The State of Black Love?

by Nadra Enzi

I don't have great confidence in the state of Black Love. By "state of Black Love" I don't mean an annual report ala the National Urban League nor a yearly event along the lines of the State of The Black Union. The state of Black Love I have in mind is the landscape of fatherless homes and general coarseness in male/female relationships. While stable homes exist they aren't the norm. Happy relationships are out there but are overshadowed by doubt and disgust. My generation followed our parents march away from the altar as an inevitable life destination. Those after us have taken this march even further with amazing results.

At 44 I've never been married nor have children. Marriage has been an abstraction for most of my life. Extremely picky deceased parents aside, jumping the broom has been a bridge too far for me. I write this as someone whose adventures include bounty hunting; in-your-face activism with the local Who's Who and other risky endeavors. Marriage is the one risk I've thus far haven't taken. Multiply this by millions and you have the state of Black Love written by each person, each in his own way.

I don't think leaping backward to the world of Good Times; the Jeffersons or the Cosby Show solves this problem. Granted, such a back step would address some of this problem but I fear we're radically different than our predecessors. I fear our belief in the Judeo-Christian (Islamic) ethic of Man-Woman-Child or Children has morphed into something quite distant from such bonds. Multiple partners with little or no permanence is the entrenched status quo. Black Love is still on the scene but it may not be as loving as past generations define it. I see it's role in our crime rate; education challenges and human development crisis. If we can't embrace each other then into this gulf steps misdirected anger; coldness and loss of nurturing environments. Black Love sets the standard for the state of Black America as a whole.

I am part of the skeptics who've removed themselves from the dating scene per se. Every blue moon I succumb to God-given needs and go on an occasional date. Like many in my peer group a serious girlfriend or even wife seems like the longest of long shots. Black men like us have opted not to jump in with both feet and consequently have sat out staples like parenthood or watching children become parents themselves. In a nation within a nation where most women are single and most kids don't know their fathers, what are relationship skeptics to do?

We have to decide whether it's worth it to leap into the fray and take the ultimate risk of finding significant others and wives. This is how God designed us but the playing field for this design is unlike anything Black men have ever encountered.

I'll continue monitoring the state of Black Love and weighing options for myself and brothers like me who've sat on the sidelines in what is the definitive scenario about who our community really is and what it'll ultimately become.

That said, I do know my skepticism may not be the best contribution to the state of Black Love but it's all I've given thus far.

The State of Black Love? by Nadra Enzi

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