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Friday
Feb262010

How To Die Alone With All Fifteen of Your Cats

One. Get 15 cats.

Two. Keep reading articles like these.

"Black women are in market failure," says writer Karyn Langhorne Folan. "The solution is to find a new market for your commodity. And in this case, we are the commodity and the new market is men of other races."

Market failure? I didn't realize black women were GM stock! Black women! The Detroit of womenfolks!

More after the jump.

When my cyber play cousin AverageBro sent me this article my first reaction was to throw up my hands screaming, do a Luvvie-patented "wall slide," then curl up in a corner and cry. Not that these articles depress me because my personal solution to the so-called black marriage crisis is to not worry about it. (Hooked on "Marriage Panic!" did not work for me!) So no. It more so bothers me that these articles seemed to have escaped from the reservations of black female angst -- your pages of Essence and Ebony -- and have trickled out of periodical plantation and are now storming the gates at every conceivable mass media outlet.

When the "Everybody Hates Black Women and We're All Gonna Die Alone So Find A Man, ANY MAN, And Be All Clingy And Weird" story winds up on FOX News, where, naturally, Bill O'Reilly will look into the camera with all seriousness and find some way to pin this on Obama ... ("The Obamas? Have they made black women set their standards too high? And are black women finally desperate enough to let me rub a falafel on them? Questions answered on the next FACTOR!") ... I will officially throw up both my hands, holler and submit.

What do you want from me, mass media, with your sudden interest in a story that has been around the mulberry bush, through the back door, over the river and through the woods and back again? Are you trying to give me a complex on purpose?

I realize that there are these people, called women, and some of them want to get "The Marrieds" all Malcolm X style -- by any means necessary. Shotgun in hand, peepin' out the window for eligible bachelors. And while some of those women have been dealt a raw deal, others have their own personal issues that are keeping them from finding Mr. Right. But if you run around with the mindset "Nobody wants me!" in full blown panic mode how does that actually "help" you? It's like the world is screaming at you in multiple, contradictory ways. Nobody wants black women! Solution: Black women should date outside their race! But WAIT! I thought nobody wanted us? Waaaaaaah! *wall slide*

Acting like no one wants you is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Have no value and you will be devalued. I swear. Sack it up, womenfolk who want to get "The Marrieds!" Telling anyone who will listen that you can't get no satisfaction though you tried is not going to solve the problem.

That said, this particular article is encouraging black women to date outside our race. Good for them. I'm all "Kanye Shrug" about it. I usually am about these sort of things. I find the "Find A White Man" wonder drug a little disingenuous. All men are different. Some men are good, some men are bad. Race has nothing to do with that. (Which one of the interviewees in the article tries to point out, but it gets a little lost in all that "EVERYBODY PANIC!") But if you're also operating under the premise that black women aren't popular with ANYBODY it seems like you're purposely setting up a bunch of folks for perpetual defeat. How exactly do you suddenly get these magical white, Latino, Asian men to chase your ass when they have never chased your ass? And, while no one seems to want to write an article about it, if you ever want to hear a parallel version of this whole "Nobody wants me!" racial dealie from a male perspective go troll some Asian American blogs, message boards and magazines and let the lonely Asian man take you on the mother of all bitch rants.

Rooks’ Asian American male students have said that they’ve been rejected by Asian American women who complain that Asian males “aren’t spontaneous; they don’t laugh; they aren’t tall,” according to Rooks. “Asian men start questioning their identity. They’re asking themselves why they can’t get a date, ‘Is it because I’m Japanese American, Korean American, because of the negative stereotypes, or because I’m a jerk?’”

OMG! Change Asian to black and male to female and ... gosh darn it! It's like looking in a mirror. An angry, bitter, can't-get-laid mirror!

Alleged Asian male bitterness aside, white women with degrees are almost equally frustrated about their options for "The Marrieds," leading me to think this has more to do with the on-going shifts in gender roles in our society than someone just being inherently undateable. It's just HARD to find love, y'all! It was never easy. It was just in the past people got married out of high school and had a couple kids before they hit 25. Your choices were limited. You weren't as mobile. Now you're very mobile and have lots of choices. Men and women have all the choices in the world, and folks take their time about choosing.

But hey, if your goal is to get that gold ring on your finger, more power to you. I just know if you walk around smelling and looking like ten miles of hard up the type of people you attract will reflect that.

Or, I dunno. Go stalk an Asian man. Couldn't hurt.

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Reader Comments (43)

What I got from the article is how NOT to die alone with all fifteen of your cats!

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commentererica

@ Erica

I totally get the point of the article. My issue is that it's part of an overall narrative that all essentially say the same thing. That black women are in marriage crisis mode and that we must do something, anything to fix it. This not as bombastic as some other articles, but when you've read as many of these as I've read for nearly all of my teen and adult life you really start to get exhausted from them because they almost always end up in the same place, talking about interracial dating like it's some brilliant novelty that someone just thought up. This debate has been going on for decades now. My point is that the articles all start to contradict each other at a certain point. Like this article encourages black women to date outside their race, but then I've read countless other articles that say black women aren't considered as desirable as other races. So which is it? How is interracial dating supposed to be the answer when a week from now there will be a story out talking about how black women's profiles are the least looked at profiles on dating sites? I just don't think it's that simple.

Hence the rant.

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle Belton

Interesting post. I too, am tired of all these stoiries about desperate black women who cannot get a man. I am tired of reading that half of black women will never marry and that black women are so much "better" than black men. When I look back at the life of the women in my family and women in my community I see that many of them had marriage proposals and most of them turned them down for one reason or other -- fear, wanting something better, thinking there was time to get legit later, etc. Truth be told, many black women could have married somebody, if they really wanted to and chose not to.There is no wrong in that decision to stay single. The thing that bothers me is that these same women are often the ones talking about how they cannot get a man, men are bad, we are all doomed. I also see a mainstream media effort to paint a picture of black people that is not accurate. Men as thugs and black women as angry, full of attitude, too much education and unfortunately for them no black man can handle such a thing. Give me a break! My advice to black women is to find someone to love. Find a man who will love and respect you and value what you bring to the table. Remove race from the list and you may find someone who may be from another race or you might find the black man you have always wanted. But first, love yourself and put yourself first before looking for someone else. I took my own advice and fell in love with a man who is Asia. We have a young daughter. It is my hope that our daughter will love herself first, not listen to all the racist hype about black women and find a wonderful man to share her life with -- no matter what color he is.
I love your post. I have been reading for ages. Congrats on the new job -- I am just sorry that your new job prohibits you from posting more often. Have a great weekend.

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRTC

I saw a documentary called Singe (you can get it through Netflix). After seeing it I don't let articles like the on at The Washington Post effect me. Being single is not just a black women issue. It's a world issue. More people around the world are staying single longer than previous generations.

I am 37 yrs old (will be 38 on March 12th), have 3 cats (had 4 but had to put one to sleep) and I KNOW I will get married one day. I am not letting outside pressure make me feel otherwise.

btw...If anyone out there gets depressed reading articles about black women and marriage rent "Been Rich All My Life". A women featured in the documentary didn't fall in love till she was 72!! Jamaican saying - "Every thorn have him bush" (or something like that).THERE IS SOMEONE FOR EVERYBODY.

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercosmicsistren

not Singe but "Single". Sorry for the typo.

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercosmicsistren

good to know I'm 13 cats shy of being a total spinster. I'm also sick of these articles. There are the reason I stopped subscribin to Essence in 2006 yet they seem to have followed me and taken over mainstream media.

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterthelady

Thank you for this, Danielle. I almost had an embolism when I read about this article on another blog. I tried to read it but I just kept seeing red and it was long too. I was also called a liar and a man hog by a poster on JJP when I pointed out exactly what you said, that there isn't a long line of non-white men running down us black women down and we are just putting our noses in the air and turning them down. The article just seems to be one more brick in the wall of media lies that pathologize everything black folks do. And I also think if black women did start seriously trying to run down some white men or just non-black men there would be articles about all of the shameless black hussies wantonly throwing themselves at poor cowering men who aren't black and who can't handle all that black hyper-sexuality in an unlady-like way that white women and other non-black women would never stoop too.

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLisa J

Another "self-fulfilling prophecy" of these sorts of articles: "good" black men consider themselves an even greater commodity, and want to play the field even more. Think about it: all these stories talk about shiftless, incarcerated, unemployed, on-The-DL Negroes. If you don't fit into any of those buckets of stereotypical trifledom, you are probably going to read something like this and think "why the hell would I settle down when there are all these desperate sistas just begging to be exploited?"

Or maybe that was just me.

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAverageBro

@Average Bro

I was on the verge of writing almost the same thing until I read your comment.

Yes, the ones who don't fit the stereotypical trifledom think they're God's gift to women.
Newsflash, they're supposed to be productive members of society. It's like asking for a raise b/c you get to work on time everyday - puhleeze. Some of these so-called "good men" in actuality have some type of personality disorder that they think will be overlooked b/c a black woman should be glad to have him.

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrandi

Like a lot of black women I know, I've spent a lot of my life being my own cheerleader, telling myself that although mainstream society wants me to think I'm unattractive or undesired that was just a bunch of crock. You know the idea of acting confident until you finally are confident? So, here I am in my late 20s, educated, professional, trying to figure out what I want to do with my life (who isn't?) and I truly feel confident, beautiful and desirable. So, when I read these things, I honestly don't feel jaded or depressed or alarmed. I totally agree with you Black Snob, stop weeping big crocodile tears and start showing these men why THEY should be fighting fist over cuff to get with YOU.

And even though I don't think "getting a white man" is the be all and end all (mercy), I don't see anything wrong with black women being open to dating men of other races. Life's too short, get your piece of happiness. Don't let other people (family, friends, society at large, legacy) stop you from what you're entitled to: love. Honestly, if you can find real love, effing wild horses shouldn't keep you from it.

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterQuel Couleur

oh no.

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterswiv

Am I the only one who feels like this is propaganda to try and breed the black away? If no body wants black women than why are there soooo many little nappy-headed black babies running around? REEEAALLY?!?? (Throwback SNL "Weekend Update" with Seth and Amy - style) Somebody is still checking for the sistas....

The fact is, If you want to get married, you have to be open and ready when the right person comes along and they may not come when you want them to. Alot of times, Mr. Right came and went but you were so wrapped up in trying to make a Mr. Right out of a Mr. Wrong, you missed your bus. Women get confused on th idea of "potential" Everyone has the potential to transform themselves and grow but they need to want that for themselves at some point, you can't make a man into a good reponsible upwardly mobile guy. Get to know the guy in class that is actively participating and getting decent grades instead of fawning over mister "knowhah-ahmmsayin"

I'm all for being open minded, I don't believe love is color exclusive and if a guy of another race comes along and does it for you, go for it! But I would hate to see black women running around throwing themselves at white men in desperation. Its kinda gross. Look at the "Black Girls Rock It!" blog in the General Snobbery section...It like they see White men as cute little chihuahuas "Oooooh! look at hers! She got one too? Oh I love his big ears!" Its a bit creepy. Its always creepy when someone makes a big deal out of ir dating isn't it? Kinda degrades it by fetish-izing it. Anyways...

It would also help if we could mentor the young women and help them get to 25 without having some dudes baby(ies) and collecting a bunch baggage that will scare any potential mate away when the time comes. And the same thing goes for young men, we have created a quagmire right now for the current generation but there can be hope for the future.

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenternovanova

@novanova, I don't think the number of black babies is any indication of black women's desirability quotient. After all, the overwhelming majority of those children will be raised without a father in the home. Anybody can lay up and get a baby, it takes a much higher level of commitment to maintain a decent relationship to raise that baby in.

I do agree with you about black women avoiding liabilities like OOW babies. That just makes a difficult situation darn near impossible.

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRoslyn Holcomb

I find the whole thing fascinating, in that EVERY black woman I know over 40 is married or has been with only a handful of exceptions -- who never wanted to be married. I have a cousin, almost 30 years my senior, who recently got married after being widowed a few years back. All three of my sisters are married, or were married. The oldest (almost 20 years older than me) is on marriage #2 (almost 27 years now). Her first marriage was in high school. It's obvious that she likes being married. Her husban is a nice man, so was the first -- I've heard. Just didn't work out.

I have no desire to be Mrs Whoever, but if I met the right person, I would definitely think about it. But I won't let the media tell me I HAVE to get married. It's a private choice. They're trying to turn it into something else. I suspect a racist and sexist aganda on their part. Call me paranoid.

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

Sorry. I meant agenda.

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

@ Roslyn Holcomb

Oh I know that, I'm referring to the idea that some black women have that black men don't "desire" or are not attracted to black women and choose to marry white/hispanic/mixed women-hence the supposed shortage of marriage ops for black women.. A lot think thats the reason why their single, but thats not true, they just did not play the game right. Having one of these babies is a big time foul in the game and it comes with a penalty.

Unfortunately, many women think that the "commitment" of being co-parents is the same as the commitment of marriage. NOT. All of these children floating around and non committed parents equals child support that severly handicaps a mans ability to build wealth, get an education, and sustain a decent living. If you make money, a huge chunk is going across town every month, probably more than you would actually devote to the child if you and the mother were in an intact relationship.

The other thing that happens is the contentious relationship that usually arises in broken baby-momma situations that ofen moves men to avoid employment or seek under-the-table/illegal means of income to avoid the monumental amount of child support that they will have to pay especially if there are multiple kids and b-mommas.

The average single, intelligent blk weoman looking for marriage is not about to hook up with this dude and that one less availiable brotha.

These baby-mommas running around having all these kids by all these different men(many times on purpose and unbeknownst to the guy) to try and trap a man(oddly enough, broke uneducated guys who can't support the child or guys that are really young who haven't had a chance to get an education yet and may never be able too after the new obligation) are a big part of the problem.

So yes, as you said, "Anybody can lay up and get a baby, it takes a much higher level of commitment to maintain a decent relationship to raise that baby in." Unfortunately, many of us just don't get it.

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenternovanova

I think the problem, at least as I've observed it, is informed by many sources. The loss of blue collar jobs has had a huge impact on available men for black women. When I was a kid most of the degreed black women I know were married to a blue collar man. That was back in the day when a man could leave high school, get a union factory job and make good money for life. For the most part, that's not the situation today. In those days Pell Grants were plentiful, now, not so much. When you graduate college with 40k in student loans you're a lot more wary of tying your wagon to someone who might be an economic liability. This is particularly true in today's volatile job market.

There is also a simple disparity of numbers. As someone who saw the impact of the gang wars of the 80s and 90s, those young men are dead, in jail or have a criminal record now. Nobody in their right mind wants to hook up with someone who has been incarcerated. My sister who is in her early 50s had plenty of men available to her, but that number had decreased sharply even by the time I graduated college and I'm only six years younger. As for her daughters, who are now in their late 20s, early 30s, not so much.

Further, we don't have a culture of marriage. Young people who've grown up in a single-parent home are far less likely to value marriage. They're certainly less likely to have the tools to sustain a lasting relationship. Thus we have a endless cycle of marriagelessness. Black women becoming angry and bitter because they're raising their children alone. Dying at young ages from diseases that other women don't develop until they're well into their dotage.

And lastly, from what I've observed black men aren't marrying and forming lasting relationships with ANYBODY. Back when I was in social services I saw plenty of white women with little brown babies trying to collect child support. There's really no incentive out there for a successful black man to marry unless he chooses to do so. And the overwhelming majority aren't choosing to do so. And you know what, there's not a darned thing we can do about it.

So, it seems to me that the next step is to move on. It won't be easy, but it certainly beats the alternative. And yes, there is both racism and sexism in the agenda, but there is also the very real fact that the overwhelming majority of our children are being reared in an OOW situation. No culture can sustain that level of deviance and thrive. Our OOW rate has not in fact increased, the disparity in the numbers is primarily because our marriage rate has plummeted. It is in the best interest of our future to rear our young in a stable two-parent marriage. We are certainly reaping the whirlwind of not doing so.

February 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRoslyn Holcomb

@Roslyn Holcomb

I agree 100%!

The loss of manafacturing jobs is the root of many of the problems in our society. I actually believe it is the main reason behind our current economic crisis. It seems like certain members of the powers that be wish to turn this country into a white-collar pimp society where we as americans get to sit in offices and pimp out the brown folks around the world for the hard work.

I do beleive that there are many availiable black men looking to be married and settle down. Doctors, lawyers, buisness owners, musicians, etc. But al lot of women wouldn't know a good man if they see him and if they do have a good man, they are so addicted to drama and conflict, they ruin it. For some reason, a lot of black women seem to thrive on drama and issues, they make them up in their heads. Women bond over man bashing and whining and complaining about stuff. If they get into a relationship that is stable and conflict free, they get board and sabatoge it or leave, leaving a bad taste in everyones mouth. Than, years later, they get bogged down with the shouda-couda-woudas and kick them selves for not making it work.

Go on any college campus, even hbcu's and you will find hundreds of young, upwardly mobile BLACK guys right there and a bunch of BLACK girls bypassing them and hopping into cars with local drug dealers and uneducated men with a few gold chains, 25 pars of air force ones, a baby-momma or two, and a car with nice rims. 10 years from now, when they are 30 with 3 or four kids and alone, they be singing this sad song too.

February 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commenternovanova

Yep this is how I feel. Thank you so much for this Danielle. I'm tired of these damn articles. They have truly gotten on my last damn nerve. smh

February 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRainaHavock

Are you trying to give me a complex on purpose?>>>>

B I N G O.

I blame Michelle Obama.

I truly believe it is not coincidence that this shit went into overdrive post Michelle. I don't know who she pissed off, but somebody has a serious anti-black woman agenda, and it seems like a lot of Black women are letting their fear feed it. I also believe that this "balck women are racist cuz they hate black men with white women" rhetoric is another way to avoid discussing the subtle but ongoing racial politics that continues to allow white people to practice unchecked racial endogamy. Hell, if you read too much of this garbage you might think Black women ran Klan meetings....

As for marriage....it may come, it may not. So let's say you're married....then what? for about 50%, it's divorce. For about 25% it's a miserable shame. For the fortunate 25%, it's something they cherish. Marriage doesn't guarantee happiness. And plenty of miserably married folks black AND white, know this. Sometimes single is the better option, even if it isn't desired.

February 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIzzy

@novanova

Go on any college campus, even hbcu's and you will find hundreds of young, upwardly mobile BLACK guys right there and a bunch of BLACK girls bypassing them and hopping into cars with local drug dealers and uneducated men with a few gold chains, 25 pars of air force ones, a baby-momma or two, and a car with nice rims. 10 years from now, when they are 30 with 3 or four kids and alone, they be singing this sad song too.

I certainly didn't see this at the HBCU my niece attended. She's a smart, pretty girl, math major with a free ride all the way to her doctorate. There was something like three girls to every guy on her campus and the guys certainly played that for all it was worth. She was in that school for four years and never had a date. No one even asked her out. And no, she doesn't have kids, is a petite size 4 and an athlete. I think this notion of black women passing up good men is a specious one. That's not to say that there aren't any black girls/women with an affinity for "bad boys." Of course there are, but that tendency isn't limited to black women. But from what I've observed the vast majority of black women aren't looking for that type.

As for drama and the like I think that goes back to lack of familiarity with functioning relationships. If you grow up with drama there's a strong likelihood that you will be drawn to that. We have a lot of people that wouldn't know a functioning relationship if it bit them on the heiny and that goes for men and women.

February 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRoslyn Holcomb

The author agreed with the statement that bi-racial children are always beautiful. I found this comment to be very disturbing. I also wonder why the focus is always on white men. Does "non-black men" really mean white? There are many other men out there. Is that because white men are supposed to be the ultimate prize? Relationships are based on mutual attraction. Pick up a copy Of Maxim, FHM or any other magazine that caters to young professional white men and 99 percent of the women featured are white. That is reality. Are black women supposed to throw themselves at men who are not interested?

February 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersanctuary

@Roslyn Holcomb

Maybe she should do the asking out. The dirty little secret in the black community is the lack of true self esteem amongst black men. The truth is, a lot of black men, particularily the intelligent, good-guys are often a bit socially awkward and shy. They are used to getting overlooked for the knuckleheads and often blend into the background while the alpha-male, loud mouth, arrogant womanizers constantly direct all of the attention to themselves. Sometimes you must be pro active, I suspect another reason why women are waking up over 30 and alone is because they had tunnel vision focused on their career in their 20's and did not take time to truly foster relationships or wasted time with a lost cause.

This idea that you must focus everything on attaining a certain position or status in the professional world before you "settle down" is a biiiig problem. There is not going to neccessarily be a marriage minded man of you dreams waiting in the wings for you to finish living out your "Sex in the City" group of gals going out having drinks in expensive shoes fantasy or for you to make partner.

Trying to control things in life and trying to project a time when you think you will be ready for THE relationship is foolish. God will bring someone into you life when it is time, you just need to be ready and open to receive it. Unfortunately, many people close themselves down to it and they miss their moment.
Tell your niece to hang in there, try new things, step out of the norm and get involved in new circles of people who share similar interest and be open.

February 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commenternovanova

@sanctuary

"always beautiful"??? Has the author seen diana ross's twins? Those boys look like weird elves. And her daughter Chutney or whatever her name is looks like somebody is squeezing her till her eyes pop out.

And have you noticed that when black folks go white they alway seem to end up with white folks on the lower end of the totem pole? They never end up with Catherine zeta jones, scarlett johanssen, Brad pitt, or George cloony or anyone who would be in the running to make people magazines most beautiful list.

I'm like damn, you bypassed a black man/woman for that? Seal and Heidi are an anomaly. I was just looking at a link to a site about black women and interracial dating and they had all of these picks of black women and white men and all of the men looked veery "Opie" weird, nerdy, fat, busted. and the women were not all that cute either so i guess its cool.

We never really have a problem with ir relationships unless we are interested in one of the parties anyway. They can have each other.LOL

February 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commenternovanova

@ Novanova

I think there is a twisted illogical argument oft repeated by BM that BW "love thugs" and this is the cause of difficulties in interactions between young BM and BW.

It seems so many of us have a lack of understanding of common human behaviours. if I hear one more BM complain about being over looked in college I will scream. Holding negative feelings and creating arguments about female behaviour based on interactions with TEENAGE peers is so short sighted it is bizarre. I know many men hold anger about their young dating experiences, if they felt they were not adored and embraced, but if they had the vision to look beyond their own personal experiences they would see what is at play is behaviour common to ALL women. I understand we all have a need to be accepted and loved....well most of us.

Teenagers can be cruel....sorry. many a young white boy has been passed by for the star foot ball player and wealthy kid in school. Yet I don't see them whining about it at 35. Yes, in high school and college, many girls were drawn to the big athletes or pretty boys...this is the same in ANY American school. And guess what most of the boys dream of the fair skinned cheerleader. Those of us who may not fit that profile have to learn to to live with it. Now if you said this is a problem with American culture I would have to agree. Yet these hierarchies exist within each culture.

It is a lie to say that there were not black girls interested in nerds and geeks I know because I know many black girls who themselves were nerds or geeks who were ignored by their BM peers. As BW outnumber BM on campus in HUGE numbers, the reality is there certainly would have been a cute, college coed for that young BM but most likely maybe he did not have the confidence or social skills to approach her.

What the athletes have that many young men do not is ...confidence. That lack of confidence was compunded by the fact that women so outnumbered BM making the large numbers of girls very intimidating. That has changed somewhat and now young BM on campus revel in the fact there are so many more young women....or so I hear tell :-)

Further, yes there are hundreds of BM on HBCUs across the country but what about 3 or 4 to 1 can't BM understand?

In regards to manufacturing jobs...they won't be returning.

We have to find solutions regarding educating young black boys.

February 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterknockoutchick

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