Being coachable is not for black women

Anjanae Crump, Managing Editor

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Recently, outrage broke out on social media over the answer that one man (Ricardo Agnant) gave to the question of why black athletes marry white women. He said, “The answer is simple, brother: Most of the sisters were raised in broken homes and they don’t have the proper guidance [as] to how they should treat a man.”

He proceeded to call black women stubborn, closed-minded, argumentative and bossy. Perhaps raising the most eyebrows is that he declared black women as “un-coachable.”

The responses poured in, mainly from black women, showing pure disgust for his crass comments. They were appalled that a black man, who was birthed by a black mother, could so blatantly disrespect and denounce the very race of women who have stood on the front line loving and protecting black men.

They were livid that a black man, who should be able to understand their plight, could stereotype them and expect them to be a man’s pet. Black women, feminists and many other people were simply outraged.

At first glance, I was one of them. The boldness of his ignorance and ego pissed me off. His comfortability in excluding an entire race of women, especially his own, hurt me. His selfish and apathetic mindset disappointed me.

But beneath the terrible word choices and unrefined thoughts was a deeper issue to focus on. Jumbled within his highly untasteful answer was a certain matter of truth that often goes unspoken of in the black community.

He said, “You can never get better at anything unless you can admit your fears and mistakes.” As much as I wanted to hate everything he said, I would only be ignoring the problem and hindering growth if I simply glossed over the root of where such a comment came from.

He may not be the best example, but beneath the hard shell of many black men is pain. Since our arrival in America on slave ships, our families have been torn apart, our men emasculated and our women abandoned and taken advantage of.

After the white man stopped doing it systematically, it had already been ingrained in the minds of black men to run, unequipped with the skills of how to sustain a successful family. And when they didn’t run from it on their own, prison or death met them halfway.

Subsequently, black women have been forced to step up and take on the role of both woman and man, generation after generation. Because of this, many black women have a quiet resentment toward black men and reluctance to trust them. And who can blame them?

I can’t. I was raised in a home with a single mother. I watched black men misuse, abuse and consistently not choose my mother. Unfortunately, I’ve seen it happen to plenty other women too. But I also watched some gain the mentality of a “strong independent black woman who don’t need no man,” and lose good men because of it.

They refused to trust because of all the times in the past they had been lied to. They refused to compromise because of all the sacrifices they had to make on their own. They refused to support because of the lack of success they saw for black men. They refused to talk like adults because of all the men they dealt with who acted like children.

When a man comes into the picture who wants to help, hold and love them, so many black women have already been so hurt that they don’t know how to accept it. They are afraid to get too comfortable, too dependent, too attached – and for good reason.

But everyone in a relationship needs to feel loved, supported, trusted, heard, needed, important. No matter how independent someone truly is, when they choose to become one with another person, they have to make room, literally and figuratively.

This is a vicious cycle in the black community that has to end. This can only happen with a deeper look beneath the surface and a contribution to the solution instead of blindly ranting about the problem on social media or deciding to further abandon each other over continued misunderstanding.

Not just black women, but everybody, should be malleable enough to reshape themselves slightly in order to comfortably accommodate another person. Being “coachable,” is for sports, not for girlfriends, sir.

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Being coachable is not for black women