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'Delayed' love for black women

Author's book asks why educated black women may have trouble finding romance

Published: Thursday, February 14, 2008

Updated: Monday, February 2, 2009 12:02

For any woman, the task of finding a soul mate can be a challenging process. But if you ask UT alumna and author Darla Turner, the process is even more strenuous and challenging for college-educated black women.

In her book "Delayed But Not Denied," Turner explores the supposed connection between being single and a collage degree with black women.

"I wanted to write the book because this is an issue that is not frequently addressed, and I wanted to know if there was any academic research on the subject," Turner said.

In her book, Turner researches the claim that the more educated a black woman becomes, the harder it will be for her to find a signifigant other.

Turner said the current social dilemma facing black men and the damaging effects of racism were part of the problem.

Turner writes that prison, unemployment, drugs, violence and an overall lack of opportunities for black men all factor into educated black women being single.

"The plight of black men has been so unfair, and they are being influenced by social and political forces that are beyond their control," she said. "You can't generalize [about] all black men, but there are a lot of things that they have to overcome."

Although Turner found research supporting the claim that there was a shortage of available black men, she said the purpose of the book was not to bash or criticize black men.

"I don't want people to think that this is a male bashing book because it's not," she said. "There are a lot of good men out there, and I just wanted people to know that it may take a little while to find the person for you."

In order to accommodate a man's ego, many women, black and white, will often do what she refers to as "shifting," or downplaying accomplishments and intelligence Turner said.

"Usually women do this to make themselves feel comfortable; it's more for them than the man," she said.

Although the focus of "Delayed but not Denied" was to explore single-hood and education, Turner said the main point of the book was to encourage black women, and to let women of all races know that finding love does not come quickly for everyone.

"Sometimes when you're looking for love, you have to be patient," Turner said. "You may have to wait but that doesn't mean it won't happen - it's on its way."

Oftentimes women tend to overlook the "blue-collar" man who may have all the qualities a woman wants in a potential partner, minus the degree, Turner said.

"It's not always about the degrees," she said. "You have to be willing to look at his other qualities, like can he communicate, is he a good provider, is he a hard worker - that's what's important."

Although some women have no problem dating a man who makes less money than them or is not college-educated, many women prefer men who are financially and educationally equal to them.

Moniece Galloway, a junior majoring in communication, agreed with this idea.

"It's hard because they may get intimidated if the woman makes more money," she said. "I think it would be easier, but I wouldn't necessarily not date someone who wasn't educated or made less money than me as long as he's trying to move up."

One of the main points Turner stressed was that although it may take a while to find love, there is nothing wrong with being alone, and women, especially black women, should embrace their single-hood.

"Not every woman wants to be married and being single is a time for celebration and preparation," she said. "You need to find out who you are and enjoy the journey of life."

Turner said faith plays a big part in finding a partner, and women should make a list of all of the qualities they want in a potential partner.

"Whatever you think, concentrate on it, and it will happen," she said. "Whatever you believe is what you will attract - life follows word and thought."

Turner said every woman's experience is different and not every educated black woman will have a difficult time finding a signifigant other.

"Of course everyone won't have problems, but just in case you do, don't give up," Turner said. "You don't have to settle for less - you can have it all. You can have the education and the romance; love is possible."

Turner will sign copies of her book Wednesday, Feb. 20, in the Student Union Building room 2500, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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