Black love still thrives

God has a sense of humor. My parents’ relationship is proof.
The then edgy East Coast ladies man with a customized sports car, it gadgets and the outspoken Southern belle, who routinely wore minidresses and stilettos and maintained her baby high top fade in the barbershop with her brothers, formed a union during small town college life. Neither of them came to Grambling State University under guises of spousal selection. They studied, dated, explored and eyed each other for years before the gutsy belle left a note on said sports car.

Skip a few years. The belle gave birth to a long limbed blob with thick coils a month after graduation.

Had I not been the blob born of their quirks, today’s Black marriage statistics might frighten me. But their friends’ stories are similar. My experience with Blacks and marriage was pretty homogeneous growing up.

I was insulated from the gloom and doom deficit. Today countless news reports comment on and question the state of the Black union.

The preferred angle is that of the “successful” man-less Black woman.Women of every other racial category marry at higher rates than we do. Often these women wed the very Black men some sistas pine away for.

So is Black love dead? Are we, high achieving Black women with standards, no longer as desirable as in past eras? Should we blame the block or the prison industrial complex?
Do we outnumber Black men in all arenas so much that we ought to give guys our phone numbers, while simultaneously taking a number on a long list of boo thangs?

Are partners of similar ilks being outsourced to another community (ahem, gender)? Is sista synonymous with spinster?
Despite documentation of the contrary, I don’t believe so. It takes a village to raise a child.

Imagine what it takes to sustain a union. We are the world, but we must also take individual ownership of our lives.
We can’t be so affection- starved that any ol’ being will do. Women can’t accept any non-cross-eyed brotha with a pulse. The same must apply to men.

The issue of marriage is a multifaceted one. We should be aware of, but not enslaved by statistics.

While time will show President Obama’s effectiveness, erring on the side of hope brought us our first Black first family.
A healthy dose of optimism is just that, healthy. I haven’t met too many men or women of any race who seek jaded partners, no matter how beautiful the smile, whittled the physique or developed the mind.

While emotional suppression isn’t healthy, Black women must remain mindful of the prevailing angry Black woman stereotype. Had the bubbly belle been obsessed with societal documentation of Black failure, I wouldn’t be here.

The media profits from perceptions of Black dysfunction. So as I am bombarded with these reports, I envision the picture of the svelte couple on our piano at home.

The two beaming, brown faces grin with knowledge of a well-concealed baby bump and mutual understanding.

They shared and continue to share a powerful love. That’s not to say that their life together is totally devoid of tarnish.

But it’s working. It’s happy. It brought three other lengthy blobs.
Much like them, I’m here to take care of business. I encourage upwardly mobile brothas and sistas to do the same.

Family is cool, but no matter how it all pans out, the sum of our existences aren’t declining numbers, uninhabited wombs and ringless fingers.

Sidenote: Dad, I didn’t need to see the copulation apartment in Ruston. My life was proof enough. Although I’m sure someone in the clouds chuckled at my squirming.

Imani Jackson is a junior mass communication major from Jacksonville, Fla.