*FYI’s new reality series “#BlackLove” follows five dynamic black women in New York City as they go on dates and attend workshops run by top relationship experts in an effort to discover the keys to finding the right mate and uncover what they are doing wrong when it comes to finding love.
The series stars newly single Monet Bell from season one of “Married at First Sight,” who is joined by Laree “LA” Thomas, a 35-year old travel consultant, Tennesha Wood, a 30-year old regional sales manager, Cynthia Branch, a 38-year old licensed social worker and life coach, and Jahmil “Jae” Eady, a 26-year old web developer.
Laree mentions that as a dark-skin black women, who is attracted to dark-skin black men, she’s having a hard time dating because these men don’t want her. This not so shocking revelation led this writer to think about how the dating game is changing for black women – who find themselves being passed over by black men who would prefer to date non-black women, or each other.
Oftentimes, black women are told to “date out,” or their friends and family attempt to analyze ‘what’s wrong with her?’ in order to assess why she can’t attract a man. When having this discussion, this writer wonders why the focus is always about deciphering the psyche of black women, and not touching on the fact that we have limited options when it comes to dating black men, coupled with the fact that what options are available to us, we must be willing to share with “media approved” women (re: white women).
We asked show experts Damona and Jack how the series intends to address these issue with the cast, and why the focus is generally on telling black women all the things ‘they need to do and fix in order to find love.’
What about the men? What do they need to do to help heal their relations with black women?
“This is definitely something that we’ll be talking about throughout the show,” Damona told EUR. “It’s not about looking at women and saying ‘what’s wrong with you.’ What we look at are thought patterns and limiting beliefs. We talk about interracial dating and we talk about it from both perspectives. There are some black men that are not attracted to black women but we’re not focusing on finding those guys. We’re focusing on guys who are going to be attracted to these women for their beauty, for all the qualities that they will bring into a relationship.”
“When I signed up for this show, I was very adamant about this show not being the kind of show that talks about ‘what’s wrong with black women,'” Jae said, with Monet adding: “I love Black men, but I’m also a huge supporter of interracial dating for black women. Statistically, there are more eligible, professional black women than there are eligible black men. So even if all the eligible, successful black men were all out here tripping over themselves to get to all the successful black women, there’d still be a pocket of black women leftover just from numbers alone.”
Relationship expert and author Jack Daniels explained that the “serious branding problem” of black men in the media has helped shape a false narrative on black love.
“I think that men get a bad rap. We have a serious branding problem, especially when it comes to black men,” Jack explained. “There are several guys who are looking for black women. On the show, we discuss some of the challenges. It’s not just about what type of love or who you’re looking to love you. It’s about who is going to be there that’s available for you.”
As Jack explained, “Black Love” aims to “provide real solutions to some of these problems,” and that’s what “separates this series from other reality TV that’s degrading our women.”
Jae added, “The show isn’t just about romantic relationships. It’s also about how we can build loving relationships between black women and within ourselves.”
“#BlackLove” premieres Tuesday, December 8th at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT on FYI.