Archive for Black Women

Top 100 Family, Marriage, and Relationship Blogs for African Americans

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men, Women's Interests with tags , , , , , on March 6, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Businessman Wearing a Phone Headset at a Computer

Searching for content on the Internet can be a challenging task.  Depending on the topic, you can spend hours just conducting searches.  Well the folks at Best Black Dating Sites have made your job a lot easier by condensing and listing what they believe are the Top 100 family, marriage and relationship, community, relationship and self-improvement blog sites on the Internet for African Americans aka “black folks.”

Click below to visit the Top 100 Sites.

The Bridge: Dirty Black Secrets, Part 2—Countering Lies & Deception

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Guest Columnists, The Bridge - Darryl James, Women's Interests with tags , , , , on August 14, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Darryl James

Last week, I discussed a powerful dirty Black secret: Many Black women are a huge problem for Black America.

One of the reasons is that they are the strongest perpetrators of feminism in this nation. We saw in the 2008 election a powerful rejection of Hillary Clinton by older white men and younger white women who know she represents feminism. They know what the propaganda has done to American relationships and the roles of men and women. Yet, Black women act out the feminist propaganda on a regular basis, while many of them claim that they are not feminists.

According to Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s propaganda minister, “Propaganda works best when those being manipulated are confident that they are acting out of their own free will.”

And of course it’s propaganda. Otherwise, we would have to believe that Black women simply woke up and decided to become “independent,” and to proclaim loudly and prolifically that they “don’t need men.”

If it smells bad, it’s usually rotten.

But it’s not just Black women. Black people in general view every aspect of life from a deficit model, which begins with the assumption that something is wrong.

Both Black men and Black women have been inculcated with some of the most horrible propaganda about Black people, particularly about Black men. And they pass it around faster and more prolifically than any venomous racist ever could.

The dirty Black secret is that when it comes to propaganda, the enemy is Black.

Any given comedian would have the world believe that whites are perfect and, based on their punch lines, that Black people are everything that is wrong with the world.

This explains why we hear the “more Black men in prison than college” myth, and a host of other lies which paint the Black man in a horrible light.

According to the U.S. Census, there were around 17,945,068 Black males in the nation. Around 6.3 percent are in college and 4.7 percent are in prison.

My friend and colleague Janks Morton has updated the anti-Black Myth machine with a new book called “Black People Don’t Read: The Definitive Guide to Dismantling Stereotypes and Negative Statistical claims about Black Americans,” in which he illustrates that “The remaining 89 percent of Black men have already graduated from college, already served a prison sentence, have a life trajectory that does not involve college or prison, or are too young for either to apply.”

Morton agrees with me that Blacks have to stop talking about how poorly we are doing as a people for two reasons: First, because when we speak negatively, it affects our self-esteem and accordingly, our ability to succeed and Second, because many of the things we say simply are not the truth.

The dirty Black secret is that Black people—not white males or white women—perpetuate the myth that Black men are somehow a “dying breed.” Yet, in “Black People Don’t Read,” Morton illustrates that “according to the U.S. Census, since 1970 there are 3.9 million less White Males and 2.5 million more Black Males, age 15 to 25, in the U.S. population.”

And Black women do not escape the negative hype.

Any given moron will spout teen pregnancy as some epidemic causing Black women to drop out faster than flies. But if the moron did some real research, he would realize that, according to the Center for Disease Control, Black Teenage Pregnancy rates have been reduced by 56.42% from 1991-2009.

And while Black college enrollment could always be higher, Black men are not dropping out of high school and simply failing to garner a diploma. There is no 50% dropout rate. Again, according to the US Census, 83.43% of Black men over the age of 18 have a high school diploma, but when stats are negatively manipulated, we find that Black men who switch schools before graduating (from another school), or who miss a semester but finishes, or who test out before their class are not included because the focus of the negative statement is on Black men who graduate from 12th grade with their 9th grade class.

The dropout rate for Black males is 9.5%. Slap yourself.

Black men and Black women have been inculcated with some of the most horrible propaganda about Black people, particularly about Black men. And they pass it around faster and more prolifically than any venomous racist ever could.

Any give comedian would have the world believe that whites are perfect and, based on their punch lines, that Black people are everything that is wrong with the world.

Another dirty Black secret is that many of the institutions that were originally designed to help Blacks uplift themselves are in fact, the cause of Black misery in many cases.

Next Week: Dirty Black Secrets, Part 3—Alphabet Soup

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.”  James’ stage play, “Love In A Day,” opened in Los Angeles in 2011 and will become a feature film in 2012. View previous installments of this column at Reach James at

The Bridge: Dirty Black Secrets, Part 1

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, The Bridge - Darryl James, Women's Interests with tags , , , on August 7, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Darryl James

Black people have some dirty little secrets.

We all see them, but we’re not supposed to talk about them.

But you already know that I just don’t care.

Here’s one:  Some Black women can be a huge problem for Black people.

Old crazy Darryl James has been saying it for years. I first talked about it in 2005 and people claimed I hated Black women.

But imagine the work that could have been done if we had simply acknowledged it.  We could have also rooted out the core issue and then began to work on some solutions.

Instead, we kept pretending that only Black men were problematic.

Black Americans trotted out every single problem plaguing Black people and laid them at the foot of Black men so that Black men could take the blame.

We pretended that only Black fathers were deadbeat, even though many single Black mothers were having babies by men who were ALREADY deadbeats, knowingly creating a larger pool of fatherless children, when instead we should have been chastising the single mothers who were choosing poorly—if the man has children that he doesn’t support or visit, why would he do anything differently with the children you give him? And if you know that you will be a single mother, why become a single mother? Multiple times?

We should have stopped pretending that there aren’t women who know full well that they will be bringing a child into the world with no male influence or involvement, but do so eagerly, because they simply want to be mothers.

But we continued to blame the men, with the likes of Bill Cosby telling Black women that Black men are simply “sperm shooting machines” who want only sex and then “walk away from a thing called fatherhood.”

We allowed anyone to claim that Black boys were “choosing” to drop out of high school while Black girls were perfect and progressing. We allowed anyone who desired to claim that there were more Black men going to prison than to college and more Black men dating white women than Black women and more Black men in poverty than Black women and that for these reasons, Black women were being left alone in the dating process or “forced” to date outside of the race.

We allowed broken women to lie about there being no good Black men, instead of focusing on the simple fact that many of the Black women who aren’t married simply aren’t marriage material.

And, too many Black women are acting like whores and thinking like men instead of acting like ladies and thinking like wives.

Yes, I said it—oversexed and under-loved (no self love and no love without sexual attachment), while blaming it all on Black men.

And it’s not like anyone in our race benefited, because far too many Black women are still turning 40 with zero marriage prospects, and far too many of them are raising Black boys and girls without male influence or involvement, while lying about how they don’t want or need a man for love or child rearing and blaming Black men for the results.

But today, that has to stop.

Because today, we have finally been given concrete evidence that there are some horrible Black women who have been tearing our race apart.

And we saw it with Gabby Douglas.

Hearing Black women—not white women or white men—tear this beautiful Black Olympian down made it clear that something was stinking and the smell was not coming from Black men.

That same stench facilitated the media’s virtual erasure of Gabby’s daddy as though he didn’t exist. The media was comfortable with it because for more than a decade Black women have been telling the media and the world that Black men were absent and essentially, that they weren’t necessary anyway.

I already know that some of you are getting your “he hates Black women” responses ready, but you should stop and use your brain, or slap yourself.

If we cannot finally embrace the fact that feminism, self-hatred and insidious racist propaganda have turned too many of us too far against Black men and that it seeped into the Black community through Black women and turned into something ugly, then we are doomed, because we will never face the hard cold facts, and so will never have any resolution.

Next week, I will present some hard cold facts that will turn many of the myths about Black men on their heads.

The hardest fact of them all is that many of the myths have been perpetuated by Black women.

We must admit to ourselves that just as there are horrible white men and women and horrible Black men, there are some horrible Black women who are wreaking havoc on our people and they are not all uneducated hoodrats.

The truth is that many of these are college educated Black women who claim to be perfect victims are also in the ranks of those who tear down our community by passing lies, but also by refusing to stand up against the destructive elements

Black women, you are not the victim of Black men.

You have not been simply abandoned and forced into single motherhood, you have not been abandoned at the educational success line and you have not been forced to grow old and alone.

Many of you have made some poor choices that have lead you into some bad situations, along with our children.

And I love you enough, love Black children enough, love Black people enough to tell you and to encourage everyone to stop lying to you.

I’m here to tell all of our dirty little Black secrets.

Next Week: Countering Lies & Deception

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.”  James’ stage play, “Love In A Day,” opened in Los Angeles in 2011 and will become a feature film in 2012. View previous installments of this column at Reach James at


The Bridge: Dying To Eat & Eating To Death, Part 2

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Guest Columnists, Women's Interests with tags , , , , on January 24, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Darryl James

The woman cut me off in traffic and pulled up next to me at the light to curse me out.

I stared at her and then laughed at her.

I thought it was so ridiculous for a woman to be so wildly angry and aggressive.

And then, her rant turned in a direction that made me look at her like she was crazy and then feel sorry for her.

She called me a “skinny bastard” and said that I probably dated “skinny bitches” who are not sexy and that I was depressed because I didn’t have a “fat bitch” in my life.

She was morbidly obese.

She was sitting in the driver’s seat of an SUV and was literally leaking into the passenger seat.

And then she proceeded to talk about how “cute” she was.

It was sad.

It was frightening.

But it wasn’t all that unusual, save for the severe aggression.

You see, in America, many people have gone from simply accepting obesity to celebrating it.

There are now nightclubs dedicated to “chubby chasers,” or men who love overweight women.

It is a perverse version of how some men from yesterday held an affinity for women with “something to hold on to.”

Now, it’s about celebrating those with too much to hold.

Some people thought that my first installment of “Dying “To Eat” was hateful to overweight people.

But the truth is that while some overweight people may be good-hearted and wonderful people, they just aren’t healthy.

The lies we accept about being big and beautiful or perverting the word “healthy” to refer to big people are killing us.

Those lies are also harming our kids.

No matter what propaganda we promote, the simple fact is that overweight children are speeding towards lives rife with health problems–both physical and mental.

With millions of overweight children in the nation, there are a few things that we had better do if we want the next generation to live beyond 40.

While body image and self-image should not be tied together in a perfect world, the reality is that they are.  And if we help children feel better about themselves, they will have better lives.

In Lithonia, Georgia, Yvonne Sanders-Butler, principal of Browns Mill Elementary was on the verge of a stroke. Once she changed her diet and dropped some weight, her health improved tremendously.

She launched a campaign at her school that had positive and powerful results: Improvement in student test scores and a decrease in disciplinary problems.

That campaign included a change in diet and addition of exercise.

Certainly, it’s easier said than done, but its possible.

Part of our problem in America is our obsession with snack foods.

That obsession seduces us into a relationship with Trans fat, which is formed when vegetable oil is turned into solid fat. Food processors do this through a process called hydrogenation to prolong the shelf life of food, but it doesn’t prolong your life. Trans fats raise bad cholesterol levels in the blood and increase the risk of heart disease.

Speaking of cholesterol, let’s talk about what it is and why people should be paying attention to good and bad cholesterol.

First, cholesterol is found in the bloodstream as well as all of your body’s cells.  It’s a soft waxy substance your body uses to make cell membranes and some hormones.

Your blood can not dissolve cholesterol.  A high level of it in the blood places you at a high risk of coronary heart disease.

The two types of cholesterol are LDL, which is considered bad and HDL, which is considered good.

LDL Cholesterol is considered bad because too much of it in the blood can build up on the walls of your arteries and help form plaque, leading to clogging of the arteries and a greater susceptibility to heart attack or stroke.

If your LDL level is 160 or above it is considered high.  It should be less than 100.

HDL Cholesterol is considered good, because it is believed to carry protection against heart attacks.

According to medical experts, HDL Cholesterol transports cholesterol away from the arteries to the liver, where the body can dispose of it as waste.

If your HDL level is less than 40, you are considered to be at higher risk of heart attack.

So if HDL is good, how do we increase the level in our bodies?  Part of the answer is simple—increased physical activity, which has other benefits, including heart and respiratory health, as well as weight loss.

Nine million Americans are morbidly obese.  Many more are overweight.  For those who want to change, the hardest part is starting a program to improve the body.

For some people, finance is an issue.  For others, plunging into the next fad diet or undertaking an intimidating workout plan spell certain failure.

You don’t have to join an expensive gym, starve yourself, or make challenging drastic changes in diet and exercise to make a difference.

Small steps are more realistic for most overweight people, and the results will also be realistic as well as lasting.

In terms of exercise, you can start small by taking a walk in the evening after your last meal, or a walk in the morning before work. Any increase in activity, no matter how small, will make a difference in the long run.  The key is to get started and do something.

A smart and practical plan can begin with small changes, including changes in eating habits.

Start by eating your last full meal of the day before 7pm.  Try to make that meal as healthy as possible, particularly including vegetables and whole grains.

Second, if you must snack after that meal, make the snack fruits or nuts.

Third, while you might continue to eat some of your favorite foods, either make substitutes or additions of vegetables, fruits, fiber-rich foods, and fish.

For example, eat whole wheat bread, instead of white bread, or try to make your favorite meals with steamed or baked meats instead of fried meats.

Remember—small steps.

And, no matter what lies the soft drink industry tells us, diet soda hurts more than it helps–with zero nutritional value. Carbonated drinks can actually stimulate us to eat more than we would without them.

Finally, drink more water.

Just making these small changes will make a difference.  And, since the changes are small but deliver real results, there will be a feeling of success, which will make the person feel better about continuing.

Keep in mind that you didn’t get fat in thirty days, so any short-term diet should be avoided like the bad food you’ll end up eating when its over or when it fails.

The goal should not be to deprive yourself, but to make real changes in your life that will have realistic results and make you feel good about yourself.

Watch what happens when you walk three times each week, eat earlier and make small changes in your diet over a one month period.

Take your children and watch their changes.

Remember, they’re watching you.

You don’t want them Eating To Death.

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.”  James’ stage play, “Love In A Day,” opened in Los Angeles in 2011and returns to the stage in March of 2012. View previous installments of this column at Reach James at

The Bridge: Finding Us

Posted in Black America, Black Men, The Bridge - Darryl James with tags , , on June 20, 2011 by Gary Johnson

By Darryl James

Sometimes the best place to look for something is the exact place that thing can be found.

Take Black men, for example, we hear Black women talking about how we are so hard to find, but we are often in the same places they are.

The more I hear Black women complain about not being able to find decent Black men, the more my heart and mind become weary, because I am committed to Black women.

I remain committed, however, the words of some of today’s Black women leave me saddened and frequently, temporarily disheartened.

Some Black women blame their singleness solely on Black men, citing that since good Black men are hard for them to find, that there are less decent single Black men that ever before in history.

This is not based on any verified data, which is always confusing to the throngs of quality single men who can not find the “abundance” of quality single women those magazines always write about.

Some Black women say that “most” Black men are in prison, that “more” Black men are gay and that the “best” Black men are married to white women, but none of that has been statistically supported.

It is sad, but there are Black men in prison.  And yes, there are Black men dying from gang violence and from drugs, but that is not “most” of the Black male population.  There are throngs of Black men who live beyond all of the things that are horribly wrong, and a great number are neither gay nor with white women.

The dicey proposition is when Black women say that Black men are beneath their level (financial or education), when in fact, Black people in America don’t yet have an intrinsic level.  Even many of our so-called middle class Blacks live one paycheck away from disaster.

Perhaps the search is conducted with faulty criteria.

Black women, if you examine a man’s character first, you will find that there are more of us than you imagined.

Certainly Black men in America have challenges, but in this nation, we are both challenged—Black male and female.

Yet with all of our challenges, some of us are still finding each other and marrying each other.  Anyone can point out that marriages are fewer and divorces are more abundant, but those are stats for the masses—they don’t have to apply to the individual.

Perhaps the bigger problem is that many Black women are no longer searching in circles where quality Black men can be found.

The sad fact is that many of us work in a world where there are few of us and live in communities where there are also few of us, yet we complain about not finding us and talk about the sorry state of those of us we run into.

Communities are fragmented, clubs are polluted and many church singles ministries mislead people into relationships with other people who attend church service, but do little to follow the teachings of the ministries.

Yes, things are more challenging than they have been in a long time, but the challenges appear even greater because of the negative things being said about Black men on television, in those magazines, and, oh yes, in circles of single Black women.

And, yet, I understand.

I know why Black women say some of the things that they have been saying.  It’s because they are hurt and afraid.

Black men are also hurt and afraid.

Any of us over the age of 21 has a thought-provoking fear, which can lead us away from finding love, as opposed to hugging expensive creature comforts in solitude, fear and pain, which morph into hatred.

Too many of us thought that we could make things better for ourselves as individuals, but now, the chickens have come home to roost, because many of us can not find quality mates.

We fell from grace when we stopped talking to each other and began talking about each other.  If we wish to make things better, I believe it begins with communication.

The charge for each of us–men and women–is to begin to discuss the problems we both face, without expressing the fear and hatred that have been welling up inside of us.

I want one wish to go around the world faster than an internet hoax or a Jesus chain letter, and I want for each person reading this to pass it on to another person, married or single.

That one simple wish is for Black men and women to begin to change our minds about each other.  Perception is reality and we must begin to perceive each other differently so that we can love each other again.

I want to let Black women know that there are still some good, kind and decent Black men in the world and we are having a hard time finding them as well.

And I want to let them know that many of us are in the same places they are.

Black men are in the grocery store because we have to eat, too.  Black men are in the gas station, because we have to drive, and yes, some of us are on the bus or train.  Black men are at fraternity banquets, and Black men are at plays, museums, the church and the mosque.

Black men can be found in a number of places and many times we are right beside you—all you have to do is smile.  Be sweet and inviting and you may get more than the reprobates to ask for your number, or be progressive and initiate contact with us.  Whatever you do–be grounded and open.

I advise both men and women to look for something that exists.  If you are a single woman looking for a single man, look for examples in the men around you.  Your father, brother, uncle, cousin or neighbor may be married and may serve as a good measurement for the men you date.

            We may not all look like Denzel or bling bling like a rap music video, but some of us are hard working, decent men with solid husband and father potential, ready to love and to be loved.

You have to look around you and find real examples, because once you are convinced that we don’t exist, then, for you, we don’t.

Black women, stop saying that you can’t find a good man, or that we just don’t exist. Come at us in love and what you will find from many of the sane, single Black men is real love—we’re trying to find you and we want you, too.

Look for us where we are and you just may find us.

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.”  James’ stage play, “Love In A Day,” opened in Los Angeles this Spring and will be running all Summer. View previous installments of this column at Reach James at

Black Women No Longer Have Their Essence

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Guest Columnists, Women's Interests with tags , , on May 26, 2011 by Gary Johnson

By Raynard Jackson

Essence Magazine used to be the preeminent magazine for Black women in the U.S.  They, like many Black publications, have lost their relevance; and in the process become an embarrassment to the very group they claim to target.

Essence was founded in 1968 by Ed Lewis, Clarence Smith, Cecil Hollingworth, Jonathan Blount and Denise Clark.  Their initial circulation began at around 50,000 per month and now is estimated to be over 1 million per month.  It is a monthly publication focusing on Black women between the ages of 18 and 49.  Essence was bought out by Time Inc. in 2005, thus no longer being a Black owned publication (similar to B.E.T.).

The impetus behind the founding of Essence was to show a side of Black women that was never portrayed in the mainstream media.  Images of Black women were controlled by white media outlets that had little to no knowledge of the Black community.  Most of these images were very stereotypical and lacking substance.

There were unique issues relevant to Black women that other publications were totally ignorant of.  Black women could not wear the same makeup that white women could—there are differences in skin type.  Black women have unique issues when it comes to styling their hair—there were no mainstream publications that dealt with these differences.

So, initially, Essence met a very real need and provided a venue for Black women to share common experiences with each other (remember, this was pre-internet days when you didn’t have all the instant communication we have today).

Essence portrayed Black women in the most positive of lights.  They made Black women feel proud to be Black and female!  That was then, this is now.

Now, Essence is just another Hollywood rag (focused on Black women), sprinkled with a few substantive, positive stories; but, that is no longer their focus!

I looked at the cover picture for the past year and each cover featured an entertainer.  Isn’t this the same stereotyping that we have accused white media of—showing Blacks as only entertainers?  There is nothing wrong with having entertainers on the cover, but is that all there is to offer Black women?

I can guarantee that most Black women have never heard of Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander, Alicia Jillian Hardy, or Katie Washington.

When I went on Essence Music Festival’s website and looked at the speakers listed under “Empowerment”I was stunned and quite embarrassed!

The Essence Music Festival is the nation’s largest annual gathering of Black musical talent in the U.S.  It is a 3 day event filled with cultural celebrations, empowerment panels, and nightly entertainment by some of the biggest names in music.  It is held in New Orleans, LA every July.  The event attracts more than 200,000 people.

One of the speakers listed under “Empowerment” is “NeNe” Leakes.  She is one of the main characters of the reality TV show, “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”  The show is about the private lives of women who are dating or is married to successful men in the Atlanta area.

Leakes is a foul mouth, angry, nasty person on the show and from media accounts in real life also.  She is also the founder of Twisted Hearts Foundation (which focuses on domestic violence against women).  They were forced to close down last year after being suspected of money laundering.  Leakes is also a former stripper.

One of the other speakers listed under “Empowerment” is Shaunie O’Neal, former wife of N.B.A. great Shaquille O’Neal.  She is the executive producer of “Basketball Wives.”  The women’s only claim to fame is that they either dated or were married to a pro basketball player.  They have nor had no identity outside the athletes they were involved with.

Both shows portray women in the worst light imaginable—using high profile men to get fame and fortune.  These women then try to exploit their former relationships to get their own TV show.  They are paid to tell the most intimate details of their former relationships.

Essence, could you please tell me how these two women fit into your mission of uplifting the Black woman?  What can they teach women about “empowerment?”  Is this really the image of Black women Essence wants to promote?  There are many women who could fit into your mission statement.

By the way, Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander was the first Black woman to earn a Ph.D. in America (1921).  Alicia Jillian Hardy is the first Black woman to earn a Ph.D from M.I.T. in mechanical engineering (2007).  Katie Washington, a 21 year old, became the first Black female valedictorian in the history of  Notre Dame University (2010).  She gave a wonderful speech (

One would think that Ms. Hardy and Washington deserved to be on the cover for their achievements; and most assuredly know a little something about empowerment!  Oh, I forgot, they are not entertainers, so they don’t qualify.

In times past, Black women used to look forward to reading Essence Magazine for upliftment.  That was then, this is now.  Black women no longer have the Essence of their mother and grandmother.

In Essence, there is no essence!

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-public relations/government affairs firm.  He is also a contributing editor for ExcellStyle Magazine ( & U.S. Africa Magazine ( 

Black Relationships — An Animated View

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Comedy with tags , , , on October 22, 2010 by Gary Johnson

These avatars, courtesy of “xtranormal,” can talk and bring out points for discussion about relationships without the emotions that are often attached to the human dialogue.  Alternative methods to generate “critical conversations” should not be frowned upon, they should be welcomed.

The Bridge: Of Harlots & Manwhores

Posted in Black Interests, Black Men, The Bridge - Darryl James with tags , on July 13, 2010 by Gary Johnson

By Darryl James

At 38, Ron had been with enough women to fill twelve issues of Essence.

He had loved a few, but mostly, he had either hurt them or had been hurt by them.

At this stage in his life, he wanted something more.

Ron wanted more than just the sexual conquests that most of the women had been.

And he wanted more than just the few months of happiness most of his relationships had been.

Older and wiser, he knew that in order to have something different, he had to be something different.

So, he spent time alone after the last failed relationship. Instead of seeking more sexual conquests, he sought resolution for his emotional turmoil and unrequited desires for love.

Instead of dating more women, he dated himself, taking time to process where he had been, where he was and where he wanted to go. Some of that time was spent alone, some was spent in church and some was spent on the couch of his therapist.

After two years, he felt ready to venture out into the world of dating again, with a new mission to find something better than he had before.

At 36, Leslie had allowed more than forty men inside of her. Some had been inside of her heart, some only inside of her bed, but all of them had been inside of her body.

And now that she was focused on finding someone to have and to hold for the rest of her life, she had all of the men in her life inside of her mind.

Leslie wanted something different, but the thought had not occurred to her that she should be something different.

When she was out with the girls, they all talked about how men were dogs and that since you couldn’t beat them, you needed to join them. And so, just like they imagined men were doing, Leslie and her girls were on a mission each weekend to find cute guys who could keep their beds warm for a while and take them to nice places.

Not that Leslie didn’t believe in love.

She had been in love a few times and had actually loved the last man she had spent time with. But the two of them had been unable to find a way to keep the music playing, so she simply turned it off.

And she thought she had turned everything off, but the heartache was still playing, even as she pretended that it would only take the “right” man to break through her icy exterior and warm her heart.

Ron walked into a bar one Friday night and right into the peripheral vision of Leslie, who began staring while her friends began chiding her.

“Don’t just stare at him, girl,” said Linda, who believed in being aggressive to get whatever she wanted out of life. “Go get that tall, fine man. He’s here by himself, so he is single and you are ready to mingle.”

“I ain’t chasing no man,” Leslie replied. “I’ll just wait until he notices me and he’ll come to me.”

And, Ron did notice her.

Sitting at the bar, he had a direct view of Leslie and noticed that she was looking his way, so he decided to make a move on her.

A few quick words and Ron was walking away with Leslie’s number.

The following weekend, they went out to dinner, followed by drinks and another date the next day. Their conversations were filled with what each wanted out of life and love.

Ron made it clear that he was looking for a woman to be his girl and much more.

Leslie said that she wanted to be someone’s girl and to be in love.

On the third day, Ron invited Leslie over for dinner. He cooked a gourmet meal of steamed salmon, scalloped potatoes and asparagus spears.

Leslie brought a bottle of wine that the two enjoyed before and during the meal.

Intoxicated with food, wine and the newness of dating, the two kissed and explored and touched and rubbed.

Ron had already decided that since he liked Leslie, he wasn’t going to press her to have sex with him. He wanted to take his time and really get to know her.

But Leslie had already decided that since she liked Ron, she was going to have sex with him. She wanted to get naked with this man, not even thinking about any other portion of the relationship she talked about wanting.

So, she made her move and made an announcement.

“Let’s do this,” she said. “But I want to be clear—I don’t want any strings attached to what we’re about to do. It’s just sex and it doesn’t have to be bigger than that.”

Ron was stunned. To him, Leslie sounded like the player he used to be. He had expected and wanted so much more, but he knew from her words that there was only so much to expect now.

And so they did the deed.

Two whores whoring. One reformed whore falling back into old habits and one consistent whore, claiming to want more, yet unable to shake the habits of finding less.

Neither called the other after the tryst.

Ron didn’t call because he wanted to go back to his plan to be more and find more. What he had with Leslie was more of what he no longer wanted.

Leslie didn’t call again because she actually did like Ron. But because she was afraid that he would only use her for sex, she had decided to beat him to the punch. Yet, she still hoped that someday…

Ron remained consistent and met a beautiful woman who refused to get overly physical until they had dated for a while and had a mutual understanding of what they were trying to build. They both wanted the same thing and had each worked hard to be the thing they wanted.

Leslie went out to the bar with her girls the following weekend.

They talked about how all men were dogs, but Leslie couldn’t help thinking that for all of their talk, she and her girls had been barking themselves.

Someone once said that you can’t turn a whore into a housewife, and while that may not always be true, what is true is the simple fact that the whore has to first acknowledge being a whore.

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.” Now, listen to Darryl live on every Monday from 7-9pm, PST. View previous installments of this column at Reach James at

The Bridge: Black Men Hate Black Men and Black Women Hate Black Men

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, The Bridge - Darryl James with tags , , on July 13, 2008 by Gary Johnson

By Darryl James

A Two-Part Series on Hate

Part I: Black Men Hate Black Women

Now that I have your attention, you have to know that the title is far from the truth.

At least it is for any sane person, but not for a growing number of Black women who are now using the R. Kelly acquittal to bolster their claim that Black men hate Black women.

Before I deal with that, let me tell you a story.

It was the mid-nineties and I was hanging out with Jermaine Dupri at the Santa Monica airport in California, where R & B group Jagged Edge was filming one of their videos.

It was Summertime and the honeys were out in big numbers–legs, breasts and butt cleavage on display for all to see.

These honeys were in line to be chosen for participation in the Jagged Edge video and what happened next stayed with me for a while.

Jermaine pointed to the line and said: “DJ, watch this, man.”

I watched as the young Black women in the line foisted breasts, hiked up skirts and exposed as much flesh as possible the closer they got to the front of the line.

I asked Jermaine if this was usual and he shook his head and replied: “It’s like this all the time.”

Over the years, I learned that such is the behavior of the so-called “Video Hoes,” who are painted by some as strong independent women and by others as victims of sexism.

While I always have problems with such labels as “Video Hoes,” I have an even bigger problem with blaming their behavior on sexism. Particularly knowing that their avocation is an unpaid one.

I have yet an even bigger problem when Black women pretend that the existence of “Video Hoes” is only at the behest of the Black men who make the music. It leaves so many people out of the loop.

It leaves out parents, educators, the media and of course, the women themselves who participate in the degradation of their own image and standing in society.

It also ignores the dichotomy of public opinion regarding music videos, music and sexism, which frankly draws a line down the middle of Black womanhood. Some Black women celebrate the sexual imagery in entertainment, while others decry it and blame it solely on Black men.

But, if Black women can not reach a consensus about crucial issues including sexism and misogyny, then how can anyone expect a consensus from Black men, particularly if they are only watching?

I guess I could have put the cape on and flew to the rescue of those poor “victims” at the Jagged Edge video, but anyone with half a brain knows that none of those women would have come with me to safety. In fact, I would have been laughed at and cursed out and possibly even assaulted.

So why do some Black women continue to blame Black men for any and everything that happens to any of them?

And why do some Black women claim that because Black women are subject to sexist views and sexist behavior it is only because Black men are failing to protect them or because Black men actually hate Black women?

Simple: Because it is the path of least resistance since anyone can say anything about Black men and very few will come to their defense.

I mean, really, we must ask ourselves: Has it been open season on Black women, or on Black people?

Now, back to R. Kelly.

I tried to stay out of the discussion about whether he was the man in the video and whether the young girl was a victim and whether he should be jailed, because, for me, the man deserved a trial before being convicted and punished.

Some people compare it to the OJ Simpson case and claim that African Americans don’t care if a Black person is guilty or not-they just want to see them go free.

That’s asinine.

And it’s also a damned lie.

African Americans are not so unsophisticated that they just want any famous Black person to go free simply because they are famous. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Black people who cheered for OJ did so because the “evidence” was not evidence at all. They cheered for his acquittal because whites with the same level of evidence had been acquitted. In fact, most Black people don’t really care about OJ, because they know he’s an idiot.

It’s just that we understand the justice system and if “they” can get off, so should we.

For example, there was and still is no moral outrage over filmmaker Roman Polanski, who admitted to raping an underage girl and then fled the country to evade prosecution. There are no extradition efforts and no outrage from women who want his art boycotted and/or to use him as an icon for the sexual abuse of women. Further, he was given a standing ovation at the Academy Awards a few years ago.

The people who cheered for R. Kelly understood that no matter how much people became emotionally involved, he could not be convicted simply because people wanted him to be convicted.

The tape was not evidence enough, as demonstrated in many cases involving police brutality caught on tape.

And the witnesses, including the alleged victim who swore she was not the person on the tape and the woman who stole from Kelly and admitted to extortion were not enough.

For all the crowing about Black men not protecting Black women, this case shows clearly that apparently many Black women aren’t willing to protect themselves, as evidenced by the cheering of Black women over Kelly’s acquittal.


What is also sad and very confusing is that in light of Black women’s failure to stand up for Black women, groups of Black women are still willing to give too much focus to chiding Black men about standing up for Black women., a site run by Black women, admitted that during the R. Kelly trial, it was Black women and not Black men who acted the most disturbing in their defense of R. Kelly.

Yet, the site has posted and is promoting a petition targeting Black men and their need to stand up for Black women by battling the exploitation of their daughters, sisters and wives.

Something is wrong with that. Where is the petition for Black women to stand up, or the petition for Black women to stop participating in their own exploitation?

It’s not that I am opposed to the protection of Black women. I just think it is a mistake to lay the burden of protection solely at the feet of Black men.

I also think it is a grave mistake to link the defense of Black women and girls to the allegedly unjust acquittal of one man. Leave R. Kelly alone, because there is nothing there.

We would do better to launch unified defense campaigns of Black women and girls, simply because it is the right thing to do. We should do so because we love and cherish Black women and girls and they should be defended.

It’s said that some people think we need an icon.

Why not go after all the media outlets that facilitate the soft porn of Black women?

Why not go after-and I know this won’t be popular-the very Black women who participate in and facilitate the destruction of Black women and girls?

And while we’re at it, why not go after the Black women who participate in and facilitate the destruction of Black men and boys?

Really-who’s hating whom?

Part II: Black Women Hate Black Men by Darryl James

I think that it is sad indeed that R Kelly’s case is being compared to the Mike Tyson rape conviction. In that case, I still maintain that Tyson was also a victim, not just the woman who allowed him to perform oral sex on her while menstruating and then emerged from a locked bathroom with a phone to continue engaging with her “attacker.”

Muddied and confusing.

Do I think R Kelly is guilty?

The answer is: “Does it matter?”

I ask if it matters because out of all the positions that people hold, few want to take the position I hold, which is that if Kelly is to be held accountable, then other people, including the women who enabled him must be held accountable as well.

How about Sparkle, the young girl’s aunt, who allegedly served her up in order to get Kelly’s support for her own music career?

How about the girl’s parents who failed miserably as parents and had no idea what a freak their little girl had become? Why was a thirteen-year-old girl alone with a grown man? Why was she having sex like a Porn Star? Is all of that Kelly’s fault?

How about a society that allows and even encourages young girls to dress and act like adult hookers and then flashes righteous indignation when grown men look and interact with those young girls inappropriately?

There are plenty of young girls with super tight clothing pushing and pressing sexual flesh into the public eye and there is no moral outrage over it. In fact, when I wrote about it in this column, some ignorant asshead Feminatzis accused me of hating women and being a sexist for my own moral outrage.

Go figure.

You see, there are a lot of people who enable the abuse of Black women, including some Black women. It’s counterintuitive and counterproductive to lay the blame squarely at the feet of Black men or to ever claim that Black men fail to protect Black women and yet expect Black men to lead in the protection of anyone, when many members of that group fail to protect themselves.

It’s like Black people supporting the Wayans family, Martin Lawrence, Flavor Flav or many of the Buffoonish Black Coons of Comedy and rap sellouts who make Black people look bad on the world stage and then expecting white people to protect our image.

If you want respect, you must first respect yourself.

And, it’s difficult for Black women to make demands of Black men, when far too many Black women are far too willing to toss Black men under the bus for personal gain or for nothing at all.

This includes the proliferation of the Down Low myth, propagated by Black women more than anyone; the myth of more Black men being in prison than college and the ever-popular claim of Black men’s undying love and lust for white women. All popular myths that fall from the lips of Black women more than any other group of people in this nation.

The ignorant bag of crap J. L. King has recently released a DVD designed to educate people on how to recognize a Down Low Black man. Instead of challenging this asshole to do some real research or shut up, many Black women are passing his promotions around as though he is speaking from the Bible.

So, before we get to shaming Black men into standing up for Black women more than Black women are apparently willing to stand up for themselves, we must address the question of why too many Black women fail to stand up for their brothers, sons and husbands.

Really, we must ask ourselves: who’s hating whom?

Do Black women hate Black men?

We know that during the primary election, many Black women decided that it was in their best interests to support Senator Hillary Clinton because she was a woman, as opposed to supporting Senator Barack Obama because he was Black. So, if in fact the choice was made to assert womanhood over Blackness, doesn’t that also mean that the choice was made to assert their interests as women over the interests of their husbands, sons and brothers?

Take the case in point in California. Congresswoman Maxine Waters and LA County Supervisor Yvonne Burke both represent constituencies that were overwhelmingly pro-Obama, yet both decided to go sharply against their constituency and support Clinton.

Were they hating on Obama?

But, really, let’s go back to the R. Kelly case and examine some of the messages that came from it.

What we heard from many of the Black women who were outraged over Kelly’s acquittal is that Black men fail to protect Black women and girls, particularly from the oversexualization of modern entertainment.

But what we did not hear was that the same oversexualization of modern entertainment adversely affects Black men and boys. It’s as though having young Black boys growing up watching themselves marginalized as hungry sexual animals doesn’t do damage to their psyche or sense of self-worth.

Or it’s as though no one cares, because the focus has been on saving and/or protecting Black girls.

If Black women can challenge Black men to protect Black women and girls, then why is it wrong to challenge Black women to protect Black men and boys?

Why do people want to view the young girl in the R Kelly sex tape who was overly comfortable getting freaky with a grown man as a victim, but not the grown man who is sick enough to be sexually drawn to young girls?

Wasn’t R Kelly once a child? And if he is damaged, wasn’t he damaged as a young Black boy? Even if no one cares about him, what about other Black males like him?

I already know the answer. Damn the male, save the female.

Really, we should be concerned about both males and females.

But, sadly, we see far too much focus on the uplift of Black women and girls, as opposed to Black people.

For example, organizations such as Black Girls Rock exist to raise the self-esteem of Black girls, where we used to be concerned about the condition of all Black children. Why wasn’t the organization named Black Children Rock? And why is their propaganda only aimed at getting people to view Black girls in a different light?

Ashley Dunn, a board member of that organization draws a clear line in the sand.

“The type of education Black women and Black men have had about the importance of Black women has been pretty much non-existent, and what they have seen hasn’t been positive,” said Dunn. “With that in mind, why would anyone get upset about a Black girl being abused and urinated on? She was nothing anyway, and that is how both women and men feel in our community.”

Really? Are Black girls being abused and devalued or are Black children-male and female-being abused and devalued?

Where is the education about the importance of Black men? Isn’t much of what we see negative?

In nearly every corner, young Black boys are being devalued. They are told that they are destined to be gang members, drug dealers, prisoners above college students, harbingers of AIDS, lovers of white women and haters of Black women.

And, in efforts to protect Black women and girls, Black men and boys are typically thrown under the bus as the perpetrators of all things bad and absent from all things good in the Black community.

What the hell does that do to the psyche and self-esteem of Black boys?

Where is the outrage? Particularly since some of that anti-Black male propaganda comes from Black women?

If Black men and boys are doing so horribly in society, why then are there no Herculean efforts to save them?

And why are there so many Black women telling us how horrible we are?

We hear far too many stories of single Black mothers telling their Black male children that their destiny is to become the same kind of garbage as their father who abandoned them.

Talk to Black men who were educated in public schools and you will hear plentiful stories of how they were devalued by Black female educators.

I have one of my own.

Even though I had good grades, I was a discipline problem after the death of my stepfather, grandmother and brother all during my sophomore year in high school. I managed to pull things together by my senior year (thanks to some strong Black men who stepped in), yet the Black female college career counselor at my school tried to discourage me from going to college. She told me that I was not college material, that I would never amount to anything and that I should instead join the military.

Delivering such messages is abusive and devaluing.

The problem is that if we only focus on one side and not both, we end up tacitly diminishing the one side not given focus.

The question that must be asked is whether Black women actually hate Black men.

Or we must at least ask whether they are concerned about the plight of their brothers, sons and husbands.

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the forthcoming powerful anthology “Notes From The Edge.” Discounted Autographed and Numbered Pre-Release copies can be ordered at He released his first mini-movie, “Crack,” and this year, will release his first full-length documentary. View previous installments of this column at Reach James at

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