Black Relationships II

Black Relationships II (1986)
Duration: 00:28:34

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Themes: Education and Families |

Guests: Dr. LaMaurice Gardner, Dr. Rosalind Griffin, Susan Watson
Host : Ed Gordon
Producer : Tony Mottley

Summary: Gordon and his panelists, Dr. Rosalind Griffin and Dr. LaMaurice Gardner, explore in this program the role-playing, game-playing and stereotypes that often result in conflict and tension between black men and black women.

The program begins with a series of brief interviews, conducted in a pair of Detroit nightclubs, in which three women and three men describe the problems they see at the heart of the suspicion with which men and women view each other - dishonesty, distrust, failure to communicate, lack of commitment and excessive concern with superficial emblems of social status.

Griffin begins by pointing out that if someone is interested in finding a serious relationship, a nightclub is not the best place to begin the search because the club scene encourages people to present false faces to the world and engage in game-playing. It would be better, she says, to look for a relationship at church or in an educational setting where game-playing is not so prevalent.

Gardner adds that "courtship, by its very nature, is a game." Men, as well as women, he says, have been taught certain "scripts" to follow, and men have learned that if they do not put on a facade, sometimes women will walk away.

Gordon asks whether women are too concerned about a man's job and income level, and Griffin replies that what may appear as economic superficiality is often self-defense.

"Today's woman is interested in taking care of herself because most often she's left having to take care of herself," Griffin says. "She's abandoned, rejected, often by a man with children to support and that's where we get the bitterness about whether he's serious."

Gardner says it is important to recognize that many of the conflicts being discussed are common to all men and women - not merely black men and black women. But he adds that some of the more pernicious stereotypes - such as the oversexed, sexually dominant black male - arise from the experience of slavery and racism in America. It was not like that in West African societies from which the slaves were taken, he says.

"We've sort of skewed and obscured our own traditional values," Griffin says in agreement.

The program also includes a range of questions and observations by callers from the viewing audience, and concludes with a commentary by Detroit Free Press columnist Susan Watson.

This program testifies to the interest stirred by the subject of male-female relationships, and helps illuminate some of the unique concerns among African Americans about how they are affected by the eternal "battle of the sexes."

Related Production Materials held at MSU Libraries, Special Collections:
Box 7, File 10, Black Male/Female Relationships – January 25, 1993 – Show # 2413