Steve Harvey, Think Like A Man Pimp.
(ThyBlackMan.com) I was sitting in the living room of my parent’s home in Louisville, KY watching the new Janks Morton film, “Hoodwinked.” Janks sent me a copy a while back, but this was the first time I’d had a chance to watch the film in its entirety. I am in the film, along with some outstanding scholars: Jawanza Kunjufu, Steve Perry, Marc Lamont Hill and Ivory Toldson.
I’d heard the film was good, but it was even better than I’d expected. Janks did a wonderful job of basically explaining that all is not what it seems when it comes to black men and our relationships with black women. For example, Janks provides compelling evidence to show that the black male high school dropout rate is not nearly as bad as the 50% number that’s been sold to the media. In fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, black males had a lower dropout rate than black females for the years 2006 – 2008, and actually had an average drop out rate in 2006 and 2007 that was lower than the average among all ethnic groups.
The point in the film where my jaw hit the floor was when Morton spoke of Steve Harvey and his franchise “Think Like a Man.” Morton argues that men like Steve Harvey have profited handsomely from the black female relationship crisis by convincing women to believe that they are in a dire state of affairs when actually, things are not quite as bad as the media makes them out to be. I’m sure Mr. Harvey might take offense to being referred to as a pimp, so I wanted Janks to explain his position a bit further.
After I reached out to Janks to get him to explain his position on Steve Harvey, he sent me this response below. I figured you could hear it right out of the filmmaker’s mouth:
1. a person, especially a man, who solicits customers for a prostitute or a brothel, usually in return for a share of the earnings; pander; procurer.
2. a despicable person.
6. to exploit.
During the closing segment of HOODWINKED I explore briefly the solution postulate advanced by comedian turned relationship guru Steve Harvey in his book THINK LIKE A MAN. In order for Black Women to overcome the dire circumstances and relationship tribulations in navigating the shortage of uneducated, undereducated, unemployed, emotionally unavailable, down-lowing, white woman lusting, irresponsible, wayward degenerate that is the characterization of the modern era Black Man, Black Women should look to dating older men to find viable potential partners in their quest for healthy relationships.
In’ my closing remarks, I state “I’ve heard that before…that’s a pimp”, a commentary that is directed at primarily at the construct of matching younger women with older men, but also at Mr. Harvey’s solution as an either ill-informed, bipolar, disingenuous or at worst a manipulative and exploitative proposition, once again inflamming the fears and anxieties of women who have bought into the artificial construct that is the “Black Relationship Crisis.”
Dr. Ivory Toldson in his piece “Are There Enough Successful Black Men for the Black Women Who Want Them?” outlines poignant data and facts about the state of Black Men, which I would refer your readers to understand that things are “not as traumatic and dramatic ~ Dr. Boyce Watkins: HOODWINKED” as we may think. But moreover, for your African American Women readers I would like to leave them with several points;
- This whole conversation was initiated by a statistic reported on Nightline that 42% of African American Women had never been married
- From the same data set 45.3% of African American Men had never been married either
- There is massive industry associated with identity, esteem and ultimately the relationship status of women.
- If these industries can get convince you that there is a problem, then you look to them for a solution (Think Like a Man~ the film: opened at $33 million and no. 1 at the box office)
- Between the ages 18-24 there are 1.8 Million African American Women who have grown up fatherless. It is exploitive and irresponsible to direct these vulnerable young women into the potential chasm of filling father-absence and void-vacancy issues with a surrogate model.