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Taking Back the Single Black Woman Conversation

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When popular dating site OKCupid.com released data about men being less likely to open e-mails from Black women, we threw our hands up in the air out of frustration. We had had it. Not so much with the information, but more so by the continued reports of how grim our dating prospects seem. Last week, Senior Editor for "The Atlantic" and author of "The Beautiful Struggle" Ta-Nehisi Coates weighed in on why OKCupid's results seemed so dismal and why the single Black woman conversation is so off-putting. First, Coates points out that OKCupid's usership is disproportionately White and that most Black people are probably participating in dating sites like Blacksingles, soulsingles and EliteNoire. These sites' usership skews data on sites like OKCupid, he explains, because there is no equivalent for White singles. "There is no Caucasian Dating Network ... OKCupid is the Caucasian Dating Network," Coates writes. "The tales of Black women's woes are becoming grating, not because Black women don't have their share of struggle," he continues, "but because of the lack of agency that runs through them all, this sense that Black women are there to be acted upon, to wait by the phone. There's almost an objectifying quality to the whole discussion." Indeed there is something creepy about the national attention to our dating lives--something that is so private. Why is everyone so concerned with whether we're able to find a man and procreate all of a sudden? We don't pity ourselves and we don't want to be pitied. However, if there is a positive element to all of the articles that have been written and TV news segments that have been aired about Black women being doomed for the single life, it is that the conversation of finding love has been brought to the forefront of our minds again. The search for a lifelong partner is not a uniquely Black issue. Yet, just like women of any race, we have our own unique set of variables to consider. Often what we want and what we deal with gets grouped in with the overall female experience. Let's talk openly and unabashedly about dating, romance and our right to love. Let's discuss with each other the different strategies we have for finding it whether it be online dating or going on a singles cruise. Let's take back this discussion of Black women finding love. Read More:
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