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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

‘Nightline’ looks at successful black women’s relationship struggles

Photo: ABC/Guy D'Alema

See tonight's show, then discuss it on my follow-up blog Thursday morning. (ABC/Guy D'Alema)

You will definitely want to watch, record, or hold a viewing party for “Nightline Face-Off” on ABC, airing tonight at 11:35 p.m.  The hot topic on the debate table was why successful black women can’t get a man. Not only was the debate taped locally in Decatur earlier this month, yours truly was there to witness it all!  That’s right, people, the relationship revolution will be televised…tonight on ABC!

The debate moderators included author and radio host Steve Harvey and Nightline’s Vicki Mabrey.  The lively and decidedly entertaining panelists included CSI star, Hill Harper, journalist/VH1 star Jacque Reid, Comedian and ‘The View’ panelist Sherri Shepherd and author Jimi Izrael. Atlanta’s own Dr. Tartt (and Misadventures in Atlanta guest blogger!) was featured as an audience guest panelist as well, as was soon to be published author, Helena Andrews. Andrews is the author of an upcoming memoir that will include stories about her “crazy dating trials and triumphs in Washington, D.C.

As I sat in the audience, I found the dialogue to be honest and intense at times. Thankfully, there was also a great deal of laughter and fun.  I actually came away with, dare I say, more hope?  I was happy this town hall debate afforded me a chance to recruit a new Love Squad panel. I pitched them a couple of questions that came to mind from the face-off.  Let’s meet them and hear what they had to say!

What are the hurdles professional black women face when fishing in a relatively small dating pond? Do you think these hurdles are more difficult in Atlanta or easier to overcome?

Bren Herrera, 30, Atlanta. Education:  Post-Graduate.  Industry: Entertainment

I could totally relate to Bren: “Discerning a man’s intent and genuine interest has been a problem.  I attribute that to having entirely too many options and ultimately, a lack of preparedness to settle down. Coming from DC, where the ratio of black men to black women isn’t half as bad as it is in Atlanta, dating here seems much more obscure and a ‘game’ of sorts. There are so many women here, men have taken the liberty in being dishonest, driven by their ulterior motives or just immaturity.

Kenneth 35, Atlanta. Education: Currently in graduate school.  Occupation: Consultant, Minister, Relationship Coach.

Kenneth believes that the many hurdles successful black women face are complex. They include:  media influence; misconception that men are intimidated by them;  a misunderstanding of their relationship value. He mused, “Professional black women may encounter greater distractions in Atlanta than other cities, but this can be attributed to the social competition and materialism that exists.

Allen, 27, Lilburn. Education: College Degree.  Occupation: Business Analyst

When I think about the topic of dating/marriage in the educated black community, I just wonder if we can ever go back to our traditional roles.  A lot of my friends and I want a woman that has aspirations to be a good homemaker as well as a career woman. We also don’t think that the educated successful women enjoy being in a submissive role.

I think our love squad raised some wonderful points! Some things I hadn’t though about. Do you agree or disagree with them? How would you answer the panel questions?

Rodney Ho, Sherri Shepherd discuss her ‘Nightline’ experience in his Radio & TV Talk blog

559 comments Add your comment

Lady J-Lioness

April 21st, 2010
8:31 am

Interesting to say the least…my good friend attended this affair and was updating me on everyone’s take…….gathering my thoughts for a sound response…..

Good morning and happy hump day!

SoJo

April 21st, 2010
8:33 am

Hey, Wise! :-) You know that I told everyone that I was “off that” relationship discussion in 2010. But I trust your opinion and if you say that the panel was refreshing, I’m gonna tune in!

Professor...

April 21st, 2010
8:49 am

Hola!

Well I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. I am sick and tired of this topic not matter how it is disguised. Black women and dating appears to be the new Hot Topic and IMO it is an overkill.

Allen, stated A lot of my friends and I want a woman that has aspirations to be a good homemaker as well as a career woman. We also don’t think that the educated successful women enjoy being in a submissive role.

Allen, my suggestion to you is this #1 don’t put all women in a “pot” instead focus on the woman you are dating to see if she enjoys being in a submissive role. And, #2 you mention being a good homemaker as well as a career woman. Please expand on how much of a homemaker you want her to be. If she is gone over 1/3 of her day earning wages and maintaining a career, are you expecting her to come home cook, clean, raise children, make flower arrangements and mend socks while giving good loving and supporting you? What ever happened to attainable goals? If having a homemaker is important to you, you should make enough money to have her at “home” so that she does not have to work.

Lady J-Lioness

April 21st, 2010
8:51 am

speaking of Hill Harper…..I did a little research and discovered more about him bc he seems aloof to me…..I brought his book “The Conversation for my good friend for her bday instead of giving her a gift card….She loves the book and told me some other interesting facts about Hill……I will be getting the book for myself soon as I must say I am interested in the read……still pondering the subject as it seems 2010 and the black woman and relationships has been a major current event I am some how lost for words bc everyone has an opinion which isn’t good or bad I think I am just numb to the topic….lol

Lady J-Lioness

April 21st, 2010
8:53 am

Professor we were thinking the same thing!!!!! LMAO!!!!

Professor last night’s class went well and my paper came together!!!! Thanks for assisting me!!!

Professor...

April 21st, 2010
8:57 am

Hey Lady J!

I am glad class went well and your paper came together. As for assisting you anytime, chica. You know I am proud of you!

Lady J-Lioness

April 21st, 2010
8:59 am

awwwww thanks professor!!!!!!!

Mo (aka Moeisha )

April 21st, 2010
9:02 am

Lady J – I have Hill Harper’s book and Im reading it now. So far, so good, has some interesting info….

Professor – yeah this topic is being beat into the ground lately. Its everywhere, however I am waiting for the black women that are in good relationships to weigh in on this

Lady J-Lioness

April 21st, 2010
9:06 am

Mo I will be geting it very soon……It will be my early summer read as it looks like due to budget cuts I won’t be working summer school:( LOL I need a summer job….I hate not working everyday although I do need a real break as I still will have class! LOL

Lady J-Lioness

April 21st, 2010
9:07 am

I just became open to Hill Harper I was very close minded about him is my overall point….the brother has something to say and I am happy I brought a cool gift for my soror…..lol I hate giving gift cards sometimes….lol

Professor...

April 21st, 2010
9:11 am

Reasons why I am sick of this topic:

1. A decade or two ago the black man was the “hot topic” all were either dead, in prison or on drugs. I am still not sure where my daddy fell because he was neither of the three. :???:

2. This topic has done nothing to solve the so-called problem. :roll: Instead of talking about no mates for the black woman I would like to see some solutions. Hell if nothing else allow polygamy or give a tax write off to those black women that are finding black men to marry if it is that deep.

3. Steve Harvey, Steve Harvey, Steve Harvey does not have any authority to talk. Well that would be any valid reasons outside making a buck, because look at his track record.

4. I know some happy couples. Shoot I don’t know Tazzee personally, but her story is a great story. Black love is happening everyday, so there is no reason to stop the press or make it a headline story when the love is not successful or unfound by the seeker.

5. Everyone is not ready for a relationship. Just because I am a BW, unmarried or perhaps single does not mean I am sitting in the corner depressed over a man. I am still dropping it like its hot, traveling, hanging out with friends, and believe it or not juggling dates with black men all while enjoying life and cherishing every minute of it.

So, I am not speaking for all BW, but this BW is doing her thing and enjoying every minute of it with no regrets or remorse.

Respectfully Submitted,

Professor :grin:

Lady J-Lioness

April 21st, 2010
9:13 am

pass the collection plate and it is time for brunch!!!!! Well said Professor! LMBAO!

Professor...

April 21st, 2010
9:14 am

Mo/Lady J,

I haven’t came around to reading his book. I go in stages in my reading and I have not gotten around to feeling like reading him. Hopefully I will check him out.

Professor...

April 21st, 2010
9:18 am

Thanks Lady J,

I could use some brunch and maybe a mimosa if we are going to keep beating this dead topic. :grin:

Lady J-Lioness

April 21st, 2010
9:21 am

I want some salmon patties and scamble eggs with cheese and fresh fruit and a mimosa and I am good!!!!!!!! LOL

Mo (aka Moeisha )

April 21st, 2010
9:21 am

Professor I totally agree with your last post chica! Thats why I said Im waiting for women in relationships to weigh in. Like you said, I dont know Tazzee or Raqi but their stories are great. I also have a few friends in great relationships. I would like to hear more about the women in relationships.

Lady J the whole not working thing is a beast chica! But you could enjoy some of that time! :0)

DreamsMaterialize

April 21st, 2010
9:23 am

Morning
Are we on this topic again? I won’t say too much about it because I know kimmie is going to bust the blog door down and say it all for me. Get ‘em kimmie.

I’ll just offer this. Good people ARE finding each other. If you (including me) haven’t found a good person yet, either you (including me) aren’t that good or it’s just not time yet. That said, I love my sistas, and despite what people say, I see your shine…always have.

Lady J-Lioness

April 21st, 2010
9:24 am

I’ll just offer this. Good people ARE finding each other. If you (including me) haven’t found a good person yet, either you (including me) aren’t that good or it’s just not time yet. That said, I love my sistas, and despite what people say, I see your shine…always have.

Great assessment from a good dude! DreamsM great Post!!!!!!!

Professor...

April 21st, 2010
9:26 am

Lady J,

Stop you are making me hun-gree! I lave me some salmon patties! BTW, Leggs helped me to get my recipe straight so I feel like a pro when I cook them at home.

Mo (aka Moeisha )

April 21st, 2010
9:27 am

ok not to just swipe the blog topic but was anyone listening to v-103 this morning? The stats on child molestation and the story of the author on this morning has tears streaming down my face! :shock:

Sassy Me..Sun Kissed :-)

April 21st, 2010
9:27 am

Professor ^5 on that 9:11 and from one BW to another that post is the shyt and I totally agree. I’m so tired of this topic…

pass the collection plate…..SassaFrass droppin some $$ and passing to the right

I just had breakfast but Lady J that menu sure sounds good.

i'm swiss

April 21st, 2010
9:27 am

Morning everyone. Sooo… not much to offer on this topic, but I do have a question: What is the story with this whole ratio thing? Does anyone have any actual numbers on this? Here are the overall numbers (without regard to race) that I found:

Fulton County
Population in July 2008: 537,958. Population change since 2000: +29.2%
Males: 267,025 (49.6%)
Females: 270,933 (50.4%)

So, where’s the disparity? Is it just black men who are in short supply? Or maybe single men? (Though, that seems improbable, since if they’re attached, they must be attached to someone, right?) I know there are a lot of gay dudes in Atlanta, but there are equally as many gay women here, seems to me, so that should be more or less a wash… What am I missing?

And I’m not trying to be a smart-@ss (for once) — I’m seriously asking… ;-)

Professor...

April 21st, 2010
9:28 am

DreamsM,

That 9:23 is so true!

Professor is twiddling her thumbs waiting on Kimmie, like DreamsM said

Lady J-Lioness

April 21st, 2010
9:28 am

sassy that is good brain food!!!!! I love all kinds of fish!!!!! LOL

Professor...

April 21st, 2010
9:31 am

@Mo I heard part of V-103 and like you I had tears in my eyes. It seems like you cannot trust your children with anyone family, friends, preachers etc.

@ Sassy…thanks lady!

Lady J-Lioness

April 21st, 2010
9:33 am

awww professor why I am going to buy some salmon today…lol I think I wants grits tonight vs. rice…….lol……

Mo (aka Moeisha )

April 21st, 2010
9:35 am

Lady J – yeah that menu sounds tasty chica!

Professor – I already have lemon pepper wings (lemon pepper mild wings) on tap for lunch! Sad that it will be after my workout but oh well! :smile: While listening to the radio I was overwhelmed! And I plan to check out that book as well but I see im going to have to really brace myself, her story is right up there with Precious’!

Hey Dreams & Swiss!

For Real

April 21st, 2010
9:35 am

Wise: “fishing in a relatively small dating pond” – This is called leading a witness. You wanted a negative response to dating so you lead the panel with a negative aspect of dating. Your question should have been:

“What are the aspects of dating that professional black women enjoy? Do you think these dating aspects are easy to find in Atlanta?” – That is if you wanted a solution to the so called dating problem of professional black women.

Look if you have a problem with dating it’s not because of your level of education or your level of take home pay. You problem with dating is YOU! Take responsibility for your life. After all, it’s YOUR LIFE and you are absolutely 100% responsible for every single thing that happens in YOUR LIFE!!!

Education and Salary doesn’t overcome:

Non-accountable ( ain’t nothing ever your fault)
Bad Attitude
Selfishness
Mean Spirited
Baggage
Judgementalish (thanks Jessie for that one)
Entitlement (or I deserve)
Femininity (a lack thereof or too much of in some cases)
Weight
Hygiene
Manners

Oh and I know yo momma and daddy told you are the most beautiful person in the world but sorry beauty is in the eye of the beholder and ain’t nothing education and salary can do about that. Well salary might be able to buy you a relationship of some kind.

Dan

April 21st, 2010
9:37 am

@Swiss

The population totals that you posted, does include men and women in prison, mental facilities, nursing homes, etc.

A different set of numbers would define the age range without ^^those people, and be a more accurate reflection of the disparity (if one exists).

Hi everbody! (using the Dr. Nick voice)

SexyCool

April 21st, 2010
9:37 am

Three Words Daily – Life goes on.

PrincessNik

April 21st, 2010
9:38 am

I agree with Professor and Dreams M, and I will add i’m so absolutely over this topic.

Lady J that Hill Harper “The Conversation” was a really good book, I think with where you are in your relationship with yourself, you will really enjoy.

Professor and Lady J, can I join ya’ll for brunch, ummm I wanna go to Folks LOL

PrincessNik

April 21st, 2010
9:39 am

grits tonight vs. rice

Lady J, you leaving the SC in you behind on that note LOL

For Real

April 21st, 2010
9:41 am

Swiss: “What am I missing?” – You are missing the “I can’t find a man and it most certainly can’t be because of ME so it must be due to a lack of men. That’s what you are missing.

abc

April 21st, 2010
9:41 am

This is just one aspect of the AA malaise. I’m not quoting the stats again in here, but until the culture faces them in a real way, nothing is going to change.

Randyt (aka Been there, Done that, Got a Closet FULL of t-shirts)

April 21st, 2010
9:43 am

As a “token white, middle-aged, OTP, male”, I am probably the least qualified to express an opinion on this subject. That said, I find my response to this as an offshoot of Prof’s #1 and #2 comments above. In an earlier career I discovered a fundemental truth about life…”perception IS reality”. What I am saying is that if the media and population embrace a myth long enough, it tends to become reality because people assume that it true and begin to emulate or build their belief system around this fabrication (with the exception of some people who are not lemmings and realize/discover that their reality is what they make it). The media/entertainment industry propagates myths like those described above to the point that people begin to believe them. Case in point “all men lie and cheat”. No, all men do not lie and cheat, but as more and more people begin to embrace this, more men think that behavior is acceptable and normal…and it becomes a truth.

The same is true with the myths about black women. Your reality is what YOU make it. Don’t buy into the BS that “this is always true, or this is always this way”. It only is reality if YOU let it be. Don’t ever be a lemming, make your own destiny.

Luvbug

April 21st, 2010
9:45 am

Professor – Agree.

I guess that still feeds into the hype though…next topic will be…BLACK WOMEN LASHOUT AGAINST BLACK WOMEN HEADLINES – MY GOD THEY JUST CAN’T STOP BEING ANGRY!!!

…pan to reel of King Kong destroying buildings

SexyCool

April 21st, 2010
9:45 am

Um, yeah….thinking about all this gives me a headache. I’m retreating to the shallow end of the pool on this one.

SexyCool

April 21st, 2010
9:49 am

The Essence FB page is also discussing this topic today.

i'm swiss

April 21st, 2010
9:50 am

“The population totals that you posted, does include men and women in prison, mental facilities, nursing homes, etc.”

Okay… although I’m not certain that they do, but let’s run with that… Those numbers were for Fulton county alone. The total prison population in the entire state of GA is roughly 60,000 — the vast majority of which is outside of Fulton county in south & middle GA. There’s really one men’s prison, plus a couple of transitional centers — which have small populations — in Fulton, so let’s be generous and say 5000 male inmates in Fulton. But then again the largest female prison in the state is also in Fulton, so that cuts into that discrepancy quite a bit. I seriously doubt there are more men than women in nursing homes — in fact, I’d think quite the opposite, as women live longer on average. It still seems to me that this whole imbalance is more perception than reality. I’d be curious to see some actual numbers on single, un-incarcerated, men & women, broken down by age, race, income, etc… So far I haven’t been able to find any…

PrincessNik

April 21st, 2010
9:50 am

The Essence FB page is also discussing this topic today

when isn’t essence or some entity of essence discussing this topic :roll:

lurker

April 21st, 2010
9:51 am

We’re going into overkill on this topic. I’m sick of seeing every associated with the negative, tied to black folks. Aids? Black folks lead. Hypertension? Black folks lead Single Parents? Black folks lead Ain’t got a man? Black women front and center. There are many good and positives associated with black folks….why ain’t nobody screaming that?!

I agree with Professor’s numbered reasons for being sick of this topic. And yeah, Steve Harvey needs to go sitdown somewhere. After committing every faux pas imaginable, something is wrong if you can’t write a book. Let’s read from some man or woman that made it through, trial and errors and all, the first go round and make it stick. That’s who I want giving advice. Not some chump that got it to stick (so he says) after 3,4,5,6,7 ties.

lurker

April 21st, 2010
9:52 am

times..I meant

Lady J

April 21st, 2010
9:53 am

PK LMBAO I am soooooo iver rice!!!!!

Lady J

April 21st, 2010
9:54 am

meant over!!!!!

Lady J

April 21st, 2010
9:55 am

sexycool love your three words LIFE GOES ON!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good One!!!!

abc

April 21st, 2010
9:55 am

lurkerPeople aren’t trumpeting the positive that much because the negatives are so remarkable. When almost 80% of AA babies in a year are born to single mothers, and so many of them are minor children themselves, there’s a serious problem with the culture. Other races don’t have those kinds of numbers.

But I’m not quoting ANY OTHER STATS! It’s pointless. People don’t want to even talk about actions on the actionable.

Mo (aka Moeisha )

April 21st, 2010
9:56 am

ok so its agreed, the topic has been beaten dead, been buried, etc……NEEEEEEXT!!!

so whats the new topic!

Lady J

April 21st, 2010
10:00 am

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Lady J

April 21st, 2010
10:02 am

PK great observation good buddy!!!!!!! I will get it sat!

For Real

April 21st, 2010
10:02 am

RandyT: ”perception IS reality” – So not true! How can someone delusions be my reality?