African%20woman%20smiling_2.jpg?width=91By J.J. Smith: ( -- We've all heard on Oprah, CNN, ABC News and the Washington Post that 70% of black women are single, and 42% are unmarried. And we’ve heard many black women say that they are successful, black and lonely.

Even though many news organizations have certainly provided the statistics, I've rarely seen these media outlets offer any real solutions. In fact, I've yet to hear anyone really explain the REAL reasons so many black women are single (as opposed to the popular “all Black women are difficult” myth). As a single, successful black women, I refuse to allow the media to make me feel bad or desperate about the plight of the “single black female,” especially given the personal and professional success sistas have made in a male-dominated world. There are many factors that have lead to why so many Black women are single, but I believe that Black women and men can facilitate our own discussion about some of the most significant factors of this challenge and identify real solutions that work for us!

So Why?

1. The Black Man Shortage.

42% of Black women are unmarried. 70% of professional Black women are single. The numbers don't lie and there is a real gap between “datable” Black women and men. Even if there is some degree of inaccuracy in the numbers, if you just talk to Black women, many will agree that there are some challenges finding a “good black man, ” that is... one that is not behind bars, gay, or with other races. I'm also fully aware of this challenge due to the number of Black women who write me about it every week. So, the statistics do play a role in this challenge, but it does not tell the whole story.

2. Too Many Black Women Have Bought Into the Stereotypes On Who They Are.

The perception that Black women are hard to get along with (argumentative, bitter, difficult, etc.) has become a reality for too many Black women. I know, because I used to be that way (and still have relapses on occasion). Sistas, we know we have carried too much of the financial and emotional burden of raising our families alone, but we should use that to draw strength from and not allow that to make us emotionally weaker. I remember being in my twenties, working for a management consulting firm. This brother told me that I would definitely make Partner, but no one would ever like me because I was so damn mean, and I was actually naïve enough to take that as a compliment; not realizing that my “meanness” had spilled over into my personal life and was keeping me from attracting and keeping good men in my life.

3) Many Black Women Have Made a Conscious Decision To Be Single.

I know you're saying “yea right.” Continues>>

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