Editor's Note

October 08, 2006|By Karlayne R. Parker | Karlayne R. Parker,UniSun Editor

If you've read the stories in newspapers and magazines about black male-female relationships, you'd think that African-Americans never have happy and healthy families.

Instead, it seems, we live in a dysfunctional state. And our problems manifest in behaviors that make headlines and become fodder for studies.

Here's a sampling of what you might have read:

Fewer African-Americans are getting married.

And of those who do get hitched, many end up divorced.

Many African-American children are being raised in single-parent homes, mostly headed by women. And many of these children become juvenile delinquents, statistics show.

I could go on, but I think you get the gist.

So, when I bumped into Mischa Green, of the In the Name of Love Character Development Institution, it was refreshing to learn that there was a group in Baltimore talking about solutions to these problems.

My introduction to Green and her group came last spring at an event held at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture.

They were holding a discussion that focused on why it is difficult to bring black women and men together and on the perceptions each group has of the other that get in the way of having a healthy relationship.

Green is spearheading continuing local conversations on the subjects, but as Linell Smith's story (Page 12) points out, there are others nationally, including comedian Bill Cosby, who are trying to get the African-American community to look into the mirror.

Smith didn't write just another relationship story that says what men want or what women want; her story addresses what both groups need.

On a lighter note, on Page 15 you can find out how to discover Paris and the history of expatriate African-Americans such as Josephine Baker, who made her home there beginning in the early part of the 20th century.

Fall is here. Do you need some tips on sprucing up your wardrobe? On Page 16, Sun fashion writer Tanika White tells you what to buy without spending a fortune.

And last, take a look at the social scene feature on Page 20. It's a capsule of some of the events that took place here over the past few months.

Until the next issue of UniSun, look for daily headlines and my weekly column at baltimoresun.com/unisun.

E-mail me at unisun@baltsun.com.

As always, I enjoy hearing from you.

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