I’d been waiting for the article I was interviewed for to appear in the Christian Science Monitor for two months. In fact, more than a month ago, my fiancé and I, posed for pictures outside Lincoln Center for the cover story. We were both anxious, or at least I was, unsure of how the fact that I was part of an interracial couple might be used to sensationalize a story about single people now outnumbered married in the US. Based on the questions I was asked, I figured much would be made about the controversy surrounding black women dating married men; that somehow I would be some unwitting poster child for people who’d supposedly given up on mates in their own race or preferred another when looking for romance; That I would become the target of internet scorn as someone who is self-loathing or ashamed of African-Americans. Thankfully, the article came out today and that was not the case.
Yet, when discussing the broader picture of single people in America, black people were marginalized to a few paragraphs. I suppose it’s because I spent most of the article talking about some of the issues about being single long-term, specifically in my case, being sick and single. Educating people on the perils and challenges of being unmarried and single has become my life mission. I didn’t really touch the subject matter in my book, “I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married: Successful, Single Black Women Speak Out (Chicago Review Press, 2009). However, the issue is an integral part of my memoir, “Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House.”
I only wish being sick and single was a topic discussed at great length by the media. One illness can bankrupt an individual or cost them their job. Singles also have to think about who will care for them when they can’t take care of themselves. They also have to worry how they can financially and emotionally bear the burden in caring for gaining parents. And, forget dating while single; that is an enormous obstacle.
Nonetheless, I am proud to be part of a discussion on loving yourself whether part of a couple or not. I think too many people today suffer from a crisis of self-esteem and lack of self-worth, especially if they aren’t part of a couple.
About the author:
Nika C. Beamon is the author of the memoir, Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House. In 2009. Chicago Review Press published her non-fiction book, I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married: Successful, Single Black Women Speak out. She is also the author of two mystery novels. Beamon is a journalist working in New York City.