by Steven James Dixon
I had to have me a sister. She is who I am most comfortable with. She understands me. Our struggles are one in the same. We relate to each other on a different level. I need someone who understands that Thanksgiving means collard greens, cornbread, peach cobbler and honey ham. Christmas doesn’t just mean Christmas caroling. It means Christmas classics by the Temptations and Boyz II Men. I had to marry a Black woman because I need someone who understands why my cousin stole money out of his mother’s purse. I need somebody to watch Love Jones with me. I need to be able to walk into my house and yell, “Nights like this, I wish that rain drops would faaaaaaallllll. Nights like this . . .” and have my woman interrupt me to finish the chorus herself. I need that swag. I need that sweet. I need the confidence. I need unique.
Crushed linen, a folding-chair, an ice chest and Frankie Beverly & Maze. I need that.
Us against him. Us against them. Us against the world. I need that.
There is nothing more humbling than when my wife prays over me. I need that.
As I watch my sister and my mother love, I know I need that kind of love. I can see them loving. It is tangible and alive. My sister is able to express love for another person’s children in the same fashion that she loves her own. My mother was able to love me when my father didn’t. My mother is able to love the Black man again and again. I’ve told my mom to try dating outside of our race, and she has yet to do so. She will never give up on the Black man.
Black men, when you attack the Black woman, you attack yourself. When you look at her, you should see your mother, your sister, your aunt, your niece, your likeness. You should see our history in her eyes. If you don’t like who she has become then you don’t like where she has come from. Try loving her before leaving her and risking losing her forever.
I had to marry a Black woman because she is irreplaceable. I don’t believe love has a color so I’m not saying who you should or shouldn’t love, but this Black man right here, I needed — had to have! — a Black woman.
Relationships expert Steven James Dixon is a proud father, an adoring husband and author of Men Don’t Heal, We Ho: A Book About the Emotional Instability of Men and Love Capacity.