Dating, Relationships, & Sex, Pop Culture, Race & Politics, Theory & Essay

Black Marriage Negotiations: Here’s What They Think About You

By now, most of the reading Black community has seen the “Black Marriage Negotiation” videos that have begun circulating the net. I don’t know when they were made, by who or why, but talk about your incendiary pieces of art. So far I’ve seen three videos, the marriage negotiation from the man’s perspective, the woman’s perspective, and the the video called “Black Dating in a Hip-Hop Society”.

As expected I’ve had various convos with people about these videos whose opinions have ranged from being offended to neck-snapping, “I know that’s right”-isms. I haven’t read any message boards but I figure they probably feature numerous ninjas with degrees arguing back and forth playing the blame game. If there’s one thing we know how to do when it comes to relationships, its blame.

Which is actually why I think these videos were completely ingenious. See, the biggest problem with talking about ANYTHING remotely controversial is the inclusion of too many voices at once – differing voices. We’ll never have an open conversation about race in this country because it’s impossible for people to just LISTEN without reacting and responding. At some point, you lose focus on the forest and get lost in the trees. Hell, it happens even intra-racially. As soon as one side says that Black people from one side do ‘this’, THAT side is going to stop paying attention and become defensive and not hear anything the other side is saying.

That’s why I think these videos do more good than harm. See, they allow one perspective to be focused upon a time without interruption. Sure the man or woman is responding to what the other is saying, but ultimately, an entire stereotypical perspective and viewpoint is put out there in its entirety. And the truth is, A LOT of people actually do think like “good black man trying to please the confused and insatiable woman”. Hell, we all know women who we think sound like that chick. No matter what a man does, none of it is good enough. Now of course, no one woman is going to be all those things, but that’s not the point either. Stereotypes are just that – genearlizations to the nth degree. And I’m believe in stereotypes. I try to use and become at least ten per day. Generalizations? Psssssh…you can’t write a relationship-centric blog without focusing on the generalizations of the sexes. Then we get to the “woman’s perspective”. I think many women do think that men are all commitment phobes with the most unrealistic of expectations when it comes to what being a wife is. Basically, we need one woman to complete the job of five women while being understanding, compassionate, trusting, and steadfast in the face of the all of the f*ckery that so many of us men bring to the table. Not to mention that the successful ones of us have our “pick of the litter” so you all better come correct.

The “Black Dating in a Hip-Hop Society” one is hilarious to me because it, much like the “man’s perspective” on “Black Marriage Negotiations” gives us a view of how many men think standard chicks are in their expectations of what they deserve versus what they bring to the table. It makes all women seem to be money-hungry yamps in search of a ring.

Jacked up? Of course it is. It’s supposed to be. But I’ll be damned if we haven’t had these same conversations here at VSB where the comments sections has turned into a warzone of generalizations and ridiculousness.

All of these videos highlight one perspective, often echoed by numerous members of both genders, without the competing reactions and I think that actually helps move the conversation along. As long as you know, honestly, where there other side stands, you know where you need to address in order bring about understanding.

I feel like if we could get 100 white people to speak their minds and talk about how they REALLY viewed race relations, and did the same thing with 100 Black folks – and put everybody in space where they’d actually listen and then come together and discuss and see what could be done to get people past the stereotypes, well, I might be able to get a loan on the Internet without doing an interview.

Anyway, all that to say is that what the world needs now is love, sweet love, that’s the only thing that there’s just too little of. So good people of VSBs, what do you all think of the videos? Is there anything good to come of them? Do they get to the roots of our perspectives? Is this REALLY how both men and women hear eachother?

Basically, who can I run to??

-VSB P aka VITAMIN P aka THE ARSONIST aka TANGLE JIG P aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL, HE A 3

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Damon Young

Panama Jackson is a co-founder of VSB and co-author of Your Degrees Won't Keep You Warm At Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide to Dating, Mating, and Fighting Crime. He believes the children are our future and is waiting to find out if he is the 2nd most interesting man in the world.

  • http://twitter.com/naimafiasco TheTalentedMs.Fiasco

    Black Dating in a Hip Hop Society is the funniest and most truthful video ever. Omg, I died several times watch things!

    The Drake comment had me rolling. Drake does look kind of slow and the tourettes hand does not help!

    • Chime

      LOL, so true! Drake may not quite look like he has down syndrome but his face does have that whole melted marshmallow thing going on…

      • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

        Right, Marshmellow. That kneegrow looks like the middle of a s’more.

    • JessicaL

      Lol believe it or not I hadn’t heard of these until today. I would have laughed just a little harder at the silliness of the videos if I didn’t know someone like each of the characters. I think that kind of mad me sad to know that there really are people around with that kind of backwards thinking. It baffles me that so many people want so much from their partner without wanting to give anything back in return. Then get bitter and say that your needs aren’t being met.

      • JessicaL

        *made me sad

    • WIP

      LOL, that mess was hilarious. I think somebody else said he looked like a sloth. Ya’ll need to leave that brotha alone….

      • Orange Star Happy Hunting

        oh my dayum, not a sloth LLS!!!!!

      • I’ll give it a try

        A narcoleptic tree sloth to be exact…

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      I can’t lie, when I first watched the “hip-hop” one, I ’bout damn died at all the rappers she needed. lol.

      “i want to date rick ross”

      LMAO. that floored me for some reason. cuz if any woman actually said that out of her mouth, I’d throw a billy club at her and kick her goat.

      • ToneCapone

        I actually mess with a girl who thinks Rick Ross is fine and wants to get with him. No, seriously.

        Needless to say, she wont be making it to the ring ceremony

        • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

          “I actually mess with a girl who thinks Rick Ross is fine and wants to get with him.”

          FINE?!

          It takes a lot for me to believe that someone finds him tolerable, but some dimepiece ish? I refuse to believe this world.

          • WIP

            LOL, many women like really big guys. I had a friend that was extremely petite (4’11, may 100 lbs) and all her boyfriends were his size or larger, that’s all she liked.

            • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

              It’s not even that he’s big. His entire face is offensive and scary.

              • http://satcpsychology.wordpress.com MsVivienne

                LMAO@offensive and scary…though true.

        • http://twitter.com/yonnie3000 Yonnie 3000

          The funniest thing to me is when they post anything Rick Ross over at 2dope and they always use this photo w/ his breasts (yes. breasts.) blurred out like it is X rated. They do it all the time and I bust out laughing every. single. time. It never gets old. http://tinyurl.com/2ffl2ao

        • MzPW

          “Fine”, as in “he’s a decent human being and his existenceon Earth won’t damage mankind too much” or “fine”, as in “he’s quite pleasant to look at”? ‘Cuz I dont think it’s possible for Ross to fit “fine” description #2….

  • ComicBookGuy

    Hmmm….

    • ComicBookGuy

      Will have to check these videos I heard and read about and I’ll throw my pocket change in the ring about them. Good point on you saying that we had these same conversations before on VSB. Looking forward to the feedback.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        cool. cool. and real cool.

  • http://www.shay-d-lady.com shay-d-lady

    The guy in the black dating in the hip hop society reminds me of Champ lol

    • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

      *cackles*

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      now that you mention it…i can see that. that oft incredulous, you must be f*cking kidding me take no prisoners attitude. lol.

      champ hates dumb people.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      remind yourself of deez

      • http://twitter.com/sonofthehorizon stlunatic

        Stlunatic liked this.

  • eye(c)ande

    challenge: panama, please make one (or a few) about race relations. i since some Pulitzer Prize winning, ignant magic :)
    VSBs and VSSs, can we handle it? Can he go there baby with you? Ursher Raymond.

    • http://lizburr.com Liz

      you gotta check the archives. we’ve beat this dead horse a few times.

      • eye(c)ande

        Sorry Liz. Apparently i only make sense to myself after a certain time. I meant specifically for Panama to make one of these text to movies about race relations.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          ya know, i’ve been thinking about it. since i saw the first one i was like, “how can i, panama jackson, contribute to the canon of great stereotypical yet satirical animation that i’m witnessing.”

          i better get on quick to since somebody stole my rent’em spoons concept.

          oh yeah, and the whole Black blogger thing? all me. you see how many ninjas got blogs now? for me and kanye, its hard being a trendsetter.

          • CNotes

            Rent’em spoons!! (In Cole Brown’s voice)

  • B. Brown

    I hadn’t given these things a second thought, even though they’ve been all over my FB news feed for the last week (I also haven’t seen anything concerning puppets with good hair or Willow Smith). Now that I’ve seen them, I think they’re funny – especially the dating piece.

    Rather than get all worked up about them and be mad at the generalizations, I just decided to take them as satire and be amused. Maybe that’s because I’m in a good mood, maybe it’s because my opinion on the subject matter has already been formed, maybe it’s because they were actually funny. Shoot, the guy throwing up the deuces was priceless. The cracks on the entertainers were funny too.

    Is the subject matter a big deal? Well, yeah: it concerns our ability to live with each other and create more lives (along with advancing our collective ideas and all that stuff). This, though, seemed to be a lighthearted jab rather than an uppercut or left hook.

    I will say that I agree with Panama as far as fostering dialogue with differing points of view. It’d be nice if we could have Lincoln-Douglas debates, or even simpler methods in which everyone has uninterrupted time to share their views. Of course, that’s near-impossible with a subject such as this one no matter who’s doing the debating.

    Everyone has their opinions, pounded into them by everything from friends to experiences to media. Parsing through all that takes time and effort, something many of us aren’t willing to give – especially when it could result in our changing the thoughts we arrived with.

    Do some men and some women see the stereotypes every time they see a ‘potential’? Yes. Most stereotypes have some shred of truth to them. However, the key is to remember that no one is looking for a million Mr. or Mrs. Rights…I think most everyone is looking for one (if they haven’t found one already).

    It’s funny that (generally speaking) we bowl alone more than ever and have lesser interaction with others, but we swear we know more about others anyway. If we got out and actually learned about other people, it’d probably help us – and by us, I mean everyone – in more areas than just dating.

    • http://twitter.com/naimafiasco TheTalentedMs.Fiasco

      Willow Smith took over my fb and twitter today!

      People are too preoccupied with mating, I mean seriously dating is contrived. Get to know someone before you place all this burden on them and you probably will have a better relationship. Even if you don’t end up with them, every experience is a good experience right?

      I feel like when going on dates its like you are selling yourself. Whats the point, just because you might be “perfect” for me on paper, does not mean we will have a connection or a sustainable relationship. *shrugs*

      • Jhane Sez

        “And I’m believe in stereotypes. I try to use and become at least ten per day.”

        @Panama… a suggestion

        I too dreamt of being multi stereo typical, but I just couldn’t find the time… I got sh*t to do.

        So now I hyphenate… that way I can be reduced to a hyphenated-subculture-stereotype in one fell swoop… and I stay fresh all day.

        “People are too preoccupied with mating, I mean seriously dating is contrived.

        I feel like when going on dates its like you are selling yourself. Whats the point, just because you might be “perfect” for me on paper, does not mean we will have a connection or a sustainable relationship. *shrugs*”

        @TheTalentedMs.Fiasco… this might interest you.

        The Significant Other has a theory called “the woman conversation” the basis of his thesis is men are natural hunters and all of their actions/motivations are hard wired to find “woman”.

        And that civilizing the male to the extent achieved by a modern society has dulled his natural instinct to find woman, drag her by her hair to the cave, and do everything to keep her happy there.

        I frequently have to remind him that we have laws now against such things and all arguments can’t be settled by bending your woman over…

        He says that this statement actually proves his point.

        And after viewing the videos I think he maybe on to something… but please don’t tell him that.

        I think that we have gotten so caught up in so much extraneous bull sh*t that we wish list our way out of finding someone who is actually compatible with our needs.

        I have a girl who looks like Monique but lust after LL Cool J… and after many years of hard work and blowing a lot of cash she came across 2 or 3 that met specifications… and she hated it.

        These guys were gym rats, who never ate anything fried and whose idea of fun is getting up at 5 am on Sunday morning to go rock climbing…

        The polar opposite of my friend who is only interested in climbing one thing early on a Sunday morning… followed by smothered chicken, waffles, and a nap before church.

        So why does she want him… because she has always been the big girl and she wants to prove that she can get him.

        She feels entitled because she has the degree-church-domestic-good job combo which means she has ‘earned’ the right not to settle for less.

        But Geordi LaForge could see that’s not working for her.

        I know brothas who have the same syndrome… except I think its worse for them because they are under a even greater pressure not to settle because they are supposed to have so much choice.

        I held hands over the phone with one of my boys who was in a deep depression because he was mediocre… wife, a daughter, a 3000 sq ft house, and a (pre-certified) Lexus SC 430.

        He was born on the exact same day as Diddy and he wonders where he went wrong…

        And whose fault is all this… cause at the end of the day ain’t nobody running in slow motion towards each other with Isaac Hayes covers playing in the background.

        Maybe its time that vss’s and vsb’s sit down and smoke the peace pipe while listening to some Rolling Stones…

        “Cause you can’t always get what you want… but if you try sometime you’ll get what you need”…

        Until then… trust ~JS

        • oftenconfused

          I love this post. Everythings after “I think that we have gotten so caught up in so much extraneous bull sh*t that we wish list our way out of finding someone who is actually compatible with our needs.” is totally on point. Kudos

        • http://twitter.com/naimafiasco TheTalentedMs.Fiasco

          “So why does she want him… because she has always been the big girl and she wants to prove that she can get him.

          She feels entitled because she has the degree-church-domestic-good job combo which means she has ‘earned’ the right not to settle for less.”

          You speak the truth! I always have this internal struggle because there is so much external pressure on who you should be with. My family and friends have different views on who I should date. My family thinks I should date a Muslim Somali who is educated, but if he is religious it doesn’t matter so much if he has money or anything. My friends think I should be with an educated/rich/handsome guy who could deal with my crazy tendencies.

          However, I’ve dated both these kind of guys and honestly “qualifications” are bullshit. There is a sense of entitlement involved. Like just because you have a degree, a whole pool of people are off limits because you would be settling. However, I think you settle if you date someone merely because they meet your qualifications. Yeah, you can brag about bagging this hottie, but are you gonna have a good relationship? That is not guaranteed.

          I’ve had guys tell me that “we” are perfect together and I just kind of laugh. I really have no idea how you can fall for someone without knowing just key aspects about their life. And first dates are bullshit, they are based on avoiding anything that would make the other person question the date in the first place. Like you have to roll out information about your life slowly and see if the person is willing to deal with it.

          My exbf once told me that he doesn’t understand how I ever get into relationships because I seem like I am against the whole thing. Personally, I have no idea. I think its just fate, because when I actually try this dating thing, it just leaves a bitter taste in my mouth (get your mind out the gutter).

          I’m painfully allergic to phoniness and I think that is required to for dating. *shrugs*

          • WIP

            “I’m painfully allergic to phoniness and I think that is required to for dating.”

            100% agree, I’m over it. I don’t send my representative anymore, I go in person. I’m cool as fu(k, just gimme somebody that not homeless or a slut that I can stand to look at for 5 minutes and I’m good.

        • JessicaL

          I wholeheartedly agree.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          “I know brothas who have the same syndrome… except I think its worse for them because they are under a even greater pressure not to settle because they are supposed to have so much choice. ”

          lol. while you’re never going to hear me complain about it, this is very true. i have homegirls now who EXPECT me to only date supermodels etc. how in the hell did you come to that conclusion. if i show up with a girl-next-door type woman, folks expect more. its an odd problem to have in life though…its like complaining because folsk expect you to get all A’s. or to be rich.

        • Scipio Africanus

          I’ma need you to start doing your own blog immedialtely. I like the way you put thoughts down.

      • Rewind

        I realize no matter how far we’ve come in the last 100+ years, and despite how modern people think they are, most people’s notions of love, sex, relationships, and marriage are VERY ARCHIAC. It’s like despite all the changes, people are nowhere close to being interested in actually knowing and understanding another person. It’s the same primal instincts: woman goes after either the bread winner or strongest of the group, man goes after the most likely to bear children or sate sexual appetities. Nobody wants to be marginalized, stereotyped, or pushed in the corner, but almost everyone does something that deserves to be labeled in those fashions, and I just don’t get it. People are just too scared to be honest and take into account, they aren’t even really worth the effort, let alone to put all that pressure on someone else to clean up after them.

        Lemme stop before I start ranting.

    • http://twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

      “It’s funny that (generally speaking) we bowl alone more than ever and have lesser interaction with others, but we swear we know more about others anyway. If we got out and actually learned about other people, it’d probably help us – and by us, I mean everyone – in more areas than just dating.”

      I love this! And you’re right.

  • http://sleep-is-the-cousin-of-death.blogspot.com/ MadScientist7

    wow. drake missing a chromosome? lol that last video was hilarious. i know a lot of women who sound like bits and pieces of the first video. not all in one woman though. all these videos are funny though.

    • MzPW

      I’m there with you…..poor, poor, Down-symdrome-lookin’ Drake.

      Anyways, y’know…..I hate to say it, but sometimes I feel like my best bud is the girl in the last vid. Yeah, definitely starts out like the ideal, focused, determined woman but after hearing those words….I think I may need to send that clip to her. Oh boy….

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        honestly, i think we all known somebody who sounds a lot like some of the people in these videos. and that goes for men too. i know dudes who think that women should be recognizing just how valuable they are and lining up to meet them. real talk.

        they in no way think that their expectations of women are in the least bit unrealistic or outmoded.

  • PureMagnetism

    i want the creator of these clips to make a pre-quel, so i can learn where and how to pull these stereotypical vsbs.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      totally unrelated but the word pre-quel is one of my favorites.

  • http://www.shay-d-lady.com shay-d-lady

    Lol I saw the other 2 and I am convinced yall ninjas put them out there. Lol.

    • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

      Why did I say the SAME thing to myself? Like, I can see Champ and Panama making one of these videos. And it would be high-larious. Champ’s video would probably be nicer on us. ;) Though, I’d DIE to hear “deez” in that robot-voice.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      i wish. oh, how i wish i had. lol. in fact, when i saw it i got jealous. thats how much i wish i had something to do with them.

  • P.

    Interestingly enough, every time y’all make a post starting with something along the lines of “by now everybody has seen/heard/read/etc,” it’s the first time I’m hearing about it.

    Anyway, those videos are f*cking hysterical. the Hip-Hop one had me on the floor.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      maybe we’re just ahead of the curve, though the more likely reason is that you dont know enough ni**as. lol. or dont do facebook.

      • P.

        It’s the latter. Matter fact I just need to go head and delete that joint.

        And I know plenty of n*ggas, but I can’t guarantee that they read. I can’t even guarantee than they CAN read.

  • http://thatswhatgemsaid.wordpress.com Gem of the Ocean

    why Panama Jackson**, this was a very intriguing and profound piece. i enjoyed hearing your insight on these silly little videos.

    See, the biggest problem with talking about ANYTHING remotely controversial is the inclusion of too many voices at once – differing voices… At some point, you lose focus on the forest and get lost in the trees

    great observation. i couldnt agree more. often times when i have discussion based on a stereotype with my co-workers, i try to hear them out completely before saying what i have to say. sometimes you have to be quick to listen and slow to speak (bible study taught me this lol). i think we can learn a lot about a person’s perspective, and how they built their ideas/pov around a stereotype, if we hear them out. it doesnt guarantee that what they have to say is any less of offensive or well articulated, it just provides more data to analyze and discuss.

    and i, too, enjoy using and becoming a handful of stereotypes a day–most days its effortless. and much like judging people, stereotyping is FUN and liberating!!! we all owe it to ourselves to play the part. i encourage everyone to try it.

    **see? there i go again using caps and full monikers. #respect

    • http://twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

      I love to have healthy debates. No yelling, no put downs…just a group of people listening to each other’s ideas on issues and asking questions. I have these alot at my house as I love to provoke discussions. Here’s my problem or weakness: I’m allergic to bullsh*t. If someone really isn’t making any valid points, or putting words in my mouth, or being what I believe to be ignorant…I shut down. I stop listening to people who just don’t make sense and my tongue turns into a razor blade. *sigh*…I need help for this I know. I just feel that some people don’t go into a conversation trying to gain your perspective. Their only puprose is to unleash their own insecurity and need for conflict on you. I spot these people and DESTROY them. I try to use my vocab powers for good Gem, it just doesn’t always happen that way.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      every now and then i try to be deep and profound like Champ.

      or tyler perry.