I read an article yesterday about a study that was done regarding single black women. According to the results of this study, 3.6 million black women cannot find a husband or boyfriend. The narrative told the story of 4 women with varying degrees of education and success in their careers. But for all of their accomplishments, finding a "suitable" African-American male has become an almost impossible task. Various theories were floated during a dialogue between the women. Everything from the number of black men in jail, to the gay black male population, to the unrealistic expectations of some women were all culprits. While these are valid points, there is a critical element that is being overlooked. The absence of black father's. There are a whole generation of young black boys who have never been trained to function as men. Mothers have done, and are doing the best that they can with the hand that they've been dealt. But not a single one of them is equipped to teach lessons in manhood or to be an example of what a man should be. Without being taught, a lot of black boys have been forced to fumble their way into adulthood with a limited sensibility, and a misunderstanding in referenc to what or who a man is. They have no idea how to be responsible, and responsibility is the key to just about every aspect of what is needed to become a "successful" adult. The word successful in this case, is not used in reference to status or achievement. The word applies to the ability of a boy to grow into a man who is a productive member of society. Someone who has something to contribute. If he cannot contribute anything positive to the world, then what can he possibly contribute to a relationship. That is not to say that he cannot or will not, but without a point of reference there will definitely be some level of difficulty. How can you build a house, if you've never been taught how to form the structure or, most importantly pour the foundation. You can't, and even if you have an idea as to how to do it, you'll still need help. A man must be built, and not made. The problem is, far too many of us are trying to "make" ourselves and until we can truly understand who we need to be it will be a struggle to be anything for anybody else.