(African-Americans) are now embracing new strategies because of all the dialogue around relationships," Brunson said.Brunson brought his popular speed-dating event to Chicago for the first time over the weekend.Called Flow Dating, it screens singles and engages them in dozens of mini-dates. Census Bureau figures, for every 100 single black women, there are 79 single black men, a number that also includes the revolving prison population, officials said.
Traditionally, African-Americans shied away from professional matchmakers and relationship coaching, said Paul Carrick Brunson, a Washington-based matchmaker.
"I'm very, very excited and happy to see that African-Americans are finally receiving … Brunson said interest in his work as a matchmaker has grown steadily over the past two years.
"There's a strong reception now and there are a couple of reasons why. We all have the drive to love and relationships are an integral part of our lives.
Tamika Miller, 35, walks across the Michigan Avenue Bridge in downtown Chicago with her cousin Cheryl Sims. And that's something that I want in my life," she said.
Miller says she recently changed her approach to dating: She's putting herself out there, even on the Web. "It's hard to meet black guys who want to be in a committed relationship.
(Brian Cassella, Chicago Tribune)Tamika Miller knows what she wants in a husband. Right would be ambitious and driven, well-mannered and polite, smart, attractive, faithful and, of course, ready for family life. And that's what I'm looking for." Recently, stories like Miller's have been recounted so often that they've created a boutique industry — comedian Steve Harvey and actor Hill Harper have written books on the matter; there have been reality shows, blogs and You Tube videos; and ABC produced a "Nightline" segment on the topic.
But the 35-year-old Alsip woman has one thing hampering her dating search: she's an African-American woman hoping to meet and marry an African-American man. But now a different conversation is emerging in the black community.
And that puts her in the category of singles least likely to marry, according to U. Rather than fixate on the bleak statistics, some have started working to bring singles together in ways once considered taboo by many African-Americans.
They are orchestrating matches on Twitter and Facebook.
Some are hosting meet-ups and living-room gatherings for black singles to mix and mingle.
Others are luring singles into their lounges for candid conversations about how to date and how to find true love.