Pastor Jamal Bryant: ‘We’re Not Options to One Another’

So, I had a quick pow wow with Pastor Jamal Bryant recently. If that name sounds familiar, you may have seen him on TV One’s “Ultimate Merger” sitting next to Omarosa as she deliberated on which of her suitors to send home. If you watched the series, then you know that in the end, she didn’t select any of the 12 men to be her beau.

Rumor has it that she was already dating Michael Clarke Duncan at the time of taping, but even if that’s true, the show was a pretty accurate depiction of the struggle a lot of women go through when trying to find the right guy. There was the bald, short, cocky guy who didn’t have a job. There was Al B. Sure, who obviously thought singing “Night and Day” over and over again would be enough to win Omarosa’s affection. There were dudes who just weren’t interested in her, including one who snuck out of the bachelors’ suite to spend the night with another woman, and then there was the guy who was married.

So, I asked Pastor Bryant what he thought about the disconnect between sistahs and brothers. He said:

“There are so many levels of disconnect. The African-American culture is the only in the world where you hear a woman say she doesn’t need a man. Asian women don’t say that. Russian women won’t say that. There is no other culture on the planet where you hear that. It’s only African-American women who you will hear say that. The black woman’s over-independence has made black men feel unnecessary or like an accessory. So, men have taken that to mean that a woman is an option, and being part of a woman’s life is optional. Men and women have to need each other, and understand that we’re not options to one another. We’re necessary for our existence, totality and purpose.”

So, of course I don’t totally agree with his POV. Honestly, I think most of the women I know are independent because no one has stepped up to offer assistance, not because they just want it that way. So, is it the chicken or the egg? Is our independence the reason so many brothers aren’t committing, or is that lack of committment why we’re so independent?

Take a look back at my chat with Hill Harper.


16 Responses to “Pastor Jamal Bryant: ‘We’re Not Options to One Another’”

  1. December 15, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Ummm what? I’m sorry did I read a Pastor (who I would guess had common sense) said “The black woman’s over-independence has made black men feel unnecessary or like an accessory. ” seriously? So because I have bills and found a way to pay them, I’m overly independent? So I should do what? Play dumb? Not have anything until a black man comes to save me? Bit then I’m a gold digger…I SWEAR we can’t win for losing

  2. December 17, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    I would like to correct Pastor Jamal Bryant and every African American individual reading this comment. Please note African-American women ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES that say I do not need a man – you find black women all over the world that say the same thing. I am a black women born and raised and living in London (UK) and we have EXACTLY the same problems as African-Americans. EG 2.2% of the UK population, but represent 15% of inmates. I have noticed that on many blogs/sites African Americans think that the problems they face in America – blacks elsewhere are oblivious to and have an easier life. Not so. Try living in the UK where the media very rarely portrays a black women as a role model or beautiful.

    • 3 Grace
      March 11, 2011 at 9:06 am

      Dear Roney
      I am a black british woman who happens to be living in the USA at the moment. I am also a minister, who has a specific Singles Ministry. I do not agree with all that Pastor Jamal says about the reason why black woman are single…But allow me to interpret what he means about African American women. When that term is used here it is the same as us saying ‘black people’ in the UK. Not all ‘black people’ identify as such, but Americans say ‘African/American’ just as we use ‘Black’ in the UK.
      Americans generally do not have a real understanding of the issues facing black people in other countries. We (in the UK) are not really shown on television programs and in the news…so their perception is different. E.G. People here still stop me and ask me where I am from (black & white). because the idea of Black and British is still difficult to compute.
      So my sister, don’t be upset at the terminology…look beyond to the message, and extract the universal truths within.
      God Bless you.

  3. 4 ab
    December 20, 2010 at 8:31 am

    he sounds like a pimp lol. over explaining, pseudo psychological inane ramblings of a pulpit pimp.
    and an ignorant one at that.

    ALL women say they dont need men, and it is true. we dont need men, we want them.

    What is it with african american men which makes them so darn sensitive, overtly emotional and unable to do anything without blaming it on ‘the way black women make us feeel’ waah waaahh wahhhh.
    Grow up.

  4. 5 Denise Clarke
    December 20, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    To be honest, in the African American community, we have become complacent about needing and/or wanting each other. It is sad. I do understand, however, that each person must make a difference in the other’s life. There are times when both men and women have a zero tolerance policy to everything which does not give couples an opportunity to get to know, trust and/or respect each other. I do understand the concept that you do not want to become a door mat; however, it is also important to date someone before totally getting involved with them and leave yourself open to date (not have sex with) many people before you find your soul mate. You can never win the game if you do not play it with an open mind and heart.

  5. 6 Carol Durante
    December 20, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Pastor Bryant: The black man has made me feel as though I am not beautiful enough to be worthy of their love and attention so of course I am going to say I don’t need a man, but in all actuality I love black men and I need a black man in my life in order to fulfill my destiny. I had to raise 3 children alone, which was not my choice, but I did it anyway. My children are grown now, but I had no choice but to become independent. Now I am a 51 year old single black woman who has spent most of her life raising children and the past 3 years alone at home on the computer dating online trying to find Mr. Right. I am a God fearing loving woman who does her best to live a Godly life. I don’t sleep around, I can cook, I am clean, I am spend thrifty, etc. I have all the attributes of a good woman, but yet all the black men I meet don’t find me beautiful, because they are too busy looking at the white, asian, puerto rican women. My hair is dreaded and beautiful, but if it were long and straight I would get much more attention, but I refuse to compromise my blackness in order to appeal to the black man. I am full figured, but I am beautiful. I look at myself in the mirror and I ask myself how could the black man not love skin as beautiful as mine. My body commands attention everywhere I go and my appearance is none but classy. I work a part time job and I own a consulting business. I am not wealthy, but I manage. There is no reason why I should be alone, except for the fact that being me reminds the black man of the black struggle. He much rather date outside of his race therefore he does not have to look in my black face everyday and see all the things in which he has come to hate. It is a smack in my face every time I hear someone say that the black woman doesn’t need a man. It is the black man that doesn’t need the black woman and we will continue to disavow the black man for that reason alone. But until the black man begin to see his mother, grandmother, aunt, sister and our struggle as strength and beauty we will continue on this course of separation. It is sad and even more sad for me, because I should be enjoying my life about now with a wonderful black man, but yet I am still sitting at home alone.

  6. December 20, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Okay first let me say this, as far as I know this blog is set as a forum for individuals to discuss and debate their views on the topic at hand. The need for name calling ans insults are uncalled for and unnecessary. If you are unable to express yourself in a mature manner please keep your comments to yourself. Personally I feel it takes away from the level in which I am sure the blog’s author is attempting to maintain on this site. With that said, my opinion is this; I have never been one to say I don’t need a man. There are (and I know some will disagree) but there are roles in relationships. As a woman of GOD one of the roles I was placed here for was to be a helpmate to my man. I have heard so many women say “I can do anything a man can do”. Well yes I am sure you can. However, I was taught and I in turn teach my own daughters, that while yes you can do anything a man can do, you shouldn’t. And if you think you should, then you are setting yourself up to be alone. Men were placed here FIRST! They are head and should be treated as such. The responsibility of being the head lies on them. That’s the way GOD designed it to be. When we as women have developed for whatever reason the “head of” mindset, and then are offered the opportunity to but refuse to hand over that “head of” position when blessed with the man for you, it then creates a disconnect, because the position in which GOD has placed man here for is not needed by that woman. So why would he even want to stay. And in-turn if you don’t need him why in the world would you want him? Nobody says women can’t be successful and submissive at the same time, the question is why do so many women have a problem doing both? JMO.

  7. 8 David
    December 20, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    I think yall are taking this the wrong way read what he was saying again and maybe yall will understand

    • 9 Sassy-N-Free
      December 20, 2010 at 3:34 pm

      I agree with David I really think that there may have been a mis-read communication error. We do say in a lot of ways we do not need a man with our attitudes and nasty dispositions. Yes, it’s safe to say we all have been hurt at some point and time but that’s still not an excuse to classify all men as dogs or unravel old excess baggage on the next man that says hello or wants to get to know us.

      I was and still am a single parent and wished many a days there was a man to help raise my boys however, after being hurt deeply by my husband I never gave the next man a chance. I began to classify (all men are dogs, ect.) never allowing anyone to get close enough to know me or me get to know them.

      We are not super women and could never take the place of a man although we say we have been father & mother. Our children and we ourselves need a man in our lives men are a must have not an accessory. There is nothing like a African American, educated man with a plan who has executed that plan or at least is sincerely trying. Society does not make it any easier for the African American male to provide for himself let alone his family. Bottom line is we need each other. I don’t expect for any one to agree with me and that’s ok. We are all entitled to our opinions and can not minimize or judge one another’s feelings or experiences. (Forgive-move on, love and be loved). Biblically speaking we need each other. There is nothing more powerful than the love a women has for her man and the love of a man for his woman and when you add the family as a unit WOW that’s an explosion.

  8. December 20, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    I had never known of a beautiful black woman, being one myself, on earth who says she does not need a man, she probably means she does not need man that does not treat her right, or she does not need a brother that does not meet her half way, frankly speaking, I had been legally divorced from a mix relationship for the 18th year now, & it is an experience I will not wish on anyone in my life, however, every black guy that had come on to me ever since, admit that I remain intant and beautiful even after two kids both now grown, but they had come to play, with the lone divorced woman, not to date, court, or remarry her, now if you see me on my own, you will say oh she is proud, but excuse me yes,proud to survive racial apatheid! yes proud to come out of a loveless marriage without dine to my name, restarting my life t 51yrs & looking under 25yrs is blessing handed to me by God that made me & no one else, & I must not 4get God that gave me such a precious gift greater than money which is eternal youth, beauty and agelessness in good health, I must make sure, only the brother that is truly deserving of me is allowed to get with me, not just anyone, like the crew half my age, some even same age as my son, some well over 13yrs my junior, trying to tell me if white men can be downright zoo animals & I keep rejecting them cause I divorced one of them that showed me hell in my divorce, they black too cn be quite compromising & it is my fault that I am ageless & beautiful, I want to bad, to meet all the guys that had lost over me in big conference hall & ask one billion doller question? will you do that or demand that of her if she were you sister, mother, cousin, aunty? twin, will you? why is it ny different?

    Could it be in spite of my lone parent divorce status, I have a choice in life, & that choice is to choose an ebony, black, kushite, within same age group blessed, unique, wholesome, blessed separate from sin brother, that will indeed be a match for me as a sister, than ever look forward to another headache in my life, after divorcing racial apatheid & even after 18yrs divorce they bitter remain the only life problem I still have, affecting both my kids of the divorce, my jobs, my car, my housing, my finance, even smearing my reputation to show they are bitter because I will not fall prey to another white guy? & I worry when ever any of my siblings date whites or are involved with them, so afraid because of the nasty experience I have, tried to put behind me, but are still being hounded by this horrible types.

    Would you say a brother that goes after such a sister should indeed be whose intension are indeed honorable to be a blessing to her than a curse, trying to show her because she is ageless & beautiful buddy call is all they want & if she refuses that makes her a bad person?

    See what I mean? black girls do not have problem with black guys they just want good black guys not one that follow societal flow do anything to anyone for the sake of it!

  9. December 21, 2010 at 12:50 am

    They disconnect from Men who are dogs Jamal! You should ask you ex wife and 3 other baby mommma’s.

  10. 12 Mandingo
    March 20, 2011 at 3:04 am

    Black women are single because they have figured life out and they’re waiting for us (brothers) to catch up. There’s is nothing that black women do not know. They have finished life. They could put together a list of things black men specifically need to work on and I think I could probably agree with atleast 80% of the list. Now if brothers compiled a list of things that the sistas need to work on there would be a drag out fight over each and every thing on that list. If you know everything, of course you don’t need a man. Congratualtions!!!! You’ve finished the exam! You can now just sit in your living room and wait for Jesus to call you home. Congrats again.

  11. 13 27moni
    August 21, 2011 at 4:36 am

    on my opinion the reason we say this(of course not all of us) is because many of us are starting to face the fact that we may never find the man we want. We can’t stand around waiting for Mr. Right to come along and save us. We have to keep going. I myself have done a good job at things that some women would need a mans help with. I would love to have a good man in my life but i don’t and have made it this far. So i can proudly say i don’t NEED a man. I know many sistahs who say “i can’t be without a man” so they go searching and searching and along the way they find black eyes, stds, restraining orders, phone calls from other women, and broken hearts. I would rather take my time and let some one come into my life without desperately searching

  12. 14 shantee
    February 13, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    I agree with pastor bryant..im 30yrs old aaf an i believe with him 100%..i see an hear ALL THE TIME that “i dont need a man speech” from our black woman an i even wrote a essay about it for black history month LAST YEAR!!..ITS TRUE!!.SO STOP IT!!! dont get all of offended by what he said when im sure you HAVE SAID “I DONT NEED YOU”..OR “‘I DONT NEED A MAN”” CUT IT OUT!!!! you have so an shut up with the bad talk about this man of god your life aint perfect either if ppl would EVER find out what YOU HAVE DONE?????????..please save it..what he said was absoluty true!!!.. T.R.U.E!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!..PIONT BLANK PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!

  13. December 16, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    I know that not all black women think this way. However, those who do, it is probably more of a defense mechanism than a reality (unless she is into other girls, then she really doesn’t need a man). It’s like when someone hurts your feelings, but you don’t want to show them that they hurt you, so you suck it up and pretend like you don’t need them anyways. It’s okay to let someone know they hurt you, even if it doesn’t work out between the two of you. It could possibly make them a little more compassionate in the future. I understand sometimes why some women will say this, and it has to do with how they are seen by other women. Other women look at them as being needy, clingy, or “thirsty”….(whatever that means), just because they really like a particular guy. So they take on this attitude that “you are not needed”, and when the guy moves on to where he feels needed and wanted….we get upset because he chose someone else over us. Say what you feel and be ready to accept whatever happens as a result of your own words and deeds, and remember you don’t have to let your girlfriend know your every move.

  14. December 16, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Hi thanks for letting me have exposure to this on my yahoo email, so i can then click on it and join the comments area, now for my own comment, i had never met a black woman that didn’t need a man! You may say, i had been pretty much sheltered all my life, may be so, i just had never met or heard of any black woman that didn’t need a man!

    people including women say stuff, when they are upset, or someone hurts them or are in agony, however to then take that up to judge them with is just as bad as they sayer in my book, i will rather comment on what someone say when they are not stressed out or very upset, and offer me their opinion to get my reaction than use their short comings and their natural or typical reaction to judge them with. However, she may well not need that particular man, if all he does it hurt her, after all only she and he knows what the experience is or was like!

    Some people man or woman can be even devilish to you, yet to someone else, including your peers, or your best friend or your associates, they are a blessing, so one man’s bread is quite another man’s poison, they may well enjoy hurting you as a form of control, and yet be very nice to another, so until you found that person that truly is nice to you, do you quit being single and dare hold your breath! Even that is not guaranteed, he may die or you, or fall ill, which will test the relationship or what is left of it anyway, but if the feeling is good between you, they will be a joy to you, and you will find, that you will never say you dont need that particular man, for the very good he is to you as a sister!

    So yes apart from those into other women, or girls or into equipments, even they claim to be involved with guys that never comes home, in a survey i read, some of them were soldiers wives, and fire men’s wives and girlfriends and got all form of equipment to keep them company and call the rest of us alone and disciplined a nun!

    So you see, it depends on each person’s status, but frankly speaking i hadn’t met a sister who didn’t need a man at all! You are sure to bite your tongue the moment you say that, cause the next person coming to fix your house, or your car, or taking your temperature in hospital or general check up are or may well be a man, yes may not be involved with you, but a man doing his job and you are one of those he served that day!

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