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


April 22nd, 2010
2:21 am

Many Black Women don’t look at the real issues as to why they are not appealing as good Mates or Partners. It could be Physical Appearance, Children, or Personality problems. Many Black Women have a house full of children, weigh 200-lbs, but think they are something special because they have a job.


April 22nd, 2010
6:46 pm

That’s my frat brother up there going crazy on this blog! “AlphaMan 1906″ lol. But most of what he said was true without all the sugar coating. Yes, for any black man to NOT take advantage of the ratio down here in ATL will be crazy! Me and my frat brother “AlphaMan 1906″ are in our mid 20’s, single, no kids, good jobs, and own our own homes. We are in the PRIME of our lives so yeah we are going to have fun.

However, I know myself being 28 that there is a limit to how much fun I can have because I know there are evil, kiniving, and diseased women out there. One day I will have to settle down but not with just anyone with a pretty face. When I do come across a woman; her being successful or not, I just want her to know how to love a man, treat a man, and know how to talk/touch a man. Believe it or not…. MOST women don’t know how to do that. I been dating women just as long as women been dating men, and I can only count on 2 fingers of women I met that truly understands men.

As Steve Harvey said, no man is intimidated by women and we are not complex creatures. We are easy to be satisfied and born to be leaders and providers, and when that doesnt happen yes we may feel ashamed. But by all means we are NEVER INTIMIDATED or INFERIOR to you! Women think they got it all figured out…. that since they may be attractive, got some things going for themselves, e.t.c.. that that they know how to treat a man. Well I got some news for you….. most guys can give a sh*t what kind of car you drive, what kind of purse you wear, how much dough you roll in, e.t.c. And throwing sex at a guy doesn’t win him over either. It’s the simple things like not talking back, not cocking attitudes all the damn time, knowing how to cook, rubbing your man back and feet when he gets off work REGARDLESS if you are mad at him about something, Knowing how to pray when things get tough instead of barking up his back asking for a miracle, panicing and fussing, satisfying him sexually WHENEVER he wants it, I mean… I can go on and on. But there is one word to summarize this. SUBMIT!!! Men needs SUBMISSION!!!!! WAKE UP and SMARTEN up women! We are not rocket SCIENCE!

AlphaMan 1906

April 22nd, 2010
7:04 pm

TO Rochelle, I love you too! lol!
And I have news for ya….White Men & other races are no different!



April 23rd, 2010
12:16 am

This is a topic that’s been beat to death but without stating real reasons. Society is passing the idea AAW r doing something wrong and we should lower our expectations in order to obtain a man. With or without being in a relationship AAM r doing poorly. WF r not the smartest or sexist females they have one advantage WM (father’s, brother’s, husbands) support them allowing them to be female. Now AAW r saying to AAM if I can get out here then so can u. They’ve been putting it to AAM if u want me to be a woman be a man. I applaud AAW. Now it’s time for AAM to get onboard society has passed the AAM over and now AAW r passing him over. That’s the real reason AAM r dating outside their race. AAW don’t need to turn around and lower their standards switch to someone that fills those standards
AAF have a problem dating outside their race bc the dating language is different. I think AAF r waiting for other races to show up with the same swagger as the AAM. Instead of giving up all your values to accommodate an AAM have a conversation with a man outside your race u may find u have more in common with another race than u do with AAM.
Steve Harvey is trying to sale books. He’s making his money on AAW. He as a man has no leadership abilities. AAM need to work on owning their own publishing agencies, construction companies. The only one that’s out there doing it is Tyler Perry and Obama. The rest r taking advantage of what the WM has put in place including the security of his woman. I have faith that Brothers will get it together but it’s not about dating it’s about being men.

Mizz Bird

June 28th, 2010
8:53 am

I must admit the professor has a wonderful point posted on April 21,2010 @ 8:49am. My My My if I am not sick and tired of our black men expecting us to be their wife and mother and homie and lady and maid and chef and secretary. Black men are needy maybe thats why we have the need to be single. I just had this same conversation with my husband the other day about how we can only do so much. Yet, we are suppose to go out and earn a living with one hand and fry chicken with the other. Its either one or the other. I had a man who expected me to get off working 12 hour shifts and make breakfast….gimme a break. Make the bacon and I will cook it…If I got to make the bacon and cook it, I would rather eat alone.

Mizz Bird

June 28th, 2010
9:06 am

Ambassador…..please, you need to have a seat and a lesson on real women. So we should submit to you? why? what the hell makes you so grand that a women needs to submit to you? Let that be the reason “28 and single” is in that paragraph. I suggest you invest in a robot..because that women that you are trying to build is totally fictional and all in your head. Satisfy you sexually whenever you want…..I feel like fallin out laughin…boy please grow up and find reality. “Not talking back” LMAO….these are women not your daughters dum dum….think about this…what would your mother think if she read your post? You sound like a ignorant lil boy who wants control and cant reach the button. Grow up kid.

[...] I thought about a statement someone made during the taping of ABC Nightline ’s Face Off: Why Can’t A Successful Black Woman Find a Man [...]


July 19th, 2010
3:03 pm

I am a single 50 year old man who grew up in Washington, DC and currently live in Atlanta, GA. I date women between the ages of 45-55 years old. I am attracted to women who have a strong faith in who they are (religion, career, family, etc.) and are always looking at life positively. For example, I have many friends who are going through trials and tribulations (job lost, income, divorce, etc.) and their women are not “uplifting them” and helping solve their problems. The man in the house may want to start his own business (barber shop, garage, etc.) and his women will not support his “dreams” by encouraging him to be the best he can be. She will start petty arguments over “cell phone usage” rather than talk to her man positively about their future. I talk to men in my church who would love to meet a successful black women who has faith, integrity, hope, respect and compassion for other people’s desires and dreams. Too many times women think just because they are educated and earn a good living they do not have to work hard on the other things in life such as how to keep a good relationship between a man and a women without comprimising who you are and what you want in a relationship. In my 50’s I finally know what kind of women a want and need in my life. Have you seen her?

Mame' Damey

July 30th, 2010
7:42 pm

A panel debate about black women and relationships is a good idea to answer curious questions about the opposite sex.Visit Urban Belle Magazine, an online magazine for women of color. Get the latest in relationships, sex, entertainment, fashion and more at