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Bring Me Baracks for My Michelles -- A Speed Dating Event April 24 7:00 pm

I didn’t think it would be this hard.

You see, I’m organizing a free speed dating event at underground books, a local African-American-owned bookstore in Sacramento on Friday, April 24 at 7:00 pm. This is a speed dating event for single book lovers – and by “single” I mean not married, not legally separated, and not in a committed relationship. The event focuses conversation on books to make it easier to speed date – i.e., spend three minutes talking to every person of the opposite sex in at the event.

The problem is, I can’t get enough single black men to attend. I have white men attending and some black men, but not enough black men for all the black women who are attending and seeking black men -- black women who read Toni Morrison, Octavia Butler, Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, Paulo Coelho, J. California Cooper, Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, Jhumpa Lahiri, Ishmael Beah, Sue Monk Kidd, Beverly Jenkins, the list goes on . . . . .

I’m slated to have a room full of Michelles seeking their Baracks, and I’m having trouble delivering.

I have to admit – I was warned in advance. I was told by an African American fathers’ rights advocate that, right now, brothers ain’t feeling relationships (his words). Right now, they’re trying to hold on to their jobs, their houses, whatever. They don’t want drama. Right now, brothers are too busy just trying to hold on, period.

But when has that not been the case?

African American men have always had higher unemployment and underemployment rates than their white counterparts. They have always had less wealth, less education, less opportunity, and higher incarceration rates than their white counterparts. Holding on? That’s just part of being black. It’s what we do.

And we’ve never let it stop us from forming relationships, have we? Or maybe we have.

Oh, I’ve heard the excuses from brothers:

“I ain’t even gonna front – I don’t read.”

“I just want to come and check out the sistahs.”

“I don’t want to be in the minority at an event where women are the majority.”

“I know some brothers, but you wouldn’t want them to come.”

“I’m legally separated – why can’t I come? Why not let the women decide if they want to date a legally separated man?”

I sent or emailed letters and press releases to the local papers, KQED, V101.1 fm, the NAACP, the Urban League, black fraternities, the local black newspaper, all of the local television stations, almost every black church in Sacramento, and black student associations at the local colleges and graduate schools. I got so desperate that I started trolling personal ads looking for single black men who even appear to like reading. I joined singles websites and singles meetups in search of single black men who love books. I even talked about betting this blog on black men – that is, threatening to take down my blog if I didn’t get 30 single black men at this event. A close black male friend of mine advised me not to bet my blog on this – he knows how much I love blogging and he didn’t want me to be disappointed.

In other words, he, a black man, expected black men to disappoint me.

Are things really this bad between single black men and single black women? The reason I even organized this event is because a young black woman was telling me how difficult it was to find good, honest, smart, ambitious single black men at her college. Those black men who aren’t dating outside their race are playing the field, she told me. They know the numbers are skewed in their favor, and they take advantage.

And then there’s Craigslist, which, I admit, I trolled in search of single black men who read. Long before the Craigslist murderer, I was shocked and appalled not only at what men of all races are seeking from female strangers – some just straight up said they were looking for free sex (NOTE: If you’re looking for just sex, at least stimulate the economy AND yourself and pay a ho) – but the fact that most of these men couldn’t put together a sentence or use punctuation properly. This is what this young black woman has to choose from. I wouldn’t want to be a single black woman if these are the choices.

Is this what Sasha and Malia will have to choose from fifteen or twenty years from now?

Yet and still, I believe in black men.

I still believe there are black men out there who love, respect, and adore black women, especially intelligent black women of substance.

I believe that, as wonderful and unique as my husband Black Man Not Blogging (BMNB) is, that there are still more out there just like him -- Baracks for my room full of Michelles.

So, I believe God will send these smart, wonderful, single black men to our event because I've done just about all I can do. Here’s the info:

Speed Dating for Single Book Lovers
Friday, April 24, 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm
underground books
2814 35th Street at Broadway
Sacramento, CA 95817
(916) 737-3333

I won’t bet the blog, but if you attend, you’ll get to meet me and my husband, BMNB. And please don’t let him be the only black man in the room.



I am glad that you did not bet the blog. I am so tempted to come and I just may be a last minute decider, but I still my commitment Saturday morning. I will let you know.

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