Steve Harvey, Think Like A Man Pimp.

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( 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:


[pimp] noun

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;

  1. This whole conversation was initiated by a statistic reported on Nightline that 42% of African American Women had never been married
  2. From the same data set 45.3% of African American Men had never been married either
  3. There is massive industry associated with identity, esteem and ultimately the relationship status of women.
  4. 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)
  5. 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.
Would I call Steve Harvey a pimp?  I’m not so sure.  I would certainly say that he is an opportunist, but then again, there is nothing wrong with taking advantage of an opportunity.  But while there is nothing wrong with taking advantage of an opportunity, there is definitely something wrong with utilizing an opportunity to take advantage of another human being.  It’s hard to argue that black female relationship insecurity is not the driving force behind the massive millions earned by “Think Like a Man,” and one would not expect a doctor to find a cure to the disease that is filling up his bank account.
By touting the black male crisis as the source of all relationship woes, we are giving black women an emotional crutch that effectively allows them to become devoid of any accountability for their own failed relationships.  The same way a person might use racism as their excuse for not going out to look for a job, too many black women are allowed to use this so-called relationship crisis as their excuse for not pursuing the self-improvement necessary to have healthy interactions with men.  Rather than engaging in honest reflection of what she may have done to ruin her relationship, there is yet another ABC News special to convince her that her ex-boyfriend probably wanted a white woman anyway.
For the women reading this article, I could save you a lot of money that you might be tempted to spend on your next Steve Harvey book by giving you this free advice:  If you work to be a healthy person, you are far more likely to have healthy relationships.  But if you walk into a situation with more baggage than American Airlines, then your lack of trust will always kill your ability to find true and meaningful love.  Thinking like a man doesn’t even make any sense, in large part because you’re a woman.  Personally, I don’t know too many men who’d want to date a woman who thinks like another dude.
Staff Writer; Dr. Boyce Watkins
Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition. For more information, please visit