So clearly what’s at stake here is the Black family. Not Black women’s happiness, not our ability to learn and grow as lovers and partners in a relationship or in marriage. What’s at stake is the responsibility that consistently gets laid on our back about the success or failure of the ENTIRE Black community. As if single parent families headed by women are the root cause for disparities and inequality. (Sound familiar? Yup, kind of like the Moynihan Report.)
My question is: why do people get to collectively comment on my body, my sex, my family, my choices, and my life circumstances? It’s just not fair. The answer: the preoccupation with the unmarried Black woman is part of a larger history and tradition of the hypervisibility of the Black female body. Our bodies, lives, love and labor are always on display as a spectacle for public debate, open for public inspection and consumption (you better believe that people are getting paid for the publication, distribution and sale of these books in addition to “expert” appearances on television).