Home About Me So many people use your name in vain …

So many people use your name in vain …


So … I was thinking

Yeah … just sitting in my bed … with my TV off … thinking

And I don’t know why … but I thought about Love … Black Love to be exact

Now … if Black Love was a car … it would have a strong motor and perfect transmission.  Something that any person who knew a car would love to behold.  Coated in chrome, spotless in all facets, and a remnant of good engineering for any that could appreciate it.

But … the body would be riddled with bullet holes, the wheels would have been stolen, with the car on blocks, the windows would be busted, the paint peeling and rusted and worst of all … the car wouldn’t be and old jalopy that had long been abandoned … but something close to new … that just had been a victim of its environment.


Black Love at its core is a beautiful thing.  It’s something that most of us aim and aspire to.  It’s what keeps us going out after that bad date, what helps motivate us to keep trying after that bad break up, and what gives us hope that “it’s gonna be ok”.  Ahhh … Beautiful Black Love.

At its core, Black Love is what many of our grandparents had, some of our parents, and a few of our friends.  It’s the stuff that is written in books, and powers the entire crappy and repetitive R&B industry.  It’ s captured in paintings, it’s talked about in poems, and it’s exemplified in front of our eyes in movies (well the good black ones at least).  It truly is a thing of beauty to behold … too bad you don’t see it anymore.

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I don’t know what has befallen us as a group.  Male and Female relationships are just abysmal.  Men don’t trust women … women are convinced we’re all no good … its amazing anyone actually works out.

So … all this … while I’m here thinking.

Now I focus on me … The one and only SBM … and his relationship with Black Love.

I don’t know her … I’ve spend a good portion of my life dodging her … and she is foreign to me.  She is like homeless woman who I don’t want to get near … but I bet if I got the time to know her … she probably has a heart of gold and is a sweetheart.  Black Love has never been cool with me … I haven’t really wanted to know her. Whenever her name comes up in my phone … straight to voicemail … because we have nothing to talk about.  When I see her out on the street … I’m ducking into an alley.  When she pokes up at the party I just walked into … I’m making a quick escape out the back window.  We ain’t got nothing to talk about!

Buy why?

Maybe I’m selfish … maybe I have a fear of commitment … maybe I want to sow my royal oats … or maybe it’s one of the other 3,521 reasons handed to us “scared men” (I hate that ABW sentiment so much its not even funny).

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Maybe … I’m just jaded.  Maybe when I see Black Love all I see is the bullet ridden exterior that has been ripped to shreds … and am just not willing to invest the time and effort.  Maybe I’m just a black man jaded.

Or … maybe … just maybe … maybe I’m waiting for that one person to grab my hand … bring me to this shell of former car … and show me the beauty that lies beneath.  Then … together … we restore her to the greatness she once was … something to be proud of.

Or maybe I’m thinking too much …


  1. Compelling metaphor… how long did it take you to develop that?

    In my (knowingly unwarranted) opinion, true love isn't something you can avoid or seek. It's like the cold virus, you have a million preventative measures and you still manage to get sick. (Forgive my poorly thought out metaphor, it's the best I could do on such short notice…) With that said, maybe love hasn't 'struck' you yet. My great-grandparents were married 56 years. When I turned 20-years-old, I asked them how they knew they were in love. Both of their responses concluded that they let love happen unknowingly. They weren't conscious of the change from friendship to relationship to marriage, because they didn't over-analyze it.

    Love doesn't take thought. It doesn't take lists, a point system or any other measure. It sounds cliche, but when it happens you'll know. Thinking about it and predicting it will only ruin it.

    Okay… no I am not an expert. I think the preceding comment is what I hope will happen. Maybe it is just an extension and verbalization of my childhood fairy-tale dreams.

    I don't know SBM, maybe I think too much too!

  2. BTW: I slightly disagree with your metaphor. I think that your description may be accurate, except, the wheels would still be intact. I say that because it seems to me that Black Love continues to move (now whether it's moving in a positive or negative direction is up for debate, but it's moving nonetheless). I would say Black love has a 'Little Engine That Could' mentality, in that it will continue to try and get over that hill regardless of the challenge, naysayers and physical condition.

  3. @Humbly: you are right the wheels would still be intact. black love is ever grown ever changing organism. It will not be stopped, jaded, turned away, left back, diluted, or delayed.

    There are examples of positive black love in the media, what you my dear dear SBM fail to realize is that love when it comes to you is not to be tossed aside neglected or looked over.

    Brown love is mahoghany inflected, soul directed, and for sure connected, so something deeper then any of us. It goes back to jumping the broom, husbands being sold away from wives too soon, black love with stands the test of time.

    Love is a trip if u aren't ready for it. It will consume you fill up your eyes and your ears and your mouth until the only thing you can see feel touch taste smell is love.

  4. Very good post!!!

    I'm like you, SBM, I don't know her. But not for your same reasons. 😉

    I think love can be a beautiful thing if it's nurtured… It must be done right and it must be honest and transparant.

    I've never had it, so maybe this is a fantasy though.

  5. I've newly come to the realization that love, on some level, is a choice. Not the choice to fall in love, but the choice to open yourself to love. Someone can grab your hand, show you how great things look under the hood, take you on a test drive, but if you've got your eyes and ears shut and have already made up your mind that it's not for you and you'd rather just rely on your donkey to get around instead, it's not gonna happen. People are so scared of getting hurt that they don't open themselves up when the time and person is right…. not saying you should open yourself up to everyone, but don't be closed off to everyone either. Love can't find you if you're constantly hiding.

  6. SBM you are no longer allowed to turn the TV off EVER AGAIN, lol!!

    I must admit though, this post inspired me to give Black Love another chance. Here I was ready to try "something new"…to seek love down a different alley.

    But you've reignited a flame.

    Thanks 🙂

  7. @Humbly: Your right the wheels would be still on … but I bet that b* would have four flats and be running on the rims. And I thought up the analogy in all of 15 minutes … there are holes in it … I know. I like the virus one too …

    @Akua: Sounds like Love is gonna suffocate me … uh … might have to keep sending her to voicemail.

    @Nicki: I no longer fantasize about love … figure I gotta just let it sneak up on me … or so I'm told.

    @Anesidora: I agree. So … that means if I decide to keep my eyes closed for longer … I can fight it?

    @Jasmine: Glad I "reignited" something for ya … I was just thinking out loud.

  8. Interesting piece…

    Lately I've been wanting to kick Love's ass and bust her in the bed with a bag of nickels. She's been doing me wrong….but maybe it wasn't her, it was her cousins that have been faking me out.

    Oh well.

    humblyambitious, great story about your great-grandparents. I fear that a love like that will never come into my life.

  9. "@Nicki: I no longer fantasize about love … figure I gotta just let it sneak up on me … or so I’m told."

    Good idea… I'm becoming more like you tho'.. I put her off for a while. 😉

  10. I know love all too well and her many variations. That is why I think you need to experience all the lesser forms of love to really appreciate when true, unconditional love comes along. Let's say that "ride or die" love. You're never going to get to that and value it if you don't open up and take a chance. YOU ARE GOING TO GET HURT, but you will heal. We all do. Some heal in more schizo ways than others but you will learn to love again. Get some new wheels, a new paint job and tinted windows. Tinted windows because you will be guarded at first, but she'll see right through and knock if she really wants to get through. Try it and you'll learn to love Love.

  11. Black Love is a fairytale.
    I find it particularly troublesome that we romanticize Love by adding Black as though it's something more powerful or any different from White, Brown or Asian Love. It's like chasing the mystical oracle in order to discover the fountain of life…GTFOH

    I think just experiencing and understanding what love is by itself would help heal the gushing wounds of Blacks. The love that we associate with our grandparents during the movement or slavery or whenever has nothing to do with a supernatural feeling that they had to join together. The social constructs and conditions provided for love and the things that come along with it. If you asked me where it is nowadays, Love is in the Upper Marlboro Court House filing for divorce with 3 kids and aching bunions.

  12. Oh, Black Love (which, looks like a guy to me…;)). I've never experienced him, but I believe (or I'd like to believe) that when he runs to me with arms wide open, I'll be ready with my legs arms open just as wide. Hiding from it and being afraid of it…or fighting, I found, is impossible because it's a losing battle. You can't truly control it…the feeling, I mean.

    I (and we) also have to fully embrace that the greatest Black Love is with yourself.

  13. @SBM

    Very interesting spin on Black Love! Actually, I did a post on it yesterday, however I didn't go as deep as you did. So I went back and added a link to yours! I truly like the way you spit it metaphorically.

    It's something that's impossible to hide from, in the words of KRS-One, "Love's gonna get cha!" The question which we must ask ourselves is that when love finds you, will you be ready to let yourself fall and love in return or will you continue to run?

  14. Why do people keep telling me you can't run from love? I mean … can't be that hard!

    @CPT: Personally … I put Black in front of it when I'm referring to the f*d up version that we seem to have. I hate to say it … but the other "colors" truly aren't the jacked up jalopy that we got. Trust and believe … adding the "Black" aint a good thing when I do it.

  15. "but I bet that b* would have four flats and be running on the rims."

    Oh lawd no, not the rims!!!

    CPT…you are wrong my friend. Black love is indeed different than White, Brown, Red and Yellow love.

    Now that's not to take anything from the different unions described above, but in this country it is indeed different because of our past.

    Because we are not now and have never been considered by this society or any other as the norm. Because daily our "blackness" is tested, prodded and poked for elasticity, that any love that can thrive in a world that demonizes and portrays it as a constant negative image is in fact a "great" love.

    Yeah we have our holes and our foundation is a little rocky…but to be able to withstand the hurricane of doubt while flourishing in the face of adversity makes Black love unlike any other. No man will ever be like a Black man…as the same can be said for men of other races. It is because of our differences that our love varies. The history is different, the daily struggles are different…therefore the dedication, perseverance and love necessary to support one another is the face of adversity is also different.

    I say all this to say, Viva La Black Love!!!

  16. "Trust and believe … adding the “Black” aint a good thing when I do it."

    SBM I'm saddened to see you say that…and to that think I was initially inspired.

  17. This was beautiful! I've had my cable, I mean TV, off for a few days now (dont judge me, its the recession!) and I still havent had any epiphanies.

    I've been there before, all in love, only had eyes for my bf, couldnt wait for the day to end just so I could see him, I've been all starry eyed and short of breath. We broke up years ago but I still find new things EVERY DAY that I learned from being in love.

    It is a choice, like Anesidora said, and it doesnt really happen unitl you open yourself up to it.

  18. hmmmm

    Dude, this is probably the most introspective thing you've written on this site. Respect.

    Before anyone thinks about "black" love, you have to think about "God's" love…which transcends race, nationality, etc etc etc. Not to get all religious and whatnot. But love is love.

    After mastering that, I think Black love is easy.

  19. @Jasmine

    I see where you are going but do you really see black love and support through this mess of a world we live in now? If so, please send all examples to my email. I'm at a loss for concrete evidence it exists.

    Now don't get me wrong, when I see my mother and stepfather happily married and making it work, I don't see black love, I see love and maturity enough to make that commitment work. Nothing black about it…just love itself.

  20. That was a brilliant metaphor. I am thoroughly convinced that because we romanticize and fantasize about love, many of us are infactuated with the idea of what love is. Its just like when you get a new car…you love the smell, the new leather seats, all the gadgets and goodies inside but you have to maintain it to keep it up. Oil changes, new tires, detailing,transmission flushes. Relationships are hard work and you have to invest time into it. And just like a car that is not looking so new or riding as smooth as it did in the beginning we start looking to trade it in or dump it ,if you will, before we assess whether its better to invest in what we have and make it better or go out and get that new car so we can get that new feeling again.
    We now live in a society that people don't look at love as a long term investment…people are out here leasing love. I know real love exists and I'ma just wait till I can get my love and own it so I don't have to keep getting caught up in these lease agreements…lol.

  21. CPT you just answered your own question, if your parents are Black that is. There is a different level of BS that most black men and women have to deal with today and have had to deal with since our presence on this land.

    There are different standards that are placed on us by ourselves and our society…persevering through all of that TOGETHER can only be defined as Black love.

    It goes back to "walking a day in my shoes"…to be me is to understand me, and to understand me is to love me like no one else can. I can't relate to being a Jew, and although I could probably love a Jew, not being able to relate to the Holocaust and the stigma still associated with Jews in this country will leave a vacancy that my love can't touch because I can't relate to it. It is not apart of me and my existence so my love can only go so far.

    Yeah yeah, love is love…but we are bonded by our likeness…and no one can love you like you can love yourself.

  22. As I sit and think some more … how did Black Love get so jacked up in the first place?

    I just think that the other "color" loves seem to be in a lot better shape than ours. It wasn't always bad either (I don't think at least) … but it is horrible now. *sigh*

  23. SBM I would disagree…it's not horrible but it's in pretty bad shape…but society has changed.

    Black men and women have changed…more women are excelling and more men are going tp jail. Absent fathers has steadily risen and bitter baby mamas has increased as well. Mass media perpetuates these stereotypes so the youth grow up thinking that it's the norm…thus continuing an already broken cycle while adding their cracks to it as well.

    There's a rift in our homes…BUT it only takes a spark to get a fire going. We can get it together…but it's going to take a movement of sorts…we just have to decide together if it's worth the effort.

  24. I am feeling the post. I look at Becky and Jimmy and realize that finding love might not be easy but it's realistic (and expected) for them. I wish it was the same for black folks…

  25. Artic Pimp just oulined it perfectly…finding love is the "norm" for others…there's our problem. It should be "expected" for our @sses too.

  26. *Scratched Record….*

    Okay…pardon the interruption for another dose of cynicism:

    "Black men and women have changed…more women are excelling and more men are going tp jail. "

    This is bullsh*t. Although there are a lot of BM who are in the system, where are we getting these incorrectly placed stats that allows prison population to be associated with the condition of love? Again for all of those who use stats as your basis, get off the notion that black men disproportionately are going to prison. A quick numbers game can show this is a fallacy.

  27. ummmm, what numbers are you looking b/c unfortunately sweetie it's the truth.

    and i was talking about the state of our race, everything affects love…especially how we view one another and what paths we are heading down. black men are mostly viewed as thugs by the masses because of very real statistics.

    there are stark contrasts in black homes and white homes…disproportionate realities, but they are just that…a reality. And if love can overcome them then there is a definite difference between black love and any other.

    …figured i'd tied it all together nicely for you, and bring it full circle.

    Black Love is like no other…you can believe that!

  28. CRAZY!! This is OUR reality…you see this nonsense.

    Loving this doesn't come easy. Loving men with so much anger and aggression built up inside of them, passed down from generation to generation…come one man. Boys who believe that THIS is the way to act, the way to live and the only way to survive…and you wonder why we "placed stats that allows prison population to be associated with the condition of love"

    "Again for all of those who use stats as your basis, get off the notion that black men disproportionately are going to prison. A quick numbers game can show this is a fallacy."

    Oh really now…show me the numbers.

    Go ahead. I'll wait.

  29. @Jasmine

    Start with whatblackmenthink.com…the site attacks erroneous mems such: "there are more black men in prison than college".

    Seriously….who profits from people believing that all black men are incarcerated and worthless? Btw, there are typically more women than men (all races) and the trend for women to be more educated and accomplished is happening with all races.

    Some things are not isolated to the black community.

  30. Artic I never made that claim. And I don't just read statistics, I live them. I live in a city where black men are killing each other for sport. I work in Adult Education, and the illiteracy rates for Blacks in relation to other races are saddening.

    And no one profits, but if we want to break the stereotype we gotta stop doing stupid sh!t like in the video above.

    I will read the site you suggested, but I stand by my claim…things are not going to get better until we stop trying to challenge the claim, and instead change the basis for it.


  31. Here's the thing…I never once even used the comparison that there were more blacks in jail than in college.

    "you arrive at a grand total of 193,000 incarcerated young Black males, or slightly over 10 percent"

    slightly over 10%…what about Hispanics, and whites..they're somewhere around 2-3%. that's kind of a big deal don't you think?

    "The 2007 sentenced male imprisonment rate (955 prisoners
    per 100,000 U.S. residents) was almost 14 times that of
    the female imprisonment rate (69 per 100,000). Black male
    offenders had the highest imprisonment rate (3,138 prisoners
    per 100,000 U.S. residents) of all racial groups, male or
    female. This was 6.5 times the imprisonment rate of white
    males and 2.5 times that of Hispanic males."

    U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics

    "you arrive at a grand total of 193,000 incarcerated young Black males, or slightly over 10 percent."

    …there are nearly 600,000 black men of ALL age ranges incarcerated to date.

    Here's the funny little thing about statistics…there is ALWAYS going to be one out there to support someone's ridiculous theory…but what is real is the mentality of alot of our young black men. And there are alot of lot of young black men who are killed before they even see the inside of a jail, killed young. In my city nearly 20 a month…a month.

    Challenging me on the FACTS is not going to change the REALITY.

    @Artic: I did you one better and bought the movie from the site.

    And being in Education I'm all for informative outlets…but at the end of the day if nothing is done with the information, if change isn't inspired by it, then it's just a bunch of words intelligently put together.

    Nothing more, nothing less.

    Talk is cheap

  32. “It”s not true,” said Paige Harrison, a statistician at the Bureau of Justice Statistics, with an audible gasp, ….” wild exaggeration with no factual foundation, while acknowledging that incarceration rates among young black males are several times higher than for whites or Hispanics

    According to 2005 Census Bureau statistics, the male African-American population of the United States aged between 18 and 24 numbered 1,896,000. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 106,000 African-Americans in this age group were in federal or state prisons at the end of 2005. See table 10 of this report. If you add the numbers in local jail (measured in mid-2006), you arrive at a grand total of 193,000 incarcerated young Black males, or slightly over 10 percent.

    According to the same census data, 530,000 of these African-American males, or twenty eight percent, were enrolled in colleges or universities (including two-year-colleges) in 2005. That is five times the number of young black men in federal and state prisons and two and a half times the total number incarcerated. If you expanded the age group to include African-American males up to thirty or thirty five, the college attendees would still outnumber the prisoners.”


    dig deeper…more on this later.

  33. As a new 'member' of this community, I must say that this conversation confirmed for me that I made a good choice. Okay… honestly I didn't choose this blog, I Googled 'black african american relationships' and happened upon it. Desperate for advise, sad I know. Nonetheless, I am happy with my choice to bookmark and frequent this blog.

    Good conversation. If I may add my -additional- 2 cents…

    I'm not surprised that SBM added the 'Black' to love in a negative fashion. Many of 'us's' do. Personally, I add 'Black' to love to express a distinction. Black love is very different and more challenging than the love experienced by other races. Why… like the Tootsie Pop commercials said, "The world may never know."

    I could go to back to history and say Black love is suffering because of families that were torn apart during slavery. I could attribute it to society and the constant message that Black men ain't sh!t and the Black women who buy into that notion. And so it goes… BUT I blame us. Regardless of the root of the problem, if the problem is recognized, we need to address and correct it. HOW? Well kudos to you SBM because creating discussions surrounding the issues are the first step. Next, we need to take the action necessary to correct it. Talk is cheap, action is hard.

    You know what is funny, I feel like I'm preaching but I know that I'm only talking to myself and checking my own attitude. We need to check ourselves sometimes. We need to stop buying into societal standards and shape Black love for ourselves. No influence from rappers, singers, movies or 'The Man'.

    I'm on a crusade. The Angela Davis of Black Love reporting for duty…

  34. @Humbly: Thanks for coming through, thanks for the comments, and thanks for stating your piece … yeah … a forum for conrtuctive thought is what I’m all about …

  35. compelling article! i loved it, i myself can relate, and i think you very succintly described what *some of us are going through. i grew up in a single parent household, headed by a female, not raised by the biologicals, it was so stereotypical i suppose, but it was a reality. most of the black people i knew were not married, simply co habitating.

    so it was hard to relate what i saw in film and in some of my white schoolmates homes to the reality of my family and many black people i knew, ( not all of course, some were married) i think alot of us shirk responsibility, we do not want the responsibility of loving someone, of being obligated to do something, which is harmful.

    i for one, cringed at the thought of being a single mother, of being stuck with a deadbeat, of being a baby’s momma but never a wife. how we relate to each other is through a veil of mistrust, of “what are you trying to get from me, what are you hiding”, yes i can feel it.

    even when i pass some brothers on the street i can feel that weight in some of their looks, maybe they are wondering how many kids i have, or what issues i may have, or do i think im this and that because of how i’m dressed. etc. alot of stereotypes (based on some reality) that we are living with.

    I blame us too, because it’s 2010 and we know better, there are books, there are courses, there are answers and ways to find them, but we keep skirting around each other. hitting and missing. who wants to deal with all that? i know i don’t, ” I” of course, just want to be happy, not try to heal a racial gender divide, i don’t have time to do that, i don’t know how, but i know healing has to begin.

    great article, i hope there are more to come regarding this subject


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