If Steve Harvey is Speaking for Me, Somebody Get Him the Word that I Don’t Approve!

While you were sleeping, ABC decided to forego the news of the day on its “Nightline” program and run a new edition of their “Face-Off” debate series focusing on the hot-button topic of the manless Black women. Last night’s program, “Why Can’t a Successful Black Woman find a Man?” was hosted by Vicki Mabry and “relationship expert” Steve Harvey and the panel featured co-host of “The View” Sherri Shepherd, former BET News anchor Jacque Reid, actor Hill Harper and writer Jimi Izrael (The Denzel Principle). Nightline crammed three hours of a taping into a half-hour (with commercials) segment, so the meat of the conversation was probably left on the cutting room floor, and what we saw was a spliced of version of soundbytes meant to make us laugh at a serious topic.

The fact that Harvey was announced as a “relationship expert” and called himself an expert on the mind of men was troubling to me, because he’s on his third marriage, so I guess the experience of failure makes you the expert of success. I‘m not down with the panel of entertainers discussing issues among us common folk, even if they happen to be in a similar situation, their circumstances are a little different. I’m saying, I think Jacque Reid is a cougar and I’d lay my game down quite flat given the opportunity, but I’d rather have people with professional experience discussing issues of this nature.

Another issue was the exclusion of an entire population of women in the title alone, “Successful Black women” implies that this is the only group of women we should be concerned with being single, like the remaining Black women aren’t worth marrying. The marriage problem ranges from the top 1 percentile down and knows no age, so let’s address it from all angles to encompass everyone.

I know plenty of folks that are tired of this becoming news, but it’s also becoming a hustle, damn near everyone on that panel has made a buck off of the plight of the Black family and will continue to rack up appearance fees and book sales because it isn’t gonna go away anytime soon. Reid got her Lyfe Jennings on and broke down the statistical approach stating there are 1.8 million more Black women than Black men and once you start subtracting those who are already married, homosexual, dating outside the race or doing grad work at the concrete college, that pool of available men shrinks even further. Throw in the expectation that your mate has to have Denzelean qualities like Izrael asserts in his book and you find nearly 1,000,000 trying to win the hearts of five brothers.

The Atlanta crowd of mostly women became frenzied when it was suggested that Black women start to look outside of their race for mates. Really? Atlanta? Yall ready to give up on the brothers like that? The good thing about all of this attention is that it sparks a dialogue between the sexes and both sides can hear the other out on the expectations, the disappointments, the experiences and solutions based on individuals. No one can write the prescription on ensuring that more Black women are married, if they were able, it may be as simple as a little bit of Teef is all it takes…

Watch the entire program here

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