When MadameNoire.com posted a controversial article entitled, “8 Reasons To Date a White Man,” in September, the sh*t hit the fan. Blogs and message boards were set ablaze with e-fury because of what they felt was a ridiculous list consisting of reasons like, “White Men Turn a Hoe Into A House Wife,” “White Men Don’t Have Babymama Drama,” and more. Still, the article received over 1,000 comments and 14,000 shares on Facebook so Madame Noire decided to continue the discussion. Last week, they held a panel at Columbia University, featuring Madame Noire’s Editor-in-Chief China Okasi, Amanda Diva, Michaela Angela Davis, Mark Anthony Neal, Egypt and actress Malinda Williams who discussed romance in the Black community. VIBE caught up with Williams for her insight on improving romantic relationships.
We definitely have issues in [the Black community] that we need to address. We certainly can’t address them in two minutes, two hours, 20 minutes or 20 days. But any dialogue that gets started on this subject is dialogue that needs to happen. There’s always gonna be a solution to any problem. What could that solution possibly be? I don’ t know, I’m no expert but what I think could happen is that a bunch of people who really care equally enough to make those things happen, who have the right type of training, can get those things started but again we have hundreds of years of teaching and oppression and ignorance⎯a whole slew of other adjectives that I can name so it’s going to take many years to fix this.
What everyone needs to understand is that relationships don’t come with warranties and a lot of times people think that what they get at the beginning of a relationship is what they’re going to have for the rest of their lives. But things change in relationships. Your environment changes and sometimes things happen that are unexpected. And when unexpected things happen⎯things that you didn’t necessarily know were going to happen in the relationship⎯that’s when you gotta get down and dirty.
You gotta pull on your gloves and you gotta go to work and a lot of us become lazy, like, this is too much emotionally and things are going come out that you never knew were inside of you. And if you’re not ready to deal with those things then you should not get into a relationship. I think sometimes single women wear it as a badge of honor that we’re suffering for our men and that we’re waiting for the right one. There is no unbruised fruit. It all has marks on it so you better go in there get you one, clean it up and make it work for you.
I’m not saying just settle, I’m saying get the one that’s right for you and make it work. Prince Charming doesn’t exist and neither does Cinderella. Someone said on the panel that we have to look at ourselves. Fix yourself and then we can fix each other as we go along but there has to be two people willing to put in the work. ⎯As Told To Starrene Rhett