Breaking Down The Stereotypes Of Black Men Finding Love

While Black people are seeing more representation in media, there may be some growing pains when it comes to the portrayal of Black love. Some even challenge how Black men are depicted in relationships.

Sources say Black men are stereotyped in two ways when it comes to romantic relationships:

"The media often portrays [Black men] as hypersexual dogs that lack self-control. They’re reduced to simply being “free-spirited” and thirsty beings, eager to plant their seeds and mark their territory among several vulnerable, desperate, man-sharing women while shirking responsibility," Shantell E. Jamison wrote for Ebony.

The second depiction is, "any Black men are not viable marriage mates because their financial struggles will not allow them to provide for a wife and children," Armon Perry said on The Conversation.

Perry, who is a professor of social work at the University of Louisville, said he spent nearly two decades reviewing studies on Black men and families. Over the course of his research, he found that researchers have examined the lives of low-income Black men and their struggles to find love rather than those from various backgrounds.

"I have found that the near-exclusive focus on low-income Black men in research related to the family skews perceptions of these men," Perry wrote. "It also limits the public’s knowledge of them and the meanings they attach to their romantic relationships. And this perception can be used to perpetuate negative stereotypes that frame them as dangerous and predatory."

To combat this gap in research, the professor interviewed 33 Black men from Louisville whose backgrounds varied across socioeconomic status, relationship history, age and more. Perry found that these men are looking for companionship and intimacy. Many of them reportedly credit their partners for making them better husbands, fathers and men.

"According to one of the participants, 'I always tell her that I couldn’t have become who I am without her. Meeting the right person, to stand with the right person is probably the most important decision I’ve made in my life,'" Perry wrote.

The men also discussed what made their partners, former and current, stand out to them, and how previous traumas challenge their relationships. Some even said they were haunted by the failures of Black relationships around them, or the lack of model relationships to begin with.

Despite these challenges, the participants demonstrated hope that their relationships will fight against the negative perceptions of Black men and relationships.

“The media portrays us as shiftless and violent and not to be trusted. I think when you see a man with a woman treating her well, a man with his children treating them the way they should be treated, it dispels a lot of what folks see in the media. Just seeing positive men doing what men should do is a good thing,” said one man.

Photo: Getty Images

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