As couples in Nashville celebrate Valentine’s Day, it is a good time to reflect on the dating scene in Music City. Particularly when it comes to African American women.
Nationally the stats are shocking. Only 42% of Black Women will be married in their lifetime. Double the number of White Women will tie the knot. According to abcnews.go.com there is 1.8 million more Black Women than Black Men. This number alone is a huge issue.
As of the 2010 Census the racial makeup in Nashville of the black population was at 28.4%. At of the beginning of 2019, Davidson County’s Black population equaled an estimated 171,000 people, with 53% of them being women. While that number does show there are more women than men in the Black Community, it does not seem enough of a difference to explain the amount of women who are not married or in a long term relationship. So, we decided to gather a group of Single Black Women and talk to them about dating in Nashville by hosting an event titled Single in the Ville.
The event took place at TheLab, a co-working and event space in North Nashville.
That evening brought together a diverse group of women aged between 20 to 70 years old and led to a conversation with some interesting feedback on reasons why so many of them remain single.
The conversation was moderated by entrepreneur Markeith Braden, who presented the women with open-ended questions, allowing for some unique perspectives on dating in Nashville. The discussion followed the good, bad, and the ugly aspects of the Nashville dating scene.
Many of the women in attendance felt that there is not enough events here catering to their demographic. It was a recurring theme that the social scene in Middle Tennessee for black people needs some work.
Others felt that the ratio of women to men was to vast to overcome.
Event attendee TaNisha Smith felt that some of the responsibility was on the women. “You get what you believe you deserve, and when you say nothing exist, you’ll see nothing. Have a list of superficial, easy stuff? You’ll get superficial, easy stuff,” she explained. “Recognize that being single is not a disease and a man/partner is not a cure. Be in love with you.”
While some women who attended seemed to accept that meeting a Black male partner was possible, the idea of finding one who was on the same educational level was not a reality. It was continued to be expressed that Black Women in Nashville may have to date outside their race or economic status.
With that said Lifestyle Blogger Melissa Watkins felt there were some positive outcomes from the discussion. “Several ladies recalled finding true love in the city, they spoke of going to places they wouldn’t usually go, being open and honest about their needs, and making sure to keep a positive mindset about dating in general,” Melissa said. “These sentiments, were met with approving sighs.”
What was discovered throughout the evening was that Black Women in Nashville have put in the time and work to produce successful and positive lives. As the night ended Braden and the Nashville Voice male staff that were in the room all agreed that it is time for the Black Men in Nashville to do their part and step up.
Hopefully more discussions like Dating in the Ville can help bring more Black Women and Men together.