NOV 2: Designing an Owner’s Manual for healthy black relationships

Another remarkable, laughter-filled, seriously engaging conversation and delightful crowd. There were 5 men and 5 women defying any of the talk about there not being enough men. We didn’t start on time (black folks!) but we were right on time with the expected results. Folks got present to what using the design of an OWNER’S MANUAL can provide for oneself and for the people in your life you intend to be intimate with at work, at home and in your romantic encounters.

closeness: a feeling of being intimate and belonging together; “their closeness grew as the night wore on”

Intimacy has more to do with shared moments than sexual interactions.

In concert hall acoustics, a venue is said to have “acoustical intimacy” if music played in it gives the impression of being played in a small hall.

These events are really an antidote to wasting $35-40 at speed dating where you get some names and numbers, some primping and prowling, and maybe a drink in some impersonal public venue. Success with the Opposite Sex: Get Related not Dated(TM) is a fun and engaging way to foster healthy relationships between men and women in our black communities.

AT NOVEMBER’S EVENT: We talked about your owner’s manual being a tool to inform yourself and others what’s need for you to operate at optimum performance and what trouble-shooting should be done if you have a “flat tire” (A man needs 30 mins when he comes home from work) or need a “tune-up”. What makes your engine run well? (Must have a massage once a month; Must exercise and go to church regularly). All this would be written in your owner’s manual and like your car’s manual, you may never take it out of the glove compartment but it can be useful in ANY kind of relationship (not just romantic) when unfamiliar drivers need to learn how to really enjoy your ride. Fri Nov 2, we created the preface of your manual so to speak. What is your motto, tagline or core value.

What is your motto, tagline or core value?
Your owner’s manual is for the people who come into your intimate life (male or female). Please bring some ideas about your motto/tagline/core value. Here are descriptions of each:

A motto (from Italian) is a phrase or a short list of words meant formally to describe the general motivation or intention of an entity, social group, or organization.

A tagline is a variant of a branding slogan typically used in marketing materials and advertising. The idea behind the concept is to create a memorable phrase that will sum up the tone and premise of a brand or product (like a film), or to reinforce the audience’s memory of a product. Some taglines are successful enough to warrant inclusion in popular culture, often becoming snowclones.

Examples of famous movie/television taglines are:
• Love Story ? Love means never having to say you’re sorry.
• Star Trek ? To boldly go where no man has gone before.
• The X-Files ? The truth is out there.
• Jaws 2 – Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…

“Your core values are the guiding principles that help you make decisions on a daily basis and define what you stand for as a person and a business. You can spend a lot of time haggling over what they are, but what really matters is that you have them and that you allow them to guide you.

Walt Disney’s core values, for example, are imagination and wholesomeness” but it is not “customer service”. That’s Nordstrom’s core value. Sony’s core values are: “The elevation of the Japanese culture and national status; being a pioneer–not following others–doing the impossible; encouraging individual ability and creativity” (

Join us next month on December 7th in Brooklyn for pt. 2 of Designing your own Owner’s Manual. For an invitation, check out or join

Statistics on Marriage, Divorce, and Living Arrangements

I often quote the statistics on black families and marriage and we had a brief conversation about the myths about black men and women around social demographics. The fact that we often say “there are not enough men” or “not enough of the right men” leads to certain behavior or lack of behavior on the part of women who may be resigned and cynical from such talk. There are plenty of men cause you only need one and there’s definitely more than one out there to choose from. In any case, it is good to know the state of the black world demographically. To make choices not from what we think is going on but what the numbers, which are always changing, are at any given time. I think these numbers support the need for Success with the Opposite Sex: Get Related not Dated (TM).

On the whole, Blacks or African Americans (hereafter called Blacks) have lower rates of marriage and marital stability than all other ethnic groups. They also have higher rates of single-headed families than other groups.

  • Black males and females are more likely to be unmarried than Whites, Hispanics, or American Indian/Alaskan Natives (AIAN) (42.2% for males, 40.8% for females, compared to 27.5% and 21.2% respectively for Whites, 38.2% and 30.3% for Hispanics, and 35.7% ad 29.9% for AIAN ).(ACS 2002)
  • Black individuals are far more likely than Whites and Hispanics to be divorced (in 2002, 9.4% of Black males were divorced, and 13.3% of Black females versus 9.1 % and 11.3% respectively for Whites and 5.9% and 9.3% for Hispanics). (ACS 2002)
  • Among married Black individuals, a greater percentage is living apart from their spouses than among married White and AIAN individuals (15.7% for Black males, 24.1% for Black females, versus 5.3% and 6.3% respectively for Whites and 11.1% and 12.8% for AIAN). Only Hispanics have a higher rate of living apart from their spouse than do Blacks – 16.2% for males and 16.9% for females (in many cases this may be due to immigration complications). (ACS 2002)
  • Black families are less likely to contain a married couple than all other groups (46.0% versus 81.0%). White families have an 81% chance of containing a married couple, AIAN families have a 67% chance, and Hispanics have a 67.4% chance. (Census 2000)
  • Single male-headed families are slightly more likely in Black homes than in White family homes (about 8.5% versus 5.3% for whites.). Hispanics and AIANs have a higher rate of single male headed families (10.3% and 10.4% respectively). (Census 2000)
  • Single female-headed families are far more likely in Black homes than in all other groups’ homes (45.4% versus 13.7%). By contrast, Whites have a 13.7% rate, AIANs have a 28.8% rate, and Hispanics have a 22.3% rate of single female headed families. (Census 2000)
  • Only 44.9% of Black householders in family households live with a spouse. This compares with 80.6% for Whites, 60.1% for AIAN, and 70.2% for Hispanics. (Census 2000)

Statistics on Childbearing

Unmarried Black women constitute a majority of childbearing Black women and the rate of out-of-wedlock childbearing is increasing. Furthermore, teenage childbearing among Black women is high, although the rate is declining faster than in any other group.

Though one may or may not agree with all that Julia Hare says at the State of Black America CNN special in honor of Jamestown’s anniversary but what you can take from this video is the need, the dire need for a transformation of what we’ve been through as black men and women.