This sounds like a silly question to ask until you consider that black men seem to be almost non-existent in the lives of black women in film, on television, and most critically, from the lives of black women in real life from what’s being represented in the media and said in many past and current discussions on relationships. But, is this true? Let’s take a deeper look.
How does the media play into the proliferation of this narrative if at all? Rarely are we shown “black on black” images on television unless a crime is being committed or reported. Where is “black on black love” in mainstream media/entertainment? Did I just create another hashtag movement? Don’t worry, I’m not initiating a #BlackLoveMatters movement although it would be a huge marketing campaign for black Love and after all, love is still in need of love today just as it was when Stevie Wonder penned the song of the same name on his blockbuster album “Songs in The Key of Life” in 1976.
Is the absence of black men in the lives of black women on-screen art imitating life, life imitating art or the media using its power to influence our thoughts and perceptions in our daily lives? If the old adage is true, “A picture is worth 1,000 words”, how many words and impressions is motion picture worth? Unlike still images, our imagination is not needed to interpret what we’re viewing. Not only are we given moving images in the form of “motion picture”, we are given mood-altering music and other background cues that manipulate our emotions and thoughts to shape how we see the world around us and how we fit into it individually and collectively as a group. The conversation of the shrinkage of black men has been ongoing for years now and believe it or not, the media does wield great influence on its captive audience especially those who unwittingly mistake indoctrination for entertainment.
“Entertainment is the most subtle form of indoctrination.” Continued
Long before she graces the most beautiful gown imaginable with long flowing train in tow and long before he dons his tuxedo in full sartorial splendor as dapper as any man could fathom, long before bridesmaids and groomsmen have been carefully selected, and long before several hours have been devoted to planning their special day, and the first dollar has left his wallet to pay for their special day, there was just one man and one woman who alone made a very special decision that would set the stage for the monumental life-changing event just described. Love is a decision made long before a man and woman say “I do”. The exchange of those vows is the culmination of that decision that began long before. It is that foundation upon which the words “I do” rest. Love is actually a recurring decision that begins very early in a relationship. It is far more than a sentiment or lofty affirmation that two conjure up when the mood is right or just something said to set the tone for intimate escapades. It is made daily in the lives of two people who have opted to devote their lives to one another. A man makes that decision each and every time he resists the temptation to act upon an opportunity to engage in illicit carnal acts with other women. Those opportunities may be many but, love is the motivating factor that helps him to remain faithful. That decision is deliberate and just. A woman makes that decision each time she decides to trust a man with her heart. Undoubtedly, she has been hurt before. Sure, it is not the fault of the man that follows but, nonetheless she is understandably fragile as well as guarded. It takes great sacrifice, courage, and love for her to allow him entrance into her innermost sanctum. Love gives her the courage. It is deliberate and just. Daily they make conscious decisions to love by their very actions. Those decisions are not without sacrifice. It is impossible to offer love without the gift of sacrifice. Both make the decision long before they say “I do”. Each step they take together. Each decision they make apart for the benefit of their union is an act of and a decision to love. As the days become weeks, the weeks become months, and the months become years, they look back and it is evident that their love was expressed in deed and not just empty words often whispered from flattering lips and screamed from the mouths of fools. The journey, though long, has lasting and rewarding implications. A man and woman lay a foundation of love and build upon it for life. Make your words count for more than just the moment. Words are easy to come by especially when they are empty words spoken in the heat of the moment. Those words will have lingering and lasting effects either for the building of a lasting relationship or the detriment of a relationship that may have had promise. Remember that your daily decisions are a clear testament of the love that you profess to your significant other. Choose carefully actions that correspond to those words