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.