By Jineea Butler
In the latest urban movies, “Best Man Holiday” and “A Madea’s Christmas,” I thought it was interesting that each featured a Black woman in a relationship with a White man. In today’s climate we are used to successful Black men dating White women but the introduction of the successful Black woman and White men is a new twist in movies. Since the appointment of President Obama and his lovely wife Michelle, I’ve recognized the relatively new influx of looks I get from Caucasian professionals giving me that ‘I think Michelle is hot and you are too’ look.
In a “Best Man Holiday,” Nia Long’s character Sydney brings her new flame to the gathering with longtime friends. Not only were they accepting, they welcomed B-MAC as Taye Diggs jokingly referred to him. In “A Madea’s Christmas, “ the “Have and Have Nots” star Tika Sumpter is secretly married to a NYU agriculture graduate who also happens to be White.
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with interracial dating, I find it odd that two major productions released during the holidays chose to represent these images. The implications are far more than just characters in film. When you take attractive women such as Nia Long and Tika Sumpter and pair them with good looking White men, you’re not just selling movies, you’re being suggestive. Even in “Act Like a Woman, Think Like A Man,” Gabrielle Union’s character dates Turtle from the popular HBO series turned movie “Entourage.”
I believe Hollywood is offering an alternative to go along with the national attack on Black men. In most of our minds, the image of the Black Man is tarnishing, but the Black woman has always stayed by the Black man – up until now. Look at the pit bull in a skirt, Rapper Eve who recently accepted a marriage proposal from British Fashion Designer Maximillion Cooper. Eve is a perfect indication that even the toughest home girl is changing her tune. Why would the former girlfriend of “Love and Hip Hop” star Stevie J leave America for the American Dream?
One has to wonder has the Black woman begun to throw in the towel along with the rest of America. Why shouldn’t we? Black men are not breaking their necks to make sure we stay within the comforts of their midst. In fact, it’s the opposite: 72 percent of Black children are being raised in single family homes, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. That’s a statistic that says we are not planning for families; it also suggests that we don’t think it’s an important goal, and we are not making very wise decisions.
We can always argue all of the obstacles in the way of Black men hinder them from being completely focused and successful husbands, fathers and sons, but what are they doing about it? Are we as Black women supposed to stick around and wait until these men turn 70 and realize they should have treated the women in their life better? Or should we begin to think about catching up with the rest of the society we live in and demand sustainable relationships and marriages.
A UC Berkeley Sociologist Gerald Mendelson said Blacks are interested in moving up the power structure and one way you do is through intermarriage with a dominant group. Look at Janet Jackson’s marriage to billionaire Wissam Al Mana following a relationship with So-So Def’s Jermaine Dupri. It is almost like Black women are beginning to reject the unnecessary madness we seem to get when we relentlessly dedicate ourselves to that life. The whole world would like to see the Black man overcome his obstacles and be all that he is destined to be. But it’s nothing compared to the heart of the Black woman who knows the soul of a Black man. Who knows that the Black man is more powerful than any creature on this earth, that he possesses the ability to be king over everything and then some. His own fear of success hinders his movements and his decisions, his insecurities overpower his will to venture into the unknown while his friends in misery love his company.
And where does that leave the Black woman? Desolate, out of place, unprotected and searching for her missing piece. For years, we have carried the weight; prison sentences, infidelity, verbal and physical abuse, thinking one day that he will see that we have sacrificed, see that we understand and have held the torch without fail. But no. The pain is too deep for him to bear, he is not comfortable being naked in his vulnerability, he wants to be the man, he wants what they took from him. It occupies his every move and we become objects in his quest to find what he doesn’t know he is looking for. Alas, the perfect opportunity to send us back into a slavery mindset. Killing ourselves because no one taught us how to care about ourselves. SMH, I expect more out of you Black man, more accountability, more responsibility, more effort, more love. Thank you in advance.
Jineea Butler, founder of the Social Services of Hip Hop and the Hip Hop Union is a Hip Hop Analyst who investigates the trends and behaviors of the community and delivers programming that solves the Hip Hop Dilemma. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet her at @flygirlladyjay