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Evolution of a Professional Single Black Male

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I am a Single Black Male (well … technically since I’m not married).  But something else that I am … something I talk about but leave out of my name … another label that I have is … professional.

Yes … I am a Professional Single Black Male.

The term “professional” is used all the time … adored by many (mainly boughie black folks) and hated by others … we all know what it means so I’m not gonna spend all day defining it.  Basically I’m talking about your educated, white collar, sit behind a desk and waste your life away for a paycheck type of career people.



Being a black male professional, means I have a healthy amount of black male “professional” friends (except for Ray Ray and Nuck Nuck … can’t take them n***s nowhere).  At some point you and your boys, usually when drunk or high in a sharing mood, exchange “life stories”.  You get a basic timeline of how things in their life went down and what molded them into the man they are today.

There is one thing I often find in common between these black professional men when comparing their younger selves to their current selves. Lets investigate one particular Professional Single Black Male as he grows up:

High School

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High School is … eh.  Our subject studies too much, doesn’t go out enough, and has too high grades.  He has friends, is popular enough, and has fun … but while his girlfriend is … OK … all the cheerleaders are going for the n****s on parole in the high school.  Did I forget to mention our subject attends your typical “ghetto” high school … hood rats galore.

College

College is usually the Professional Single Black Male’s coming of age.  He significantly improves his ability to talk to women, with the diversity of people he finds in college he finally understands himself better, and he finds out where he “fits in”.  Sadly, he has to devote a lot of time to studying and keeping the scholarship that his high school GPA gave him, mix that in with the fact that there are so many women and you will see why he isn’t “settling” down.  He’s not smashing like crazy … too many credits … but he is def getting it in.

Post Graduate

Now, our subject finds himself working a relatively nice job with a real career.  He goes to “grown & sexy” happy hours, investeded in some good suits, and has finally made it into the “uppity” crown.  But now something interesting is happening … he is getting a lot of attention from the opposite sex.  Everywhere he goes women are shocked that he hasn’t been to jail, has a job, and doesn’t have a baby’s mama.  He’s finally made it.  Let the orgies begin!

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Now … I can’t say this model works for all Professional Single Black Males … hell … probably not even half … but it highlights an important concept that I’ve seen.  It can best be summed up by quoting the none other than Mike Jones:

“Back then they didn’t want me … now I’m hot they all on me”

Apparently a lot of the “highly desirable” men, once you hit the high 20s, came from meager beginnings.  Back when they were actually studying to get into a good college, and then studying even harder to do good in said college, women were passing them by.  I’m not saying they were losers … but when girls are young they want a “thug”.  A guy who has a gun is cool, and the guy in the marching band is dorky and … just … ugh.

But, once the diploma’s are handed out, and lot of the guys getting head in the high school bathroom getting the attention back in the day are locked up or working at UPS, its the lawyers, engineers, and former nerds that are desired.

The inherent problem … many black men just don’t handle this well.  I can’t tell of how many countless stories I’ve heard of “professional” black men who won’t commit because they have so much to choose from.  Its like the person who was denied candy all their life … suddenly gets the keys to the candy store.  Do you really expect them to just choose one?

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I admit this isn’t everybody, but is my premise wrong? Are there a lot of desirable professional black men who refuse to settle down because they want to enjoy their newfound popularity? Can you blame them? Should you blame the women who dissed them in the past?

Makes ya think … huh

Comment(36)

  1. I have to say that tracks my life to the letter right now. I'm in grad school tryin to get put on. Actually I noticed that in my later years of undergrad that women were checkin for me.

    The attention got better especially when I went into the Peace Corps.

    Having a gf does help the problem, but there have been bumps along the way.

    Whom is at fault? That's a good question. It's a numbers and ratios thing once the BM grow up. I feel like on a certain level the tables have turned and of course it gets infuriating to be on the other end. Especially if someone is in the midst of their sexual peak. Sound familiar?

  2. Definitely an interesting blog. Since I’ve been back in the DC Metro area, I’ve noticed as a late-twenties attractive, professional woman with degrees and no kids it’s nearly impossible to find someone of my “caliber”. While I’ve dated men who fit into the same category, when in relationships with them they are not above admitting that they are a hot commodity or the cream of the crop, especially in this area. I never encountered this living down south.

    The quote you used, “Its like the person who was denied candy all their life … suddenly gets the keys to the candy store” definitely put things into perspective.

  3. Once a lame, always a lame. Having a professional career doesn’t change that so I’ve come to find out.

  4. Co-sign im getting wayyyyyyy more play then i ever did in high school i think the resintment comes in to forms
    one because they come at you when they are used up ( babies by the thugs)
    and 2 there is always this underlying thing thats palable between the both of you that she is only trying to be with you for security and doesnt really like you she would much rather be with the thug he just has no money.

  5. Its been my experience that a lot of the Professional Black Men I've encountered/observed are guilty of doing the very thing they accuse women of doing – ignoring the educated, professional women in favor of wannabe video girls or women who need help paying the light bill.

    As a woman who has always been more attracted to the kid in my Physics lab over the star of the football team, its frustrating to have so many men lump into this overall group of women who they feel have dissed them until they got an education and/or some money. I didn't spend my early years dating D-boys or going after thugs, yet I get treated like I'm damaged goods, by the men that I've been checking for all along. Frustrating, to say the least…

  6. I can agree with this post. However, I think that there are two situations that come out of here, and dctelldat hit it on the head.

    1) Lames. Even if you were a geek back then and then came up on the world. Don't get too gassed broseph, that lameness will be coming out sooner or later. Women can sniff a fraud a mile away. And don't think those hating women don't go back and find out in HS or college you used to be a herb. Just like people get professional degrees and act like they not hood, until Gucci Bandana comes on in the club, the similar happens with lames.

    2) You finally get to the point in life where you are doing your thing and you don't know how to let go. Always keep in mind that it's always time to keep it pimpin'. You can't allow immediate success to allow you to slow down. Keep trying to get your paper and your trophy wife.

    Myself, i've always said, I know enough to know when to quit when ahead. You won't see me find the best woman for me and be like but i'm a still a Professional SBM, or Buppie, nah son, quitting when I find my wifey.

    Dr. J

  7. I want to agree with your post but since I was the man in high school also lol jk. I am almost the dude you were talking about, except I played both high school, college and a small professional stint of football, I pulled girls off of that.

    Though I agree with this phenomenon for some people, I feel that this is mostly with the lames that were getting punked in high school. I think most professional men were dudes that worked hard and were highly socialable ppl (probably responsible for some of their success).

  8. In this area in particular, the ratio for women to men is like, and I quote myself, 23 women to every half a man.

    The blue collar/buster/loser/deadbeat daddie guys here have an abundance of choices with women. Seriously, those guys have women fighting to be with them, imagine how many the professional guys have

    *sigh*

    It takes a strong man to be monogamous in DC.

    Thats the real reason men love DC women, there are so many, and so many are desperate for a man

  9. This is the SAT (Sad Ass Truth). But I think it only accounts for half the men. All the things you talk about here, are so obvious to any woman who just sits back and looks at a dude. Oh and don't let him be a 'first'! As in first on in his immediate family to make it out of the hood, avoid jail, use full sentences, graduate from college, etc. Sweet Baby Jesus in a high chair! Ain't nothing sadder than a 'first'. Once you get past the slick veneer, I find that they are just as self-conscious and insecure as many were back in HS and lack real personality–at least during their 20's. By their 30's they are usually done smelling themselves and realize that they are just regular people who did what they were supposed to do.

    The other half of PSBM's were actually cool in HS–not for being thugs though. They were cool and girls liked them because they had PERSONALITY. A good number go on to be successful as adults. They actually end up a bit better than the other guys because they never really waste too much time smelling themselves.

  10. This is very true but also very difficult for me. I've always liked the nerdy intelligent dude, the thugs never appealed to me because I'd already seen what happens when the thug grows older. Thus when I come across the former nerd turned PSBM and they are unwilling to settle down and make an effort to be with a particular woman I get frustrated and I wonder who the hell are they going to get married to if they and their friends are constantly sampling the goods. But also what make me angry is these men act as though they are one in a million, but because of the people I surround myself with they are one amongst many. I am at the point that when I go to the networking events and see them peacocking around I want to tell them there are 52 of you here now….stop acting as you're so damn unique and special….you're not as uncommon as you were 7 years ago…

  11. Even though I shirk at the word "professional" because of bougie people's overuse and elitist connotations for you using it…that's exactly what I am. This story rings true for me at least. Carry-on…

  12. Right DCTELLTHAT ITA…..SMH a degree or title doesn't make you sexy or attractive….but then I guess that depends on who you asking and what their criteria is?????

    *shrug*

  13. HOSTESS

    I went on a date with a "first" guy

    He was horrible

    Didn't want to spend xmas with his family cause they were "ghetto"

    thought Jasper's was too ghetto..wtf..we weren't having drinks at the CFE or Martinis..

    He must really didn't know GHETTO

    Ugh…

  14. men (or women for that matter) who only have their degrees to talk about or their success are lame anyway

    thats not all that matters. if thats all you got, then i feel sorry for ya

  15. I can't blame them… I don't think anyone should be blamed for not settling down when they are ready…

    As long as the man isn't lying to multiple women and he's out having safe fun, it's fine.

    If you settle down before you are ready, then u will screw it up and break someone's heart in the process…

  16. So I suppose if I just said "well I only date strippers and or vid chicks cuz reg girls are lame" thats cool huh?

    I aint being "picky" but my career is now kicking into gear-I just wrapped shooting the BK Fashion Weekend, so I need a women that can understand as a filmmaker I will ALWAYS be around pretty, successful women however if she is used to dating Posers she may think my whole film thing is a front so that to me is the outcome of chicks dating lame dudes-who I define as MEN WHO LIED & WOMEN accepted that LIE.

    And what makes him lame-selling drugs doin time or lying about it (the Rick Ross effect) or being socially awkward? So if I am so cool and smooth but a sociopath but I can date you maybe even have kids with you but if I cant dance and I am shy and despite being in college I have no shot? No wonder women believe there is a man shortage

  17. "If you grew up with holes in your zapatos, you'd celebrate the minute you was having dough". That about sums it up. If you never had p!, and it took you 'til 25 to get a handful, of course you are going to clown until you tire of it.

  18. Well as a mid-twenties military guy, with a degree shortly forthcoming, I’m not as lucky as the average “Professional Single Black Male”.
    I would be if I lowered my standards and dated whichever immature, never been out there hometown female that came my way, but I don’t have time for that type of nonsense.

  19. I’m 80% of the guy you described. The only difference is that in high school I played football so I got a little love with the geekdom. College got better, was studying to become an engineer. And now I have a full buffet to pick from but I play nice. You can’t taste everything on the menu, might get you sick.

  20. i'm that professional black male that you are describing. high school, college and post graduate (well not really post graudate seeing as how i'm still in school, but you get the point) describe me.

    in high school i really wasn't too worried about being passed over for thugs because my dad sat me down early and told me the game. he used to always say that there would be plenty of time to chase girls and i should focus on my education. i think he was actually surprised that i listened to him. lol.

    i think the difference with me is that even though i was a nerd/geek i was still very popular because i excelled in sports (basketball and track. so when i became even more popular, it really didn't change how i interacted with the opposite sex.

  21. This almost describes my life to the letter, although I was cool enough in high school that I had a little female attention. But as the thugs went to jail and the stuck-up women started having kids, putting on some pounds and realizing there prospects aren't what they used to be, I started getting a lot more attention.

    The old saying is true with the PSBM, a woman is, a man must become.

  22. i was the chick that was friends with all the geeks and shy dudes, and dated the basketball star. he wasn't a thug though, only dude on the team that wore polos, sweater vests and was in honors classes. but the logic is true. most of those geeks that chicks didn't want to date are in law school, med school, or some type of engineer traveling the world for work. my daughter will know better as I did, thug has never ever been attractive to me.

  23. in high school i really wasn’t too worried about being passed over for thugs because my dad sat me down early and told me the game. he used to always say that there would be plenty of time to chase girls and i should focus on my education. i think he was actually surprised that i listened to him. lol.

    Tunde I had the SAME talk with my Dad and Uncles! They told me to make sure I got out of HS and into a good college, and everything else will fall into place. They also hinted that the people shining now wouldn't shine in the future. Its crazy checking people you went to HS and grade school and see the popular kids with a less than stellar living, especially those who were a$$holes!

    That description chronicles for the most part my PSBM life. I also feel DCTELLDDATR on the lames: A lot of cats come to College and otehr settings with a clean slate and act like their prior transgressions won't find them again. lolol.

    I don't think that having a selection is bad. Too many people settle on the first person they find and get with ppl because they "should have a significant other" which is BS. All professionals shhould date mingle and take their time to find someone who's truly worth your time, and have fun looking!

  24. “Apparently a lot of the “highly desirable” men, once you hit the high 20s, came from meager beginnings.”

    I think this tiny aspect attracts me because they’re professional, but because of their background may still have a little hood in them..that balance turns me the hell on. It’s like seeing a ninja outside in a suit rockin’ a cap (or even better, a Kangol hat) tipped a bit to the side. Does it for me.

    Anyhow, back to your point…which is an interesting one. And I really can’t deny it makes a whole bunch of sense and just may be the damn truth.

  25. I've always been the girl more attracted to the smart guy than the jock. I was in honors/AP classes, so when there was a black guy in my classes (very rare!), he would immediately get my attention.

    Even when I was 12 years old, I couldn't understand why my friends were chasing after the boy with braids and baggy pants. Give me the guy w/ the fresh tape and khakis any day!

    I'm new back on the dating scene after a 4 year relationship and at this point, I would love to have the entire package- a brainiac that's at least semi-athletic. 🙂

    It's disheartening to hear that the smart brothas are feeling themselves like that.I mean, play the field while you're young, but don't alienate the attractive and intelligent women that are on your level because you're trying to get back at the girl from 7th grade…

  26. Now what about that girl that didn't dis the nerds back in the day and still appreciates them for who they are today? Yet they are the ones passed over for some reason. I tell you the whole dating game is just that…a game.

  27. I'm glad to see this story isn't just my own and my friends.

    I know I personally got tired of the "fun" (well … kinda) and I'm happily bunned … but I've seen the sudden "rise in popularity" truly ruin good guys who simply lost their minds.

    But I can't help but feel them though. I always wonder about young rappers or "superstars" who get bunned up quick … like they don't want to sample that groupie love? But maybe thats just me …

  28. I would assume that the professional single black men knows what he wants by the time he actually starts to be come a commodity. As long as he isn't two-timing, I don't see any issues with testing the waters.

    Apparently i'm missing all the chicks who don't prefer the thug type, show some love to your fellow nerds >.>

  29. Damn SBM… I JUST sent you an email message about this in response to our black women are racist email chain. Oh well I'll paraphrase for the group.

    The professional black male. This young brotha has his life planned out. He has goals and is on the path to bring them to fruition. They are the definition of eligible bachelors. Here's the thing with this group… they are so busy playing, THEY AREN'T GETTING MARRIED. I have so many male friends with a house, nice ride, great job, no kids, no disease, God fearing, and good looking. They are also late 30's/early 40's, never been married and will probably never get married. The ones in their early 30s aren't sure if they want to get married and they can take or leave the whole kid thing.

    This causes an imbalance in the universe. When young professional black men, don't want to settle down, it leaves a lot of lonely professional black women in the world…. that is until the lonely professional black women start expanding their dating horizons into other races.

  30. @Jubilance – I totally agree.

    @Veronica O – "When young professional black men, don’t want to settle down, it leaves a lot of lonely professional black women in the world…. that is until the lonely professional black women start expanding their dating horizons into other races." – This is so true.

    After dating so many annoying "professional" black men, I became more open and started to date men of other races. However, I have met a few professional black men who are decent and don't behave that way. Either way, I don't have time for that mess. Men like that will be playing around until they are old- still in the club, looking foolish and lonely.

  31. @ Kawana in DC

    "huh Temps dear there IS a man shortage……LOL thats not a figment of anyone’s imagination LOL"

    if said man shortage is real then explain the logic to date flashy dudes with no real agenda aside from "gettin paid" no plan just has stuff?

  32. Interesting post SBM.

    Long time lurker here.

    This definitely describes me; the nerd in high school; spending all my time trying to get out of there and into the best school I could. I could not get a date in High School if you put a gun to my head and told me my life depended on it. .

    College was great… there wasn't anything wrong with me I found out – High School was just bullshit and I was so glad to be done with that phase of my life.

    6 years in NYC have been awesome. It also helps that I grew into a 6 ft, 200lb frame. Also hitting the weights religiously helped.

    But I have to ask you a question – why does the Professional Black Male have to apologize to anyone. Women had the agency when we were younger… and they made their choices. Now it is our time to make ours.

    When you add up all the man-hours to get you where you are – studying for exams, volunteering, extra-curriculars, time in the gym, learning about cultures, learning about food/cooking, wine, travel, learning a foreign language. All of that effort and work has made you a MUCH better candidate than you ever were.

    Let's not even talk about those of us who have been able to amass a significant amount of assets – an apartment/condo, a sizable bank or brokerage account, great to impeccable credit.

    If you have put your back into it (like I feel like I have), you DESERVE to reap the rewards – and you deserve to be picky.

    So no – I will not commit to just anyone – not when Marriage is a 50/50 proposition where I can lose a sizable proportion of my assets if it goes wrong.

    Final thought – and this is the old nerd in me that never left.
    Women need to work for it… I have worked my whole life and I am looking for the whole package – Classic Looks – that are maintained on a regular basis, Smarts, Educational Pedigree, Loyalty, Sexual Compatibility, Empathy and the desire to have a family. I am not interested in settling, and I can and will play the field if need be.

    I think you're seeing a lot of that out there.

  33. @646 Hedgie: Wow … I can't even argue with that … especially cause I have felt that way before (found me someone worth it now … after a long time of being picky … but still looking for a pre-nup).

  34. As I read the majority of the comments here, I had to agree with most of it. However, is it not the same story for women?

    Female perspective:

    Smart, funny, but extremely shy. Wasn’t light skin or plastic (fake to the bone). Actually preferred the geek boys, she was a geek herself , but those same geek boys ignored her because they had their eye on some video girl chasing the thugs. Decided well if no one found her attractive then become a tom boy, at least she will have friends this way.

    Finally found someone who thought she was beautiful, so the adage you used — like someone never having candy finally getting keys to the candy store- rings true. She finally found love, decided to settle down have a family. Agreed to wait until he finished college then she will go. Only that never happens.

    Ended up single, although they broke up he still agreed to help her so she can finish school . She didn’t but kept working always had a job since 13 years old.

    Now she is a Single Professional Black Woman, with a kid. Men like her but as soon as they find out she grew up in the projects, doesn’t have a High School Diploma or never went to college, has a child; she gets tossed into this hood rat status pile?

    So please help me understand something. If men like you are seeking a woman who is ready to settle down, and you seem to not like the 20 – 25 year olds etc. Why not date someone like this person. She makes just as much money if not more than you do but because she got played, no piece of paper to “ show” her educational level, she is still not worthy of your time.

    From what I understand, the same men are the same geeks in high school gawking over the thug or football player ‘s girls, are still ignoring the obvious choice in front of them.

    Anyhow before I ramble any further thank you for this post, it shows me I am not alone out here. And yes I am that girl/woman.

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