Recently in the news was controversy from a letter a former Princeton alumnus wrote to the young women on the campus of Princeton. In short, it advised these women to select a husband before they were done at the school because they will never be around so many smart, promising, and available marriage prospects again. I really didn’t understand what the big deal was since she is absolutely right. There is no place like a high end college to be surrounded by future doctors, lawyers, and engineers untouched by divorce, kids, settlements, or any other drama or anchors. You, also, get to see what kind of friends they have, what kind of activities they are involved in, and how do they handle themselves in a sexually liberated environment. It is like picking a strawberry straight from the field versus buying one listed on Ebay.
However, the number of Blacks who end up in high end colleges or any colleges for that matter is much smaller than with Whites and Asians, meaning the Princeton advice wouldn’t have a big impact unless modified. Though you don’t think of high school as a time to think about marriage, with the large numbers of Black and Hispanic teen mothers, we are engaging in marriage-based behaviors anyhow. So, why not get our young people thinking about someone they could meet in high school who might just be the ONE. On that note, I present the Blacknek version of the Princeton letter:
A Letter To Young Black Women
Prelude: I am not young. I am not a woman. But as a Black man I have grown up with Black women, attended predominantly all Black schools, and grew up in a predominantly Black city. So, these qualifications for daring to write this open letter may be sufficient for some, insufficient for others. With that said, let me begin.
Young Black Women in High School,
The future is yours. You exist in a time created by decades of protests, activism, and blood. You live in a land millions want to enter, despite its flaws and shortcomings. You claim citizenship under a government with a leader who shares your skin and your culture and with first ladies and first daughters whom share your lips, noses, eyes and essence. Make the decisions now to make your future bright.
High school is a time in your lives when things suddenly get real. Your style becomes your everything. Your body development starts to drag you out of childhood, rather you like it or not. Picking and being accepted by the right crowd of girls seems to be the most vital part of existence. And very importantly, talk of love and relationships changes from holding hands and kissing to sex and the future. On this last novelty rest the greatest stumbling block to your futures. No matter what your parents may want to accept, you know from all of the attention and desires of the opposite sex that you are a sexual creature now. Wise decisions at this point in your life will save you a lifetime of heartache, disappointment, and shortcomings.
The family problems we are facing are cyclical. Fathers who abandon sons create sons who think it’s normal to abandon their future children. Daughters of such fathers grow up to accept and even desire such men, who offer good times now with little prospects of a stable and reliable future. And the cycle continues one generation after the next. Young Black women, there are a class of boys who think with nothing else but their crotch. They see no long term future and only live for the here and now. They are often very handsome, very confident, very charming, very well dressed, and know just the right things to say to flatter you…to make you feel like a queen.
I’m not going to be an unrealistic moralist and advise you to live like a saint in high school, because our culture and times are beyond that ideal. BUT there is a big difference between having an occasional, youthful indiscretion at a party with proper protection versus putting your entire future in the hands of some clown by risking pregnancy and STD’s. All teens are led by hormones but there is a greater problem within our culture. The perception of a lack of available men and great competition has created a pressure to be the ‘baddest chick’, meaning not to be outperformed sexually by any other. Thus, why make a big deal about condoms when he might move on to a girl that let’s him go raw. Plus, there is this idea that getting pregnant might help to make the relationship permanent and turn the players into a responsible partner. Young black women, don’t sell yourself short by chasing such delusions.
Here is your secret for finding long term happiness with a young man: look at how he handles his school work. School is free and is the first level of responsibility this society ask of a person to fulfill. Education is the first stepping stone to a long term, productive life. Any young man who throws this away is not planning for the long term. Unfortunately for you, this means getting pregnant by such a man is almost a guarantee of raising a kid by yourself. You can’t change a boy/man who has been avoiding responsibility all of his life by presenting him with fatherhood. If you can hold off on getting serious with anyone until you get to college, that would be even better. Even here you need to make sure the young man is taking his academics seriously and not just there on a sports scholarship. But if college is not in your future, then you have to look at high school as your best chance to secure a high quality man. It is in this setting where you can see his work ethic and character, his interest in monogamy or being a player, how much of his money is he blowing on high fashion clothes, and what kind of friends and company he likes to keep. You won’t ever get such a clear picture meeting some guy in the club or through an online profile. You don’t have to have marriage or a serious relationship on your mind, but make a list at least of some of the high school boys you might just want to reconnect with in a few years. Thanks to social media, it is easier than ever to see how someone is progressing in life and what their current dating status might be.
Young black women, it is time to get out of the change and reform game. We celebrate single Black mothers in our culture, and the work they have to do is admirable. But what none of our leaders are really harping on is that 90% of these situations are avoidable if smarter choices were made. When you look at a young man now, you should ask yourself ‘Does he have the core qualities of a responsible father and provider?’. You won’t change the player or the baller. If the guy has so perfected bravado, smooth talk, and swagger that he can convince you to sleep with him after a very short time, do you think he is going to put those skills in retirement. The ugly truth is that for such men/boys, the female is nothing but a conquest. The class clown in school will be a class clown in life. The player will always play. Pregnancy nor persuasion would make a permanent change is these men. They live expecting to die young. And clowns and players are always the same, generation after generation. Just looking at the men in the videos below, you can’t help but wonder why any woman would risk pregnancy by them and what on Earth made her think they would have any interest in fatherhood or faithfulness. Stop the cycle and raise your standards. There are a group of Black women out there that swear there are no good Black men left. These are usually women who have spent their whole lives chasing after players, hoping unsuccessfully to bring them to true manhood. Good Black men are out there, but you need to know what to look for and make your move early so that you avoid following the paths of these women.