Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Itch

Walk down any block and you'll see them. Listen in on almost any girl talk session and they'll come up as a hot topic. Think back to how you (or if you're a guy reading, your sister) grew up and you probably had them around all the time. What are they? BABIES. Babies and children are everywhere now and if you're a single Black woman in her mid to late 20s or GOD FORBID, your 30s, most people have asked you at least once, "When you gonna settle down and get married? When you gonna have some KIDS?"

Recently, posted an article about Black Women and Adoption where it shed light on something that is still taboo, albeit a frequent occurrence: Single Motherhood. The women in the article were fairly intelligent, successful in their careers and even dated more often than not. But after having failed relationships and seeing some of their "years" pass them by, they realized they yearned for children. While a couple of these women did not want to have a child out of wedlock, their need/want for children led them to adoption.

According to the article, a 2006 Census Bureau poll showed that 45% of Black women have never been married (compared to 23% of White women). As many of us have been raised to believe we should get an education and then get married, where does that leave the women who opted to find and sustain a career before even THINKING about the idea of a family? And when they are ready to focus on a relationship, they are coming up short. According to Mardie Caldwell (founder of Lifetime Adoption) in the article, "...There's a lack of qualified men to get into relationships with." If you're a woman in her 30s and for you that statement holds true (I don't subscribe to that at all and I'm knocking on 30), what does that mean for you? Do you just keep holding out on hope that you will find the man for you and just wish yourself the best on conceiving your own child?

Further, what IS the effect of the emotional strain some women will put them through, thus leaving them towards adoption? As stated, women are so often told that they're "getting old and hurry up and have a baby," that it becomes ingrained and start a mantra that they must have children. Fear of being infertile is also leading women to adopt. Fear of being alone is causing women to adopt. Fear of being side-eyed by family and friends for not having kids is causing women to adopt.

The article digs into a few more sub-topics that you can read for yourself and think about (i.e. the fact that biracial and light-skinned children are being adopted more than dark-skinned children because some of the women don't want a child that's "too dark") - especially if you're single and would like a family of your own but aren't "on the road yet."

Could adoption be an option for you if you're a single, Black woman who wants children? Men, could or would you date a woman whose children you found out were adopted...and it was by choice (I'm sure we'd be surprised by the answer)?

Let's talk.

Friday, July 3, 2009


"He's BACK."

That's what just about every woman (and yes, even some men b/c they KNOW what this could mean in the late night long run) is saying. Maxwell has finally - officially - graced us again with his voice. I instantly loved his voice from his '96 debut to his last album sighting in '01. Maxwell vanished to get away from the sex symbol "hysteria" Black women surrounded him with but he has returned with BLACKsummers'night (July 7th), the first disc in a 3-part trilogy. You all will still love me after this review...right??

I don't love it. I have honestly tried but BLACK is missing something to me and I will continue to listen to figure out what it is. "Pretty Wings," which we all know is the lead single, is lyrically a beautiful song but it doesn't tug at my heartstrings like most Maxwell songs tend to do to me. The intro song, "Bad Habits," is my personal favorite partly because of the lyrics (again) but primarily because of the band. As a matter of fact, the only part of the cd I DO love is the band - they manage to SHINE throughout every song. Another favorite is "Playing Possum" where it seems [to me] that we get a little glimpse of the man with "the voice." His tone isn't too high or too low; on the contrary, it just...fits. It embodies what the album could have been. Other than that, the other six songs just seem like songs you play at a dinner party and not pay any real attention. It's also important to note that Maxwell has found a very interesting raspiness to his voice that we've never heard.

So, what was the problem? I think Maxwell is in a different place so, at the very least, we're not seeing too many of the ballads we've come to know him for and so we get his version of "funk." But with only 9 songs, it is super important that we aren't questioning "where he's going" with this album. It's okay though - I'm happy he's back. No really, I am...just not loving his Welcome Back party of a cd. I'll patiently wait for 2010 when blackSUMMERS'night is supposedly released.

We're still friends, right??