Is Your Boyfriend Behind Bars?

I don’t buy into all the “there are no good black men” drama. I know several upstanding brothers out here. However, when a friend sent me this article about how the mass incarceration of black men hurts black women, I couldn’t deny that there are also quite a few “good” black men behind bars.

Did that raise an eyebrow? How could a brother be both “good” and incarcerated? Granted, he may not be  a “good catch” — at least not anymore — but I wholeheartedly believe there are men in jail who might have been productive members of society if they hadn’t made dumb decisions in their youth. And who isn’t guilty of that?

When I read the article, my mind went straight to my relatives. I have three male cousins, just around my age, who have been locked up for the majority of their lives. They went into jail as teenagers. They haven’t come out.

Yes, they made some wrong choices, but could they have been great assets to their communities, great husbands and great fathers? I think they could have. Maybe I’m biased, but I remember funny, charming, handsome, intelligent adolescents who had promising futures.

Then, I remember hearing they were imprisoned.

As much as that’s a personal tragedy for my family, I think it most definitely affects society as a whole. To bring it to the SIS perspective, maybe one of my cousins – had he the opportunity – would have been introduced to one of my girlfriends at a family function and fallen madly in love with her. Maybe they’d be off somewhere making a home and raising future generations.

Hey, it could have happened. We’ll never know.

Is there an actual correlation between the number of men in jail and the number of single women? If so, does it have more to do with the absence of available men to date or the fact that incarcerated fathers aren’t around to be good examples of manhood for their daughters?

Again, I have mostly questions and no answers, but it’s a topic my many single, female cousins and I discuss when we’re gathered at a family function lacking male companionship in a way that’s much deeper than not having a date.


5 Responses to “Is Your Boyfriend Behind Bars?”

  1. May 19, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Great post! Don’t see how it can’t affect sisters as far as relationships go.

  2. 2 RaN'ae A. Bacon
    May 19, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Whose to say that when they do get out of jail that they still can’t be a good potential mate and a productive member of society? Chef Jeff (Jeff Henderson)of the Food Network and Gospel singer John P. Kee both were incarcerated in their past do to drug trafficking and discovered a talent while in jail that they used successfully when they were released. Now both are successful men, fathers and husbands. I think what scratches a lot of jailed black men off the list as good men is a lot of them don’t come out better than they were when they went in.

  3. May 20, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Well…well…it’s been said. Here’s a question: Is it possible that those men with extreme potential are targeted to get into unlawful activities a part of the plan to destroy the family structure?

    Cut off the head and you have the body.

    I’m just saying.

  4. 4 blackbarbiekj
    May 20, 2010 at 10:44 am

    I have said for years that “it” (the number of black men in jail) has definately affected the number of single black woman. How could it not?

    These men, many of them, made wrong choices, many are in jail for “dumb” stuff, some even falsely accused. Just think if their luck had been different? Who’s to say, some SIS would not have met them at a traffic light, the grocery store, or pumping gas.

    In jail, ain’t nobody really meeting them. If they were out and working, SIS might have more available men to date.

    Sad but true.

    Has anybody ever visited jail? I have. And the array of beautiful black men …. is alarming…. I would always joke and say – MY HUSBAND IS PROBABLY IN HERE AND I DON’T EVEN KNOW IT!!!! Whateva your flavor…its there….unfortunately, these guys made wrong choices and are paying the price.

    They are building more jails then school…so think about it! Nobody is putting money in building more jails if they think they will be empty…and who do you think is going to fill these jails???? You guessed it… the majority will be unfortunately, Black men.

    Many brothers do get to come home and maybe a chance to meet a SIS but for that brotha, there are 10 others that never come home or come home and go right back in.

    I definately think the number of black men in jail/prision has affected the SIS, the black family and more.

  5. 5 Craig
    May 26, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Anyone wanna actually look up the percentage of BM in jail?

    …then factor in the BW in jail?

    and then stop acting all crazy?!

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