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TOOL#6 GREAT EXPECTATIONS - Happily Ever After: THE ESSENCE OF BLACK RELATIONSHIPS (992 hits)

By Lindsay Watson

Lindsay Watson

In today’s society, black relationships are viewed through a myriad of unique perspectives. In all aspects, however, the relationships between black women and men continue to be a topic of discussion. Black couples endure both happiness and conflict within commitment, and face challenges that ultimately determine the binds of these relationships. Many have found their matches, but many are still searching for “Mr./Mrs. Right”. Nonetheless, curiosity about the essence of black relationships maintains steady growth.

Hampton University recently held a seminar entitled “Writing the Black Family Fairy Tale” for which a panel consisting of four Hampton University students came together. Seniors Sharika Johnson, Edwin Jones, Matthew Washington, and Junior Lauren Legette gave the audience their perspectives on the status of black relationships. The seminar focused on thoughts about the ideal black family and how to achieve wholesome, intimate relationships within the black community. Johnson started off by stating that it is rare, today, to find a good black man. She explained that most women are looking for that one good man, but have trouble finding him. Washington admitted that no relationship is going to be a fairy tale, and a couple should work at it, maintain compromise, and stick to their values. Jones adamantly stated that endurance in a relationship is key – couples should continuously strive toward goals in order to reach pursued happiness.

College students are affected every day by the intensity and growth of relationships because, in essence, this is the time when many find the desire for companionship. These students have their opinions, too. During the seminar, one student claimed to believe in no such thing as “Prince Charming”. She told the audience that a relationship meant accepting flaws in your significant other and knowing you can live with them. Another confidently stated that one should look for “someone to compliment you, not complete you”, and that a good partner focuses on encouragement rather than materialism. One student went as far as defining love as ‘being able to stay in a room with the person for more than ten minutes without wanting to kill them’. Between the panel and the audience, some were anti-marriage, while others had witnessed all their lives the relationships they aspire to achieve. The seminar’s ultimate goal was to strive for the success of black relationships and spread the spoken words of wisdom to reach this attainable goal, and the student response was outstanding.

The hot topic of black relationships is thoroughly discussed outside of the Hampton University spectrum, as well. Sylvia Hubbard, creator and author of the blog titled “How to Love a Black Woman”, regularly states her thoughts and experiences with men and “what black women need in order to be loved right.” She has welcomed and written about female experiences with men, as well as male experiences with women. Hubbard has expressed the feelings of men and romance, and found that men really do feel and show love. From little things like holding hands to big things like Tiffany’s jewelry, romance is about paying attention and knowing your significant other well enough that you can send signs of love, knowing that he/she will truly understand the message. Hubbard also gives advice to black women, including two essential points: (1) Don’t have a battle of wits with an unarmed person, and (2) Don’t let anyone steal your joy. She believes the best thing about life is being able to make choices, and these choices can ultimately lead to happiness. The author, as many do, created a list defining a good man or woman and included it in her blog, as well. As she listed 22 qualities, Hubbard encouraged readers to create lists of their own because, after all, choosing a significant other is a decision that you must settle with for the rest of your life.

Within the realm of black relationships are college relationships. Being a college student in general means having to make tough decisions on a day-to-day basis. The complications of love and relationships just give us one more thing to worry about. Being away from home with the freedom to search for and find “love” plays a major role in college students finding partners that may last forever – or just for the moment. As we mature and find ourselves, we look for a companion who, perhaps, fits within the mold that we’ve carved for that perfect person to grow with. For some, it works out. They have the perfect relationship from freshman to senior year and then continue on to marriage post-graduation. But many aren’t so lucky. Because there are so many opportunities during college years, most do not want to limit themselves to one, two, or even three people. Exploring options is popular, which is why hookups outnumber relationships in many instances. What lives past these hookups is what determines these relationships.

The essence of black relationships and college relationships at large varies from person to person, community to community, and generation to generation. As singles continue to look for ones to love and couples strive for that ideal relationship, issues dealing with the subject of black love and college relationships may always be prevalent. As we learn more about solutions to different situations within these relationships and spread this new knowledge, love at all levels will continue to grow and become happily ever after.

For more information on “How to Love a Black Woman”, visit http://loveablackwoman.blogspot.com/
Posted By: Elynor Moss
Friday, November 18th 2011 at 5:11PM
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