I am from the hip-hop Generation. One of my favorite songs as a teenager was LL Cool J’s “Around The Way Girl.” Even though his lyrics never mentioned race, it was clear that he was describing a Black woman. I was a homeless teenager living in New York City at the time and remember feeling like I wanted to do something similar to what he did. I thought it was awesome the way he paid homage to his love interests, his sisters, friends and women in his community. As I write this article, that is the soundtrack playing in the background.
My love of Black women is partly due to what they have done for me in my life, but more about what they do for the family and what they’re doing in the world at large. What matters most is who is there for you when you need them most. I can say with assurance, that when my back is against the wall, my foster mother, sisters, wife and female friends are going to show up for me. I can’t say that the men in my life have done the same. All the way back to childhood, it was abundantly clear whom I could depend on. When I lived in an orphanage, 90 percent of the volunteers and staff at the facility were Black women. I was adopted by a Black woman; when I was homeless, it was a Black woman who took me in. Today, in my professional pursuits, it has been Oprah Winfrey, Mona Scott and Queen Latifah who have given me the biggest opportunities thus far in my career.
I love reading, especially books about Black history. I have found that from slavery to civil rights, the Black woman has proven to be the force that has held the family unit together. I have the highest level of respect love and gratitude for her. I feel her pain, her struggle, her oppression and her challenges. I get mad when I observe men disrespecting, hurting or abusing her. I get upset when other cultures artificially enhance themselves to look like her but yet won’t acknowledge her as a standard in beauty. It pisses me off when corporate America doesn’t show her how valuable she truly is or compensate her for it. I feel how she feels when mainstream media doesn’t embrace her natural features. I could only imagine the real toll it has taken on a Black woman’s spirit over the years.
That is why I am so moved by what I see happening today: Every night of the week, I watch a show on primetime television that has a Black female lead. On any given day, my social media timeline has endless new stories about Oprah, Beyoncé, Michelle Obama and other phenomenal Black women who are breaking through boundaries. I can’t tell you how many Facebook invites I get from around the country, for women’s empowerment events and natural hair meet-ups. I attend many of them, not only to show my love, but also to be inspired.
Given all that has transpired throughout history, it is extremely motivating to see black femininity, power and beauty celebrated in the way that it is today. It’s exciting to watch. Just witnessing this shift happening pushes me to step my game up and do whatever I can do to get my gender to be better.
When I was a bachelor, I was open to dating women from various ethnicities and backgrounds, but when it was time to tie the knot, I knew I would marry an “Around The Way Girl.” Someone who embodied what I wanted my children to emulate and someone who looked like them. Luckily for me, my wife was also intelligent, sophisticated, beautiful, strong, loyal, sweet, supportive, sexy, creative, domestic, and an all-around team player. However, it was also important to me to marry a Black woman because I wanted to be intentional about my life and our legacy. I wanted to break the cycle of broken families that occurs in my community and contribute to black love remaining alive and strong in the world today.
Read more work from professional matchmaker and motivational speaker Chris Kazi Rolle on his blog.Share :