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Going Twelve Rounds
An Interview with Brian White

by Alan Brock

If you don’t already recognize his name, you will definitely recognize his face. Brian White has acted along side some of hottest stars in Hollywood. You’ve seen him in movies like “Stomp the Yard,” The Game Plan and many more. He’s had a recurring role on The Shield and has appeared on several other shows on the small screen. Brian is an ivy leaguer, who’s played in the NFL, been licensed to trade stock as a stock broker, models, runs a production company and acts. If you think of something that you think he can’t do, just let him know and I’m sure he’ll prove you wrong.

L&L: You are a true renaissance man. You’re an actor, dancer, stock broker, business owner, philanthropist and I’m sure the list goes on and on. So what are you most passionate about?

Brian: “I don’t subscribe to the theory that you have to be passionate about one thing or the other. I’ve been a multi-tasker most of my life. I played three sports year-round, so I had to eat right, go to the gym and keep my body a certain way. I’ve tried to apply those same principles to other things, whether it be finance, acting or athletics. I think all of those skills sets can be shared. You don’t have to be more passionate or less passionate about one thing or the other. You just have to be 100% focused on what you’re doing at any given moment.”

L&L: Who was the biggest influence in your life?

Brian: “My mom, I’m a momma’s boy. That is the woman that has given me the example of what persistence and hard work is all about. I’ve never seen her fail with anything she set her mind to. I’ve never seen her utter the word “can’t” in regards to her ability to accomplish a set goal. Having had that kind of role model has made me the man I’ve become. I believe that anything I set my mind to, and I’m willing to work hard enough at, I can achieve.”

As a star on the rise, what showbiz veteran has or had the kind of career you would like to have?

“The kind of people that I am a huge fan of are those that haven’t been pigeonholed, those that try to carry themselves on screen and off screen
in a certain way. I’m a fan of those that are very cognizant of the fact that they are in a certain position, an elevated position of status or celebrity, where they can effect positive change in their own or other communities. I’m a fan of like Sidney Portier, Harry Belefonte , and people like Will Smith. They’re huge movie stars, but also great people, humanitarians and philan-thropists. I’m also a huge fan of Don Cheadle and Michael Chiklis. Bernie Mac was one of the first people I got to work with and I watched how celebrity hasn’t changed him. Those kinds of people are my role models.

L&L: “You have done action, comedy, suspense, and more... What roles do you see as second nature for you and why?

Brian: “Well, by virtue of being a renaissance man, hopefully there is a little bit of me in all of those areas. I feel equally comfortable and adapt at any genre. I haven’t seen a genre I don’t like yet, whether it’s period, contemporary, action, or comedy, drama. With acting it’s a matter of being intelligent enough to understand the material and the intentions of the writers and directors. I’m just trying to push myself and find characters and roles that will speak to a higher purpose or a higher cause. For example, our intent in making “Stomp the Yard” was to get younger people interested in college.

L&L: “Tell us about one of your recent roles in “12 Rounds”…

Brian: “12 Rounds” is from the director of “Die Hard II” and from the producer of “Speed.” It’s similar to those kinds of movies in genre. It is a big action film with all the bells and whistles. The story is myself and my partner, John Cena, arrest an international arms dealer and in the process he (arms dealer) loses his loved one. He breaks out of prison a year later and want to enact his revenge and kidnaps John’s character’s fiancé. He puts us through a series of games, these 12 rounds, in the streets of New Orleans to get her back. We blew up everything, smashed up every-thing, jumped over and went through everything you possibly could in an action film and it’s exciting! It’s an adrenaline ride! I can’t say enough about John Cena. He really delivers as the lead. We did all our own driving and we’re strong enough guys to be able to stand on top of the cars and climb up the outside of buildings and do it for real. People are going to like this one."

L&L: “What are the other recent projects that you have completed?"

Brian: “Fighting” with Terrence Howard, Luis Guzman, Channing Tatum and Roger Guenveur Smith. This movie is pretty much “Midnight Cowboy” mixed with the first “Rocky. I’m the bad guy in the film, so using the “Rocky” example I would be Mr. T. Channing would be Sly and Terrence would be Burgess Meredith. It’s a story about a young man, Channing’s character and my character grew up together. His father was a fighting coach, a wrestling coach and a Jujitsu coach. We train under him and weren’t necessarily friends. Life goes on and eventually we meet back up in New York where he’s a young man trying to scrape together a living and make a future for himself. I’ve become a champion UFC style fighter and we are nemesis from the beginning so our roads collide again. We did all our own fighting. When you see punches and kicks land, they’re really landing. When you see those bruises, welts and blood that real blood and real bruises and real welts. It’s another one of those movies where you’re going to grip onto your seat.

Also, I’ll be in a TV show on TNT with Ray Romano, Andre Braugher, Scott Bakula and Richard Gant called “Men of a Certain Age.” In .

addition, I’m producing 5 films that I’ve written. My production company Media 3 Films is going strong. Check them out at

L&L: “You have worked along side of many actors like the legendary Bernie Mack, Vivica Fox, Gabrielle Union, and Cuba Gooding Jr., what was some of the most memorable moments working with some of these individuals?

Brian: “Some of the most memorable moments happened on the set of “The Family Stone.” I mean I’m sitting down with Diane Keaton, Sarah Jessica Parker, Craig T. Nelson, Dermott Mulroney, Rachel McAdams, Claire Danes and Luke Wilson – all at one table. It was game in the NFL, going from college to the pros. You realize it’s a different level, a different speed, a different gear. We had such a good time on that film that we actually ate lunch together as a cast every single day. That never happens. That was a testament to how enjoyable the project was to work on.

Another experience like that was “The Shield.” It was such a talented group of actors that it was like being in the World Series. Michael Chiklis really took me under his wing.

A memorable experience with Bernie Mac, who showed me how to do it at the highest level, was when we were shooting in Milwaukee, at Miller Park where the Brewers play and we had about 35,000 extras for this one scene we shot during one of their games Bernie stayed afterwards to shake every single person’s hand and say hello to every-one who wanted to meet him. Now that’s 35,000 people. He would not leave until he said hello to everyone who wanted to say hello to him.

L&L: What would be your ideal role?

Brian: “There’s no one ideal role. Some of the roles that I would love to play right now are Joe Louis or Ken Norton. I’d love to play one of those iconic boxers. Both of those guys had such inter-esting lives and impacted the black community in so many ways. I’d love to tell those stories because they’re lesser known then some of the stories like the Muhammad Ali story. I’d love to throw my hat in the ring, one of these days, to play Barack Obama, but I think Wil Smith has the inside track. The guy I would hope to see do it would be, and I think could do it the best is Hill Harper, because he’s Barack’s best friend. I mean Hill was playing basketball with him the morning he was inaugurated.”

L&L: What advice would you give to people interested in Hollywood?

Brian: “Get your degree first. I’d say having my degree is the number one thing that has opened doors for me. Intelligence and having the ability to follow through and get your degree seems to carry a lot of weight in Hollywood. The more talented directors and bigger producers have always mentioned that my degree stood out on my resume. The number one thing I would say is make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. A lot of people are trying to do this for money. If money is your reason I’d say run the other way. 99.9% of the people in the union aren’t making a living. There’s only 1/10 of 1% doing well as professional actors. My advice to kids and teens especially, are you doing community theatre? Are you getting the roles you want to get? If you’re not getting the roles you want in community theatre in your local state, chances are you might not do as well in a bigger market. If you decide that you love it and there’s nothing else for you, then get your degree and realize that persistence is what’s going to pay off. A career in acting is a marathon, not a sprint.

The last thing I’d say is I don’t believe there is any such thing as luck. I think luck is when a prepared person or a prepared mind recognizes an opportunity and takes advantage of it. Become a student of the craft.

L&L: “Has your success had a positive or negative impact on your love life?

Brian: I have a girlfriend. You give up a certain amount of privacy when you live your life in the public eye. It can wear and tear on a relationship a little bit. People may lie or say rude things about your significant other. Those things can be challenging, but by the same token my career provides a good lifestyle. We’re not complaining, but it does create some challenges with us giving up our privacy.

L&L: What is your perspective on the question of black Hollywood? Does it exist? If so, does it impact your opportunities in a positive or negative way?

Brian: I think we’re in a time of change. It’s much more difficult to answer that question this year then it would have been 2 or 3 years ago. A movie like “Stomp the Yard” would be a challenge to that question. Historically studios have said black films don’t travel well and they don’t do well in foreign markets. I think “Stomp the Yard” opened in maybe 30 countries and we did great. We did over $100 million worldwide. The movie didn’t have any “known, Alist” stars before it was released, so we kind of wrecked the model. We wrecked the curve as far as what studios thought was possible. My goal with Media 3 Films is to make more multi-cultural genre films of quality. We’re trying to go outside of the historical urban Hollywood model. I think it has existed, but it’s changing. I think it’s creating a lot of opportunities with someone like Barack Obama in the White House because when we look out at our talent pool within black Hollywood there’s only a few guys that are doing it full steam a head, like Will Smith. If the world is now able to go into the booths and in the privacy of those booths and pick based on content of character, then perhaps they’ll pick their movies the same way and we’ll see more minority stars leading in films at the box office.

Be sure to get “12 Rounds” and “Fighting” on Blu-ray and DVD.


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Sharon Carpenter, Sexy,
Single and on the Rise !

From the UK to around your way! BET’s Indian Reporting Sensation,
Sharon Carpenter; Successful, Sophisticated, and on her way to the TOP!

by Anastashia Green
Photos by Derek Blanks

Kenyatta goes behind the mic to turn the tables on reporter Sharon Carpenter and give you, the readers the scoop you’ve been waiting for!

Love&Life: When did you decide on a career in broadcasting and ultimately land the job at BET.

SC: My first job in television was as the host of a public access show called ‘video explosion’, while I was in school. Before that I hadn’t really considered a career in tele-vision.Working for that show, I made lots of great contacts including a man who was the news director of a local newscast, who put the idea in my head that I should be in news. I ended up working for him shortly after that at the news cast as an associate producer.That’s when I realized that broadcast journalism was the career I wanted to follow. Then everything else seemed to flow naturally career-wise. Not that it wasn’t difficult to get where I am. It was and it definitely took a great deal of very hard work and determin-ation, but it was a natural progression. My boss/ mentor at the time moved to BET News and I went with him, first as a producer then on-air as a repor-ter. I’ve also done on-air work for Weekend Vibe an CBS Market Watch.

L&L: So what is next for Ms. Sharon Carpenter?

SC: We’re doing lots of great things at BET News
including our news briefs that run throughout the day keeping our young audience abreast of the hot topics and issues impacting the Black community. I also work on hard-hitting specials for the network, including one I recently finished hosting and producing for our UK network. It took a look at standards of beauty out there and how women of color are generally leftout. The fact that we’ve launched in the UK offers a lot of opportunity for me. I was actually the first British host to ever be on the network which is a very cool accomplish-ment. We’re just about to launch a new weekly news show, ‘The Truth with Jeff Johnson.” I’ll be a regular correspondent on the show. I’m reallyexcited about it.

L&L: I know you’ve interviewed a lot of people through out your career. Tell us the most memor-able interviews you’ve experience?

SC: My most memorable interview was probably
with David Banner. Just days after Hurricane Katrina occurred, I went to Mississippi with Banner and a news crew to report on what was going on out there. We had reporters in New Orleans and Houston too, and I was in Mississippi. Anyway, Banner provided great access and insight into the devastation the people out there were dealing with. He took us to shelters in Jackson where what we witnessed was so heart wrenching. Hundreds of families, babies, the elderly all crowded together, not knowing what the future held, if they still had homes, and where some of their loved ones were. We also went down to Biloxi and Gulfport, where the devastation was just mind-blowing. It looked like a movie set. Buildings totally demo-lished, whole apartment complexes wiped out. So Banner really helped us report on this extremely important story, and it was inspiring to see how much he himself did to help many of the victims of the storm. On a lighter note, I recently interviewed Harrison Ford which was very exciting for me. I’m a huge Star Wars fan!!

L&L: Life in the UK, how does it differ from youth culture in America?

SC: There are a lot of similarities and a lot of differ-ences. Youth culture in the U.S. is very influenced by Black culture as it is in the UK, but in the UK, its Jamaican culture that has had a huge impact. Dancehall is huge over there, probably bigger than hip hop. A lot of our slang comes straight from Jamaica or is an adaptation of a Jamaican word. People of all colors, white, black, Indian use this slang. Unfortunately, a lot of the problems we have in the U.S. with regards to gun violence amongst young people in the Black community are similar to what’s going on in some of the major cities in England. We have a problem with gun crime, gang culture and young black people killing each other. I think a lot of factors have lead to this, including poverty, lack of education, and the fact that some of these kids are trying to live up to what’s been happening in the states and Jamaica.

L&L: Where do you believe Hip-Hop is heading?

SC: Difficult question to answer. After being huge for the past few years, hip hop sales have definitely been declining, but hip hop is still a very powerful force and will continue to be. In recent years, we’ve seen hip hop mature, we’ve seen the artists become businessmen, philanthropists and activists. Hip hop is already playing a big role in the election with artists coming together to inspire young people to vote. Hopefully, we’ll continue to see the music and artist take on responsible roles like these without watering down the creativity and the credibility of the music.

L&L: Where did you attend school?

SC: I graduated from Pace University in Manhattan, with a degree in business management, (I graduated magna cum laude actually). I did take some master’s courses in journalism too.

L&L: Beauty and Brains! Have you ever been in a long term relationship?

SC: I’ve been in a couple of long term relationships. They were great learning experiences, but so far they weren’t quite the right situations for me. I actually left my first love behind in England to move to America for school. That was a very difficult decision, but it was for the best in the long run otherwise I wouldn’t be here talking to you today (Laughs)!

L&L: Do you find dating difficult?

SC: It can be difficult. I work really long hours and I travel a lot. Not everyone understands that. Dating a guy in the industry can help with that because he understands the hard work and dedication it takes to be successful in this business but there’s a down-side to that. Both of you can end up too busy for each other and that’s not good either!

L&L: UK vs. American men, is there a difference?

SC: American guys tend to be very generous and they really know how to spoil a woman...which is definitely nice. Going out with your average British guy, be prepared to go DUTCH! Just kidding.... kind of!

L&L: Does Hip-Hop, love and career mix?

SC: Hip-Hop, love, and career can mix. It’s all about meeting the right person and actually being ready to share your life with another person. Someone who is very focused on their career, may not be able to make that kind of commitment.

L&L: What type of advice do you have for an individual interested in broadcasting?

SC: If you know you want to be a journalist, you should definitely pursue a degree in it. I went to school for business because at that time, I thought I wanted to run my own record label one day. It was working for the public access show that first made me realize my love for television, telling stories and interviewing people. I would say get your foot in the door wherever you can, and often times public access is a great place to start. I worked my way up in the field of journalism as an associate producer, producer then a reporter. A lot of students I meet want everything immediately. They expect to get a job on-air as soon as they graduate. It’s very unlikely that that will happen and besides, if you start from the ground up, you’ll be a truly credible, experienced journalist when you make it on air. Internships provide great opportunities to figure out exactly what area of the business you want to be in. Just make sure you work very hard every step of the way because this is a very competitive industry and being good at your job is just half the battle.

L&L: You’re smart; you’re beautiful, and SINGLE: Do you have any hidden talents?

SC: (Laughs) Hidden talents? Hmmm…I’m good at horse-riding. I used to ride all the time when I was a kid. I miss it! I’m also an amazing singer..... NOT !!!! In school I was very good at drawing and painting but it’s been a while! I might have lost my knack!!

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Jacki-O is Now the New CEO!
Miami-bred rapper Angela Kohn aka Jackie O
is back on the scene not only as an artist, but a CEO.

by Anastashia Green , Photos by Derek Blanks

Miami-bred rapper Angela Kohn aka Jackie O' debut in the rap industry with her provocative hit single, Nookie, displays her uninhibited sexuality. From there she goes on to deliver more hits, such as “Fine,” featuring the Ying Yang Twins & Timbaland produced, “Slow Down.” Appeared Alongside being a rapper/ song-writer Jackie O added writer to her list of talents in 2008 with her debut novel,Grown & Gangsta, played which was published on Corey “C-Murder” Miller TRU Publishing, This proved Jackie O was a force to be reckoned with as a multi-talented artist, a lucrative rapper/songwriter & a popular selling author. Jackie O’s career has been going on six years strong. When asked recently what she’s been up to since we last saw her she said, “trying to maintain in this business which is beginning to be difficult because they have so many things to hold you back as an artist & being female is one of them, but I wouldn’t change being a female” This is something that’s been known for years that female rappers have it harder in the male dominated hip-hop industry because they have to go the extra step to prove themselves. Still, sometimes even when they do, they still don’t get the credit they deserve. Jackie O recently left her previous record label, TVT Records, which released her debut album,’s been up to since we last saw her she said, Poe Little Rich Girl in 2004. Now with her own record label, Jack Move Entertainment Jackie O plans to take a similar, but different direction with her sophomore album, Lil’ Red Riding Hood. Like most things in life you learn from experience, so given

Jackie’s experience as an artist versus a CEO it is interesting to see how she has matured. “I learned to be adamant about what you feel in your heart, ask questions if you don’t know something & most importantly speak up for yourself regardless of the diva attitude people will put on you for doing so.” All in all, Jackie O has grown a lot since her debut album to her sophomore album. She’s showing more sides to herself, like she’s a wife, which a lot of people didn’t know about her. She’s very business oriented & focused as a novice CEO & she quickly learned, “being the CEO of a record label the pros are you learn to do things for yourself that you might not as an artist because you have some-one there to do it for you. The cons are you have other people’s careers in your hands & that’s a big responsibility.”

With her albums & a book under her belt Jackie O is still hard at work. She has even been reading for some potential movie roles. Her sophomore book is entitled, Relentless, which will have a matching soundtrack by Jackie to go along with it. This book is about her life, “the hardest part is deciding what I want to expose about myself to my fans, but some people will be mad when this book comes out, & I don’t care because it’s the truth.” That’s something Jackie O has always been good at doing, telling it like it is & her follow-up book will be no different because the truth is a powerful weapon. Given her leap of absence between her two albums it’s clear to see Jackie O has been hard at work. Her fans can enjoy her sophomore album, which includes her hot single, “Baby Momma,” while her series of projects get ready to hit at a stand, store, and maybe even a big screen near you!

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Is the Cost of Love Priceless?
What the independent woman isn’t saying out loud

by Malissa Farrish

We all got hype last summer whenever Ne-Yo’s Miss Independent played at various social functions. The empowering unisexual anthem lauded the woman who walks like a boss, whose bills are paid on time and one that’s got her own thing. At every event, the dj would shout out
to all the single, sexy, independent ladies who have their own cars, homes, and lucrative careers. Each time, I watched (and often joined in) as the ladies put their hands in the air as if to proclaim those attributes vehemently. At the same parties, I also noticed some of the same indepen-dent women exchange dances for pricey drinks and some that don’t dance at all unless a guy asks them to circa 1930. I admit, I’m guilty of people watching, but I promise to keep it real if any of this pertains to me. Once, I noticed a woman who appeared to have come to a local nighspot with her girlfriends. We’ll call her Thirsty Thea or TT for short. TT began, as many of us do, by dancing in a small circle with her girls. Before long, she was twirling about with this guy. Then, moments later, she was giving him a lap dance at which point I began checking my pocket for ones. I mean, this girl was putting in work for a guy she had just met. Amazed, I watched a little longer as the pair began an ear-to-ear conversation followed by a short walk to the bar and... you guessed it... he bought her a drink. I felt like the awestricken narrator on a safari expedition watching the female predator swoop down on her unassuming prey. Of course, the journalist in me just had to get the facts. I confirmed with the gentleman that the two of them had never met before and learned, too, that he did buy her a drink at her request!

What happened to Miss Independent, Miss “got her own,” Miss “she don’t need mine, she said leave mine alone?” I realize that TT accepting a drink from a generous man doesn’t make her a golddigger or negate her independent woman status, but what message does it send? Does it matter if a guy offers to buy me a drink or not? How important is money when trying to make a good impression? Is the pressure to appear financially stable the same for both men and women? In what ways do we consider money matters, whether consciously or subcon-sciously on the dating scene? Does it matter what one does for a living and does that job title evoke images of dollar signs or a lack thereof? Does a woman’s expressed interest in life’s finer things equate to acute gold-digger’s syndrome? If she was thirsty, why couldn’t TT buy her own drink or, instead, offer the guy one?

The Traditional First Date
In What Men Won’t Tell You, But Women Need to Know (Harper 2008), Bob Berkowitz, PhD and Roger Gittines offer a unique perspective of dating the independent, often confused with feminist, woman. They believe the excuse that “he’s making more money then I do doesn’t cut it. First of all, that’s not necessarily true any-more.”

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployment rate was slightly lower for women then men in 2007. Women accounted for 51% of all workers in the high-paying manage-ment, profes-sional, and related occupations. Additionally, women are projected to account for 49% of the increase in total labor force growth between 2006 and 2016. Despite these achievements, women’s attitudes about money in relationships don’t appear to be evolving at the same rate. Muneerah Leach, a registered nurse from Roselle, NJ contends “If you can’t pay for the first date you can’t do much. A first date is simple, just dinner or a movie.”

Berkowitz and Gittines explain, “When men and women go out today, even some hardcore feminists fall into a time warp, and the spirits of their mothers and grandmothers take control of their bodies as soon as the check comes. Their arms are paralyzed and they just can’t manage to reach out for that slip of paper. Many women are unable to overcome this disability. They still expect the guy to pay.”

Male and female bloggers had a field day with this topic. Most of the people surveyed agree that the man should pay on the first date due to tradition. Jerome Yarborough, II, 25, insists on paying on the first date. He says, “It’s custom-ary, but after the first date, then you can alter-nate or split it.” He believes that women’s expectations have a lot to do with their upbringing. “If you come from money or parents with a strong work ethic, you might expect similar values from a partner.”For Jerome, the idea of Miss Independent is “very appealing. [Men] appreciate a woman who doesn’t rely on us for everything. If she can’t do anything without you, it’s cute at first, and then it gets annoying.”

Kevin Lowery, an account manager from Newark, NJ contends, “As a man, you have to prove to the woman that you’re worth her time. You should make the first move, ask her out and pay for it.” Interestingly, many women will offer to pay for the date with the secret expectation that the man will decline. Stacey Joseph, 30, of Bronx, NY says, “I’ve offered to pay, but he usually says no. I don’t see a problem with taking a guy out to switch it up.” Similarly, Lakisha Kraft, a desktop support specialist in New Jersey, doesn’t mind paying for the first date stating, “I’m the kind of person that likes to turn the tables a little and feel like I should pay on some dates just because I’m untraditional. If he’s a nice guy, I don’t mind paying on the first date.” The idea of turning the tables represents an attitude shift of sorts. The table

“turning” indicates a movement currently in action; one, perhaps, that has not completely taken hold. Isn’t it possible that, with each generation or mile-stone in gender equality, the table turns just slightly? Are we ready for a world in which the gender roles are totally switched?

“I had an ex who always paid because she made
more then I did, but the role reversal does feel funny,” Jerome admitted. “I personally like to protect and provide for the person I’m with. [In that instance], I didn’t always feel like a man.”

A lot of women assess a man’s financial situation based on his job title. A public works repairman for his municipality, Jerome Yarborough says women tend to assume he’s making good money and has good benefits because he works for the government. He admits to being aware of the ability to attract women in certain income brackets. “Depending on where I go, you meet certain types of people in certain places.” He gave the example of nightclubs versus art exhibits. “People of a higher income or education level are more likely to be at the art show.”

Stacey says she can normally tell by where he works or what he’s wearing if he’s financially fit. “If he’s wearing a nice shirt, slacks and not a t-shirt, I’ll probably do research on the company.” She adds, “I don’t have a preference to the field or industry he works in, but I’m not going to date the boy that works at the supermarket bagging groceries for $5/ hour.”

Dr. Gilda Carle gives us the female flipside in her best-selling book Don’t Bet On the Prince. “Isn’t it odd?” she asked. “He couples with us hoping we will never change, but we couple with him hoping he will! “What does she look like?” he asks before meeting us for the first time, while we ask “what does he do?” foreseeing his earning potential.” Women have been earning more bachelor’s degrees then men since 1982 and more master’s degrees since 1981; yet the average annual earnings of a woman with a bachelor’s degree was almost 36% (or $18,133) less then that of a similarly qualified man.

“I do consider money when dating because I need to meet a man that compliments me. He needs to bring whatever I’m bringing to the table as far as assets like savings, investments and insurance. I don’t see a future for a family without these things already in writing,” Muneerah insists.

Perhaps it isn’t the clothes that make the man after all. Lakisha doesn’t let a man’s wardrobe affect her decision. “You could dress like money, but still
act like a bum,” she says.

Independent or not, one major concern many women have is being taken advantage of. Women maychoose the traditional route on dates for fear of being seen as a cash machine. Lakisha states, “I’m not going to pay every time because he might get too comfortable and expect me to pay for everything that comes up in the relationship. I was brought up to be indepen-dent and work hard for my money so a man has to be working or going to school. I can’t help some-body who’s not helping themselves.” Stacey agrees, “I think every woman should have their own and not rely on a man, but he’s got to have a job and be financially stable so he’s not freeloading off of me.”

For many, the topic of money is taboo unless they’re past the casual dating phase. Issues like credit scores, assets and spending habits come into play more heavily when words like marriage and/or cohabitation are on the radar.

Even though they appreciate the woman who’s got her own, many men still feel their manhood is characterized by the ability to provide.This may be one reason why women choose dependency, so that men feel needed. When asked if and how much a woman’s financial state influences his decision to consider her for a serious relationship, Jerome
offered, “If I’m making enough money where I could support everything, I would do it, but you need to know what your mate is capable of in worse cases like job loss.”

Even hardcore feminists can identify with some confusion on the man’s part as it relates to first date etiquette. Feminism, in its purest form, upholds
choice—as in women have the right to choose employment, to choose education, to choose a single lifestyle without the societal pressures of conven-tional married life and so-on. Plenty of feminists are devoted wives and stay-at-home mothers by choice! In fact, over the past few years, workforce participation has increased most dramatically among married women. Therefore, a woman’s expectation for the man to pay on a date mustn’t be viewed as a time warp, but a woman’s right to choose.

Just as you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, it’s probably not wise to choose a potential date by his threads as long as he’s dressed appropriately for the
occasion (a quick run to the supermarket, basketball game, or a professional networking mixer each call
for a specific look). Likewise, women shouldn’t be judged by their choice of relationship fundamentals. Dr. Carle perfectly asserts, “in order to succeed
in love, women need to establish their own personal power, project it and attract partners who respect it
and reflect it.” With that said, choose wisely.

a d v e r t i s i n g



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