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Do black women think black men are useless?

COMPLICATED: Some black women have a negative view towards black men, writes David Emeka Ogbogu (Photo credit: BP)

ARE BLACK men useless? Well to some – and more specifically one of my YouTube commentators, the answer was: “Yes!!! Slavery in [Libya] and guess who's the slave??? Blacks, He’s mentally inferior... He can't protect himself or his race... He'll always be a fucking boy in a Man’s world.”

The above view, which was taken from the comment section of my YouTube channel, is a growing narrative. Throughout my travels across the U.K., I have spoken to many black women on and off camera about their perception of black men.

Whilst I was happy to receive a pass from most black women, my conscience wondered why some of them view black men in an unfavourable light. Through my research, I realised there were three prevalent themes which represented the general disappointment black women had with black men:

1. The reported lack of maturity or drive to have successful careers
2. A lack of black father figures
3. The desire of some black men to settle outside their race.

While many would consider the above quote as pure nonsense, many black women I have spoken to off camera seem to vehemently share the notion that black men are “mentally inferior”. But what does this mean? Well, ironically, aspects of this question can be answered with the words of one of the most dominant black icons of the 20th century; Malcolm X.

Malcolm X, asserted the view that: “We feel that with the black man spending 20 billion dollars a year, not setting up any business’s... not creating any job opportunities for his own kind, he’s not in a moral position to point the finger today at the white man…for not giving him jobs in factories that he himself set up”

Malcolm took this stance to extricate the colloquially put, ‘slave mentality’ of feeling that black men cannot do much without his former master directing his destiny. However, in order to address the title and accusations of alleged immaturity, we must ask ourselves, have black men answered the call to “set something up of our own” on a scale that removes the need to point to race for a lack of opportunities in life?

According to the ONS, unemployment rates for young black men without degrees in 2013 was “44%”. In 2016 this number had fallen to “29%”. For black men with degrees the percentage was “18%”. In contrast, white men without a degree was less than half at “20%” during 2013, and “10%” in 2016.

But what do these statistics tell us? I myself have been a part of this statistic but you are currently reading my article.

I'm a 26-year-old Nigerian male with two master’s degrees and a year out from finishing my PhD. I would not deem myself as a useless black man because I was in and out of employment. Conversely, the implications of black businesses hiring only black people to bring the 18% unemployment rate down would cause controversy on racial discrimination grounds.

The second gripe that some black women have with black men revolves around the lack of father figures. One of my interviewee’s, Damie, stated in a recorded interview that: “My mother… played the mother and the father role … I don’t expect to be with a man and have him do things for me… when you come across as a strong black women it can be quite intimidating especially to the black man.”

In other words, watching an independent black woman raise solely by one parent has conditioned Damie into viewing black men as contingent beings as opposed to a quintessential pillar of stability and leadership. Although black nuclear families are not rare per say, many black people in the U.K. and in the U.S. can attest to the experience of a ‘broken family’, which usually composes of a single mother and her children.

Consequently, the impact this has on black men raised in this environment, from Damie’s view point, is that there are “things you would expect from a man [black], sometimes there not ready to…adapt”. This is the nice way of saying that some black women do not view black men as traditional dominant reliable figures in society that can accompany black women, who view themselves as dominant and successful due to how their mothers have raised them (alone).

Whilst, some of the judgments placed on black men are not representative of the general black population, I think if we are being honest, most people will know a black woman that holds certain negative views towards black men - and their view points are usually for a good reason.

Are black men useless? No. Can we achieve more? Like all other races, yes.

Follow David on Instagram: @Crossingtherubiconn and YouTube: Crossing The Rubicon

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