he say. she say.



“i don’t mess around with black women.”



“looks like it took black women to get you here. it’s hard for me to take that seriously.”

“no, i mean-”

“no, you cool. i hear you. your words don’t need explaining.”

“i feel like you judging me.”

“no way i could judge you, brother. i literally heard your words. i formed no judgments about you outside of what you just said. i think it’s odd that you don’t mess with something that’s part of who you are.”

“you don’t know the chicks i meet.”

“that’s true. i also know you have not met every black women even remotely close to where you live, to say you don’t mess with black women as a whole.”

“they be doing too much.”

“what does that mean? doing too much, how?”

“just talking crazy. high expectations. demanding.”

“high expectations and demanding sound very human to me. i can’t debate that. if one thinks well or enough of oneself, then why not put on another what they or she expect of herself? if the other can’t handle it, they or he is free to walk. that’s human and not a justifiable reason to lump all black women in the same category based on your bad experiences. what does talking crazy mean?”

“she come at me disrespectful.”

“what do you consider disrespectful, brother? i mean, that could mean anything. help me, out.”

“checking me, asking me questions about where i been and where i’m going. when the next time we hanging out again.”

“if that’s your version of talking crazy, i hate to see what real crazy look like for you. i don’t think that’s disrespectful at all.”

“of course you don’t. you a black woman.”

“no. i mean, well yeah. i am a black woman but i don’t agree because of gender and skin color. i think if you calling yourself having a relationship with folks, they ought to be able to ask questions. these sound like normal questions to me. maybe crossing some boundaries you got but that’s something to sit down and talk about.”

“black women too angry for me.”

“ahh, i knew that was coming.”

“what? you judging me now?”

“nope. i don’t care enough to judge you.”

“you gone say i’m wrong?”

“maybe your experience with black women is that they are too angry.”

“you wanna defend them then, don’t you?”

“not at all.”

“well, what you thinking? you can’t just stop talking in the middle of a conversation.”

“i’m still talking tho! relax yourself. i hear you and it hurt, personally. a lot of people think it and say it like black women not human beings with feelings. i’m a black woman and i’m not an angry black woman. i get angry. i get pissed off, actually. but i also get sad, happy, silly, sleepy, excited, hungry,… in all these years i’ve been walking and listening, i’ve never met a purely angry black woman. usually, i meet hurting black women. abandoned black women. boxed in black women. exploited black women. single parent black women. overworked black women. maybe some of that make her angry because she scared you will do to her what the last dude did. it could make her cautious, nervous, scared, even insecure and angry because she constantly asking herself, “why trust, YOU?” overall angry? no. i don’t think black women are inherently angry. when you say to me, ‘black women too angry for you’, it sounds to me like you saying, ‘this is the way they come’, and it ain’t for you. if it ain’t for you, then i get that. it’s the other part that don’t make logical sense to me.”

“i don’t mean it like ‘black women born angry.’ they just don’t let stuff go. they get hurt and they just hold on. i ain’t even myself. i get treated like all the men that come before me. i’m trying to fix stuff i ain’t break. it’s too much for one man.”

“it sounds to me like you doing to her what she doing to you. it don’t seem fair to either of you if that’s the case. you want a clean slate but you damn sure not providing one. soon as she say a thing your ex said to you at some point, you lump her right on in there with the others. how is what you doing different than what she’s doing?”

“i guess when you put it like that.”

“i get what you feel. i think if you want something, you have to give it too! you love your mother, your grandmother, your sister,…the women in your family, right? try understanding them first. see them. it helps. and when you go out into the world, treat women the way you treat them. regard them in the same way.”

“is that how you treat men, the way you treat your father? the way your father treated you?”

“pretty much, yep. my father passed away last year, but yes.”

“i’m sorry.”

“don’t be.”

“i wouldn’t have mentioned it if i knew.”

“well, you couldn’t have known that. and i don’t mind talking about him. he was a good balance of masculine and feminine energy for me. he wasn’t scared to say how he felt. he wasn’t afraid to tell me, he love me. he wasn’t the best provider on the planet but he never let me forget what i mean to him. it’s easy for me to treat men the way i treat him. but every man ain’t like him either. i keep myself safe.”

“if i met a black woman like you-”

“you’re talking to a black woman like me, this very moment.”

“i mean,… well now i feel bad. i say what i say and you don’t fit the description.”

“that should probably let you know not to throw us all in the same pot.”

“you right. you right. i hear you. i can’t argue with it.”

“i won’t say it’s not some messed up women out here. but it’s also some messed up men out here too! i don’t think it got so much to do with skin color though. some of us come from really messed up places. 
you know what i learned about black women, women in general? a great deal of’em been raped and molested before they was 13 years old. some of their anger got nothing to do with you but who and what you represent. keep you safe if you feel it ain’t working for you. but know some of these women come from places they had to crawl out of.”

“we never talk about what men go through.”

“you wanna talk about what men go through?”

“i’m just saying.”

“i hear you. we could. we talk about what women go through because it’s usually at the hands of men that they go through it. women ain’t out here raping women and killing women at nearly the same rate men doing it to women and have done it for thousands of years. men are stronger, considered head of households, and there is just a horrible history when it comes to women being oppressed by men. no one made that up. men do stuff to women for power, for control, dominance, territory. when women do stuff to men, it’s self defense most times. they want to be free and they are protecting their children. it’s slightly challenging for me to be sympathetic to the plight of men at the hands of women. i watched the women in my family hold jobs, raise kids, cook, clean, wash his clothes, make him dinner and before the end of the night, she got a black eye, or a bleeding lip for having friends over, going out, or spending money she earned but he didn’t tell her to spend or the best one yet! some dude smiled at her. but yeah, tell me about what men go through. i hear you.”

“you playing me, right?”

“yeah, kind of. you had to see it coming, though.”

“i hear you. i do. i grew up watching my mama get hit by almost every dude i met. they get comfortable on her couch, loose in her fridge, sticky with her purse and it never fails. my mama rumbling in the room with him. you could hear the walls sound like it’s going fall apart. it never fails. i couldn’t wait to grow up so they would have a fair fight with me. i said i would never be like them.”

“what are you like?”

“i ain’t hitting women. i know that much! i know better. “

“well, what are you doing?”

“i yell. i get real loud. i hit stuff. not her, just stuff.”

“i have not heard a man yell in a long time. i can’t imagine it feels good to hear him yelling loudly, and angrily while hitting stuff. i can only imagine a woman being scared shitless if his fist gonna be in her jaw in the next few minutes. i seen women shaking from a man yelling. yeah, she’ll fight back but she’s still scared. i’m sure you not shaking when she yelling at you.”

“no, i’m not. i’m never scared of her. her voice gets so high up there, i just want her to shut up.”

“i won’t say you don’t have black women that’s unjustifiably angry. but i think it’s a two way street. steer away from crazy. but rational and normal people, you should be able to talk to and take a walk from. come back or not but don’t put all black women in the same group like you know their story, you don’t.”

“what about what i feel?”

i think when you find what’s right for you, who’s right for you, she’ll be someone you can confide in. she’ll know. she’ll pull it right out of you.”

“i thought you were going to say, ‘forget what you feel?”

“nope. i wouldn’t say forget anybody’s feelings. you human, you feel stuff. you should be with someone that cares about what you feel the way you care about what they feel. growing up with my father, he never saw his father after he was 14. he got his father’s name taken away from him and everything. it hurt him. it broke him. i don’t think he could get many of the women he messed around with to hear him, to care. he told me and it was the most awful story i ever heard but it was the 50’s and the 60’s on a farm in mississippi. i don’t know that time and those pressures. i listened to him. i never forgot it and he told me that when i was 13. i wrote about it so that i could never forget it. it helped me to understand that people come in broken pieces and you have to decide if you want to stick around while they put themselves back together. it would take my father over twenty years to start putting himself back together. in the midst of that, he got cancer and died. you have to decide who is worth keeping around while you watch or while you piece yourself.”

“how old are you? you look young but i got a feeling you older.”

“four decades and counting, young sir.”

“you do not look like you forty nothing.”

“well, i feel old as time sometimes. i don’t want you to hate women. i definitely don’t want you to hate black women. not when your mama is black and you are half her. then you hate half of yourself. that ain’t fair to you. we’re all human. some of us got a different load of shit to travel through on our paths in life. but we still human. 
anger is an emotion that one chooses. the emotion does not choose the person. you could almost say, ‘there is no such thing as the angry black woman.’ it is a myth.”

“i hear you. i feel you. you know a little something. kinda wise.”

“nope, not for real. i know a little bit. i feel a lot.”

“what about you? you on the market?”

“ha! i love it! no, i don’t do men at all.”


“how is that not obvious?! do i need to step my necktie game up?”

“i mean, i guess it kinda is. hey, you could be a tomboy! tomboy’s marry men and have kids. don’t hurt to ask.”

“no harm in asking, that’s true. i only do women.”

“black women?”

“you are on a roll, huh? i love skin. i don’t care what color it is. it’s our experiences that make us different.”

“i like the way you think.”

“still though, give black women the same chance you give every other woman. you ain’t gotta marry’em but don’t have that mess in your head. women are women. underneath everything, they still women.”

“some groups of women are more servant like than other women.”

“ did you really just say that? dude?! on what planet is that okay to say?”

“hear me out. i’m just saying, i can come home to an asian woman and my dinner gone be made with no questions asked. a white woman gone-”

“hold up, i’m gonna stop you right there. i got a feeling you gone get some angry out of me today, brother. you can’t say that. it’s bad enough you thinking it. people are their experiences. sometimes, their traditions and culture too! modern day women are way more independent and separated from those cultural ideas in this country. and seriously?! look at the black community. because the community of blackness i come from, it was absolutely matriarchal. the men never stayed, they weren’t pillars. the women were! carried their addictions and whatever else hurt them but many of’em, they serve only their children. who would the black woman have to serve but her kids? why would she all of a sudden start serving you, when you show up? why you expecting that or mad when you not getting it? she didn’t grow up watching her mother do that for her father. why would the daughter do it for you? she standing there wondering when you gone leave too?”

“but see! that ain’t fair! that ain’t my fault!”

“no, it’s not. but you can’t expect this attitude and what sounds like a complete dimensional shift to servitude and submission in a black woman when it’s just been her and her kids. come on, bro! now, if you want a woman who gone submit to you, i won’t fault you for that. hell, i want somebody to rub my feet every once in awhile but you can’t say black women angry when truth is, you run into black women who won’t serve you every time you want service and they question you when you want them to shut up. can’t believe you doing that! nope. that ain’t fair to no human being. you sound like you want a slave. ain’t no modern day woman in this country a generation or two in, gonna be down for that, at all.”

“i ain’t saying that, tho! i ain’t said nothing about no slaves.”

“that’s exactly what you’re saying. you want your dinner when you come in and whatever else you was about to go into. you want her to disregard herself to celebrate you when you enter and sacrifice herself for the sake of your happiness and satisfaction.”

“you sound like the bible.”

“YOU sound like the bible.”

“alright, i surrender.”

“nope, put your white flag in your back pocket. you don’t have to surrender. you can have all that. you can have it if you’re willing to give it. i know some men who won’t cook dinner but they gonna go get dinner from somewhere. they won’t watch the kids but they will take the kid’s to their mother’s. you gotta do something other than show up, man! you think a woman want to come home from work and make you dinner every night, make the kids dinner, do homework, make herself pretty for you to have your way with, get the kids to bed, make sure you’re satisfied,… i mean where does she fit in? she can’t even read a couple pages of her favorite book because apparently you got her on her knees for you. you gone clean up the kitchen at least?”

“i now hear how all that sounds.”

“and i really want to call your mother so she can give you a stern talking to. seriously, i think you the one with the high expectations. you want a woman who’s a stripper, a chef, a mother, a wife, employed, and belonging to you, like a piece of jewelry you wear. a woman ain’t just for you. she for those kids. she for herself, first and foremost. she ought to be. 
her asking you when you coming home don’t seem like she asking too much to me. her saying who you hanging out with, don’t seem like too much. apparently, she done made you dinner and gave you her body. in some ways, i think she got a right to ask, ‘where the hell you going, now?’ especially if you just gonna come back acting like she owe you something just for showing up with a penis.”

“awww naww!”

“yep, i said it.”

“can’t believe you said it.”

“we were both thinking it. she can go get another penis too! you should know that. she do, i’m sure.”

“you real cool. cool as hell.”

“i know. and that’s all we gone be is cool. you want too much, brother. i like writing at night and binging to netflix on mondays. you’ll be sitting there all huffed up and mad until you find something to yell about, breaking my favorite coffee cup. and then somebody going to jail. i don’t deal well with people yelling at me in the house. it’s small. voices bounce. i don’t like loud noises.”

“you got jokes, i see.”

“a few, yep. seriously though, do you, bro. live your life. but man, cut the black woman some slack. all of’em ain’t messed you over. and all of’em don’t intend to. life happens. move through it. don’t hold on to some of that stuff.”

“we should keep talking.”

“about relationship stuff? yeah right, i’m not in one nor have i figured out a magic formula to work through’em yet.”

“sound like you got it together.”

“only when it concerns other people. not myself. my magic is for spreading elsewhere.”

“you wana do lunch? i’m hungry. there’s a mexican joint across the street. you like mexican?”

“i do but that ain’t real mexican, it’s tex mex. don’t be acting crazy on me. i’ll take my taco’s and go eat by myself.”

“naw, we cool. we just eating and talking. nothing extra. you ain’t got nothing to worry about. i’m just soaking up some of this knowledge.”

“now, you talking crazy. but i’ma tell you a secret.”


“don’t make me laugh out loud.”

“what’s the secret?”

“every girl wants her dude to be her best friend. this is probably where you should start with your chicks, be their friend first. you will see her crazy in time, if you stay her friend long enough. she wants to see who you are, not what you can do.”

“that’s real. i can feel that.”