all of the comments to your article. I am a 41 year old black woman. I was married for 10 years and I did not have a child until I had been married for 9 years. I wanted to make sure we owned a home and paid some bills first. I got married when I was 23 years old and I had one other serious boyfriend before I got married.

I remained a virgin until I was 20 years old. I made a conscious choice to do that. I was diligent about my partner and I using birth control. I don't look like Halle Berry, but do I fall into the Regina King category. I am well educated and I do have some minimum standards. I want a black man who has a personal relationship with God, is able to support himself with a job that it is legal, does not have several kids with several different women and has not been in jail.

However, in the 7 years I have been divorced I have not met anyone worth having sex with. My ex-husband (a black man) is a whore. He is currently re-married, but he had a baby with another woman 6 months before he married his current wife. He has also made it clear that he would have sex with me again if I was willing.

It's sad. Men are not the only ones to blame. Women have got to stop having sex with everyone they meet.

I wish people would just be more honest. State upfront that you just want to have sex and that you have no intention of ever getting married.

I made a mistake when I got married. I was young and naive. I married a guy with no moral compass. However, with all the STD's in our society right now I am still amazed how casually people have sex with each other.

Mary,

I work with on the Southside of Chicago. Sorry, but I disagree with you.
Men not marrying women is not the problem. Children raising children is the problem. When is the last time you met a 26 year old grandmother? A 29 year old woman with a 19 year old daughter who has a 7 year old son? Unfortunately, more common than one would assume.

The "men" aren't men. They are boys, kids, some barely teens, how can they stand up and support this family they've created? Get out there and look at what's going on before you make a blanket statement.

Maybe we need to teach our kids sex before marriage is bad and beat the crap out of the kid caught "doing it"? Instead, it's "at least they are using condoms". CONDOMS?!?! My brother got it for HAVING a condom. I was too afraid of getting a disease. Do they not show those horrific pictures in health class anymore?

Although I don't necessarily agree with the views of (Black man, marry your baby's mother) the columnist, Ms. Mary Mitchell provides some excellent perceptions of engaging in pre-marital sex. However, she failed to mention the various pitfalls of unprotected sex. Prior to the early 80s, becoming pregnant was probably one of the worse misfortunes that could happen to an unmarried woman. Thusly said, the problem is two-fold. Pregnancy withstanding-what about the high risk of STDs? Yeah, I know. That’s a column for a different time. Higher Rates of AIDS and HIV among Blacks should cause greater alarm.

If we are truly concerned about the welfare of babies, we must move beyond the moral panic and denial that so often distort the discussion. Part of the responsibility of parenting is to teach our children moral values that help them to recognize and respond morally to issues and questions that they might encounter in both their private and professional lives. Simply stated, making the correct moral decision is a complex matter since there are usually competing values. We normally do not have the luxury of making moral choices outside of the context of family, work, school, or economic and social pressures, so we need to evoke common sense with our [other] choices.

Sometimes, however, we have difficulty deciding what is right and what is wrong. Perhaps our own experience and knowledge is not enough. Perhaps we sometimes do not recognize issues as being moral in nature. Sometimes we recognize moral issues but do not have sufficient insight into our value system or sufficient information to make a reasoned, informed decision. Sometimes we have conflicting values and have difficulty deciding which is more important. And as difficult as it can be when we're trying to define right and wrong for ourselves, it becomes more difficult when you are in a relationship and you so desperately want to please your partner.

Pregnancy, on the other hand, becomes one of the by-products of unprotected sex. Through the practice of contraceptive theories, at worse, there is a 50-50 chance that pregnancy as well as STDs can be avoided until both of you are ready to make a personal commitment.

Until, then … “Wrap-It-Up!? For, Ms. Mitchell alarm to “Black man, marry your baby's mother? is probably not the idea solution for most cases.

Only a black woman would write this article and alleviate all blame and accountable from black women.

Hello, I am a well educated Africa American man. I would love to be married but the reality is there are women and men with too many issues! The women, when they are young, single and have no children, chase the wrong kind of men, but when they get older, say in there mid thirties, they finally wake up and want a "good man" all of a sudden. It is to late by then. I have a great career, no kids and a decent credit score, why on earth would I want to marry a woman with kidds. Then the women without kidds usually have emotional issues from all the men they have dated over the years. If they don't have kids, then most have had a miss carriage or an abortion. Women need to act like "ladies" to earn a good man like myself!

To me the problem is two-fold. But before I start I want to emphasize that I will be speaking in general terms. There are 2 sides to everything and you can't lump everyone under the same unmbrella. Yes, black men should be held partly accountable because throughout history you can tell a lot about a society by looking at the women and children. I'm not trying to be sexist but men as a whole generally set the groundwork for a society. As black men, generally,we have failed our women and children. We've allowed black women to raise a whole generation of us without our input. Our women have tried their best but as men we all know that after a certain age (15,16) our mother's voice no longers registers as strongly and a man's voice and discipline is needed. We've also allowed other black men to create an atmosphere that degrades our women(music and casual conversation filled with Ho's, Btches, etc.). We aren't there as strong male parental figures so our daughters in turn don't have a bluebrint to select a man from. How can you really blame black women for making initial mistakes on men when the first time they're dealing with a man is when they're in their 20's? If we were part of their lives from day one then that wouldn't be the case as much. She would know what a real man is. Our peer pressure hasn't been focused on creating men and taking care of our families. We all have homies that don't take care of business but do we check them? Do we make their behavior seem un-acceptable? Of course, some of us do but a lot us don't. It's all a cycle people, and it won't stop until everyone stops being punks and looks in the mirror. Ladies, this means you too. Stop picking the guy with nice material things but no soul. Also, how about holding off on the sex for awhile until you really know the guy is into you and not your body? It's already been proven that giving it up early won't make him stay, neither does having his baby. However, if you made the man put in work and respect you as a person and made him wait for "it" then the relationship has a better chance because a "playa" won't put in that work, and a dawg won't respect you for a sustained period of time. But, you ladies have to come together on this. You can't be respectful of yourself while allowing your girl to be a hoe. Walk off the dance floor when a degrading song comes on. Leave the party if too many "btches" and "hoes" come out of brotha's mouths. Let it be known that you don't date drug dealers and you want someone with a future, no matter if that future is as a bus driver or a lawyer. Take a stand Ladies! And Brothas...Stand up!

I was speaking generally so before you take offense just assume you aren't one of the people I'm referring to.

Hi Mary,

I appreciate this article and have also read several of the posts. I am a single mother of 2 and would been miserable had my "baby's daddy" married me, but I understand what you mean by that. I have made numerous mistakes, namely sex before marriage (that's all over)I take full responsibilty for the choices I made in my youth. However that does not negate the need for men to stand up and fix what has for years been broken. I believe that men should stand up because the man is to be the "HEAD" of the household, if he doesn't stand the rest of the house will fall. I do hear the gentlemen who have responded saying that all the weight is being put on their shoulders they didn't make the babies by themselves and they are right but someone has to lead the charge. Women need to be their helpers and help them bear the struggle because they really did not create this alone. We're not always the innocent victims and we can be a bigger thorn in the sides of our men than others if we are not careful. It is imperative that we realize that Mary's article was not stressing the importance of marrying "Your baby's mama", but MARRYING period.

When I compare the lives of my coworkers (98% white) who are all under 30 to the lives of my friends African-American all OVER 30 the differences are staggering and primary due to poor finances. These young white couples are thriving off the same salary that I make, however they have two salaries working together. Their not better than we are, they just plan better. It is important that we understand that in order to start to lessen the income gap, we must fill that gap with the cooperation of a spouse. We need to start today healing the next generation of man so that he understands that he's not in the struggle alone.

As usual, I love your point of view Mary, but why do we as Black women need to "wait" to become wives? The last time I looked at numbers, there were about 25 million available men of all ethnicities.
I say to my sisters, if you can date and marry a great Black man_do it. If not, time to move on and date a good man who will marry you. I never see columns from whites, Indians, Spanish or any other nationality speaking about waiting.
We have the same option as others> I suggest trying the other side.
We are desirable and ned to realize this.

I was once told that your first marriage was for love ,the 2nd one for economics.I never married but lived with my son's mother for 9 years.We split up when she took up with a man from our job who was married with 4 kids and a child from a previous relationship.I stayed with her originally because I wanted my only child to have both parents under one roof. In spite of the fact that I didn't love her.She did everything in her power to keep me from my son and to get me fired from a job I had held for 14 years.I had to sue for visitation and after 2 1/2 years of hell I'm now able to be my son on weekends.If I was married to her I would've lost the house, I solely owned, and my other rental property.Marriage would've been absolutely brutal because without that much needed love I would've suffered more.Now,four years after our break-up,she's married to the guy and I'm newly married with a baby on the way.You have to find the right person to make that all possible.I didn't love my son's mother so why waste the paper marriage entails.I can see the economics of it.But I think We should fix one problem before we use something as a solution.People need to assess more where their life will lead them if they end up sharing a child with someone.Evaluate whether it has a future.And walk away if it does not.My mistake was I knew what I didn't feel and I should've thought more about where that relationship would take me.Being happy ,now,doesn't always erase the past.I'm 42 and I wouldn't want my son to repeat my mistakes.

Mary,

In reference to your article on Black Men stepping up, brevity is the need as many have posted thier beliefs, credentials, histories and jargon.

There are many Black men who handle the responsibility of family, whether married, divorced, separated or out of wedlock. Typically this group operates in relative obscurity, as it is not very popular to advertise the fact that your child's mother made a decision to leave you.

We put on our suits and ties and go to Incorporated America, where it is definitely not in vogue to leave the late session or not make the watering hole in lieu of making the babysitter or day care center by 6:00 pm or else incur the dreaded $1 per minute fine that no one can afford.

Many of us take the time to attend the games, ballet classes, cheerleader events, choir practices, etc., only to find ourselves in the company of women who are in various situations.

Over time, I came to understand that I was the only party undertaking such a process of raising a family, handling a household and trying to understand the differing stages daughters go through.

Only until I came out of my shadow of "shame" did I realize that there were many more "brothas" that were in the same process of keeping thier families intact. We met at the laundry mat late at night, during the same ballgames that our kids were participating, at Church, in the office and most importantly out on the town.

When the conversations came out, it made it easier on all involved to discuss the needs of the family, the difficulty of single parenthood, the critical decisions on when to involve someone (potential wife or just a friend) in the precious life of your child. We discussed the difficulty of sharing holidays with the other parent, shipping off the kid for long jaunts, low or no! Child Support, ridiculous visitation policies of the Court, no compassion for males within the "system", where to get a good "relaxer" done within two hours and finally and most importantly, the care, protection and nurturing of our greatest assets, our children.

As I resist the temptation to rant, I encourage you to review the plight of the black male and attempt to find some redeeming qualities within us, to which you can write and uplift. In my limited experience, when I came out the closet of "shame" of taking on the supposedly feminine role of caretaker and nurturer, I found the experience rewarding and empowering.

Finally, to adjust some perceptions, I am not currently married, as this is a choice, for raising children, holding challenging positions, attempting to have some limited past times, and just keeping the cars clean, the dry cleaning picked up, the teachers met, the sitter paid, the meets attended, the games cheered, the kid exposed to more than a video game, the friends of the kid engaged, the parents of the kids friends comfortable with the single dad, the inferences could go on, you have limited time to make a good decision on a lifetime mate that really has your best interests (inclusive of child) at heart.

Oh, you are right, you are a commodity when you undertake this process. Women see all the elements that they require to "be with" you in whatever situation you can outline. Marriage is not high on the initial priority list, but within a short period, it becomes number two or three, usually juxtaposing between income and status, and the ever-present status of new children or more children. It seems that when a man proves that he can nurture his own, manage a career and carry himself with a little big of dignity, you are quietly the choice of most women in your station of life.

As with the secret people keep when they have a great hairdresser that doesn not quite cost too much, or the great deal the contractor gave me for my bathroom or the savings I got for my new car (thinking the saleman/woman only smiled at me) the story of the good man, whether married or unmarried, is kept a secret, but coveted by those who know.

As I have reached a level of maturity, I now understand that 99 percent of the Black Men I know, and that crosses the gamut or ex-felons to Judges, dropouts to PhD's, Sinner to Saint, employed to owners, renters to homeowners, in the Jets to in the Mag Mile, in Bronzevile or in Bridgeport and I could go further in the racial and financial, but all have the same elements of family in thier heart and want to achieve the same elements for thier children that I desire for mine. UNEQIVOCALLY!!! We only differ in the decisions we made, the exposure we have had in our lives, the wisdom and knowledge others impart in us and the economic cycle we lived through. Many say, "But for the grace of God, go I" or "I was only one wrong turn from that destination". I choose to say, "If only we shared the information, maybe he could have made a more informed decision."

As my child, my only nephew and their friends are now in thier first year of college away from home, stable in the concept that they have strong foundations theoretically and physically, I hope as they follow the hometowm newspaper and follow the "favorite" columnist (yourself) they read something positive and representative of the Black Man they call Father and Daddy.

KEB

Blame the black man! God forbid that black women are the reason why alot of us black men wont marry them. Who wants a woman with kids from previous relationships? Two or three different men at that. Why is it so hard for a black woman to execise some self control and make her partner wear a condom or use some sort of birth control her self. Mary, you make black women out to be some sort of victim here, and I quote:"
Black women are waiting longer and longer to walk down the aisle. By the time some get there, they have already had one or two children. If the children are by different fathers, these women's lives are further complicated." Who made these women have uprotected sex! But its my fault cause I wont marry her. How bout in your next column Mary Mitchell, you make a plea to black women to not have children out of wedlock. Maybe this could be a start to fixing this epidemic in the black community.

It is very simplistic to think that marriage is the silver bullet to single black women's relationship problems. There are some black women who do not want to commit. They may be afraid of marriage or they are still playing the field. Black women are also a big part of the problem. They need to stop having children for bums. Yes, men need to raise their kids, since a woman didn't make the kid by herself. However, we need men and women to be parents and raise their daughters to be confident, strong black women who have positive role models in their lives.

I'm a black man who has proposed to his woman even though we have kids but none together.Some of us have stepped up and are accounted for.We have a very solid relationship as it is and are in aggreement with being married.If people are waiting longer to get married it's by choice.

black men are not the only problem. let's remember it takes two to tango. the mother shouldn't be getting pregant b4 married. let's be honest, black men know they are in high demand, not only by black women buy by a lot of white woman as well. so until women of all races stop being so eager to hop in the sack w/black men, we can't blame this on black men who seem to be under constant temptation.

The reason to get married is that you are in love and that you are sure you want to spend the rest of your life with the person you are marrying. To ensure a stable enviroment for the kids simple don't have any until well after you are married. getting married for the kids just ensures everyone will be miserable.

Great Article Mary,

The best solution is for morals, values, positive participatio in society to become normal in the community. Black women also need to borrow a page from the books of other women: stop exclusively dating/marrying black men. Black women should marry men of other races and stop holding on to illusions. Highly, educated, thinking black women should be encouraged to date outside their race. Black women do NOT owe black men loyalty.

Why should black women be denied what is so normal and right in other races? Why should good black women waste their lives on men who don't want to marry them when other men of other races recognize their beauty and potential? Most of my single black women friends are happy to finally accept this. It's great to date/potentially marry someone who has similar values rather than just the same skin color. WE are all one and God has no color.

If black people can shout in church everyday about loving Jesus, surely we must evolve to loving all God's children - regardless of color.

Black women need to get out, socialize (tango, salsa, investment classes), and be open to dating men of other races who share their inner core values!!!

Stop waiting to marry a black man. Stop begging and pleading for a black man to get it together and marry a black woman when they are marrying women who aren't the color of their mothers. Black woman are better than begging. Keep your options open because black men certainly are.

I think that I understand what you are getting at, but you are definitely going about it the wrong way. You see, I've been with the same guy for 8 years. I am a successful black woman, who after getting pregnant (by this man) went back to school, and got my degree, while he played with his friends and lived an imaginary lifestyle. So basically, he was there, but he wasn't there. Financially, I've never had any issues, but a child needs more than that. You see, he finally got it into his head last year that maybe he should get it together and propose, and he did. We are now engaged, but the wedding itself is not in the works. Who knows what his hold-up is, but I attribute it to a man not knowing in some cases the difference between a good woman, a gold-digger, and a "baby mama". I come in from my corporate job, take off the independant hat, and put on the apron. I cook dinner, take care of our daughter, and clean the house. I'm one of those old-style women who respects my role in family, and definitely consider myself a good woman. So whats the hold-up? I'm not a baby mama, and never have been. Don't need his money cuz I make enough to take care of all three of us on my own. The problem isn't that BLACK men aren't marrying their baby's mamas; its that some MEN aren't growing up and accepting the fact that reality is kicking in and a woman can only handle so much without that said commitment. They often times don't put themselves in our shoes, and assume that because we've been here this long, we won't leave. An engagement is only step one, and honestly, at the rate I'm moving at with him, there wont be a step 2.

Mary Mitchell,
I am a mid 20's educated black man with no kids. I have to disagree with you on several levels. First of all us African Americans are only a small part of this African Diaspora in the America's. I have traveled and lived overseas extensively and most of us here would be considered Mulatoes in Africa, and in most European countries, not Africans. The point of your argument is that the Black Race is on the brink of extinction. I stated the previous facts to say, what is the black race here in America? Again I state it is only a small part of the African Diaspora here in the America's. Additionally, there are millions of black people( not mulatoes) around the world in other countries, including here in the America's, ie. Brazil, Jamaica, Belize, etc. In counclusion, the black race is in no danger of extinction. Here in America it is true that years from now there will be more mixing of the race; therefore, there will be more mulatoes, but there are hundreds of millions, if not billions of beautifully burnt black people around the world that will keep the African race intact for thousands of years to come. Basically, we ain't going nowhere. Maybe here in America people will become lighter and lighter, but our Race is intact around the world.

Mary Mitchell,
With all that being said, I don't think the point is that black men here in America should mary their Baby's mother, it's that these black people should not be having kids anyway out of wedlock. Whether it contraception, or other means of birth control, black people should cease to have kids out of wedlock. In this state of emergency that blacks here in America live in, kids out of wedlock are detrimental to the fabric our chaotic society. Another thing, these men have to want to marry these women, otherwise they are going to cheat anyway, and eventually these couples will divorce en masse. The onus is on Black men to inform these younger Black men that they should do everything in their power to not have kids out of wedlock; furthermore, that marriage is a viable, stable, and desirable institution. Happiness can be found within it, as a young black man I do not see that message coming from older black men. They all say wait till you're 30, lol!! I personally feel that black women should stop relying on these black men, and seriously think about dating outside of their race, it just hurt me to say it but it's true, as a black man I feel that's what black women should do until their efforts are reciprocated. Now that does make life more difficult for me, considering I date black women exclusively, and honestly a Latina from time to time lol!! But, black women need to do what they have to do to find happiness, and please, oh please stop having these kids out of wedlock, and bringing them into unstable lives, it only contributes to the genocide of the black race hear in America, not the world, just America.

It is easy for Ms. Mitchell to instruct Black men to get married, but I think her argument neglects to mention the low percentage of responsible, eligible, not to mention suitable black women available for marriage. Let's face facts there are more women who desire to be married than have the social skills necessary to become a wife. So until you address both issues your premise exchanges the frying pain for the fire.

As I read your column I think of all of the women who would not give me the time of day. I am a black male, 35, no children. Having already raised two other black male's children from a previous relationship that ended horribly. I am now involved with a woman with three kids by two different men. She didn't want to give me the time of day at first, because I was considered a liar(like all most men are), yet I pursued and now she wants to marry me. I have my doubts now, as I was so disrespected when I told her I care(as if I didn't) I don't completely trust her now. But that is not the reason why I posted.

These black women talk about how they are looking for a good man, yet when they see one(I work, go to school full time, and am a strong tall man.) I receive the "I'm not looking for a man, or you're not my type" why, because I don't have a glamorous job, or I am not in the right circles. If they are looking so hard, they would look at all men, not just the ones making $80,000 plus.

I will have my degree in 9 months, but our women don't see that, the see the short term. Going after the glitz, will get you in trouble, that is the main reason I don't want to marry. I came correct, and was pushed aside, now I am skeptical. (Ms. or Mrs.) Mitchell, I hope women see the man who is a delivery driver or mailman or cab driver, just may be a math major, and on his way to getting his bachelor's, and master's degrees, and trying to make something of himself instead of lumping all men as the one or two or ten bad men they have dated(we all have dated bad people).

Take each person for who they are, and sort through the lies, the truth has a way of coming out.

Mary,

Interesting article but it takes two people to have children. Women should be using birth control or insist that their male partners do so.

Stone,

You are an ass. Purity of the race? Are you a Nazi? Who cares if someone marries someone of another race?

I think you're right on target, but unfortunately your plea is going to fall on deaf ears. As a Black woman, I gave up on Black men a long time ago because of cheating, abuse, and general maltreatment at the hands of Black men. While I haven't been married yet prospects are good, with a wonderful White man. I've never experienced any of the problems I've had with American Black men at the hands of men of any other race.

While I know not EVERY Black man is bad, unfortunately in this day and age there are many more bad than good. We Black women need to expand our horizons beyond race, so that we can find happiness and peace. We deserve it!

Look, I'm a 29 year-old white guy. To date, I've fathered zero children. If this leaves me open to flames, so be it. But the problem seems pretty easy to solve.

Birth Control. Sex Education in schools. More Birth Control. Attainable college tuition rates. Still more birth control. Rejection of cultural mores that promote promiscuity. Did I mention birth control?

This is not meant to sound condescending. The above-mentioned program will help single mothers of all colors and creeds avoid baby-mama-dom.

P.S. ... birth control!

I'm not afraid to say it. Sex outside of marital commitment is immoral because of the damage it does to helpless children and the destruction it wreaks on our only continually sustainable living human institution: the family. Cultures where obligation to the dreams and aspiration of family is more important than individual desires are flourishing.
The content of our character instilled by dysfunctional fractured families, by which we would be judged according to Dr. King's dream would indeed make his vision a nightmare.
If babies mommas had not been led to believe that they could raise a family alone they would not birth multiple children. In this scenario all you need is a boy to be your friend rather than a man to be your husband. A man might make demands. The myth of wonder woman and wimpy man permeates our women's psyche. If men and woman would admit they need each other the could work out roles that would be mutually beneficial.
When the natural aggressiveness of men is dedicated to building a family and leaving a legacy with an inheritance black people will flourish. When the position of husband and father is honored, men will aspire to it. What man will take responsibility without authority in family relationships. What fatherless son of a babies momma will know how -much less aspire to be a good husband and father. As black men go black people will go. The sexes have no existance outside of each other. We need to get it together or become a permanent underclass.
Not a woman reading your column would carry out a major transaction dealing with home or automobile without contract, documentation, signed agreement, or some other protection or guarantee. Many a woman will however give away her body on less than a handshake or a spoken word. Accountability, Let's just make it real.

Rick South Side Childless single righteous man

Marrying the father of your babies is not always a good idea. Make no mistake, we women know if the man we sleep with is a good man or a bad man. I waited two years before I decided to marry my exhusband because I knew he had anger issues. I finally gave in because I believed our daughter deserved a family at all costs. WELL, IT COST ME BIG TIME!! I had to endure mental and physical abuse, financial insecurity, infidelity, depression and many more things for eleven years before I stopped feeling guilty about getting a divorce. The most important thing I learned through all of this is that I could have made better choices. It is time for women to quit complaining about men and start making smarter choices of who they have relationships with.

During and after slavery,our women was rape by white men even though thy were married.The black man was born with a target on his back to fill jails and prisions to create jobs for the status quo.The black man is still bombared in an early age with contraband that flows freely into our communities. Black professional women are looking for someone who is equal in status. Early black women were stronger in trying to help hold the family together at all cause inspite of the abuse their men were suffering. Todays women will not stand together with a poor black man very long. They will "cut and run". Men should get married and take care of their family,and he must stop having babies out of wedlock. The same goes for our women.

This whole thread is so confusing to me. Not one person has brought up the obvious answer to this so-called black man's plight.

Condoms? Birth Control Pills? Marriage before children?

There is an old song that says it well: "Love and marriage; love and marriage .. go together like a horse and carriage... First comes LOVE, then comes MARRIAGE, then comes BABY in the baby carriage!"

In other words, what about responsible sex by both men and women and marriage when you fall in love and cannot imagine not spending the rest of your lives together.

Seems so simple.

"Todd Stroger and the other poverty pimps who continue to help ruin black's chances into the ground."

Why do the racist come out so easily? "Poverty pimps"? Just what does that mean? How is Todd
Stroger a "poverty pimp"?

Mary,

I enjoy your column. However, I disagree with your laying the low marriage rates at the feet of men. If children are born out of wedlock, shouldn't the women who had those children also take responsibility for their actions? It's hard to understand how a man or a woman can have 3 or 4 children by multiple partners. There is such thing as birth control.

Finally, to the commenter who made the comment about black racial purity. Ugh! African-Americans are mixed-race people. How is it anyone's business if a black man or woman chooses a partner of another so-called race? You do realize that Martin Luther King Jr.'s grandmother was Irish?

I was forwarded this article by an acquaintance and I have to admit it's had my mind going. Why should African Americans marry after having children out of wedlock? I don't understand the reasoning......men don't have to be husbands to be good fathers. Are you trying to give yet another reason for society to deem black women as too agressive and "bitchy"...because that's what'll happen if half of my friends decided to marry their childrens fathers. Marriage isn't the answer...being responsible is...... responsible enough not to put yourself in that situation of having children out of wedlock to begin with. But if it happens, adding fuel to the fire by getting married isn't the answer. Are you suggesting that men that are not financially, mentally and emotionally capable of taking care of themselves......now be responsible for an entire family? For those type of men...it's too hard to get child support from them, now you want an entire family resting on his shoulders? This would make a bad situation worse. Nowadays woman are very self sufficient and we are strong by nature...we've handled "dead-beats" in our lives before and now that we've gained a little success we may not want to deal with unnecessaries. When woman say that they don't need a man....that means we would love to have one...but he has to bring the same thing to the table that we're bringing! So if you're a cheater, womanizer or like sleeping with men as well as women....keep steppin......because you'll have another black woman crying the blues because her husbands cheating on her...this could go on and on. African American woman already have it rough please don't intentionally ad another potentially disasterous situation in her path by suggesting marriage if their not ready, responsible or in love.

After reading your column and the numerous responses, I have to say thank you for the enlightenment. I have been practicing abstinance for some time now. It started just as an exercise of self control. Now I know I must continue this "exercise". I don't want to be perceived as a whore, nor unmarriable for having sex with my boyfriend. Reading comments from these brothers will make it easy to not to open my legs to them.

After watching all the heartache the women in my family suffered, I decided to do things differently. As a young woman I refused to date men with children, no exceptions. Many people told me I would never find a responsible, hard-working black men, with no children but I just believed otherwise. My husband was looking for the same thing in a black woman and we met through friends who had the same morals and values we did. To make a long story short, we've been married for seven years.

mamonaku, although you have brought up some good points that I find interesting, you miss the thrust of the column. It is about having children and not supporting them.
How many men tell their girlfriends that they love them and will marry them and never follow through?
If you are not using contraceptives and have sex, none of those reasons you gave have any merit.
Men seem to see sex as a recreational pursuit...and unfortunately women seem to think that they need to have sex to keep a man or show their love for their man.
Who is being used in that situation?

It's unfortunuate that African-American men and women have few things in common. Sex is obviously on the forefront. Black men have a lot of resentment and it is ultimately directed at women. More so at Black women.Black men will never admit it, but they feel that Black women won't make their lives better,only harder...

It's not an issue of black or white. It's an issue of people stepping up, being responsible and stop making excuses for your child like actions, male or female. Today everyone just wants to point the finger, grow up and take responsibilty for your life. We all know what's right and what's wrong.

Oh dear! The feminists have gotten everything they always wanted- laws which favor women and discriminate against men in schools, at work, in the home, in marriage, in divorce, and even with their own children. The media is filled with images of men as stupid, incompetent louts who need to be shown what to do by the intelligent, sensible women in their lives. Now, those silly, confused men are strangely deciding not to marry these brilliant divas. What could they be thinking? Oh, that's right - men don't think. Isn't that what the modern princesses have been saying for years? Guess what, ladies? You've been saying for years that you don't need men. You must consider it one of the infelicities of your position that most men now take you at your word.

i love the comments about blaming everything on the white man ----why not? how dare you ask someone to take resposibility for their actions when you can rage against white america for thier problems ---i also love the response that talks about black athletes gettin it on wit white chicks --doesn't that make you feel proud?

I totally agree with the concept of marriage. Financially, it always helps to have two. Spiritually, it helps to know that someone is always in your corner, good or bad. Emotionally, it always feels good to be loved.

"Whenever whites do something criminal they shove it on page 25." Sorry, Doc, but it doesn't sound like you read the paper very often. Could have sworn Governor Ryan's trial made it to the front page once or twice. Same thing with the white cops that were indicted for shaking down citizens. It sounds like you see injustice in everything, regardless of whether it's really there.

Good point. I would also suggest that black women (or unmarried women in general) should not permit themselves to become pregnant in the first place. There is just no excuse for that with the availability of contraception in today's society. And also, I would bring up the fact that this is a problem perpetuated by the welfare state. If the government didn't act as a convienent "back-up" to a bread-winning husband, there would be far fewer children born to unwed mothers as there are today.

Ms. Mitchell,

Fan the flames. Bring us all down. You are light skinned black a.k.a. upper class. Why you do this to yourself? Don't drag ALL BLACK MEN in Like we come from the SAME Area. The darker you are the more likely you are married. If there was a color scale you would see the darkest stay together. It is the ones like YOU MISS MITCHELL who talk down to the black men when in truth it is the light skinned who have the problem of not fitting in. Do we disparrage the blacks or agree with the whites ? I guess It depends on who is throwing the party for the judgeship?

You will be fine. Keep your matches handy.

Tyreese

Maybe if the black man didn't take so much pride in having multiple children (status of "manhood??") then they would settle with one woman and make a commitment.
I have seen so many black men who have at least multiple women they have impregnated and can't afford even ONE baby.
Get your priorities straight: Get a job, commit, and unless you're financially ready for a baby, make sure you take responsibility for yourself and DON'T have ANY babies.

Better and more healthy committed relationships are certainly possible for African Americans.

I am ever hopeful that commitment to work will change our present conditions.

We can rehabilitate and thrive, if we act now.

In the 70's we sold out our marriages for the proverbial golden calf of the 80's and 90's. Ironically now, we are just short of the proverbial "40 years" time span another group spent wandering in a desert.

Best we re-educate and make changes now in order to survive the desert of anger, resentment and loneliness.

Commit to being brave, courageous and most of all forgiving.

All adult African Americans share responsibiltiy and blame, directly and indirectly, for our deplorable relationship conditions.

ONE VIALBE SOLUTION: STRUCTURE

STRUCTURE has to be established for adult dating and courting, premarital and post marital activities. Its imperative since relationship failure rates are so high.

Formal and informal communication networks, new and exisiting institutions of choice [social, religious and/or pyschological] can assist, reeducate and create healthy courting conditions wherein we better interact in a consistent, successful and respectable manner.

Ultimately, we then select healthy people from a worthwhile, compatible, and healthy selection pool of participants with common goals for loving and trusting relationships.

We dont hesitate to access medical and clinical health professionals before a situation is out of control.

Support, therapy and discussions groups aid in rooting out the pain and anger an individual may be unintentionally carrying from one relationship to another. Active participation in healthy group settings develop new interpersonal skills.

Some community "agreement" will have to be made with regard to ridding ouselves of destructive, outdated and dysfunctional behavior.

Enlisting films, plays, articles, books, poetry and songs to reject, challenge, ostracize this destructive behavior may jumpstart the rehabilitation process.

Dynamic relationship remodeling takes the best of our past and pairs the past with new and improved solutions based on recent studies and critical analysis of our social, emotional, mental, financial and pyschological conditions.

Certain factors/distractors that brutalized our community more so than other communities are, but not limited to, poor eating habits, low reading and education levels. Thus no critical thinking occurs.

Those conditions bring on high crime, prosecution, high incarceration and emotional unavailability for healthy relationships in our communities.

Untreated emotional and mental distrubances, alcohol and substance abuse, high incidences of domestic violence, infidelity, victimization of men, women and children result in anger and resentment unavailbility too.

Resulting dysfunctional lifestyles, dysfunctional family systems, and most importantly, poor communication and inadeqate parenting, breeds uncontrollable and systemic emotional immaturity, financial instability, and widespead danger for loving, trusting and protecting our relationships.

In conclusion, we do drain our community resources and ourselves with the highest incidence of unhealthy living, inadequate parenting or fatherless households.

We are financially and emotionally more healthy in quality couples than singles. We must be brave, generous and respectful.

We have to want this for our community even if it is not easy, we must fight for it.

African Amenrican experts in pyschology have said that that if we start now, we can see the immediate effects on our relationships in five years and sustain a complete change in 21 years. I agree.

Let It Be So!

Thank you Ms. Mitchell for your courage, dont ever change....

D-LO

To all your commenters: Divorce rates are 50% today. Althought that isn't the issue, what I find disgracing is the fact that Jerry Springer, Judge Hatchett, Maury P. are always showing the "my baby's dada...my baby of three is the father of this dad, or that dad, three different babies...etc." is demoralizing, and accentuating and exploiting the black/white race equally. The point Mary is making dwells on the black man...unfairly, but most likely true to statistics....but the female, black or white is the stupid one. Any one woman in this day and age that thinks it's ok to have several children by several fathers...lack in ethics, morals and education.

I'm not saying the black man, or the white man is not at fault; both, female and male, no matter what color are so disillusioned, that they must think welfare will take care of their responsibilities, lack of ethics and morals.

Those things, understandably paid off in the early 70s. It's 2006. To see these people being exploited on national tv makes me totally want to vomit. Who, now, days, has 3 to 4 babies, with different fathers, much less with their "cousin's, cousin...?" That's the insane part. The two things Mary Mitchell left out was...white women hooking up with black men, and vice versa. The last think is....it should not be the norm...and people should not be exploited on national tv and with Maury Popich or whatever the hell his last name is, that thrives every show with DNA results.

I read long ago, saw on Oprah, the successful, educated black woman is so hesitant about becoming involved with black men, for fear they will be "taken." On the other hand, you have the successful black man "afraid of being taken." Surely, there should be a blog on here about those people who reflect the opposite of what you tend to point out.

Mary, I am white, we have those problems across all races...my question is....why not start a blog where the professionals can match up and show the real "other" side of people, black or white, that truly want to hook up, not have babies out of wedlock, and want to "trust?" The ones you are speaking of, sound like gangsters, undereducated idiots, out for welfare money over a marriage. Exactly. They get more from welfare, than they could on their own. Black or white, red or green. The more babies they have, the more they can spend and eat...until, one day, they wake up with the grandchildren, and the cycle repeats itself....only the mama went trotting off. Black or white, yellow or green. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk free?

The EDUCATION factor will only change this society...when black or white women decide to fend and feed themselves....they wouldn't bother looking below their level. (Gangsters, no high school education, men with no responsibilities, no future plans, no ambitions.) There ya have it!!!! Never, never, let a man tell you what to do...I always told my daughter. Guess what? She's so successful, you know her name, but don't know she's mine....and she's all about "her" and her ethics and morals....men can wait until she's "ready," she said. She's white. If it matters.....her best friends are of all races, sucessful, young, full of life and don't need a baby or man to prove themselves. That's the best gift I could ask God to give her. She loves herself first.

Many Black men shy away from the responsibility of taking care of their childern. Some associated they children with the problems they might have with the mother.

Black man stand up and be what you are supposed to be.

A father, guide and leader of a human being that can be a blessing to you and our community.

One thing that strikes me from these responses is the abundance of spelling and grammatical errors of the the writers. Assuming that most of these responses are from people of color that take time to read and comment on words that are printed for their benefit, it would seem prudent to review your words of 'wisdom' prior to pushing that 'post' button and expceting to be taken seriously. Perhaps this is part of the problem as well.

Marriage for the sake of marriage? DON'T DO IT.
I am a 35 year old woman on my second marriage. My first marriage ( which lasted 10 years) was wrong. I was in love but had no concept of how much work a marriage was; neither did he. The second time (May of 2006) I proposed and we both were aware of the commitment involved in becoming a union ( this is his second marriage too).
Men who get married to "shut the women up" or women who press the issue because of children are starting at a deficit.
Marriage should be a bond between two individuals who don't want to live without the other. They both must be willing to exert effort and energy ( just like at work) and be willing to face obstacles and difficult times head on.
Having two parents doesn't make it easier for the children if no love exists between Mom and Dad The children are then subjected to the fights, yells, and disrepect that is tantamount in those volatile relationships...that is not good for their mental health.
Get married because you truly want to be forever with that person not because people are nagging you to do it.

Morales are taught, passed on, and never learned unless. When it becomes a problem in society that it's ok to have this kid or that from a marriage, and the marriage didn't work out...that's a different story. When ethics and morals are passed down, generation to generation, that a commitment is not expected, then I have a problem with that. I made a mistake; a good one though. I didn't repeat it.

I learned early on after making that mistake not to repeat it again. The one problem that doesn't really directly have anything to do with this subject, but bothers me, nonetheless....when the highly paid football or baseball players talk or comment after a game. A kindergarten child can express themselves better. That's just a dribble in the barrel...when Jesse Jackson, or Clinton, the former President, looks us in the eye...yet blink it away...there's a problem, black or white.

I ask this question...after Mary demands hers....Black fathers...mary your kid's mama! My question is, which one should they marry, if the woman has five or three by different fathers? Which one do you want to stand up to the plate? How can they have respect for a woman that has babies by different fathers?

I understand that Mary means, "Once you have impregnated her, step up to your morals or step up to them and those ethics before you even consider making a baby."

Unfortunately, that's the part these people don't get....being friends first, sparkling a relationship...learning to trust...making sure each share the same goal...then commit.

What Mary is trying to say is, "All those things are missing and women are missing those points...that's what makes both sides look bad. No child should ever be brought into this world unless a couple have established their expectations, trust, goals and wants for the future. This is what's missing from society as a whole, black, yellow, green or white. It just seems more prevalent among the black people, statistical wise, but really, I have no statistics...but I have seen with my own eyes white girls doing the same thing.

Values start with the family. It's up to you to change you, and only you can break the cycle. You can't blame anyone else in the family. If you didn't like it before, why repeat it? I'm talking to society, as a "whole." Look at the famous actresses and actors...really, have they no morales or ethics toward marriage? You want to be like them? Start the change within yourself. I'll be the first to tell you, Black men DO NOT respect Black WOMEN. I see it all the time..so, please start with yourselves. Show Martine Luther King...you can carry on at least with family values. I rest my case.

I personally think this article is a joke. If a man is suffering financially and avoids marriage, then he should be rewarded for not complicating the lives of his potential mate and/or children which might become a bi-product of a doomed situation.

Mary's default position was the idea that black women must settle down with black men or black men with black women. This concept is so outdated in the multicutural society those under 40 are building.

Life is simple with respect to this question: find a good person who completes you. After all, one has billions to pick from in this global environment. I rate this article the old angry black women taking another swipe at the black man, as if society hasn't taken enough swipes. On balance this article was a waste. Why does the Suntimes Co. pay Mary to put out garbage? Why does Mary hate the black man? Why does Mary hate America?

No wonder more black men are dating/marrying other ethnic groups.

My black ex wife, was on the phone with her knuckled head girlfriends, talking about how no good black men were, while reading "Waiting to Exhale". Oh, I failed to mention, she was unemployed, while I worked. She was living in a 4 bedroom 2 1/2 bath home in the burbs, still taking our 1 child to daycare, while I worked, came home and fixed my own dinner. I know have the honor and privilege of giving her tons of money for monthly for support.

Naw, sistas could give a rip about Judeo/Christian ethics and the structure of marriage.

I think a lot of you black men up there in your posts are taking up the wrong defense, when it comes to Mary's asking Black men to step up to the plate.

I think her message was: quit having unprotected sex with a woman unless you've been friends first, been in a relationship with only that woman, and intend to get married and live happily ever after (or try).

What you seem to be missing, along with the women that must have the same morals as you...is the fact that there are too many of you men that decieve women into believing they are the only ones in your life; that they also are on your level, by not establishing a relationship with marriage intended...and both of you end up having babies by other people of the opposite sex...thus, you have four babies by four different father(s) or same for the mom(s).

This is the problem she wants addressed. The real reason these situations occur and happen over and over....is that the black woman and man that have several babies by several different partners...are both on the same social, unethical, educational background. How can a black man step up to the plate, and marry a woman who has children of different fathers and vice versa? Why should they?

If they want to change the cycle...it has to begin within themselves. Put yourself first, get educated, develop goals in life, and be self-reliant, financially, emotionally and intellectually. Then, expect the same at this point with all these babies. Only then will the cycle end.

If it's a guy with a criminal past, steer clear. If it's a woman with all these kids...steer clear. Meanwhile, all of you, brush off your butts, get some education and set goals for yourselves and for your children, so they don't repeat the cycle.

Marriage is not the answer after the pregnancy. Instead, one needs to depend on their own needs, be responsible, and CARE about who they may be interested in dating...and let marriage happen if it will.

Marrying now, is too late for people with multiple parents of multiple children in one family. Men can't be held up to that cycle. Instead, all women need to use contraceptives, get independent, and quit crying over not getting any support. Break the cycle NOW - both, men and women.

Haven't you heard of birth control? Do you enjoy being burdened with all these kids and where do you see things in the future for yourselves and for these poor kids? What can you do now, to change the cycle?

For starters, quit going on national tv (majority of the these DNA test day-time junk shows) and shaming yourselves. The white people viewing these shows laugh at the stupidity of the Maury show, for instance, where one black girl came on the show seven different times asking for Maury to give the next guy a DNA test...she still hasn't found the correct daddy. How stupid is this? It makes your culture look terrible and you, brainless.

Why not stop the cycle...NOW? I feel sorry for these children born out of wedlock, and not having a real chance of being surrounded in a normal family with high expectations for their future. The family norm has to be renewed, along with values...before this cycle can stop.

It begins with you, YOU, no matter your color/origin. It's 2006, what's your excuse for not getting an education, dealing drugs, talking like an idiot, not being able to spell, hold a job...bettering yourselves? There's an abundance of opportunities out there to help you stay out of trouble, further your education, make something out of your life...other than having sex, laying back and pointing fingers.

By the way, sluggish jeans, half way down your butt, is the sickest I've ever seen. I wouldn't let my kid out the door, dolled up in a furry looking woman's coat, pants half-down the butt, gold chains, hanging out on street corners, rubbing up next to little girls...dealing drugs, etc.

I'd break that cycle in a minute, by making that kid accountable for every minute of the day, and nmonitoring what the hell he/she is wearing...who they are hanging out with, and make sure their nose is in a book. Not at the hoops.

Black men, why should you step up to the plate, when you are as much to blame as the women? You're both idiots bringing kids in this world and not seeing your future down the road first. I have no sympathy for people that definitely know about birth control and don't use it. I have less respect for their excuses for even having sex with multiple partners and forgetting about the sanctuity of marriage.

As far me, I am divorced. But, one mistake...won't make it again. I don't need a man to make me whole, nor will I ever have children out of wedlock.

Mary, you probably won't print this but this is from the eyes of alot of us white men. And I'm not the only one who feels this way. You are taking pot-shots at the young black men and rightfully so. But as somebody suggested, it does take TWO to tango. And 70% born out-of-wedlock means the ladies feel no responsibility, either. Mary, I'm going to tell you who you should be writing about. Who you should be feeling sorry for.THE BLACK GRANDMOTHER. Why do I say that. Because I live in a mixed neighborhood and I see, with my own eyes, how the black family is destroying itself. And its the grandmother who is the biggest victim, besides the child. Think about it. She's raised her children and is almost ready to finally get a break in life. Once her children are adults she can finally relax and live. But no, all these young girls having children (babies having babies)and chances are, more than not, the grandmother is stuck raising the child. While the daughter who had the baby is off to school, getting impregnated by another guy, or having a good time at some hip-hop concert. So why don't you mention that? And I really feel sorry for BLACK GREAT-GRANDMOTHERS who are still around. What must they be thinking? They came from an era, even though they may have been impoverished, when they were courted by a nice guy and given away in marriage by their FATHER. These young people show no conscious, whatsoever, for the people who had brought them into the world. And the 'poverty pimps' could care less, either. Afterall, they need the Black Community to SELF-destruct inorder to keep their jetset life, there fancy hotels, expensive clothes, entourage, TV talkshow circuit, and rich income on the speaking circuit. Also, they put Rev. in front of there names, therefore, there taxes aren't paying for these out-of-wedlock children. I'M PAYING FOR THEM !

The content of our character instilled by dysfunctional fractured families, by which we would be judged according to Dr. King's dream would indeed make his vision a nightmare. I think King is turning over in his grave, this is not what he envisioned.
If babies mommas had not been led to believe that they could raise a family alone they would not birth multiple children. It seems the majority on board agree the problem is about having babies out of wedlock. When did our black women begin this trend? And now white women are doing the same thing - having children out of wedlock. The rates for both are higher.
Get your education, get your job, make your money, get stability and confidence in your life, and then if you feel the need to have children, do so. And don't look to Black men as the answer the world is a wide wide place, there are other men.

It takes two to make a baby, yet you blame only one - the man. Maybe the women shouldn't give it up until you get married. Problem solved. The real problem is the inability for a sizeable number of African Americans to have postive sustainable relationships. You should have written about the need to stop divorce. But this would hit home. About 60% for African Americans. Arent' you divorced, twice,no its three times. See what I mean. You can't ask people to do what you haven't been able to do. This is just another surface article by you. People will write but will the do the easy things. Keep you legs crossed and your pants up. Pre-martial relationship are for determining if the person will make a good husband or wife - period. Not a good lay. You can't have it both ways.

Oooo...oooo....I have an idea....maybe black women could start looking for responible men that they are in LOVE with regardless of the color of their skin. Did I miss the part where two people have to be the same color to marry? This problem CAN'T be all the black males fault. Take a look in the mirror ladies. If he looks and acts like a loser...he's a loser...black, white, pink, green...whatever. Start looking for quality rather than color. You may just find a quality man of color (which may or may not be a perk for you...depending on your sensibility to such things)...trust me....they exist and I know them.)

Before u belitte someone of color, you should have made sure that your spelling was correct joseph. But, I do realize that if you are typing fast, than you are eventually going to make mistakes. So I will guess that you were typing in a rush and accidently mispelled "expecting"! See Im not being judgemental.

I agree with the eaglewoman. I think more black woman should date outside the race. Im a black man who is dating a Puerto Rican woman and i do not have the same issues that I had when I dated SISTERS.

It truly is a responsibility to both the man and the woman for the decrease in Black marriages. However, being a sinlge, black, independent female I have to say that I blame women for the origin-not demanding respect from men and not waiting to have children until after marriage.

In addition, let us black women stop confusing submissiveness with weakness. There is plenty of strength and independence in being submissive to the head of household, black male. If you're looking for examples take a look at Coretta Scott King and Pauletta Washington.

Black women are the backbones of our community and right now our community has a backbone of a jelly fish. Black women rise beyond covert prostitution into overt motherhood, nourishing not only future children but our community as well.

To Eaglegirl, congrats on your possible upcoming nuptials with a white man. From what I am reading on here from black women, there are not too many desirable black men to marry. So I guess it makes sense that you would go white, and it sounds like you will be much happier. What I am about to say may surprise people on here who have seen some of my previous posts, but I have dated many black women when I was mainly in my 20's(I am now in my mid 30's). It wasn't a bad experience. In fact, I found black women for the most part to be more mature than white women. So I say to black women, start dating outside your race more, because according to black women on this board, black men only bring chaos and heartache to a relationship. So, let desperate, 300 pound white women(because usually when I see a white woman, black man couple the woman is horrid looking)deal with the chaos and heartache. Because I know and work with some white men who are open to dating any race so they are out there.

To Craig, in your post on Nov.13 at 1:49 P.M., you used the word "the" twice in a row in your first sentence. Also, you spelled the word expecting incorrectly. You spelled it "expceting", when it should be "expecting". Perhaps you should review your words of "wisdom" prior to pushing that post button.

Dwayne P. Russell

Before u (you) belitte (belittle) someone of color, you should have made sure that your spelling was correct j(J)oseph. But, I do realize that if you are typing fast, than (then) you are eventually going to make mistakes. So I will guess that you were typing in a rush and accidently mispelled "expecting"! See Im (I'm) not being judgemental (judgmental).

Me either Dwayne.

Jerry the Bromeister you sound like a fool as usual .What are you envious of black men's attributes .By stating that your previous comments have been racist and trying to put a "new"spin on your stupidity fools no one but yourself.300 lb. ugly white women with brothers ?trust me I have seen more 300lb.ugly white women with more white men then black.Hopefully no educated black women wont take your advice to be afraid of black men because of your warped logic.Did you forget 84% of serial killers are white? and the majority of pedophiles are non-black hardly a reason to marry white guys!so they can murder you and molest your kids?I dont think so.Your comments have been anything but logical and fair.To put the onus on black men that the reason that marriage is not on the top of their list is in itself ignorant.Whites only pretend they are concerned about the "welfare"of black kids (SO to them blacks all must marry)they actually are afraid that their tax dollars might have to support those kids.Children born out of wedlock happens all over the world and for whites to pretend to have the moral highground and can give blacks advice is in itself hypocritical.(this coming from a race who had slaves and were too lazy to work themselves,and did everything they could to break up black families and take advantage of black women) For Jerski to pretend he doesnt dont know of all the contributions of the black man to America is a lie and disengenuous.(I challenge everyone to check black inventors sites on internet,you would be surprised about the hundreds of inventions black inventors have contributed to our society)most of these inventions are not recognized by the mainstream media for its true origins.Black men and women are proud people who are still being affected by racism in our society while racists and uncle toms claim falsely that racism against blacks doesnt exist.(contrary to recent studies that confirm that it does)In the marriage situation "economics" is not a good reason to marry someone .Its better to be "in love"before you marry then in lust or looking for a free ride(male and female.black and white)The ignorance and pure stupidity of alot of whites and yes some blacks concerning their own self hatred is evident in some of the comments made in this blog.You have control of your life not your neighbor or media spun controversy of the week subject.Props to the good men and women(no matter what color)Its okay to get married but,Please know that all people are not going to get married and if that is your choice more power to you ,but to have someone like the jerrymeister from sica to constantly interject his style of patronizing racist ignorant banter to every subject is both distracting and nauseating.....DOC

Marriage overall in this country is doomed. Just look at the disintegration of two of the most stable, rock solid relationships around. I'm talking about the upcoming divorces of Whitney & Bobby, and Britney & K Fed. Because hearing of their divorces has sent me into an emotional tailspin that I fear might be permanent.

To Paulie Whitebred. In my original response I made no reference to my own sexual experiences. In truth, I probably should have left the first part out all together. I'll just make it simple and say this.

If black men aren't offering what black women expect, black women should look outside the race. In reading Mary's article last week, I couldn't help but thin, "Why should this black woman risk ruining her credit just to have a black man?" That is my point.

It is what it is. Black women have many options for marriage, they just need to accept them with open arms.

Sorry Joseph, I meant Craig. Thanks Jerry for making me realize that I had "checked" the wrong person. Also Jerry, please do not think that all Black Men date the undesirable white woman. U will be surprised at the caliber of white women I have dated. But, u and the other white men who desire Black women so bad, believe me it is not hard at all to get with one. That just leaves more white women to love me and my crew. Forgive me for any typos because Im in a rush. Got a date with a White Woman.

Black women are the gatekeepers. Simplistic, yes. Still, just make them suit up, or say NO. You are everything you need to be by yourselves, ladies. Be happy alone FIRST, THEN try it with a mate. Find a mentor. You cannot give what you do not have, no man will make you happy if you do not love yourself. Please stop getting pregnant without the support system in place. Break the cycle, sisters. God Bless.

This is not a black issue, it's a social issue for all of us.
The fact is, ALL children fare better, when raised in a two parent household. The black community may be showing the first signs of the problem, but whites are not far behind.
I am apalled at the poor example so many of us are setting for our children.
Whatever happened to our belief in God, which allows us to look to look at the problem and not see that HE is the answer?
And we women need to learn a lesson in humility. Does it bother us that so many successful black men are marrying white women? Well, white women are finding that more and more successful white men are marrying asian women. Why is that? Personally, I think it has a lot to do with attitude. Men want to be in charge of their home/family. And we need to raise our boys to know that with their superior strength over women, a real man would never strike a woman.
We women have very little respect for weak men. That's why we're drawn to the thugs, because we've subconsciously confused manly strength with brute force. We don't want a man who will beat us, we are looking for a protector. But so many of us grew up with weak male role models, we have trouble telling the difference. Of course I am speaking in generalities, and I apologise for that. But this is a lot more complicated than pointing the finger at black men.
A return to a more conservative sexual culture would reverse this trend in 20 years. But are we willing to give up unlimited/unfettered free sex to achieve it?

While the problem is acute in the black community, it is showing up in the rest of our society as well.

Somewhere in the 1970s marriage counselors switched from trying to help couples stay together to the notion that both parties deserved to be 'happy' and could attain happiness only by dumping their spouse.

That, and the rise of 'no-fault' divorce means that marriage is no longer the lifetime contract my parents believed it was.

I have two daughters, and I want them to have happy, stable homes in which to raise their own families. Still, I know that roughly half of the eligible bachelors out there are children of divorce, and those young men see how devastating divorce was to their fathers - and are staying away from marriage in droves.

They watched as their Dad went from being a full-time parent to being a 'weekend' parent - in fact, the court even called Dad's time with his children 'visitation', the same thing prisoners get. They saw Dad move from the house he had worked to buy into an apartment because it was all he could afford.

We have to get rid of the notion that marriages don't last as long as the car we drive. The phrase I keep hearing in same-sex marriage discussions is 'commitment'. It's time regular, old heterosexual marriage got its own strong dose of 'commitment.'

Folks,

The solution to this problem is to stop having kids out of wedlock. I can understand a mistake here and there but to here that people have multiple children with multiple partners is incredible.
Why would a man or woman want to involve themselves with a person who is clearly irresponsible? Birth control is cheap and readily available. I suggest that some of you use it.

Jerry why are you such a condescending dolt?What desperate black woman want to date such a racist like you?

I think more black women must start opening up more to men and lower there standards just a little bit,I`m a black male but i have thought about dating other race`s

p.s. I just don`t know about black women (yes or no)???

Why These Two Aren't Married - Nov. 5, 2006

Ron:

LaTonya says there is only ONE thing that is preventing her from accomplishing marriage with you – your financial irresponsibility. And after that article, you’ve probably given her more to consider. So bless her and appreciate her for continuing to remain with you and support you if there is only that one thing.

This is what you appear to be to me:

You are morally and spiritually ignorant;

It’s not “women’s lib? you are dealing with in LaTonya and some Christian women like her; it’s called abiding by God’s will, self-respect, living life purposely and being accountable;

You are not being LaTonya’s friend and preparing yourself to be a loving, supportive, responsible, accountable husband and father.

If a woman had the same opinions as you (a man) do about LaTonya's earning ability and financial habits and did not take care of her business (as you are now refusing to do), she would be considered a gold-digger, possibly a hood-rat. I’ll bet you’re the one who brings up LaTonya’s salary during a disagreement. Your insecurity is obvious because she remains in a relationship with you and is still willing to marry you in spite of the fact that you earn less.

You sound as if you will unfairly give LaTonya most of the financial responsibility in the relationship and the future children you expect to have with her. How are you going to be prepared to afford substantial educations and livelihoods for your present child and your future children if you don’t act and plan now?

You don't need more children yet (you are not following the correct guidelines in your own life; so what life-effective habits are you teaching and will teach your children?).

You say, you should “get a hood-rat who worships my dirty underwear and doesn't challenge my authority.? Be aware that (1) some "hood-rats" are now obtaining degrees; (2) some hood-rats would rather hook up with a brother without an education (but street education) living large on money he made hustlin’ and can better take care of her and all her responsibilities, who doesn’t necessarily love her (or lives with her or is faithful to just her), but who doesn’t “challenge? her authority in her own household when the baby-daddy (that’s you for right now) are not in the household to help take care of the child you left her with.

You insult LaTonya (and Ms. Rice) by saying she's a "squared-away Condoleezza Rice," both of whom are supportive, educated, financially-responsible, accountable women. Characteristics that should be greatly admired by any man who needs a partner who can operate and confidently take care of the couple's business when the husband is unavailable or unable to.

You need to review the history of how it was done in the past when a “gentlemen? courted a “lady? whom he wanted to marry , and follow divine order (God's plan). I hunger for my ancestors’ stories and ways of doing things right.

LaTonya:

It’s obvious you love Ron.

Walk by faith and not by sight. Please continue abiding by God’s will, having self-respect, living your life purposely and being accountable.

You are correct in demanding that Ron be more responsible when considering your futures (individually and as a couple) by having a plan, setting goals and attaining them, individually and as a couple.

Protect your heart (and your bank account because you're not married yet!)

Continue to prepare for your future with Ron and your children together.

Continue to be responsible and considerate of Ron's feelings (on all issues). Don’t harass him, it’s obvious you’re giving him time to get it together. I also hope he gets it together

May both of you continue to be blessed – with each other.
Signed -- Been There

It looks like black men and women don't marry as often as the rest of the population because they don't like each other. Is that an over-simplification or am I missing something?

Oookay, try this on for size. Ladies, you cannot become single moms unless you have sex out of wedlock, regardless of the father's race. Its very difficult to become pregnant while using birth control. Finally if you're so interested in marrying a black man (or any man) why not ask them? Being educated, empowered members of your race you have that right. This passive-aggressive post begs too many questions to be taken seriously.

I would tell women to stop having babies for men, who are NOT your husband. It is marriage first and then see if it will work, and then baby or babies. It worked for me.

Black men are getting married, but to non-Black women. Stop having babies without a husband, and this goes for all women!!!

I agree,but lets be real Politicans can fix some of the problems, Our Black men are being imprison at alarming rates, with riduclous sentences, first time offeders, given 35 years for possession, without King Pin status without owning planes or the ability to manufacture drugs, let us not forgot that our own government infiltrated our communites with drugs,let refer back to Willie Lynch Kaw and the Making of the Slave,and that mentality is alive today. Men our not what they use to be, but neither are women. Years of oppression will yeild years of selfishness.

I think we should simply do what the black men are doing; date and marry WHITE MEN!!!

They need a little competition. I bet if they see they are losing out to white men, they will improve.

Mary,I don't know how you can take that guy Jerry.I still don't see how that Grand Wizard and card carrying racist had "a few black women" at any time in his life.He say it was a good experience but I think otherwise.Maybe some sister hurt him along the way because he just hate black people too much.Matter of fact he seems to hate all non-whites.He's always on these blogs spouting racial hatred and I just think he's a bitter man who figured that the whole world did him wrong.Who would give this guy that hug, he needs when he's such an @ss.On topic,there is good and bad in all races.We are a screwed up human race all around.Greed,hate,and 7 deadly sins that people seem to wallow in.Being a racist doesn't make the world a better place.It helps the world to be the type of world that when Jesus returns he'll have you answer for.Black men are no more the problem in this world than anyone else.We are blamed for everything and are not trusted by anyone.It's all perceptions and bigotry.We all feed on the negativity that is out there.No one teaches, anymore.Too many are left to find out the truth about life on their own.If a young girl watch her mother struggle with 3 kids why would she go out and have 4?Mentor those who need it.Go to church.Do anything,but repeat someone else's mistake.

Being a African American male I have to speak on this normally I just sit back and read the comments and I never express my feelings because everyone is entitle to their own opinion. But now I need to say a few things. First back in the day it was the father of the bride that paid for the wedding. And why does everyone keep on comparing us with other races blacks this whites that so “WHAT? blacks have higher divorces lower marriages ok what’s your point. Second thing is you are telling me that the only reason that I should get married is because of this economics. You can speak on the white politician all you want but because he has a ring on the finger don’t mean a thing considering it’s a lot of them that we see in the news all the time is about molesting little boys and a mistress so you need a better example than them. Next you speak on the fact that there are a lot educated black women who should have been married already but have you though about the fact that there are a lot of black women who don’t want to get married and is just as happy. Last but not least I am 34yrs. Single with no kids and I have been dating 1 person for 7yrs. And Lets not forget that it takes 2 people to make a baby and women needs to be just as responsible as a man because it is them who have the power to break the cycle because a man can not do no more than a woman let them. It’s time to stop pointing the finger and start looking in the mirror

Can we stop calling each other names and hurling accusations and venom? Can we all accept the fact that we all make mistakes?

This was a very good article, especially now when "Diddy" is on the cover of Essence with his pregnant girlfriend whining that he isn't ready to be married. She's put up with all his foolishness for years. Would she do it if he wasn't rich? Looks like she sold herself and so be it.

Lots of the men scream that we black women aren't good enough to marry and blame us. I say we both are to blame.

Women are permitting black men to act like children and not demanding that they step up to the plate and accept responsibility. Women are also at fault for choosing immature, childish, selfish, whining men who shirk responsiblity and credibility for their own lives. If he doesn't work, doesn't respect his mother, doesn't respect you or anybody else, why should you expect him to treat you any better? Don't have babies with him! Don't expect him to settle down and treat you right. If you want to have a fling, have it, but make sure you don't get pregnant! That's easy enough to do!!

We have to make better choices if we are to have a decent future. Do you really want to spend the next 20 years explaining to your children where their father is and why he doesn't take care of them?

If you are a smart, self-reliant woman, there are men who will denigrate you and try to tear you down to the level they can relate to. Be proud and leave those men to hang with the boys. You don't want them. Remember what a thug really is and think about whether you want to make more little thugs to make some other woman's life miserable. NOT!!

Men, all women aren't gold diggers and materialistic. Nor do we all look like video vixens. Maybe if you stop looking merely at the surface and start looking for the smart, good women with the good hearts and souls, you may find what would be good for you. I think of the old song by the Rolling Stones...."you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need." There are many great women out there who may not be as beautiful as you would like that you overlook. Stop being so shallow and silly and look for character and quality.

And sistas, remember one other thing. Brothers aren't the only thing for you. There are lots of great men out there who are of different races who are aching to be good to you. Step over that thug, that two-timing cheat, that won't keep a job boy, and that child who wants a model and find you a man who will love you and treat you like a queen. I did and I have never been happier.

One of your earlier posters summed it up nicely:
"Here's an idea [ladies]...keep your legs closed until you get married. That would solve the problem". According to Census records, 70% of black women have children before they are married. For the record ladies, few eligible men are looking for ready-made families.

Thanks Ward! I should not have tried to correct anyone. This time I took my time. LOL!!!!!

Since they decided to keep this forum open for so long.....I will chime in.
My name ain't McDonald!
Can she cook? No, not the diner she took us with.
But can she constantly feed our bodies? Does She feel it is beneath her to feed a man more than the initial
"Get to know you meeting"
Don't give me that head bobing,real so called sister sh**. I wan't children, or, I have children, and I want them to be feed properly!
Our Mothers WORKED, so don't even try to use this as an excuse. I ate in my home. I won't marry a woman that feels that it is beneath her to feed me cause she works.
I cook, OK, I COOK for my woman(I ain't that good but to eat is life,so if I love her, I will feed her)

As I told my childs mother.
(after we separated)She was complaining about the way her boyfriend did not respond to her the way she would like,
-white by the way-
to cook the things that we ate as a family. Two weeks later,....he proposed marriage. She turned him down and told me she hated me more cause"It was too easy" Go figure! Life is easy. We eat , we want attention, and we don't want to die for it! Men are all the same.

Simple solution: Keep your legs closed until you are married. Since men couldn't get sex as easily, they might be more apt to marry you. Secondly, there wouldn't be all the fatherless children out there if people got married before having sex.

To many times have I had the pleasure of reading how much you care,even when it pains me to read the stupidity of our society,without letting you know how much I appreciate ....and honor how you bring us -All- together.
Thank you Mrs.Mitchell for all the late night anonymous blogings and for your truly wonderful,thought provoking work.

Furthermore....
Moma feed us!
Pops did what he had to do as a man....and sometimes it was only our mothers face that we saw across the kitchen table.

A man don't downgrade from his mother,unless he does it out of spite.

Our mothers set the example for us...and she wouldn't have twenty five percent of you crying women.CAUSE SHE WAS MARRIED TO OUR FATHERS!!!

Bring back the women of old. They were strong, smart, and they did not take on the character of the white woman. They knew what the word family meant. Bring back the women of old.

Firstly, let me say that this is an excellent topic.

Here my take:
A woman worth marrying will always have a husband eventually.
Guys gravitate towards good people.
An unmarriable woman, even if she's with Pope John Paul will find a way to screw up the relationship.

I was married for 2 year to such an unmarriable person(didn't realize it at the time though)

She screwed up by divorcing me. She's begged for me back since.
I've remarried and happy.
She's still miserable hoping to find another sucker.

Moral: Ladies if you know you got the marriage goods,stay patient.
My wife was alone for 10 years before we met.
I saw the was a queen I was looking for and married her in 6 months.

Ladies, you're also better served to think about the children first attitude many of you have.
That will not keep a man.

Also, for both men and woman. If you feel pain in your relation without feeling anything good in it, yuu're in the wrong one.

Also, if you can't laugh and fart around you're partner, they aren't the right one either.

Also, if you man be beating, hell that is not the right one.

Ladies stop haivng children for the uncommitted man , only to meet the committed one down the road and expect him to father to the young'ins.

I don't understand how we gotthe most churches and saved people in the world but also the most kids out of wedlock.

Hold the kids till you get a damn ring and erase the bad relationship you have when you start a new one.

If you been abused , get councelling. Too many of you ladies let the good man go, then use the child against him because he's a good man who cares.All because you man cause some dude raped you in high school. That wasn't his fault. get help so you can recognise a good man.

My sisters friend was looking for a man, met a guy who had no car,wasn't interested. My sister met him, looked past the lack of car, married him, both happy.
Her friend still looking for a man and cant seem to find one.

Lafies, here's also a little secret:
A good man will always be married by 30 so you better find them by then,otherwise you're looking at a divorcee.

I was so shocked to see how many black women have some serious issues while I was single. we are in a terrible state right now.

I only pray my daughter who I barely get to see because of my vindictive ex will choose from the inside and not from the outside when she's older.

Also, guys ,if a lady asks/wants marriage it means you're not interested so move on.

A guy will always know the first time he meets a woman if he'll ever marry her .
If you have to ask him, he's not ready.

A marriage initiated by the woman never lasts - prime examle Brittany Spears -

Men, be upfront .
Tell her the truth.
If you want only cucchie -say so you may still get it.

Don't give false promises.
Ladies keep the pill popping till you get a ring aaight.

Be his friend first not his sex slave, we respect the work to get in the pants. If it's too easy we won't respect you.


I have to admit, at first glance, this article reads like a hit. But after reading many of the reader comments, it is more of a bloop single. I am a professional male, married with a son. My wife no longer works, as I can support us, barely. Ther is not a lot left over from pay to pay. We are both over forty, our son is 5. We have been wed for over 16 years. What too many people think is marriage should be easy, it is not. Divorce is too easy, and once there is a divorce, the mentality bred by society as a whole is the man needs to still be th primary provider for his ex-wife and any offspring. This should be a shared responsibility still, not a license for the mother to stay out of the work force and not be a productive member of society. The fact of the matter is and will remain, it takes two to tango.

The current hype is to blame this on the black male in America. I'm sorry but I served with many dark green Marines. Oh did I forget, I am white, maybe should have posted that first, that probably disqualilfies me from commenting according to the media. Many of the dark green Marines are great. Some were swine, so are some of the light green Marines. Men are not perfect, and as the one post says, why buy th ecow when you get the milk for free? When i was in the Corps, I made the concious decision to stay single. I knew of too many women who tried to lure single Marines into marriange by "accidental" pregnancies. It was tried on me. I almost fell for it, and through a long story, found out the female in question was trying to get child support only, not just from me, but from 4 other guys. This means she was sleeping with 5 guys at the same time on a regular basis. When we all found out, we all told her to pound salt. Later it was found out she was never pregnant.

Women are just as bad as men can be. They need to be held to the same standards. That being said, let's teach our children to abstain from sex until marriage, or if they do not, to at least use protection. That includes teenage girls going on birth control. Condoms do not always work, and are not always at hand. Hey, I can remember as a teenager, if I had the chance for sex, I didn't back off just because there was a rubber around.

I live in a city that has one fo the highest levels of people living under the poverty level. We also have one of the highest levels of unwed mothers. And I am not talking about just blacks. This included whites and hispanics. Funny how Asians are left out, maybe because they still have decent morals being taught to them while young.

The problem I see as previously mentioned by others, too many young girls want to be with the high profile young men, the thugs, gangstas, what have you. Yes the nice guys are left out of the dating game at this step. The thugs have all the bling, the grilz, the pimped out cars, the latest fashion of off the butt baggy pants. What else do they have? no income, they get the money from someplace, usually not from a productive source. They live in tax payer subsidized housing. They have no savings. No college aspirations, possibly no career aspirations. Just look tough, and get what they can because that is what every one is portrayed as doing. By the time the young ladies are 18, they have been with so many guys, the decent guys want nothing to do with them. Maybe if the 13 14 year old girls quit acting like they are 23 or 25, and act RESPECTABLE, things would change.

Oh, and the race card that people keep waving around? has any one ever noticed it is only waved by those who are saying we need to get rid of racism? They are the ones that are racist, and it does not matter what race they are. I served with and work with too many people to be concerned with the color of their skin. Too many blacks are sick of hearing about racism, and are ignored, because it doesn't make good liberal copy to say racism is being defeated. Racism will reamin alive in our worls as long as there are so-called leaders who say their "people" are being held down. The Jesse Jacksons think they own the rest of the black populace, and can trade their voice and vote for tax dollars. They will remain in power as long as society accepts the twisted views they spout. Every one has the same chance to succeed. My parents spent more time unemployed than working. They fought, and they fought to stay married. My wife and I have to work hard to stay married, and we always will.

The easy way out is to divorce, and blame it on some one else. I am succeeding, by my hard work, not someone else's. I had to sacrifice when I was younger to do so. That is what it takes to succeed. Having food stamps, living in subsidized housing, free medical, etc. is not how we can teach people to succeed.

When will the complainers look in the mirror and see they are the leading problem with our country and society?

Doc, I must have really struck a nerve with you, seeing you put such a long post on here in reponse to my post. Could it be because you know what I say is true? You are funny when you say I am envious of black guys. It is the other way around with you guys always trying to emulate us by trying to attend our schools, work in our companies, and live in our neighborhoods. Why would I be envious of a group of men(and I use that term loosely)that is generally recognized as the biggest drain, financially and otherwise, in our society. Also, I do not advise black women to be afraid of men(again, using that term loosely) like you. They can date and marry whomever they want, it's just that I suspect a lot of them have come to their senses and said to themselves, "there's got to be a better way to live". I am just suggesting to them that they don't have to choose a life of misery by settling for less. They can expand their horizons and actually interact with guys who behave like men, not boys. They can leave the misery to the 300 pounders from the trailer parks. Also, I love your racist rhetoric about white serial killers and white pedophiles. Where are the facts to back this up? Why is crime much higher in black neighborhoods than white neighborhoods?

To blackman, I know it is not difficult to find a black woman to date. I have been with many in my day, and I was kind of surprised how easy it was when I first started hitting more mixed bars downtown back in my early 20's. Part of it is me and the way I look and behave, but in a way I have you and your crew to thank for that because after dealing with all of the nonsense that they have to with black guys, a respectful guy like myself must seem like Mr.Wonderful to them. Have fun on your date, but make sure you bring enough cash with you because those beefy broads like to run up quite a dinner bill.

The problem is also the women. If women would stop settling for less, than our black men woould have no choice but to step up unless they would be alone. As long as they can find a woman who puts up with this type of behavior there is no need for them to change.

As an educated, well to do black man, I wouldn't mind to get married. But there is a lack of good, well-rounded candidates that are ready for marriage. The problem is a lot of women like the concept of marriage, fairy-tale wedding, etc... but don't know how to be wives. Many black women do to the past don't know how to submit and be wives according to the bible. You have women that want to compete for who the man is in the relationship. There are just very few attractive women, who are able treat a good black man with respect as the man. Ladies step your game up, respect your man, learn to be a lady, read the bible for instructions and trust me you will find that husband your looking for. Prepare how to be a wife before your married and you will be ok.

My barber told me one day that his girlfriend was pregnant (he already had another son from another girl). I asked him, "Don't you ever use protection?!" His answer? "I hate condoms." THAT is the attitude of the majority of black, straight men and these stupid women that allow these men to have sex with them unprotected is ridiculous. Now, we've got a bunch of unmarried women who my friends describe as "bitches" because of the way these women are treating them now that they have these kids. Of course nobody wants to marry a nagging, controlling woman who wants their "man" to spend more time and money on HER children and not his others'. It goes both ways, Mary. Women should want a man who respects her -- and men should learn how to show respect when she says "cover it up or no go."

Hello Mary M, i'm a married black man my wifw and have 6 children she has 4 and i have 2. I agree with you, the only problem i have is communicaton, would you be so kind and help me with this! I don't want to lose the best thing that has ever happened too me, i don't want to be another divorced brother i want my marriage to last until end of time i love my wife.

Ms. Mitchell,

It takes strong parents, one or two to raise a family. Parenting is one of the hardest things responsible people can undertake. Being a parent is not easy; it's time consuming, frustrating, humbling and down right scary at times. That is, if your are a responsible parent who loves their children and wants them to grow up to be responsible men and women.

If you don't love children or want to raise children properly please use discretion when selecting your mates. The last thing this we need is more untrained, unsupervised, children who are being raised by other children because their parents are neglecting them.

When you get through blaming each other for the ills of the day, how many of young black teenage boys are going to be killed by another young black teenage boy.

I feel sorry for these kids. They have no hope if we adults can't protect them (even from themselves).

While we are debating over who to blame.....THEY ARE KILLING EACH OTHER!!!!!

I agree with all those real me out there. I'm never geeting married, because black women are out of control wild and are b**tchs.

MORE REASONS TO POINT THE FINGER.

It must be nice to live in a world where you can look down on everyone and point fingers and say, "Thats the bad guy." Have you ever considered the fact that some of these black men dont want to marry black women because of the women's traits or lack thereof? Im not taking sides, but I dont entertain one sided bashing. I admit, blacks should marry more and that would resolve some minor issues. But if mom & dad are married and both unemployed, what good is that to the children--NO DIFFERENCE> Nobody can bring anything to the table but a gov. check and a few hugs & smiles. U cant raise a child on hugs & smiles--get real. Secondly, black women need to step up and return to the old days, when u see a fool in the street, pull their collar. Stop using the excuse, "These kids are crazy, u touch one u can get hurt?" ---And? Would you rather get cursed out now and possibly save a child from a life of problems or let them do what they want and knock you over the head in another year--you pick. Black men and Black women love each other just like any race. The difference is we don't have the same value system as people 50 years ago because this isnt the same country it was 50 years ago. Let Go, Let God. Focus on your house, u cant change the world, nobody but God can do that.

Brothers,

We need to come clean and admit White Women are better in bed and we would rather marry them

To these great comments from all of our black men and women today and Mary Mitchell herself. Why does it seem that black men do not want to be married? I ask myself this question all the time. I have a child who is 6 years old and I notice this all the time that right after the child, the problems begin. The baby mama/daddy syndrome sets in and attacks causing the separation of the family. Why do I think black men don't want to marry, I believe they really do in some cases but black men and women are looking down opposite roads. Did anyone know that a black family is like one of the strongest bonds ever to mankind. Look at when the black man had to drop out of school to take care of his family, or the black man as soon as he would get the woman pregnant they would get married and be together for 40-50 years. No matter if they were kicked out of their homes, discriminated against, fired from their jobs, they would find a way to make their bond stick. Now it seems that the divorce rate seems higher than one of those cash and go interest rates! Black men are being incarcerated at an all time high, not taking the right approach of being a real man, but us trying to be pimps and thugs. Women are getting the due respect of ownership of homes, better pay, better education and then they choose the wrong men. If you are a nice guy who knows how to treat a woman, how to treat a person period, you get looked over. Have you ever heard a woman say he is too nice? What the heck does that mean? I know men that would just literally die for their woman and child and would like marriage get dogged out and have to pay child support and she leaves him for a straight bum. A straight "G". Maybe it's because us black men have some bitterness in our hearts because we don't get credit for anything. We are always labeled even by our own black women that should be by our sides instead of looking down at us and then when they get used and abused they are the victims. You always hear about the thugs, gangstas, pimps, men who don't take care of their kids, but do you ever hear about the home owners, men who take care of their children, black men who help others succeed such as mentors, tutors, etc. Do you even see a commercial where a black man is even holding their child! I myself I am taking care of my child (actually living with me)and I want to set an example for her, how when she gets older how a man should treat her- but I can't find a woman for the life of me. When I didn't show no respect for women, did my thug thissle and all the negative things that Mary Mitchell talks about, I had no problem with women,but I have to set a positive example for my daughter but I am not trying to get married to increase the black marriage rate,Mary. I will get married when I find the right one. And for my baby moma, she left me for the bum.

In today's MSNBC.com:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15835429/

4 out of 10 babies born out of wedlock - it's not just a BLACK thing.

Mary, these are the types of articles that make me salivate at the opportunity to someday take your job...

MITCHELL COMMENT:

Hah!!

Hey Ms. Mitchell,

Do you know how many black males between the ages of 13 and 30 have been killed this week in the U.S. of A.?

Probably more than soldiers in Iraq. Hell, a young black male probably has a better chance of living in Iraq than the U.S of A.

And to top it off, the young black male will probably be killed by another young black male. Two lives lost.

So, when this happens multiply it by two please. Two families going thru emotional trauma, two families suffering thru grief of a son dead or in prison.

Does anybody give sh%t? I think not. Not unless you're raising three young black males like I am.

So, you black women or Afro American women (which ever your prefer) unless someone steps up (N.A.A.C.P) and addresses this problem, you will not have a choice but to marry a white man.....like Jerry, November 14, 2006 04:01 PM.

P.S. I think the N.A.A.C.P should mean Non Active Association of Colored People!

Mary:

I agree black men need to step up and take more responsibility, however, we can't just blame black men. There are some women are also irresponsible in sleeping with these men and having several children by them before getting married. But to be fair, marriage is important to black men and black women and having a child out of wedlock does not mean they will not get married. In my case, my girlfriend, at the time, had a child out of wedlock in August 2005. We were already close in our relationship; being pregnant and going through the pregnancy together strengthened our relationship. In May 2006, we got married and have been happy ever since. The reason we did not get married initially is because we did not want to get married simply because we had a child. It would not be fair to my wife, myself or our child. I understand what you are saying in your article and black men should be better with their women and children. However, if we are going to assign blame, let's be fair to both sides. Also, child support is nice but it doesn't replace being there emotionally. My wife and I never talked about child support prior to marriage. For one thing, I took care of her at my house several days of the week, while my girlfriend, at the time, took care of during other days. We each supported her financially, emotionally, and physically. I saw my daughter every day of the week, whether she was at my house or not. I put the needs of my family above all others and now that we are married, i do the same thing. Your article was insightful, but failed to address both sides of the issue. I hope in the future, you will address both issues and not just attack black men. I would like a response, please.

Thank you,
Robert Rogers

MITCHELL COMMENT:

Thank you for your insightful comments. However, men still are the ones who make the decision to get married. Frankly, women have been always borne the bulk of the blame for out-of-wedlock births. Asking that black single fathers to get married shouldn't be characterized as an attack.

I watched some of the American Music Awards on Ch.7 last night. And it got me thinking about this topic. And Lonnie is right. Bring back the old-fashioned women (all races). You'll see marriage on the upswing again. Those women entertainers last night all had one thing in common, regardless of race. They were all dressed like 'hookers'. No wonder men don't want to get married. Be interesting to see if Mary has a reply to this. Or prints it.

To Jerry: still with the ignorant comments you didnt hit a nerve more like reality still hasnt sunk on your part in My stats were from the FBI aout 84% of serial killers were white. You also must have must have forgotten that a White mans DNA has been traced back to a common ancestor,a black women from Africa!you cant outgrow having African roots!how does it feel to be a part of the very race you castigate ,Bro?you also lost out in your quest for sica discrimination too .Blacks dont want to emulate whites just to have freedom of choice,why are whites copying blacks music ,dress and talk if they are not the ones that are posers?,And by the way Hispanics not black men have highest rates of non-marriage,open a book sometimes instead of spouting neo-con reichwing rhetoric that has been scientifically disproven because you sound more and more like a inadequate bufoon with obvious mental and yes,physical shortcomings.Have a Happy and good thanksgiving everyone maybe Jerry will invite everyone over for soul food with him and his "hefty" life partner!later BRO!....DOC

To Jerry, I have not read black yet.....But be cool when you speak on a sister.

If you are smooth, you don't have to run up a bill.

I have spent a many a day running up a bill on white men in the same bars so they can lay off when I take the white women home...and you not call her a whore afterwards.

In other wotds, you see me comming and I have to difuse U ahead of time.

"Yes,I looove the Cubs"
Riiiight!

Post that on a rookie that doesn't get out of his born neighborhood!

You say that your insistence on black men marrying the mothers of their children shouldn't be considered an attack but how can it be considered otherwise when you put no responsibility whatsoever on the women who choose to have unprotected sex with them? Are these women being forced to have unprotected sex with men they're not married to? If not, why are black men being singled out? I simply don't buy your weak dismissal of Robert Rogers' sentiments. I am a black male who is married with children and I made absolutely sure that I didn't have any out of wedlock children so there is very little that can be said to me about responsibility. As far as men making the decisions to get married, even if he asks, it's still up to the woman to accept or reject. I've asked many black women with children if they were married and the response usually goes "Naw I aint married! I don't want no husband!" Whose fault is it then? If you wish, please give a better explanation as to why the women should not be held responsible at all.

Mitchell comment:

I give black men the respect of being leaders in their communities and in their homes.

Ms Mitchell, I enjoyed your article immensely, you bring up some valid points. As a black Canadian woman, all I know of black American women is what I see on 'Maury' or 'Jerry Springer'. Speaking strictly about the African American women I see (the whites are no better) judging from the loud, vulgar, screaming valkyries I've always thought: no wonder black men don't marry those women. I'm sure the women on those talk shows only represent a portion of your population but damn! Do black American women really scream in your face when making a point? Do they really sit like men with knees wide open, with absolutely no clue about how a lady should carry herself? Do they really dress like $2 hookers in public? I'm not casting aspersions, I'm commenting on what I see in your media. Doesn't look to me like anybody forced those women to appear, dress or act they way they do on T.V. Apart from Oprah and female newscasters, I don't see any black women on T.V. that look like marriage material. Oh, and have you seen the show 'Flavour of Love'....? As for me, I married a white man, we have 2 legitimate children, he works hard and treats me like GOLD. Thank you.


I guess this prooves that whites needs to stay with white, blacks whomever he wants....otherwise I would sound like a racist

Mary,

What planet are you living on.

Women are in complete control of this situation.

They are the one having five babies by three different men.

Respect is earned not given.

Men are not going to marry someone they do not respect.

Women need to demand their man has job and a work ethic and a commitment to her before they lay up together.

That's when good lasting marriages will happen.

Finally, you wrote something -I as a blackman, with unwed sisters, from a two-parent married family agree with.

Blackmen are getting more and more trifling. I wonder why?

To speak upon a black man without specifying his culture is an error.

Black men in America may not marry American black women, but black men that are not American always seem to marry the women that they are born to.

It is because of this that you have to question deeper the cause.

The problem is definately not a black one, I assure you.

African women of black descent do things that black american women would describe as being "White"

But they don't have a problem with the lack of suitors for marriage.

We have to fight for our women...In Germany,the dark woman(Black) is preferred above all.

(This is why you saw Boris Becker the tennis player married to a Black woman.

Because she is the top of the food chain, not because he is a liberal.)

We as Americans are ignorant of the world.
The world is not black and white

The culture of our community is what we should question.


Mary...I would love to marry one of my beautiful black sisters. Part of the problem is the poor mental conditioning that some have experienced prior to meeting me. And trust that my goal is to marry first and then father a child out of love and care from a God-fearing union. But unfortunately I cant do it alone and as my friends always tell me...I just havent met HER yet.

It is true that we as black men in some ways have the pick of the litter but some of the attitudes that one faces while knocking down preconceived notions corrupts the positive efforts that some men might be trying to make.

I do not speak of statistics...I speak from my own personal experiences. I just want to point out one thing in what you are saying...there are always two sides to every coin.

Thank you for opening that conversation! As an unwed Black man with children, I certainly agree that we should be taken to task for committing and raising our children in a structured and validated environment. It's necessary to change the culture. I'll be making this commitment in the next few months, and have honestly taken too long to do so! For a time, I thought that my lady wasn't ready or even good enough, to make the commitment, but I realize that that's what a marriage is about. It's a partnership that works and grows together in good and bad times. As a Christian, it's also important that we align ourselves with God's will, and so many in our Black community share these religious beliefs. Bottom line, Black men, is that we should assume the role as leaders in our homes and communities and take the necessary steps to change and own our culture so that we may realize the power and magnificence that we truly possess!

Thanks again Mary for opening this conversation!

THE ? ask is very interesting because as we can see in the African-American Community there are alot of women without men. Now ask the question WHY.Well first women need men they fulfill a much need purpose .Problem BLACK MEN are a rare commodity THESE MEN HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF SO MANY WOMEN SOME WANT TO HAVE THEIR BABIES.Some want to be the other woman.Some just want them to hangout etc... the big love in the black community is a man with a lot of women. We must be thruthful women know and like a man that another woman likes it a unwritten rule you know that "popular brother" or say a brother who a proffessional could average from 15 to 30 women that he deals with on a on and off realationships. Give these men there due there keeping thecommunity alive.

I am a white woman who had dated only white men before meeting my boyfriend (a Black man). This was not be design -- it just worked out that way. When we started dating, it didn't even occur to me that I should approach a relationship with this man any different than I would with anyone else. (As my grandmother pointed out to someone in the family who made a racist comment to her -- I had dated white guys that had not always treated me well and here was a Black man who *was* good to me. Behavior and character is important. Color is not.)

When we started dating, I was a 31-year-old virgin -- by choice. On our first date, I told him that I intended to remain so until marriage. He was very respectful and never pressured me to change my mind. Within one month, we were living together. 2 years later, we are still together. After much thought, we did start having sex (although I had to do a lot of convincing as he did not want me to lower my standards). From the start, I have been on the pill *and* we use condoms. Every time. I suggested to him that, once the pill had kicked in, we didn't have to worry, but he has been adamant. We have discussed it and we are not ready to have a baby, so we will not.

I love this man with all my heart. Why are we not married? Well, economics *is* a reality. Despite his college degree, he was laid off six months ago. He has applied for (literally) hundreds of jobs and goes on interviews whenever they are offered, but has had no luck. Money is super tight. We could not afford a wedding, even if we were sure we were ready (and believe me, we do not have expensive taste -- we've done the math).

I guess I just wanted to chime in to tell you that there *are* good Black men out there. And good white men, good men of all races and creeds. Don't give up. And do NOT marry someone you do not love. Rather, take precautions to avoid pregnancy. Abstain. Take birth control pills. Use condoms. Be responsible for your own behavior. I am assuming that all of us are adults? Act like it. Women, take ownership of and responsibility for your bodies and your lives. Men, be respectful of the women in your life and do NOT father a baby you cannot be a father to.

Peace and love to all...

BTW, I noticed, in reading all these posts, that more than one poster made reference to fat women, always disparagingly. Why? Why is it acceptable to throw *that* prejudice and unkindness out there? If you do not find fat people attractive, do not date or sleep with them. To the person who said that only "300 pound" white women date Black men, a) not true and b) you don't know the people you are talking about. Maybe she is the nicest most loving person around and he has a good heart *that's* why they're dating.

It just annoys me that it's acceptable to make such nasty comments...

Mary:

I agree to some part of what Mary has said which is only one side of the coin though black women have less potential mates due to countless number of black males being victims of racial pprofiling and domestic terrorism which is started from birth in my opinion. Consequently, black men have endure many challenge which black women refuse to admitt and continue to challenge our masculinity simply for fact that they want and have equality which they already have established. I think the reason some black men will not marry is because of simple fact of being rejected ; not view as equals partners financially, emotionally and intellectually;black women are to independant and desire a perfect flawless mate; to much emotional baggage carried from one relationship to next. The dating for black women have shrunk in past couple decades due to black men being incarcerated at high percentages which make rather difficult to get married living in prison in an unstabled environment.I think we need to come together as a community and stop blaming blackmen for the problems of marriage disparages however without helping eachother win we will be head for destruction of black culture forever if we continue point the finger at each other. You are our Queens thus we are your Kings " speaking metaphorically" but God make it hard to be kings for ever king since he is our only king which mean there will be trials and tributions for the blackmen to come no matter what and marriage is one of them. Mary we can not do it alone we need our sisters to stop bashing us and start helping by contributing to fix the problem.By sending hurtful disrespectful commentary will only make the issue address much more worst.We are a religious people that believe in God who brought us threw generation after generation and we continue to disobey him by shacking up getting getting married out of wedlock.I think we should stop all these bitter blogs and put some action to those words that blackmen and blackwomen intelligently speak.I think we should go back to who has help us through the mountain " Our God" who we abandoned.

Mary,

I agree in some degree to your theory rather than facts which are not posted with references to where this information was obtained. Marriage is sacred between a woman and man which should not be violated for it is the highest honor given to a man or women; Nlacks, Whites, Mexicans,Jewish,or whoever this pretain to. I am a single man who was raise by his Grandmother in result of my Mother not being able to care for us . I turned out good because my Grandmother stayed on me everyday and that I was surround by uncles and a father figure who did not marry my Grandmother until ten years later near the age of sixty-seven. Black women must learn to stop blaming black men for all the responsibility that they are require participate in as well.

"Asking that black single fathers to get married shouldn't be characterized as an attack."

Ms. Mitchell, you're being intellectually dishonest.

You didn't limit your admonishment to black single fathers. Beyond that, by making black men both the primary subject and target of your piece, you did attack us.

When I wrote you (thank you for responding, by the way), you indicated that you'd never seen so much disrespect toward black women. After reading many of the comments here, I now understand what you meant.

Mitchell Comment:

You see it as an attack. I do not,

I'm sure you didn't lose sleep because of the ad hominen attacks on you. The people who made them told on themselves.

But I believe that the invective spewed in comment after comment is indicative of a simmering frustration felt by black men who are tired of being criticised and objectified no matter what we do or don't do. We can't all be wrong, Ms. Mitchell. We have had it with the finger being pointed squarely and solely at us whilst many black women continue behaving irresponsibly and recklessly with apparent impunity.

No one is forcing black women to lie down and make babies. It's also true that no one is forcing black women to carry their babies to term. These are choices, Ms. Mitchell, that black women are making. How many times would you dine at a restaurant that served lousy food and had a subpar wait staff? See my point?

How is it that you have yet to address the black woman's role in this sordid mess known as the dysfunctional black family? Even after reading the responses here you have, by way of omission, given black women a pass.

Black women, like some of the ones who have responded here, also keep giving themselves a pass. To read them tell it, they're victims who were bamboozled into becoming mothers by na'er do well, shiftless black men.

Meanwhile, I have an ex-girlfriend who insisted that I not use a condom when sleeping with her because she was "allergic" to them. In case you're wondering, she has a child by a black man whom she can't even give her home address to. Sleep with her, much less marry her? Please. And she's hardly alone. Am I to understand that all black women who are single mothers (and never married) were mislead? You couldn't believe that.

I invite anyone reading this, including you, to tell me where all of these quality black women whom black men should be tripping over ourselves to marry are. Not perfect, mind you, but quality: smart, ambitious, moral, honest, attractive, emotionally available, mature and actually single. Are they in church? A book store? A mall? A play? Hiding out at home? Where are they?

I'll reiterate what others here have said, which is that there are quality black men who are not fathers and want to settle down with a quality black woman. All of us aren't "ballin'" but neither are all black women. We're good people with good hearts and the same dreams and aspirations as everyone else.

One of those dreams is to finally be seen and appreciated as human beings by black women who are worth having.

Thus far it's been a dream deferred for most of us.

I,m a white male ,happily married for 34 years and have 2 lovely children. What I see in all of society today is too much casual sex. I just happen to think that people shouldnt engage in sex unless they are commited to marry. We all have to stop acting like uncivalized animals. I remember a time when it was unheard of to have a child out of wedlock. I wish those days were here again.

To add to Ms. Mitchell's advice: Black women need to stop limiting themselves. So many Black women restrict themselves and only want to date Black men. Explore other options!!

After reading the numerous statements of this article. It seems to me this forums are a waste of time. Is this not the 21st century or what? People know basically what is right and wrong and you can't say that one gender is to blame. The blame should be placed on the one that are not doing what they are supposed to be doing. When it comes to the kids you should do right by them, but you have all this game playing on both sides. Some women are just to blame as are some of the men who are doing there dirt too. Honestly sometimes I don't think we as a race will ever get our act together, no matter what the consequence are. You have all of this talk about what we should do, meeting after meeting about the same crap over and over again. Personally not to offend anyone but I get sick and tired of hearing this time and time again. Will we ever get our act together?

Most brothers are unemployed because of rampant discrimination in the job market.This is the root of the problems in the black community.


When youre broke,no woman wants to marry you.

This is a great discussion. I think that everyone is ernestly looking for a solution. I wise black man said that when your eneny has been in your crop field it will produce weeds. The problem in black male female relationships is one such weed.

Though I think the article is a good one for generating a discussion that most certainly needs addressing I do believe that an indictment of Black men is what it has morphed into. The article and title bring to mind the old saying "it takes two to tango". Ms. Mitchell writes as if Black men are tricking Black women or worse, sneaking into their homes under the cloak of darkness and having unprotected sex and impregnating these poor women. These women are equally yoked. Furthermore, many women white, Black and the like often fantasize and romanitcize having a child and think that this act will encourage and/or inspire a man to marry them. Obviously, we are no longer in the day of the "shotgun marriage" though sometimes it still takes place, but both men and women alike should be more responsible for one and more selective for two. I myself am a single Black male, and I have a daughter with a woman that I am not married to. Does this make me a bad person? I love my daughter more than I love my own life's blood, I help to provide, I assist in her learning and development, she attends church with me, and her mother and I have a working partnership. Yet I have no plans to marry her. She is a wonderful person but not I think the perfect fit more me. I don't think that's selfishness I think that's honesty. Why should anyone be lambasted for seeking a mate if any, that mirrors what they want. Marriage should be based on partnership, honesty, faith and God, and love as well as friendship and having like things in common. Last I checked it shouldn't be based on well it's the right thing to do. Personally I do believe that people shouldn't have babies with each other unless married. A belief I followed and practiced. An accident occurred we had plans to not go through it but she changed her mind and the rest is history. Point being, marrying won't necessarily rectify the problem. A reader made mention of the fact that woman have been for so long been declaring their independence and autonomy that now many Black men have accepted that reality and allow for Black women to do their thing. Also, though many of the women in the article clearly express a desire to be married. My question is what are these women doing right or wrong in an effort to become good loving, faithful, God fearing, respectful and respected wives? Are you looking for a good man, or a rich man. Are you looking at the club or lounge or at church or as a comedian at Def Comedy Jam said Home Depot, because that means he's handy and has a house. To find a diamond you have to go to where the diamonds are. One cannot expect to find quality where quality is not. Marriage when done right for the right reasons with the right person is one of the greatest things one can accomplish before God, however I dare say go out snatch up your baby's mother and run to the nearest altar. Yet if you have someone that you love and are faithful to and he/she is loving and respecting of and to you then I think that marriage should be the only option. I remember as if he just said it, The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan saying that the only way to strenghten the Black community was to marry and build a strong Black family that served as a model for others to follow. But as I said earlier "it takes two to tango". Fred Astaire was a great dancer but he was even better when he danced with Ginger Rogers. So though I think Ms. Mitchell addresses a topic that definitely needs discussion there's more to it than her title eludes to. I think with the nerve and attitude you displayed towards Black men doing right and with many of us probably really wanting to get married to the right person of course, maybe you should address the fact that Black women would have even more quality candidates if these so called men weren't sleeping with other so called men. Because I think that is a bigger problem altogether. This swell of unrighteous homosexuality is a pandemic. Along cultural, spiritual, public health, and social lines it is far more a problem than a MAN having trouble finding the right FEMALE PARTNER. So Ms. Mitchell keep your fire-breathing pen, pencil, typewriter, or laptop in its holster when talking about real heterosexual, working, righteous, professional Black men and find someone else to minimize, belittle, berate or inaccurately judge. "Let those without sin cast the first stone." I'm sure you didn't marry the first schlep to run up to you and tell you how fine you are/were. Nor should a man be pressured and bullied into running to a diamond broker or jewelry retailer to purchase and propose without being absolute.

MITCHELL COMMENT:

Dantana---my column was specific to the situation where black men have fathered children and not married the mothers of these children. Black men especially seem to be in denial about the impact fatherlessness has had on the black community. We can argue about this for the next decade, but the fact remains black people are the least partnered and most economically disadvantaged people in the country.

You've got to be kidding? I would not marry a black woman if my life depended on it. I would marry a white, foreign women from Eastern Europe or South America if anyone at all.

Most black women are not marriable! Most are overweight, ugly, have bad attitudes, and they don't possess the qualities needed for being a good mother and wife.

Your article should be aimed at telling skanky black women from getting knocked up by thuggish losers. I am a successful, affluent, educated , and happy black man dating a young, caring, loving, and beautiful European woman. After tasting white women, I am repulsed by black women now and the thought of marrying one is out of the question.

GET IT THROUGH YOUR THICK WEAVES! WE DON'T WANT YOU, YOU ARE NOT WORTH WHAT YOU THINK YOU ARE AND THAT'S WHY WON'T MARRY YOU.

Just recently I had a discussion with a male friend who is divorced with two children, one of which has a baby mama. He does not want to ever get married again and doesn't want to because he says it is too much stress and responsibility. But at the same time he is taking care of two elderly relatives and soon to be taking care of the latter child. I asked him if he was not stressed taking on this role? His answer intrigued me. He explained that while he was taking on more responsibility, it was okay because in this hierarchy, he was in charge and making all the decisions. He didn't have to consult with a partner nor have to hear another's opinion. Very insightful for me because it touches more on his need to validate his position in the hierarchy. So, I asked him how will he manage a relationship with a woman in this scenario. He explained that he would just have to find someone to fulfill is sexual needs. This encounter has offered to me another facet of the problems that exist between Black men and women. The males need for dominance is it nature or nurture? How can this be managed in a culture where men and women both invest in their respective education, intellect, talents in an attempt to be productive? I think that women have assimilated more to mainstream society as it relates to gender roles than men and as a result, we are not on the same page. We should definitely look into this idea of what "maleness" is to a Black man and has it hindered his development within the framework of the Black male/female relationship?

"However, men still are the ones who make the decision to get married."

I agree, Mary, but women are the ones who make the decision to have children, and they need to choose wisely when they pick the father. I think women all over the world need to take that responsibility very, very seriously, and take into consideration how it will impact their lives and the lives of their children. Perhaps getting pregnant by some guy and then hoping he sticks around is not the smartest choice. Ladies, please, don't have children with losers. It's really all up to you.

To Thomas Bryant, talk about the pot calling the kettle black. I don't like to get personal about looks, but since you brought it up. You black guys for the most part have got to be the ugliest, mangiest looking creatures on this earth( remember Patrick Ewing, Dennis Rodman). Whereas black women are like any other race of women. Some are nice looking, some are average looking, and some are bad looking.

Ms Mitchell, you just don't get it, do you? No one is trying to absolve black men of any responsibility but it's your attitude that all that is bad and wrong in the black community is black men's fault and women have no responsibility at all is what we are sick and tired of! How many times do I, a black man who is married with two sons and has always been careful not to have any OOW children, have to bear the brunt of this? I am tired of seeing certain black women make poor choices in men and instead of taking responsiblity for their bad decisions, they do like you and put it all on the man! Have not the mothers of these children made bad choices also? Please explain, if you will, why black women should be absolved of any and all responsibility in something that it takes TWO WILLING PARTICIPANTS to do? Can you please just answer this one question, and I'll kindly look for your response. Do black women not have any responsibility in this thing at all? I challenge you to answer objectively.

Mitchell comment:

Of course they do. But aren't men supposed to be the leaders in the community? Are black women supposed to continue to bear the bulk of the responsibility for out-of-wedlock births? Men can't get under women's skirts then hide behind them too.

To John: I have marked in quotations your comment you made as it relates to you fathering a child out of wedlock. You elude to an "accident' while in the same paragraph you mention you go to church. Would it be the same church that subscribes to the same Bible that refers to the same scripture about "fornication" being a sin?
According to John: "An accident occurred we had plans to not go through it but she changed her mind and the rest is history. "

While you make lengthy discussion about purposely choosing the "right" mate for you as a wife, you casually have sex with the same person who you have so carefully and meticulously eliminated as a marriage candidate. You are very detailed about rebutting the original topic of discussion but gloss over your own culpability in this epidemic of baby mamas and baby daddies. You are on the one hand conservative about a woman's qualification to be your wife, while on the other hand you did not present any qualifications for the position of sex partner. You even mention God and church and bringing your daughter to church. How will you tell your daughter that her mother did not meet your criteria for wifehood but clearly surpassed your criteria for sex partner? Take responsibility yourself and cease using that word "accident". Because an accident is "an undesirable or unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally and results in harm, damage or injury". Take responsibility and like the woman in the Bible at whom the stones were thrown say that you have sinned and contributed to the epidemic like the rest of us .

My comment was directed to Dantana the Great


Black woman, please make up your mind!!!!!!

And while your'e at it, please shut up with the complaining because the problem as just as much your fault as it is ours.

A previous poster hit it perfectly:

First you say you don't need a man(which leads to that dumb, tired clique "I can do bad all by myself).

And because now your'e whining about not having a man, you have done just that...done bad(and lonely) all by yourself.

Irony of ironies: Black women go to church far more frequently than black man and yet you guys act like you've never read a bible.

1. So a man(or woman) speaks, so is he(or she).

Translated: you don't need a man? Cool. Keep saying it over and over and you will have what you say.

Oh, and make sure the batteries in the vibrator are working. On second thought, scratch that because.....

2. Honor God with your body.

Yes, that same body that you wear that too snug, too short, too revealing outfit that just screams "future single /hoochie mama loudly.

Ask yourself this: when you wear that outfit, what kind of guy do you think you'll draw?

Point to ponder: women who dress that way are women we as men don't take seriously. Oh, the relationship will eventually lead to you becoming a mom, but meeting ours is probably not going to happen because in keeping with the holiday spirit, only one thing goes though our minds when we see you dress that way: HO-HO-HO.

3. By the way, you also reap what you sow-sow-sow.

No one can "tell off" someone quite like a sister, and no place is that more evident than when they no longer have any use for a Black man(was it because his car wasn't current enough so you could brag to your friends or because he wasn't Denzel enough or J. Paul Ghetto enough)?

Either way, how you treat someone who is of no interest to you will go a long way in how you will be treated in the future.

Brother man hit it and quit it? What goes around comes around.

And for heaven's sakes, please quit falling for the stereotype that white men are the answer.

I think Robin Givins and Diana Ross would beg to differ(and how long was Ms. Givens with her white hubbie???).

Elizabeth Taylor has been married about 500 times and in every wedding she walked the aisle. Not once did she jump the broom.

And tragically, what about the sister who was shot and killed by a hitman dressed as a florist allegedly sent by her soon to be ex-white husband?

One of the easiest things to do in life is to blame others when the big problem is staring at you at every mirror you find.

Let's make a deal: we, as black men will be more than happy to act like men.

But only if you meet us half way and start acting like ladies.

I'm black, green eyes, 2nd youngest brother of 6, age 40, never been married. Neither has my 42 year old other brother yet. But the rest have been married, one also younger than me, created children. One has had a great relationship, the others had problem marriages, divorced. Wife my oldest brother died of diabetes complications at age 45.

I'm still looking for a future bride. Building a house is taking my free time today. It's where wife and I will live, only house where I'll stay rest of my life. Hope to begin creating children at age 42.

Saving money not being married over the years allows the building a home I dreamed and designed. Took time to find the right location.

I'm right on time. Never created babies with anyone or caught a disease. Could have been married in my 20's but jobs and life paths of my girl back then, we went our seperate ways after nine years being a couple and living together. I dated in my 30's but didn't want to get tied down on purpose.

I'm picky and looking at her future possibilities in many ways than considering herself as only existing today. My future wife has to try and better herself, having those goals, physically and educationally. Learning world languages instead of needing to travel only as a tourist. Go to other countries and assist lives in the way we will choose to do. Assist the neighborhood where we'll live being friendly.

I'm proud of my parents, no brothers are irresponsible people. They have been married over 50 years and healthy in their late 60's now. Father's relative all from Illinois. They met in grade school, married before he went into Army for the Korean war. He survived being captured. Did tours again in the Air Force, came home safe finally in 1974.

Good enough parenting. My father was 34 having me. I'll be 44 possibly still creating his grandkids. I want 3.


To Jerry,

Your comments are uglier than Patrick Ewing and they are a reflection of you. I never looked at Patrick Ewing's good looks or not. He was basketball player to me. You have issues looking at how fair and beautiful guys maybe. I don't ever consider looks of other guys appearance.

I've been sexually harassed with comments and fondled in bars by women, so I'm not too worried about my looks or really care at all. I just try to stay in shape. I've never been bald, no matter Michael Jordan perfected the style.

It's going to be my brains, life goals the attraction I care about. I've seen so many divorces among friends over the years. I wondered why they wasted the time without an eye on the future.

I am 40 year old Black man. I grew up in the projects from 1970 until 1986, and I have seen the decline of our morals and communities. Like you, I noticed the lack of fathers and husbands in our communities. I was one of the privileged children, because we had a good father married to our mother in our home.

I saw empty holes in my extended family members and friends' hearts by having NO FATHERS active in their lives. I saw our lonely beautiful Black woman doing the best to keep their families together. I saw many Brothers impregnating our Sisters, yet settling down and marrying other nationalities.

I vowed to God that I would be the best husband and father as I can be to a Sister. I also vowed that I would not lay down with anyone that I was not willing to marry. I felt that I was MAN ENOUGH to lay down with a young woman; then I was MAN ENOUGH to care for whatever the results of our exchange -- any babies or her emotions. This vow kept me a virgin until I graduated from high school, because I knew I could not raise a family in my parent's apartment.

When I arrived at my predominated White college, my vow was tested over and over again. Many White women threw themselves at me (some even begging), but I resisted their sexual favors, because I knew that I was saving myself for my future Black wife.

The young Black woman that I lost my virginity is my wife today. I wish that there were more Brothers like me, because sex is a serious exchange. We must work together -- Black men and women -- in order to fix this problem.

REMEMBER: Don't plant or fertilize where you don't want a tree or harvest!

Jerry, nice try. As a black man, I get hit on by non-black women ALL THE TIME, especially while in Europe. Even the Dennis Rodman's and Pat Ewing's have great looking women all the time. Looks don't matter as much with real women anyway, Manliness does. Did I mention that Black women are the worst on the planet. No one wants them anymore and they can't stand it. Successful brothas don't want cha, and don't need ya. Cry me a river "Jerry" and fix that weave that shows the nappy at your neckline biah!
Tom Bryant
Amico1984@hotmail.com

Jerry out of all the black dudes you could come up with you picked the two least attractive brothers you could think of. It's a shame that those two didn't lack for white women. Looks are always going to be cultural. What blacks believe as beauty will not always coincide with whites. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And on another point I've always treated my black women well. I'm 42,black and have had several long relationships with sisters. In fact this year I've married a sister who's a nurse and we're expecting our first child together. And I promise you if I have a girl or boy I would expect them to not know what a racist is. Guy like you wouldn't get past my door. My 13 year old son on the other hand has this 13 white girl calling his cell phone all the time. I don't tell him that whites are demons or anything like that. I tell him to treat her well or anyone else he's interested in. His mother and I don't agree on a lot but we agree that whomever he wants to be with to treat them like he wants to be treated. I admit I would rather he dated a black or was interested in a black girl because of the stigma of his blackness could be exploited by this white girl. I've heard of young brothers being accused by white girls that they dated of things just because they can't be honest about the relationship they have with black men. They will sleep with these brothers and when daddy find out say it was rape. No one is perfect and no race is perfect. I don't know what to expect for my son I just want the best for him.

Jerry judging from the email you posted, I doubt you have a college education. In case you didn't know, your email has some serious grammatical errors. As far as I am concerned, there is no excuse for any white male in this country to be an underachiever. So what is you excuse Jerry?
If black men are so ugly, why do so many caucasians risk basal cell carcinoma and melanoma of the skin sunbathing? In case you didn't know Jerry, those are forms of skin cancer.

jERRY THE SICA BRO:DID YOU READ YOUR SCIENCE BOOKS YET? .YOU ARE DESCENDED FROM AFRICANS.DONT TALK ABOUT YOURSELF LIKE THAT(ARE YOU CRAVING SOUL FOOD YET?)CHECK YOUR DNA BRO!NO ONE WANTS TO MARRY YOU SO YOU BLAME 'BLACKS"I GUESS WHITES DONT HAVE UGLY PEOPLE IN THEIR "RACE"?YOU MUST NOT WATCH TV ALOT OR GET OUT ,QUIT SPEWING YOUR RACIST DRIVEL IN AMERICA RETURN TO KKK-LAND USA,I AM SURE THEIR IS A LOT OF UGLY WOMEN FOR YOU,SO YOU CAN MAKE TRAILER TRASH UGLY BABIES,MAYBE SHE WILL BE YOUR COUSIN(HOW SPECIAL),YOU LOST ALSO ON SICA ISSUE ,LATER BRO KEEP UP THE BAD WORK.....DOC

Doc, I must have really struck a nerve because I assume using all capitals is a way for you to stress how angry you are at me. Or maybe you are not smart enough to use a computer properly? BTW, you should be happy with me because I was sticking up for your sistas against a ghetto attack by one of your boys. Also, if we all descend from Africans then why do your people continue to try to wipe out my people with violent acts? Aren't you just trying to exterminate your own by doing that?

I'm a 23 year old, well educated black man still in training, from Bed Stuy, brooklyn. I'm about to be married to a beautiful black queen that I truly do love with all my heart, and we both came from the bottom and still feel we have yet to make it. I come from a single parent home where like most homes in the ghetto, are held up strongly by the black mother. I knew who my father was, I knew where he lived and I also knew it was his choice to not want to be there for us. I wasn't hurt by his lack of displays of affectons, to be honest we did good without him. As I grew older we sort of got a chance to know him a little better, unfortunatly I also reolized I didn't want to be like him when I got older. He is an educated man, well off, with his own but extremely unhappy. So I vowed to myself and my fiance not to become or start off how my father started off. He started off spoiled, selfish, inconsiderate and mean spirited. I reolized that most black men are lazy, unmotivated, and prone to unfortunate paths and events by choice. We can easily choose to do things right and standing by our children and most importantly our children's mothers. I say most importantly because as a family or a whole our children can learn to be loyal, dedicated, understanting and their motives would sincere. But ladies do not get mad at me for what I'm about to say, but I also see a lot of smart black women that know better dealing with these child minded men that sell drugs, in and out off jail, and into all kinds of thuggery, sitting in their house not doing anything and letting them run their household, and exposing their children to that kind of men can be crucial to a young child or even a baby. Bottom line... its easy to blame it on a black man but in all actuality, its not society, it's not the community, it's the fact that it really does start at home. "Remember... the apple does not fall to far from the tree." It's not easy to break the cycle but once you see the problem you have to learn to not cope with but stop compromising the with the problem. I am going to marry my beautiful black southern bell. I love her and she knows why, she is intelligent, big and very beautiful, she does have great motherly traits, and her love is more than phenomenal. She just graduated from TSU and loves her family. I love and am very proud off her. So all you clowns out there disrespecting black women, you came from a black woman, and black woman raised you and if you grew up in a black community, more than likely a black woman taught you most of everything you know. So I feel your words disrespecting black women fall short of your point being proven. Love is love, you fall in love with who you fall in love with, but black women are undoubtfully the most beautiful, most strongest and most deserving beings on Gods green earth. So with that being said I know that black women are apart of me and that we have nothing on a black woman with a plan....AMEN! Love , peace and happiness. I LOVE YOU MONA!!!!

Just recently a week ago I met a nice stunning black, educated, financially stabled black woman who I thought was the perfect match.We talk and laugh over the telephone for an two hours. I thought we where really were vibing though I know she has babydaddy problems which are becoming a nusance to me.I really like this woman alot but all she give is cold shoulder when her thuggish ruggish boy friend is around. I think most black women prefer the those types not guys who work the hard job for a ten dollars an hour.I am just sick of the way black women comment on the way that they say we treat them.You treat her like queen today and tomorrow she'll being your wearing the jeans in the relationship calling you the black queen. I am not trying to be mean but I got to be real about this ladies because alot of you are not showing love or respect to blackmen. One more thing I like to add ladies by the way check the funky attitude if you want a good black men out here to marry you. Stop wearing all those fake behind weaves, nails,and all that clown pancake make-up. Ladies it not hard just be yourself and love yourself for one in your life. I do not know you what is with some of black women out trying to put down and step the Blackmen of in America.

In this Article all I hear is " Black man grow up". Mary would you just listen to our side first instead posting dispectful articles like this one yet how would you feel if you where in our shoes for hour , days, months , years having to make terrible decisions that will not only affect you mental, finacially but emotionally.So here a message to your highness who wants a knight in shiny armor " wake up " this is the real world where we judge each other, label eachother , hurt one another to feel good about ourself.There are no hero and galant knights from Kings Arthur fiction story books.

Jerry,
You have issues! If you want to discuss of this forum, I'm at amico1984@hotmail.com

(originally sent directly to Mary Mitchell, via email on 11/16/2006)

Mary, Mary, Mary. I'm conflicted. On one hand, I totally agree that men need to take responsibility and create a presence in their children's lives. However, I don't know if marrying a one night stand or a girl that they were really "only having fun with" is the answer. How many "Babies Mamas" are the result of a very serious and long term relationship? I'm sure enough to make mention. But, compared to the former? I would be very interested in seeing those "statistics or facts", as well. As my Father says (yeah, i actually know him), "it takes two to tango". There has to be responsibility on both ends. The Dead Beat Dad's are the ones who really need a thrashing. Anyway, women need to take more pride and respect about themselves in who they end up in bed with. And for goodness sake use birth control & men wear a condom! Men need to stop bedding every woman in site and stop planting their seed all over just because they can. (is that really the kind of guy you want ANY woman to marry?) And finally, let's be more specific the next time black men are scolded. How about scolding "Black men who impregnate women need to either marry your woman if you love her or be active in your child's life because your children are turning into monsters due to lack of parenting". Because, I don't have any children or Babies Mama's and I get sick and tired of being lumped into the rest of the loser black male race. How about an article that says, "For all of you Black men out there who are actually good men, want to marry, don't have Babies Mama's and have jobs, we applaud you". I know, not sensational enough. A guy can dream though...

Duane

That datana the great is a white man posing for the blog. LOL.

I hope you know you're transparent.

I really enjoyed the information in this article. I feel however, that since there is a trend for this unacceptable behavior of black man, that it is high time to stop pleading and expecting men to do the right thing. It is time for women to take some responsibility for these issues. Ultimately, women determine the life of a child. Women need to take precautions and not put themselves in the position of having children out of wedlock. What is wrong with waiting to have children until you are in a stable marriage? It is clear that many men are do not want to be or are not prepared to be fathers, is not forcing them to more damaging to a child? If women stayed in the mind set to be prepared to raise a child as a single parent with all the complexities I think there would be less expectation on the mans part and empower women to take control of this situation. Just because you have someone’s baby does not entitle you priority in the next to get married line. A lot of love and work entitles you to marriage not fatherless children

Mitchell Comment:

Thank you for your comments, but I respectfully disagree. Most black women like women from all other races desire marriage and families. Mature men understand that marriage is about responsibility and I can think of no greater responsibility than ensuring that one's flesh and blood is brought up in a stable and loving environment regardless of the circumstances that child is born into.

Tom Bryant, you have issues as well. It is pretty low class to talk about woman the way that you do. Especially women of your own race. But I guess that is to be expected. I would be happy to e-mail you but I suspect you would put my e-mail address on this blog. Although if the moderator promises to not put my e-mail on here than I will e-mail you.

BTW, if black guys on here are going to dish out hurtful and personal attacks against people, especially women, then they better be man enough to take it.

Mary Mitchell, thank you for prompting this honest discussion. Finally, men and women expressing their honest opinions about how they feel about marriage, children, values and morals. Where can you go and get this type of communication between us without the anger, hostility, disrepect and just plain hurt we've experienced as a people in and out of relationships. I've been reading and reading and I want to thank you men for responding, me/we as women need to hear what you have to say and we definitely need your candor. We need to hear your take on where you feel we need to take responsibility and I must agree on many of your points such as: self-respect first, loving yourself first and being prepared for marriage in character and spirit not just as bed partners. I personally think we as women have mastered sex and having kids and need to raise the bar and explore and master some of the others area of life such as a spiritual foundation which fills the voids and heals the wounds of the past that we expect our men, girlfriends, parents and male friends to heal for us. It may help if you meet someone that can meet you where you are but it is not their responsibility and it is too much to ask of any person. Ladies, there are other facets of life to enjoy such as studying languages, traveling, higher education while examining and sorting through our own issues of the past and accepting our responsiblity and correcting the behavior that starts with us, be it in church or counseling, whatever it takes. As for me I am 41 and have raised two young adults 20 & 25. I had my first at 15, dropped out of school and had my second at 20. I married the 2nd ones father to all of our detriment. Neither of us had a clue what it took and used the word "wife" and "husband" as weapons to own and intimidate one another. And of course the children suffered for our images of what parenting looked like. Not to mention the drug abuse (on both parts) the mental, physical and verbal abuse we all endured. We divorced shortly after, that was in 1993. In the beginning while I worked, he didn't and continued his drug abuse, and had this "you're working get off my back attitude" while I start my own "scalping ticket" business, which today is of no avail and his drug addiction out of control. Both of my children lives have (girl/boy) suffered emotionally for not having hands-on, live-in fathers. However, I made no excuses for my plight and neither allowed them to. I mangaged to go to a technical school and landed a good job which I will be celebrating 19 yrs this Friday. I preceeded with what the resources I had and I raised my children with the support of my parents who by the way divorced when I was pre-teen. They are instrumental support in my life today, both parents. Since my dad and brothers were the first men of my life I never learned that men had emotions or problems, stresses, concerns, hurts or pain. I just learned the mechanics/macho part like how they go to work and pay the bills to keep a roof over our head. By the way the first dad that fathered my child at 15 was kiiled in a domesetic dispute when my child hit the teen years. He never had the money or means but they had a relationship because I did not strip him or emasculate him. I eventually got tired of the downward spiral in my own life and looked within. I had sterilization surgery at 27 because I didn't want any more children and I knew I would continue to have sex and I didn't children to equate me with having a successful or unsuccessful relationship. I also got off drugs through a program and with spiritual relationship maintenance (i didn't say churh or religion attendance) I have been clean 7 years. I got my GED in 1993. I went back to school and obtained my BS in 10/2005. I just acquired my first home 5/06. I look forward to being married again in a healthy, stable, solid respectful relationhip with preferrably a black man but my heart and eyes are open for the one that sees me and recognizes me. "e that finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains "favor" from teh Lord. In turn he gains my respect for being the man first then the head of his own household first. These things that have been accomplished in my life did not give me a one up on men, it only prepared me to know my potential and what I am capable of and how I can be his help meet in this day and time because we are sadly mistaken to think that we don't need a man, we do. NO matter what societal means pushed men in the back, I'd like to see them ack in their rightful place, with some self-respect and some self-control, no hoochie should be able to tempt you if you set the standards and bar as high as women.

Basically, I am seeking an Afro American Counselor for my grandson. My only reason for my request, I do believe that he has no clue of being a black male in this society. There are other issues in which I do not care to discuss over the internet. We reside in Connecticut and perferrable, I would like someone in the Hartford Area. If you have any knowledge of an Afro American/Black Counselor whom I may call, please e mail me back. Your cooperation in this matter would kindly be appreciated.

Sincerely, Annie

Mitchell comment:

If you can help Annie out, please post your referral.

Are we going to see any articles telling black women to stop having unprotected sex with men they aren't married to? Are you going to tell black women to grow up? Is everything solely the man's fault? Can you please explain your way of thinking because I just don't think you get it!

Mitchell comment:

Since you obviously do get it, I welcome your voice on this subject as a guest essayist. You can send your essay to mmitchell@suntimes.com.

quote: "Mitchell Comment:

Thank you for your comments, but I respectfully disagree. Most black women like women from all other races desire marriage and families. Mature men understand that marriage is about responsibility and I can think of no greater responsibility than ensuring that one's flesh and blood is brought up in a stable and loving environment regardless of the circumstances that child is born into."

So are you saying that when a child is brought into the world out of wedlock, the woman doesn't bear any responsibility at all?

Mitchell Comment:

PJ--of course not. Historically, society has put all the blame on women. So go ahead and blame women for allowing their lovers to have unprotected sex and for getting pregnant. But ultimately it is the man who has the final say about how that child's life will turn out. He can stay with the mother and help raise the child or he can walk away. (Yes, I know that the pregnant woman can get an abortion, and you'd be surprised how many black women have chosen that option). My appeal to men is that they do their part to end the cycle of fatherless children in the black community.

I'm trying to be fair and to not judge you too harshly but you're making it very hard. You still just don't get it! the issue isn't just about black men being leaders in their homes and communities, which I absolutely advocate, but no woman, except for a rape victim, has ever gotten pregnant against her will! This time, I challenge you to explain how it is the man's fault when the woman gets pregnant yet refuses to marry the father. Are you going to answer objectively or continue with blaming the man, and the man only?

Mitchell Comment:

I'm appealing to the man--not blaming him,

Ithank you for adressing this issue. iam a single black mother, who is in college to better myself. i find many interesting books on college shelfs that has issues of black men in them. one that caught my eye is called reading for thinking. its just a college book that is needed for my english writing class. it talks about how asian men are considered to be good role models for their family, and therefore are economically getting ahead. it also says that Asian men are considered the minority model and that if black men followed the values of Asian men, the African American community would flourish also. why this book targets mainly black men well my guess would be many of are black men do not value family,values,and most of all love. are black men from a young age are taught to love is a bad thing. you can see the lack of love in our communities by seeing are black babies fatherless, the music videos, rate of black men in prison for killing another black man, the low rate of marriage to black women,the high rate of aids among black women from men who are permiscouse,the high rate of domestic violence, etc. i can honestly see why Asian men would only target are brothas. i would like to say yes there are black women who should want to pick a good man before sleeping with him and getting pregnant. but how can a young women pick a good black man if there was never one in her life(a father).

Mary Mitchell, thank you for prompting this honest discussion. Finally, men and women expressing their honest opinions on how they feel about marriage, children, values and morals. Where can you go and get this type of communication between us without the anger, hostility, disrespect and just plain hurt we've experienced as a people in and out of relationships. I've been reading and reading and I want to thank you men for responding, me/we as women need to hear what you have to say and we definitely need your candor. We need to hear your take on where you feel we need to take responsibility and I must agree on many of your points such as: self-respect first, loving yourself first, and being prepared for marriage in character and spirit, not just as bed partners. I personally think we as women have mastered sex and having kids and need to raise the bar and explore and master some of the other areas of life such as a spiritual foundation which fills the voids and heals the wounds of the past that we expect our men, girlfriends, parents, and male friends to heal for us. It may help if we meet someone who can meet you where you are but it is not the responsibility and it is too much to ask of any person. Ladies, there are other facets of life to enjoy such as studying languages, traveling, higher education while examining and sorting through our own issues of the past and accepting our responsibility and correcting the behavior that starts with us, be it in church or counseling, whatever it takes. As for me I am 41 and have raised two young adults 20 & 25. Neither has children or are on drugs. I had my first at 15, dropped out of school and had my second at 20. I married the 2nd ones father to all of our detriment. Neither of us had a clue what it took and used the word "wife" and "husband" as weapons to own and intimidate one another. And of course the children suffered from our images of what parenting looked like. Not to mention the drug abuse (on both parts) the mental, physical and verbal abuse we all endured. We divorced shortly after, that was in 1993. In the beginning while I worked, he didn't and continued his drug abuse, and had this "you're working get off my back attitude" while I start my own "scalping ticket" business, which today is of no avail and his drug addiction is out of control. Both of my childrens lives have (girl/boy) suffered emotionally for not having hands-on, live-in fathers. However, I made no excuses for my plight and neither allowed them to. I managed to go to a technical school and landed a good job which I will be celebrating 19 yrs on this Friday. I preceded with the resources I had and raised my children with the support of my parents who by the way divorced when I was a pre-teen. They are instrumental support in my life today, both parents. Since my dad and brothers were the first men of my life I never learned that men had emotions, problems, stresses, concerns, hurts or pains. I just learned the mechanics/macho part like how they go to work and pay the bills to keep a roof over our head. By the way the first dad that fathered my child at 15 was killed in a domestic dispute when my child hit the teen years. He never had the money or the means but they had a relationship because I did not strip him or emasculate him. I eventually got tired of downward spiral in my own life of choices and consequences and looked within. I had sterilization surgery at 27 (not as a means of birth control) because I didn't want anymore children and I knew I would continue to have sex and I didn't want children to equate me with having a successful or unsucessful relationship. I also got off drugs through a program and with spiritual relationship maintenance (i didn't say churh or religion attendance) I have been clean 7 years. I got my GED in 1993. I went back to school and obtained my BS in 10/2005. I just acquired my first home 05/06. I look forward to being married again in a healthy, stable, solid, respectful relationship with preferrably a black man but my heart and eyes are open for the one that sees me and recognizes me. "He that finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord". In turn he gains my respect for being a man first then the head of his own household. These things that I have accomplished in my life did not give me a one up on men, it only prepared me to know my potential and what I am capable of and how I can be a "help meet" in this day and time where two family incomes are essential. We as women as sadly mistaken to think we don't need a man, we do. I believe our point is saying that is we want commitment and fidelity from our men to bring value to the relationship we are building. NO matter what societal means have pushed men in the back, I'd like to see them back in their rightful places in the workplace, the homes and our lives with some self-respect and self-control. NO hoochie should be able to tempt you if you set the standards and bar as high as women.

Mary, I finally get it! It took me long enough, but I finally get it. I, like most of the male responses, felt that this article was one-sided and should have addressed the woman's part in this situation. I am a married African American male in his mid 30's. I married my wife only after the birth of my first child. One year later, we had our second child together. She also had a child from a previous relationship that I claim as my own since her biological father does not seem to care whether or not this child is even breathing. Fellas, as a MAN, I decide the type of life my children are going to have. Yes, women have a responsibility as to who she has sex with, but a lot of us do not show our true colors until the baby comes or until we are faced with a little adversity. My wife often says that when she is in public with the kids, the first thing that white people do after noticing the kids is to look down to check her ring finger. You see, women have bear the stigma that both individuals made. We as men can just walk away and pretend that our child(ren) do not even exist. This is happening all to often. Not all black women are non marriage material. I think that we need to stop chasing the "booty-poppin" video ho and open our eyes to what is really important........Our Children.

I am being honest here but most of these black women are not worth marrying. Black women love to write detailed totally one sided arguements on this issue. Myself I think that both black women and men are extremly selfish people and the marriage rates show they cannot compromise.

I welcome any reply

you either sound like an ignorant white lady or a confused black man which ever you are i would like to say their are many strong black women that want to be heard and this is our time to shine. iam tired of the bm and ww talk about how sisters are hating on their realationships and just ruining their lives. i have never seen sisters act crazy or hateful about interacial dating. personally i think black men and white women want to be seen and like the drama, i guess it makes them happy that sisters are getting whats coming to them. like i said in my last entry Asian men are the model minority, why because of values,love for their women,love for their family,love for one another etc. if are black men continue to hate what god has gave them (black women and each other)we will never get ahead economically. Mitchell is right. in order to achieve are black men must reduce the prison rates, look towards family for resourses, have values, marriage is important. and most of all stop hating who you came from because regardless if you have a white or any other color of women on your arm, a black women will always be apart of you.

I think there is a hodge podge of experiences- positive and negative shared by both genders of the race. Some people who have posted their views share personal experiences however, these are experiences respective often times solely to their own lives or people who they know. Some want to conduct a court on this post rather than finding solutions to the gamut of scenarios posted. There are all kinds of black people being raised in all kinds of environments who espouse all kinds of values, morals and codes of conduct. Being black is a diaspora in America within itself when it comes to personal views, beliefs and values. My own personal experiences would make some of the people who have posted state that I have had 'poor judgment' in choosing fathers for my children before they were conceived. Nevertheless, a lot of mothers who are mothers of children whose fathers have neglected them are hardly at fault. Someone who is thinking would perhaps feel foolish to make broad statements that define all black men and black women to be guilty of the aforementioned emotional atrocities in relationships for they know, when looking in from the outside, things are not always as they seem. Not all blacks have had the same upbringing, academic opportunities, exposure nor emotional wherewithal to handle certain things in life. Not all black men are liars to black women in relationships and not all black women are rolling neck and eyes loud-mouths. Not all black men make excuses nor are selfish in their lives for failing to mentor other black men or male youth nor are there black women who fail to mentor younger black female youth or women. Additionally, not all black men or black women want to marry. There is a number of black women who believe they will not be able to be themselves or be appreciated enough without giving up a sense of themselves to some certain black man deep-ridden with insecurities and deficits within his person- financially, emotionally and psychologically. While Ms. Mitchell has compared the divorce rate of blacks to whites; where is the study of expectations of marriage between whites compared to blacks? Maybe there are things to take note of, in that respect. My own personal presumption of white marriages is that many white women have an opinion and are able to express it freely without having to demand that it be heard, or respected. Additionally, white men seem to be more tolerant of their wives' freedoms of expression, intellect, financial successes. And also while in bachelorhood, some white men seem to recognize the responsibility of creating the environment for a healthy relationship as well as some of the women. Their identities seem to be void of needing to be perpetuated constantly through sex and anything related to it, although they acknowledge it is an important aspect of relating to and with the opposite sex. Might I add, they seem to downplay the importance of money to the extent that a lot of our couples do, in terms of sense of self, and self-worth in regards to leadership. Some relationships in black America seem to be tainted with the theme when it comes to marriage that someone has to 'lose' and that should not be. What I do know is that the theme of being too greedy and too needy of a person especially in demanding 'gender' roles in a relationship needs to go. Also, I resent the fact that some black men think they are in the 'majority' when they speak of how black men are going to other race women- white, etc. I cannot tell you how many white men and men of other races admire black women but because of a lot of black women's refusal to give up on the overwhelmingly high amount of 'trifling' black men who make excuses for not having a healthy sense of self as a man and look to women to be of servitude so they can feel like a man-well, some of us, we stay loyal and miss out on love from other race men who would love to love us, for being us and not make it hard; kids of wedlock or not. Some of us women are simply not to be held responsible for our lack of utilizing abortions once we have realized we have been lied to and deceived. We cannot be held liable for knowing which black men are liars and unreliable always, let alone be responsible for failed birth control methods and lastly children conceived by rape. Some of us have been called enough bad names and unduly labeled by some black men, lest we now be called murderers compared to some of the wives of the arrogant judgmental black men who have been negative and posted? And lastly, some of these black men need to measure their self-worth and manhood by reasonable standards set by OTHER men apart from the men in their families knowing full well some are piss poor examples of men, let alone successful black men!

Hi Mary!

I enjoy reading your column and never thought that I would have to send in a comment personally!

My grandson's best friend, Jacoby Ramsey, was murdered on Wednesday night at 11:30 p.m. He was returning home after getting a haircut and stopping by the "Candy Store" on 79th & Langley. He headed home (80th & Champlain) and we were told that a car followed him, jumped the curb and started shooting at him. They shot him 4 times in the head and face, and 8 times in the body.

We cannot figure out why anyone would try to kill Jacoby because he was a very smart kid, lovable, and kind to everyone he met. There was no mention of him in the newspapers, on the news broadcast, or radio.

His friends had a prayer vigil for him on 81st and Evans. They brought everything that he had left at their houses and in their cars. They signed a pair of shorts, his tee-shirt, they put his Timberlands on the memorial site. There are balloons, teddy bears, and flowers.

They are sad because they are told that his family will not have a funeral. They cannot have a funeral because his face was blown off and they only way that they could identify him was by his hands and feet.

They want to say goodbye to their friend. Why was their no mention of their friend?

Mitchell Comment:

I'm so sorry to hear that there was yet another senseless murder of a young black man. Unfortunately, I can't answer your question about why there was not a news story about Jacoby Ramsey's murder. I would suggest that you direct that question to our news desk. You can reach an assignment editor at 312-321-2522.

I don't think it's about race or gender, I think it's about environment and the individual. I mean there are many white men out there who are irresponsible selfish jerks that won't take care of their kids or wives, and there are many wonderful, caring, and responsible African-American men who love their families. As for interracial dating? Well, I don't see the problem, and I don't think there's anything wrong with it. True love is colorblind.
I don't think it's fair to point fingers---it's the individual, NOT the color.

Black women don't wait. If black men don't want to make that commitment and take responsibility, marry a man of another race. I am a black woman who only dated black men. I ran into the same problems over and over. Either they were dating me and someone else or a few other people, or they were too busy caring about what "their boys" thought. I married a white man 3 years ago. He is responsible, loves me, himself and being married. Don't wait for black men to get it together. You will be waiting for the rest of your lives.

Thandie McIntosh, congrats on your marriage of three years ago. You are obviously a very smart woman and I wish you and your husband nothing but years of happiness.

Black men start holding black ladies to standards; which just because she have a degree and a nice body don't make her a good lady. I married a lady from another country; which she didn't care what material things a person have in life. U.S black ladies only cares about what a man can do for them. That's one of the big reason they don't have men. I had a chance to be with a so call college eduacated black lady; which i passed, and found me a simple lady that know how to value her man. This lady wanted to be with me, but i couldn't deal with a black lady. I looked this lady in the face and told her. I just felt i was pushed the point of no return with black ladies. The talk of black men was so negative i didn't want any part of them.Black ladies don't trash black men, because one day you will want a man you see and that man is not going to be there for you.I see some black ladies give us the eye some times, but if we are such bad men why should they care. My point Black ladies treat black men right or he will kick your ass hard to the curve!!!!!! And he will find a real lady.

Okay let's all stop trippin'on Mary and calm the hell down! I've got the answers to all these negative comments that have been made to this thought provoking article. First, Black men,if this article strikes a nerve with you, then maybe, it's because you see some truth to it? A lot of men have commented on how they're not like the men that Mary talks about in her article;well if that ain't you, then why are you trippin, huh? But, on the other hand, if the shoe fits wear it man.I guess I got something completely different out of the article then alot of people. It seems to me that she was referring to these couples that get into relationships, shack up, and have kids together but don't marry (and why is that?) I knew someone who was in a relationship with a man for 8 years with whom she had 2 children. They lived together, shared responsibilities of the bills and the kids, but when it came to marriage they struggled with the very idea. I didn't understand it. And yes there are those women out there who have this "I am WOMAN hear me roar" attitude and some of them do male bash, but that's THEM! So Black man, stop putting all Black women in that category, okay? You don't like it when women are standing around cackling like hens about how all Black men ain't no good do you? And let me say this right now, what's all this talk about women listening to their no good bitter, manless, manhating friends who have nothing better to do than try to cook up ways to destroy their girlfriends happy home? First of all, when women can't talk to their man about things because he "ain't trying to hear all that" (and "go on with that bulls#@!") then they tend to turn to their friends for some kind of support/advice (and it's not automatically advice on how to change the man but what could be done differently and how to cope when things seem hopeless AND in the majority of these conversations we tell our girlfriends how much we love our men and they understand that that's how it is) why do you think that it's always the girlfriend that's evil and rubbing her hands together plotting how to jack up their relationship? I'm saying this because I've been the girlfriend that my friends came crying to when things went wrong in their relationships and for the most part I just listened and was a shoulder for them to cry on. I didn't say anything negative about their man or even remotely suggest that they "leave him girl" and blah, blah, blah. Hell, most of the time I couldn't wait till they went home to that man so I could get some sleep!But seriously though when I did have something to say it was words of encouragement that they would get through whatever they were going through. How many of you men can say the same? C'mon don't act like you don't know what I am talking about, yall gossip and complain just as much as women do, and I've known men who would tell their partners to leave their women cuz "you ain't got to put up with that, main" Right? And yes women do bear some responsibility for bringing children into the world cuz she "spread her legs" as so many readily point out, but what about the men who beg the women to "have my baby boo" and they saying they love us and all that only to have the men leave and not want nothing to do with the woman even to the point of denying the baby. Yes she should have been smarter, should have pulled out that case of condoms from her dresser drawer and all that but he should have been smarter too! Just like she, "spread her legs" he hopped on top of her and what he's pissed that she's knocked up now and wants to put some meaning into the relationship by getting married? And yes I get the point that has been made by alot of the men on this forum that alot of these women are unmarriable and she can't cook, clean, and she don't know how to talk to the man, and she's disrespectful, but why weren't you thinking about that when you was hopping on top of her asking her whose it was?Okay so you don't wanna marry her and are appalled that someone would suggest such a dreadful thing but why do something were, married or not you are tied to her ass for life? Just like these men wanna holler about the vast knowledge and resources there are for birth control, well why didn't they think of that when they called baby for that 2am booty call? And to those who cry about being raked over the coals concerning the prospect of divorce? Shut up you babies! If you don't wanna marry then you ain't gotta, nobody's here to mandate that for you,bruh. But don't blame it on that! If you are so afraid of that then maybe you should remain on your own forever then. Both parties must have mutual love, respect,and honor for each other and be willing to do whatever it takes to make the marriage work(and even with that there's no guarantee)Black men express their frustrations with Black women and how we are so bossy, disrespectful, ungrateful and all that but just as you say that we make bad choices in men (desiring the thug, baller, player) yall ain't faring any better! Yall pick these ghetto rats, dragon nail wearin, bebe kids having females and then complain that she's taking you through some drama! You want that punani but trip when you become baby daddy #3, right? get mad when she take your butt to court for child support as if she didn't have the right. Think about that the next time your horniness starts talking to you. Bottom line Mary Mitchell is not blaming ALL Black men for the mess that society is in today with these broken homes and single parent families. Not in my view! I think she's addressing those who are playing house and are enjoying all the priveledges of that type of relationship but they still got one foot out the door and one foot in.I mean really what is up with all the excuses? If you "ain't ready" cuz you still got some more living to do, or your finances ain't right,or you ain't really feelin the girl then why are you having kids with her and why are you living with her and all that? Things that make you go hmmm...

Greetings...We must learn how to respect each others postion ,that is divinely guided by G`d...The Man is the head of the house and the Woman is the heart of the home...We must learn how to love with intelligence..That's to me is taking the Fantasy out of the marriage agreement We must come together for the best. That is to please the is G`d in us!.What matters in the relationship to G`d is to keep a clear reality of what is needed to live and grow and heal the community life as well as the furtue of the African American Family's.For any Woman or Man to turn there back on this is saying to G`d ,"You got this wrong and Iam going to show you how is should be done!
G`d dose'nt need any help!
Just step in line and get with the program of the living life.When a man is taking care of his family,he doesn't have time to get in trouble,and when he take care of his chidren,he gets to relive his childhood over again..what a deal!
What is G`d? Imam WDeen Mohammad ,leader of the largest indigenious group of Muslims has explained that in order to show due reverence to the Name of G`d Almighty,We should not use any spelling that could in the reverse menan "dog"
Thank You

Mary Mitchell is APPEALING to Black Men to marry black women. Appeal denied! We don't want to marry black women. Most black women are not worth marrying at all and we all know this. Marriage is not about charity Mary.

Now do I think it is right for men to knock up black women then leave, No. But smart non-black women stay childless when single, stay in shape, and possess myriad qualities that make them good wives and mothers. Black women don't have those qualities and can't get them due to cultural reasons and social pressures, not to mention the feminism and misandy that pervades black female thinking.

To convince a Black Man to marry a black women is to perpetrate a fraud upon him. Stay strong Black Men! Work hard, invest your money, date non-black women and only marry a feminine woman. As a matter of fact, go for the gusto and marry a white girl from another country. Yes, jealous black women will say you have self hatred, etc. Ignore that stuff because if you do stoop to marrying a black woman, you deserve all the misery you eventually get. Be better than what black women can provide. Have a wife that can give your baby good hair and a good home. Do you want your daughter to be burning her scalp with a straightening comb each week? Do you want a son with peppercorn hair? Shun black women and don't be bamboozled into a black wife.

I agree with your article. Many black men pretend that black women and white men are responsible for their promblems in america. The fact of the matter is that this is a male dominated society and white,Asian etc.Women lives are easier because their men make sure that the world respects and does not harm them. So black men say what you will, but the truth is whatever problems the race have you are at fault and thats the way history will see. like it or not.

To the guy who said black women wear weaves, fake nails and pancake makeup.
Sounds like your not dating women at all. Next time check for an adams apple.

As a happily married stay at home black mom, with a German husband and two beautiful biracial children, I have to shake my head...

Yes, the black community is obviously suffering and large segments of it are disintegrating infront of the words eyes.

There's nothing new there.

What I can't believe is the patheticness of the piece. The whole pleading with the "brothas" part. Just sad...

If black mothers are TRULY tired of seeing their daughters suffer, they need to start telling them to focus on attracting GOOD and decent, responsible, family oriented, educated, working, loving and non misogynistic men without criminal records. Statistically speaking there are FAR more white (and other non-black) men that fall into this category than black.
This is common knowledge.

Why is it that white, Asian, Hispanic, Indian, etc. women don't find themselves in the same sorry (and embarrassing) predicament as black American women? Because the VAST majority of non black women are with white and other non black men.

No one can change someone elses nature/personality! Pleading with black "men" to take care of their illegitimate children? PLEASE...LOL The whole world know's their track record in that regard.

The only control ANYONE ever has is over themselves and the situations they choose - yes choose - to get themselves involved in. Period.

Why would any thinking and attactive black woman with a head on her shoulders be waisting her time limiting herself to your average black male these days anyway?

Really, this whole discussion is truly mind-boggling to your average interracially married black woman and to non blacks.

The good thing is more and more black American women are marrying white men and leaving this sick love/hate "relationship" and bitter blame game - that black women and men love to play with each other - behind for good.

And it's about time too.

The article has merit but flaws as well. Marriage is not a relationship to be entered into lightly. Guess thats why the creator wanted us to wait until we are married for sex and family. Since he designed everything guess he knows what is best. Beyond that black males do suffer from a variety of pitfall that leave them unable to take care of families or children. We need to cultivate the black males talent and education levels so that they position themselves better for the responsiblilty of marriage and family. We as a race need to create a better economic base to facilitate the male kinda like all the other races on the planet. Wemen have a choice of who they sleep with therefore who will be the father of their children. Never sleep with a man or women you would not want to have a baby with should be the cardinal rule.

Did you ever stop to consider that someone who would make as stupid a decision as to willfully be a single mother might not make a good marriage candidate in the first place?

Black ladies of today are joke; which the only thing coming from black ladies is a lot of propaganda. Black men don't get caught up in this propaganda. If i had a dollar for every gold digging black female whore i would be rich. Black men remember you can never turn a whore into a house wife. Black ladies has been trained to think they are so better than black men. White men have been using these lies through the media for a long time. I guest black ladies are standing by their masters. They want people to think we all sell drugs, kill, or is in jail. White boys just use black ladies for sex like trash, and then try to crawl back to black men to get married. You know their not taking you home to mom. Black ladies go buy you a cat, because it's going to be long lonely life for you.

Mitchell comment:

Someone must have broken your poor heart.

Black ladies are the only ladies that isn't true to their men. Black ladies of today are very promiscuous and very loose ladies. The true fact is that black ladies simply isn't marriage material for the most part now. Black ladies are very materialistic, and gold diggers. Some have been trained to think they are better than black men. White men has used propaganda with lies through the media for a long time to try to make black men look bad, and now it looks like black ladies are taking note from their masters. The truth of matter is black men are just tired of black ladies tired games, and nasty ways. Black men go, and find you a lady that is going to value you. Black ladies turned their back on black men a long time ago, and we as black men should really open our eyes to that. Black ladies no race of men really want you, and that is a fact. So good luck to your long lonely life. Black ladies what goes around will surely come around. Black men run while you can.

Mary the good old days have gone, and will never return. Black Ladies these days are a big mental mess. Black ladies has been saying this same negative lies about black men for years, But i haven't seen them try to change them nasty attitudes. Black ladies it have to scary that no sane man the world wants you. Black men don't let these black ladies still your focus, work hard, invest your money and start a business. Black ladies have been given a break in the working world mostly because they are (black and female)Most couldn't managed the frozen food section of kroger. With so many peoples coming here to start a business from other countries, that i'm black and female is about to run out; which many of them can care less about that. WE DON'T WANT BLACK LADIES NO MORE, AND THEY KNOW IT.

Mary the good old days have gone, and will never return. Black Ladies these days are a big mental mess. Black ladies has been saying this same negative lies about black men for years, But i haven't seen them try to change them nasty attitudes. Black ladies it have to scary that no sane man the world wants you. Black men don't let these black ladies still your focus, work hard, invest your money and start a business. Black ladies have been given a break in the working world mostly because they are (black and female)Most couldn't managed the frozen food section of kroger. With so many peoples coming here to start a business from other countries, that i'm black and female is about to run out; which many of them can care less about that. WE DON'T WANT BLACK LADIES NO MORE, AND THEY KNOW IT.

Mitchell no black lady broke by heart, i was just smart enough to stay away from them. The Black ladies of today is a mental mess, and you know it. That waiting to exhale thing didn't work to well did it ladies. While black ladies was doing that Black men like myself was leaving the country to find real ladies. Thanks black ladies for making me open my eyes. Black men don't care about you no more black ladies so get a life. Mitchell i'm only telling the truth.

Look...Nowadays there is no benefit in marriage for men of ANY race. All marriage is nowadays is just a fat alimony and child support check. A ring and a piece of paper does not symbolize love...actions do, and if any woman that does not believe that I love her through my actions is not worth my time.

Well i agree with some of your points, but the female is also responsible. "Not Black Females, Females in general" do not know what/and how to pick up a good man. Not all, but some. I do believe though that if a man gets a women pregnant, its his responsibility to help take care of his child, but it goes both ways. I hope that the absence of some of our black men does make you think any less of black men, because I have nothing but positive things to say about my Black Queens. I do understand what is being said though. Trust me there are alot that aren't a good representation of what black men truly are, but there are also alot of Black Men, including myself that are good men that treat our Black Queens with nothing but the respect. Dont let the bad ones overshadow the good ones. Thats what Amerikkka wants you to do.

If you would read the isis papers by Dr. Frances Cress Welsing(a black female psychiatrist) she explains that she believes that a black male should not attempt to get married until they are 35 or older in this society. The maze that this society puts black males through based on sound statistics makes it impossible for a black male to fulfill his role as a provider at 25 years of age that a white male that is similarlry situated at 25 can provide for a family. The institutional racism in this country make it impossible for your (house of cards) logic about black marriage to add up. White America has never and still does not admit that there is a serious race problem in this country. According to newsweek magazine poll in 1969 44% of white Americans (almost half) believed that black Americans in fact had more privileges in this country than white Americans in 1969.

Even though lynching of blacks was a common occurence in 1969. Throughout the history of racial atrocities in this country white americans have never accepted responsibility and still do not accept responsibility for the realities blacks face. And because of black Americans like you who use stereotypes of black males to (toss bricks through glass houses) they can get off the hook and remain in denial. Only 6% of white Americans believe that we have a race problem in this country(12% believe elvis is still alive)More whites believe that Elvis is still living than believe their is a race problem in this country!
In 2006 according to study by the dept. of housin g and urban development the 2006 witnessed the highest level of racial housing discrimination complaints in history!
The FHA(public tax funded program) virtually created the middle class by subsidizing white america with 120 billion dollars in equity loans in the 1930,s 40,s which allowed white to leave the inner cities and move to the suburbs and leave the cities for blacks to be taxed to death because of the tax base being destroyed by the white flight. But yet 98% of these loans were given to white people. And we are on the verge of witnessing this baby boomer generation of whites retiring with 7-10 trillion dollars of wealth that this equity has appreciated to. While black were stuck in the inner cities in slums not able to get these loans living in sub standard housing and projects with taxes being raisedf while white commuted from the suburbs to work in places were they did not have to pay taxes at.
And even though every housing study over the last 75 years shows that black are 56% more likely than similarly situated whites to be rejected for mortgage loans 83% of whites believe that blacks have equal opportunity to housing!

Black americans spend 500 million with white companies a year.
Black americans are consumers and transfer half a trillion a year of wealth to the white community.

The attitude and spirit that you wrote you article in makes me wonder what kind of mythological structural reality are you relying on to assume it is that easy for blacks to just jump into marriage (which is a financial institution) in this country)

By the way i am a 41 year old black male with 2 college degrees and i own a healthcare b usiness and ai make well over 6 figure income. I have no kids and never married.

I just cannot accept your generalizations because even though I HAVE MY OWN HOUSE,BUSINESS AND SINGLE WITH NO KIDS. I have been dumped by numerous single women for married men.
I have a stutter and I am not a thug so since i dont come across like rapper or thug even though I consider myself a mans man( i have several black belts in different martial art and was all conference basketball in college) most black women dont want a relationship with me because i do not provide the illusion that they want.

Ok, so the comments by Mr. Mike/Rick show exactly the reason why black women have attitudes. We don't just get good jobs because we are black females, we get them because we are educated and know what it takes to be successful. The only thing that black women are asking of black men is to grow up! Part of growing up is also getting an education. Mike/Rick obviously has not done this since his posts are quite illiterate. Now, as a black female who is successful and has a good job due to hard work and a good education, I will say that perhaps black women should work harder to be healthier. Not only is it a shame to see so many single black women, but it is also sad for me to see so many unhealthy black individuals. Also, as a relatively healthy female, I am tired of getting hit on by black men that weigh 300lbs! You are not attractive! Get it together with some fitness, an education, and a job before you approach me. If you get a good job, you won't have to be so cheap either! (Also another reason black women have attitudes, they have to support the black male.) If you get it together, we won't have to nag. It's really sad that we have to tell you to do these things! I'm not saying this applies to every black male, but for those it doesn't apply to, my chances of meeting them and having an attraction are quite slim. So before you attack the facts of this article, make sure you have the fundamentals to make an argument.

The statistics on this website help to prove my point.
I don't want to put down black men, I just want to be proud of them. That's my frustration, and I'm sure the frustration of other successful black women.

The statistics are from 2000, but I'm sure they haven't changed too much.

http://www.chicagoreporter.com/2000/04-2000/042000%20Graphics%20The%20State%20of%20Black%20Men.htm

Wow, I really enjoyed reading the comments by both men and women. To start I believe women today go to bed to quick with these men. I believe if you to spend I couple of months with a man or woman before sleepin with him/her you will know if that is the right women for you. I am a now single women with a teenage daughter and after being a marriage for almost 20 years I have learned that men just don't respect women. Sex is expected after a couple of weeks into a relationship. Sex should come with love. Women please be strong and stand your ground when it comes to sex!!! Respect your body and stop worrying about what a man has. Most men established men is only looking for S.E.X. That's probably why a married man could probably get a women before a single man could. And another thing is I do not think that black women are not open when it come to other races, unlike the black man is. In addition some of the men I assume they are black men? seem a little defensive (I WONDER WHY)??? BLACK MEN PLEASE UNDERSTAND THERE ARE STILL GOOD BLACK WOMEN OUT HERE. I've been told countless times by people that I am not really interested in, that I am marriage material.I think it just take time to find true love. P.S. I COULD COOK AND I'M FINE. BE PATIENT. I have faith the black man. (SMILE)

Marriage is a social construct. I wish people would see that. The marriage certificate is not what is important. What is essential for any community, including black communities, is that (1)people have healthy relationships based on honest, communication, trust, love, (2) people do not bring children into the world unless and until they are ready to raise those children *together* in a stable loving household.

Whether two people have a wedding ceremony is irrelevant. Tuxedos, limos, white wedding dresses, wedding cake and photographers are not what make a strong family. BEFORE there was any concept of weddings / formal marriages, people lived together as a family. FAMILY should be the goal, not simply "marriage".

- from a sistah

Hi Mary,

What happened to all those "strong, independant black women" who "didn't need no man"???

Where did they all disappear to?

Why is it the fault of the Black Man. Most of us BM's have at least one experience with women who get "bored" and look for that exiting guy (who happen to be the least reliable ones) If a single woman has multiple children with different men isnt she at least half responsible?

This is a feminist rant disguised as a plea. it seeks to scold and shame black men into marriage. I am annoyed that you left out advising black women to marry outside of their race. your column does not seek to educate but to incite further division. the comments by esau are accurate and represent a complete response to the thesis statement of this column. michelle, your column in this case is irresponsible. do you care to respond to that?

women need to learn to respect themselves, have standards and keep their legs shut.
also its women that raise boys to become men; mothers should teach their sons to be real men, not idiots.
men and women need to raise the bar...

Its so interesting that this person has concluded that marriage is the only real unquestionable status for authentic relationships. This is equivalent to saying the same shoes should fit everyone who wants to walk the street without getting their feet dirty. Well, yes it can work but there are a multitude of shoes which could achieve this. And what about those people who don't mind getting their feet dirty?

Statistics show that increasingly marriage is in decline and divorce is continually rising. Clearly something is not working for everyone. Why not acknowledge this and at the same time the creative ways in which both men and women find to continue walking the street without getting their feet dirty. Are they not also equally valid ?

Instead of assuming its the men or women wearing the shoes who are to blame perhaps it might actually be the shoes!!!

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mary Mitchell published on November 2, 2006 10:48 AM.

Guest Essay: Why be a victim. was the previous entry in this blog.

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