Black America’s Funny Little Valentine

“My funny valentine…
Sweet, comic valentine…
You make me smile with my heart
Your looks are laughable, unphotographable
Yet you’re my favorite work of art

Is your figure less than Greek?
Is your mouth a little weak?
When you open it to speak,
Are you smart?
But don’t change a hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little valentine
Stay
Each day is Valentine’s Day”
-My Funny Valentine

Maybe it’s just me, maybe it’s because I’m wrapping up “The Book of Obsidian”, but I sensed an inordinate amount of anxiety on the part of my fellow Black Americans this past Valentine’s Day Weekend, 2020. If my suspicions and observations, informed in the main by my monitoring of Black social media are accurate, the apprehension is fully warranted, despite our angry denials to the contrary. By now, the ways in which we can recount how and why “Black Love” is, if not dead at the very least on serious life support, are legion and a matter of public record: Just about every life measure we would recognize as legitimate in a 21st century first-world nation, Blacks rank at or near the rock bottom. This has been thus for many, many years; but, I honestly do think that now, with the advent of the Black Manosphere and yours truly in particular, coming to the forefront, the realization is slowly sinking in that the State of Black Love is not very good.

But that, believe it or not, is not the real story; the real story is how Black Americans are coping with this very real loss of a way of life many of us have held near and dear – and where we go from here.

SHAMELESS PLUG AD BREAK: Like what you’re reading now? Wait till you see my very first book, “The Book of Obsidian: A Manual for the 21st Century Black American Gentleman”, which comes out Summer 2020! Here’s YOUR chance to help me bring the dream to life, by supporting “The Book of Obsidian Fundraising Campaign”! All the details are over at GoGetFunding.com. Now, back to the article!

THE FIVE STAGES OF GRIEF
Many years ago, in the wake of my dad’s passing, I came across the work of the late Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, who came up with the idea that we go through “five stages of grief” when dealing with a profund loss in life – such as that of a parent. While Kubler-Ross’ work was focused on death and dying, it could also be applied to other losses – the loss of a career, marriage/relationship or in this sense, community. Kubler-Ross’ work greatly assisted me at a time of tremendous grief and suffering, gave me a different perspective on life and set the stage for me to move on with my life.

I would like to submit, that one, Black America is in the midst of grieving a “death” of Black Love; and that two, whether it knows it or not, it is also going through the five stages of grief.

Those that are interested in the matter can look into it more in-depth for themselves, but in brief, the first few stages of grief are anger and denial, while the final stage of grief is acceptance. I’ve found that many of the “conversations” that take place on Black social media on Black Love are deeply rooted in anger and denial about the reality of our situation; while, if I may be so candid, I’m at the final stage of grief – acceptance. I know well all of the indices and statistical indicators bearing on Black Love, coupled with myriad anecdotes from Black men and women alike. In essence, I see things for what they are and I have accepted it. In short, I’m just over it and am ready to move on; to get on with it.

That means that I’m OK with a changing Black America, with its continuing socioeconomic class stratification and “transcendant” and “emerging” classes of Black Americans – many of whom will be the children of bi-racial and/or immigrant unions (Barack Obama is a case in point that easily comes to mind) – coming along to take centerstage and lend their contributions to what it means to be Black. It means that I’m good with the fact that Black men and Black women – especially those who are well educated and well earning – are increasingly living apart, due to the simple and sobering fact that they want completely different things out of life and have the means to live their lives as they both see fit. And I’m even OK with the fact that while it is true that the rising tide that lifted all boats that was the end of Jim Crow in the 1960s, didn’t lift them all equally – that there are now concentrated pockets of poverty and despair in Black America that are really being threatened with being left behind in the New Black American Century. As Jesus himself once famously said, the poor will always be with us.

But with all that being said, we now have to move on to the problems – the very real ones – that remain for Black Americans in the years ahead. Below, I give my take on what those problems as a result of the breakdown and death of Black Love might mean.

SHAMELESS PLUG AD BREAK: Like what you’re reading now? Wait till you see my very first book, “The Book of Obsidian: A Manual for the 21st Century Black American Gentleman”, which comes out Summer 2020! Here’s YOUR chance to help me bring the dream to life, by supporting “The Book of Obsidian Fundraising Campaign”! All the details are over at GoGetFunding.com. Now, back to the article!

THE PROBLEMS THAT REMAIN
Part of the reason as to how and why so much of the cold realization that Black Love is in so many ways dead for so many Black Americans, is because we took so much of what it represented for granted. For example, taking care of each other – a sine qua non of what “community” means to so many of us – is a case in point. The lessening of familial ties that many GenXers and early Millennials look back on fondly – clear cases in point along these lines are the songs “Family Reunion” by GenXer and fellow Philly native Jill Scott and “Unbreakable” by early Millennial and native New Yorker Alicia Keys – poses challenges that I honestly do not think we are prepared to contend with.

One glaring example of this is what I refer to as the looming “Black Spinster Crisis”, the leading edge of which we are only now just witnessing. I’ve written about this recently in this column and repays close study, as the references I cited offer some sobering, even chilling, numbers and projections along these lines. As a result of a number of forces and factors – some of which were in fact self-inflicted by Black women themselves – there are now and will continue to grow in number, literally millions of Black women who have no husbands or family members around who will be able to care for them in their most vulnerable years.

A second problem in our Brave New World, is the caring for the young. With the USA now leading the world in single-mother led homes according to the Pew Research Center and Black America in particular leading that charge, Black American cultural, political and thought leaders/influencers have absolutely no idea as to how to meaningfully tackle this issue that doesn’t entail the assailing of Whites for succor and support. That leads me to the third problem…

Which is closing the supposed “racial wealth gap” – WITHOUT doing it the good old fashioned American Way. Which meant marriage. Again, our “leaders” – which includes those who consider themselves “Pro-Black” – don’t have a clue about doing this that doesn’t entail marching/protesting, appealing to the ballot box or getting a court to hand down a favorable EEOC type ruling. But the fact of the matter is, that for most Americans, one of the surefire ways to get ahead is to get married and stay that way – something that most Black Americans today simply aren’t willing to do.

And that’s just for starters; there are many, many more “casualties” of the death of Black Love.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Now adjourn your asses…

MOA

Mumia Obsidian Ali is a citizen journalist, podcaster, talk radio show host, newly minted dating coach and soon to be book author. You can catch his daily live shows on Mixlr, and his podcasts on YouTube and Black Avenger TV, as well as his weekly dating coach column at the Negromanosphere website. He’s also a semi-professional pest.

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