What exactly is a "Good Black Man"?

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I know that question seems kind of dumb, and everyone will have a different definition replacing some key elements here and there, but seriously, let’s talk about this. These days as women, particularly black women, are fretting about being independent and yet still single you often hear the phrase “I’m out here looking for a good black man.” This is saying that there’s a pool of black men out there, some are good, but most are bad, therefore this search is often difficult.

I don’t like that.

I especially don’t like that because often times I believe the criteria for “good” is lacking in real substance. I hear these women out there talking about having STANDARDS, and I agree wholeheartedly that one should have them. Hell, I have a pretty strict set of standards as well. My only issue is that half the time these standards have very little to do with what I believe make a relationship thrive. A pretty common concept for black women is having a man that has what they have i.e. a degree, corporate/impressive job, etc. However, nowhere in the rule books does it say that a degree guarantees that he will love you, nowhere in the rule books does it say that his job will keep him from slapping you across the room. The only thing the rule books say in that regard is that crappy people are crappy people regardless of what they have in life. Truth be told, and it pains me to say this, but “having what you have” is going to be harder and harder to find as the gap in education gets wider. That doesn’t necessarily mean the gap in good men is getting wider. Hell I know several people who have degrees and have no job, does that automatically stack them in the evil, undateable, unworthy pile? Not to me at least.

So please, can someone explain to me what this mysterious Good Black Man is all about? People talk about him as if he is a Centaur (no Iota…JOKES!), or a unicorn, or the lochness monster. People swear that the only ones that exist are snatched up by white women, or men with Prada shoes. This makes me laugh because I look around my circle of friends and I see PLENTY of Great Black Men. We’re in our twenties so many of them don’t have that first million in the bank. Chances are many of them never will only because that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. Sure we all want to be millionaires but the world aint big enough for all of us. But these men are great. Perfect? Of course not. However they have vision, goals, plans, put in hard work for the people they love, and they are just generally great to be around. Yet and still, while being their friend I’ve seen many a woman abuse what they had to offer, or leave them high and dry for that “greener grass” that amounted to nothing more than a financial upgrade.

Now I’m painting with a broad brush here but it seems that when women are looking for a “Good Black Man” what they are really wanting to see is his resume, not his character. Good School? Check. Good Job? Check. Own Property? Check. Check Check Check. Meanwhile overlooking the fact that he aint about a dang thing. I’m not saying these things aren’t great, but they can’t be the sole factors we consider. I’ve seen people fall for the above things without even considering the rest.

Sure I understand that you want security, but what if a man could provide that without a degree? Or without the pretty job? Would those things still matter? For the super-duper independent woman that laments how much she’s got her own and she doesn’t care what he’s talking, does it matter to you his pedigree? Since you have all that you could desire minus the man, it would seem to me that all you would be looking for is a man of the highest quality character regardless of what he owns. Yet and still, sometimes it’s these highly paid, highly successful, Benz driving women, that are out there boo-hooing because they can’t find a man that’s more successful, more paid, and driving a Benz and a Rover since that’s what they deserve for amassing their riches. It’s funny because you will see a million dollar man with a five dollar woman. This always shocks and astonishes women. “Why is he with her?”…. maybe because he likes her for more than her bank account or her accolades.

I’m just going to be honest with you. I’ve never concerned myself with these things, and I think it’s paid off. One of the men I dated in the past had little to nothing in terms of networth. Had a degree, but barely had a job, didn’t have a flashy car, or a swanky spot, but I completely only saw him. While he and I didn’t work out, I can fast forward to now and see that he’s very successful, and doing quite well for himself. He just needed time. When it comes to relationships, I’ve always been pretty lucky to find someone that if the bottom fell out, we would be okay. Clearly they didn’t always work out, but the material stuff was never an issue yet we were always okay. I can say my current Gentleman Situation is the same. Should the flashing lights disappear we would still be kickin. To me that’s what’s most important. Remember things can be here today, gone tomorrow. So when defining that “Good Black Man” look a little bit deeper. Also, chances are you walk past him every single day, put a smile on your face, maybe he’ll stop. Open your eyes a little bit, and maybe he’ll stay.

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8 Responses

  1. Thank you for saying what many women have been unable to say. There are a small percentage of us who think like this and have thrown out the common “lists.”Some of us actually look at the character of a man more than his bank account. Well written JG!

    T

  2. Once again you are right on the money girlie. Stuff can easily come and go as the economic situation has taught us. Good character can get you much further than a fat bank account ever could. Love that you ladies love the people and not the possessions. It’s good to know that I’m not the only one out there.

    K.Denise

  3. I am he. That is all.

  4. Ok…JG. Thoughts collected, life left me alone. Here goes.

    With some women I think there’s a strong disconnect between what they say they want vs. what their percieved societal perception will allow. It seems that in additions to the standards they have for the type of relationship they want, there also lies an achievement quota. The achievement quota comes before what they want though. From the stories I’ve heard, it seems like some of todays women are playing the field with an NBA live perspective where the best players (pun intended) have the most points, highest field goal percentage, most dunks, most steals, but may lack in assists, blocked shots, and they often foul out of the game.

    Most women want a man that’s intelligent, funny, spiritual, well read, and caring to at least get involved with initially. But if that man doesnt meet the statistical achievement categories, then he’s cut before he ever got a chance to show what he could do. I’m not making excuses for anyone, however, I do think that educational and professional achievements are important. I also feel that each person should set the bar on where they want to go in life. I think we all (men and women) should be measured by our ambitions as well as our ability to reach our goals. I think that tells a lot more than any accolades achieved.

  5. I had to read this article twice just to make sure I got the full understanding and depth of your words. Your viewpoint is very refreshing for me, as a black man that considers himself “good”, to know that there are still good women out there that understand what it really means for a person to be good.

    Women who choose to use this “scale of success” as a means to evaluate a potential mate have rejected me in the past. From the outside looking in I have no college education and I decide not to display my means openly so they choose to pass for “the upgrade” not knowing I’m a very successful entrepreneur. However this is not my point…. I agree with you 100%! The number of 0’s in a bank account cannot measure the size of a man’s heart or how he will treat you.

    As a matter of fact if we want to keep this discussion real you usually find an inverse effect. NOT ALL but for most men when they get a little bit of money and power they tend to sway further from the straight and narrow path and could honestly be classified as a “bad man”! Ask yourself does a poor man named Tiger Woods that works at Kroger for $6/hr have 10 mistresses and counting?

    So how do we fix this? Well ladies I’m sorry but the pressure falls back on you. Do you know the reason why women created this Job Degree Credit Score Card? {Drum Roll Here} For other women! Women need to stop competing on every level and be happy with themselves and each other.

    What do I mean? If Women “A” comes to ladies night out and start talking with her girls about the “Doctor” she just started dating and how he’s taking her to Jamaica next week Women “B” now can not follow up with the story of the nice security guard she just meet last month because without saying a word all the women around the table begins to compare “Doctor vs. Rent-A-Cop” and now look at Women “B” like something is wrong with her and her STANDARDS!

    I will close with one word to the men. We can help this process by doing this one important thing “Stop Trying To Buy Love/Dates”. Instead of trying to go to the most expensive restaurant or flying this women you just meet around the world get to know her, so she can get to know you. This is not an invitation to be cheap by no means fellas however when dating you should be putting you best foot not wallet forward…

    So to everyone it’s time to get back to the basics and put down the masks we all hide behind this is the only what to find a “GOOD MAN”, “GOOD WOMEN” and a “GOOD LIFE”!

  6. @Shaun Smoot, Thank you for commenting! You are proof that a man can be a provider without that fancy piece of paper. Funny thing is, I know few women who don’t care whether or not an athlete, or a musician, or celebrity period has a degree. “Average Joes” don’t get that courtesy. So thank you for stopping by, and sharing. 🙂

  7. There needs to be dialogue such as this. I am so sick of the media creating hysteria about this issue. I’m even more angry at black women for ingesting this bs.

    There are many men who can be considered “bad,” which I translate to mean unfit for a healthy relationship, but there are also plenty of black men that are willing and able to carry on a mature and meaningful relationship.

    If you shop at Walmart you can get the nicest item there, but it’s still Walmart. Stop shopping at that shithole. Straight up. Ok, this analogy isn’t the greatest but I refuse to lie down and assume that black women are outnumbered and woe is me.

    The laws of nature say that like attracts like. So, if you attracting all these “bad” men you might want to examine you role in the mix.

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