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It’s love month. The month that includes the day that’s wonderful if you are married or in a great relationship, but if you’re not, then it may be a day you dread… or it doesn’t mean much at all. Believe me, I know. I’m twice married, twice divorced and not in a relationship. Valentine’s Day is basically just another day to wish my friends a happy one. “Happy VD!” – has been my favorite saying for years. I like it because it’s funny and usually generates laughs. And if you aren’t getting any on Valentine’s Day, you might as well laugh about it, right? But, seriously, I truly wish great happiness, great love and great sex for everyone.
I have many women friends and some of them have never been married. Many who have been, are now divorced and not in a relationship. My generation of black women got the opportunity to do and be anything they wanted to and often didn’t find a love match to match their profession, position, power. Add to that the disempowerment many of our men experienced and the mass incarceration of black men that has been going on for generations, documented superbly in Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow and Ana Duvernay’s documentary, 13th and the fact that African American women outnumber African American men. Census data shows there are 1.5 million fewer black men (age 25 to 54) living in our communities than black women. That, along with the higher mortality rates for black men, has left a lot of women out of luck though they desire the ideal love relationship that many of our parents had. The kind of love that lasted for decades. Love that really committed to “till death do us part” as so beautifully illustrated in the inspiring movie, Hidden Figures.
I truly admire and am grateful to know folks of my generation who are in those kind of marriages. But that kind of love has escaped many of the baby booming, “me” generation, of which I am a part. It’s also escaping the genex-ers and millennials. Marriages are down. Divorces are up. A large number of folks never tie the knot officially. I really love me some black love and many of us want black on black love but many of us are not realizing it. African Americans who are middle aged and above grew up expecting to marry within our race. But, what we see more and more of today is that for those who have found love, many have found it crossing the color line. Why?
It’s simple. Love isn’t a color. It’s not black, white, brown, yellow or red. It’s a feeling and these days, in many instances, love is crossing the color line. It always has. Just nowadays, it’s legal, not a taboo. It’s acceptable and thriving. I have interracial marriages and relationships in my family and you may have, them, too. As one dear friend put it, “I believed I would never fall in love with a white guy, but he made a believer out of me!” Their solid marriage has lasted 25 years and produced a beautiful daughter, a perfect blend of the two of them. And that’s true for more couples today that at any other time in history.
So it’s love month. Why not venture out of your comfort zone and take a chance on love? Try internet dating, or that new app on your phone – Tinder. If you dare, cross the color line. No one is getting any younger. But our love juices continue to flow, let’s put them to some good use with someone who’s interesting, interested and into you!
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IN OUR NEXT EDITION - Part 2: Excerpts from Divorce. Wilderness. Peace. The Workbook.
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It's Love Month.
But What If You're Not In Love?
By Alexis Thal Yancey
Alexis Yancey is an accomplished Emmy winning television and radio producer who is owner and executive producer of Alexis Yancey Productions. She produced for CBS News, The Oprah Winfrey Show, among others and currently produces Fronteras, a show about issues along the U.S.-Mexico border for Texas Public Radio. With Paula Drew Fleming, she is co-author of the Divorce. Wilderness. Peace… A 40 Day Healing Journey book and workbook.
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