When I heard Nightline was hosting a “special report” on black women and marriage, I *knew* I would not be tuning in…I’m too through with this topic, especially when the so-called experts are actually Steve Harvey and Jimi Izrael. But Melissa Lacewell-Harris said it best:
Despite its role as a news program, Nightline failed to call on any sociologists, psychologists, historians or therapists who could have contributed context, statistics or analysis about the “marriage crisis” among African Americans. Instead, these delicate and compelling issues were addressed by comedians, actors, bloggers and journalists. If Nightline deemed this story to be worthy of coverage then it had an obligation to cover the story with as much integrity as another social issue. It is hard to imagine Nightline assembling a panel of actors and comedians to discuss the economy, the war in Iraq, the Catholic Church or any other relevant issue.
Without structural analysis or evidence-based reasoning the panel relied on personal experience. Steve Harvey, Hill Harper and Jimi Izrael have all written books on the black marriage/partnership crisis. To varying levels, all of these texts frame the issue as a black female problem rather than a community issue, offering advice that encourages women to mold themselves into a more sanitized definition of femininity that doesn’t compete with socially sanctioned definitions of masculinity.