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To punctuate his point, Banky draws a picture where the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, a “typical” man-hating lesbian, and a “male-affectionate” lesbian (representing Alyssa) are at opposite ends of a four-way road. Between the statistics showing that there’s something like 179,000 black women to every eligible black male in each desirable metropolitan area, the studies proving that black women are perpetually out-everything-ing black men, and the ubiquitous stories about condom-challenged brothas like New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromardie—guys who seem to be single-handedly attempting to re-populate the island from I’m sure that if I told a random dating-aged sista that there are actually black guys out there who genuinely want to be in a relationship (with a black woman! But if so, if these somewhat star-crossed men were mere figments of my imagination, I guess that was a bunch of bespectacled ghosts I saw at a Foreign Exchange concert a few weekends ago, mouthing each of Phonte’s lyrics while scanning the crowd to find the type of muse that would make a man write “Greater Than the Sun.” That must be an apparition who sends me a text message at least once a week, asking if my girlfriend has any newly single homegirls looking to “build with a brotha.” And I definitely must’ve dreamt up the dozens of game nights, weekly wing specials, and house parties I’ve attended in the past several years, the dozens of conversations I’ve had with the dozens of single men also in attendance, guys desperately seeking “their own Michelle [Obama].” “The cards are stacked in favor of guys, but not every guy is in a place to take advantage of the number discrepancy,” says Berook, a 24-year-old who, between singing in his church’s choir, rooting for the Redskins, and memorizing entire Kevin Hart routines, somehow finds time to work towards a Ph. But, while the commonly believed reason for this discrepancy is that most brothas are anti-marriage and monogamy, this couldn’t be further from the case.
Shawn, 27, a gregarious director of marketing for burgeoning nonprofit Sponsor Change (these sure are some busy-ass ghosts), expounds: Yeah, I want to have a wife and kids and all that. Most of the sistas I meet want to date “ready-made” brothas, and while I’m on that track, I ain’t making Audi money yet.
This feeling alludes to the common stereotype of the successful black women and her unrealistic and uncompromising standards—think any character Gabrielle Union has ever played—an idea Berook quickly shoots down: It’s not that sistas’ standards are too high.
Perhaps these figments of my imagination are ahead of the relationship curve and just haven’t quite realized it yet.
It’s fitting that both Shawn and Berook work in science- and tech-heavy fields, occupational paths black males rarely choose.