Nowadays, there are several factors that point to black women turning the tables on that age-old mentality that the man should be the main baller and shot-caller in a relationship. Research shows that black women are the fastest-growing population of entrepreneurs in the U.S., and 35 percent of married black women outearn their husbands, according to the Institute for Family Studies. Add to that the recent Bureau of Labor Statistics findings that indicate 36 percent of black women work in management, professional, and related occupations---the bureau's highest-paying major occupational category---compared to 25 percent of black men. Considering these factors, there's a possibility that sis might make more than her bae.
Money is always an awkward but important topic in any relationship. Below, five men, all from various walks of life and occupations, sound off on how a woman's coin plays a role in dating and choosing their mate.
She Can Make More, But at Least Reach for the Check
"I've honestly never filtered anyone initially based on salary, as I think other qualities mean more to me. That said, it would be nice if the person I am dating is relatively comfortable in their specific financial space as well as driven and ambitious. I understand why it is difficult in a situation where a lady earns more, especially when the man desires to be the provider. I think it can work once the woman doesn't hold it above his head, and once the man is secure enough in the pillars of the relationship itself so that her extra earnings don't intimidate him. I find that when you are a man, your line of work doesn't even matter. The expectation is that you will take care of things financially, especially on dates. What I do like is a woman who is fair. If we are dating, at the very least, I sometimes want to see you reach for your purse and show some intention to assist or even pay sometimes. Allow me to tell you, 'No. It's OK. I got this.'"
--Mario Guthrie Evon, medical doctor and musician, single, Kingston, Jamaica
Bae Supported My Entrepreneurial Glow Up
"We've been married about a year but lived together for over 10 years while in a relationship. Over the course of that period, our salaries fluctuated. Not long after graduating college, I landed a couple of promotions and held a role that paid extremely well. When my girlfriend (now wife) finished graduate school, she moved into my place. While she was job hunting, I paid the mortgage, bills, etc. And even after she landed her first position, I continued to pay in full instead of splitting things up, not because it felt like a masculine action but because I was making so much more than she was. Later down the line, as we went through career transitions, she did the same for me. I started my own business, and she covered the expenses in the meantime."
--Christopher Taylor, founder of Occupation Optimist, married, Atlanta
What’s Hers is Mine, and Our Roles are Fluid
"In my line of work, I meet women who make more than me all the time---especially women who have MBAs or multiple degrees. I'm here for it! I can leave my job [if I want], take care of the kids, and do some entrepreneurial things. If you're good, we're good. Some of us have career passions and jobs that are just not going to have high salaries. It just is what it is. For so long it's been told to us that we're supposed to be the providers and head of the household financially, but we also don't live in the age in which that was a thing. Women now have jobs and are obtaining titles that their mothers and grandmothers didn't have the opportunity to do. That's where the shift [in mentality] needs to come in terms of men. The idea of being a provider or protector doesn't have to be tied to finances. As a self-sufficient man, I should find a self-sufficient woman, and we can build something together that's amazing."
--Brandon Frame, Nonprofit Professional, founder of The Black Man Can, dating, New York
He Still Has to Hold It Down
"I'm pretty old-school and traditional. I feel like men are supposed to be the providers. I can go to work to get money, so some of the other things really count. The person's heart is definitely important. My father [taught me] that as long as you're doing what you have to do to contribute--holding down your family--that's what's most important. As long as I'm doing what I have to do to lead our household and set an example, that's all that really matters. It's one pot, really. It shouldn't be looked at as whoever has the bigger pot has more control or power. We're a team. Naturally, as a provider, I'm going to cover as much as I can. If she can contribute, then she should but if the situation calls for her staying home because we have children that we're raising and that makes more sense, then I don't mind. You should welcome someone who makes more money. That's more money for the both [of your goals.]"
--Jonathan Charles, IT Professional, founder of Carnivalist App, in a relationship, New York
If We Live Together, We Split the Bills
"I once dated a legal professional who also owned a barbershop. She definitely made more than I did at the time. Due to career obligations, it just didn't work out, so money had nothing to do with it. The fact that she had a nice salary and a business was nice, but I liked her for her outgoing personality. She was fun to be around. If living together, though, I expect my girl and I to both pay the bills, and for dates, it's interchangeable; I'll pay some, and she could sometimes. The split of household bills would depend on how much more she makes. For example, if she can afford an S550 Mercedes and I can only afford a Toyota Camry, she should pay for the Benz. Granted, I wouldn't leave her hanging if she doesn't have the funds to cover the bill one month."
--Deven Robinson, Digital Media Producer, single, New York
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Everything Kerry Washington Has Said About Her Husband Nnamdi Asomugha
Actress Kerry Washington and her relationship with her husband, actor Nnamdi Asomugha, is the perfect example of a winning team.
The pair became an item following a chance encounter in 2009, and many years later, on June 24, 2013, Washington and Asomugha would secretly tie the knot. Since then, the high-profile couple has expanded their blended family by welcoming two children, a daughter Isabelle Asomugha, 8, and a 6-year-old son Caleb Asomugha. Asomugha also has a daughter from a previous relationship.
Despite Washington and Asomugha choosing to live a relatively private life for the most part by not sharing images of their family on social media and occasionally attending events together. The rare glimpses they provide to the public showcase that Washington and Asomugha have much in common regarding essential topics.
For example, Washington is highly involved in politics and encourages others to participate by spreading information about various issues and how everyone would be affected.
As for Asomugha, the 41-year-old officially founded the Asomugha Foundation in 2010, years after doing other charity work in Nigeria. According to its site, the organization was created to help "disadvantaged youth and women by providing educational opportunities and mentorship."
Washington's public remarks regarding her relationship with Asomugha and their family may be rare, but when she does speak about their family, it's all positive.
Kerry On Why She Keeps Her Relationship Private
Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Bronx Children's Museum
In March 2016, the UnPrisioned actress revealed during a discussion panel at SXSW Festival that one of the reasons why she is adamant about remaining private about her union with Asomugha is because she doesn't want the public to make any narratives regarding her marriage.
At the time, it was reported that Washington and the former NFL player were experiencing marital troubles and were allegedly planning on getting a divorce. Washington would shut down those allegations by saying she hasn't and will not share any information about her private life.
"Social media has actually been great for [other celebrities'] relationships with the weeklies or the gossip sites because people say things and they say, 'That's not true!' So I'm thinking in some ways, it's been great because people are able to maintain their voice," she explained.
"It's a little different for me because I don't talk about my personal life. That means not only did I not tell you when I was getting married, it also means if somebody has rumors about what's going on in my marriage, I don't refute them, because I don't talk about my personal life."
Kerry On How She Met Nnamdi And What A Normal Day Looks Like for Their Family
Fast forward to October 2018, the Scandal star gave insight into how she met Asomugha and their family life. During an interview with Marie Claire, Washington shared that she and Asomugha met in 2009 while she was working on the Broadway play Race.
The mother of two told the publication that her life has "completely transformed" since their encounter. "The last time I did theater, it completely transformed my life. That's where I met my husband. I love being with my family. My days off look like homework, reading, and watching stuff. Just hanging out, doing things we love to do," she stated.
Kerry On Nnamdi's Accomplishment
Photo by Jeffrey Camarati/Getty Images
But as time progressed, Washington began speaking a little more openly about her man. In October 2022, Washington gushed over Asomugha and his Netflix project, The Good Nurse, which came out around the same time her film, The School for Good and Evil, was released. While talking to Entertainment Tonight, the star expressed how "proud" she was of her husband.
"I'm really proud of him, I think he's doing amazing work. I'm really excited for his film, The Good Nurse," she said. "It's really exciting to both have really important films at Netflix right now, we feel really blessed.”
Kerry On Why Nnamdi Is Her Soulmate
Washington shared how her love with Asomugha goes beyond the surface after spending over a decade together.
In a March 2023 interview with Marie Claire, Washington explained that she and Asomugha are perfectly aligned because she's allowed to be her authentic self with him.
"I'm in my immediate truth with [him]," Washington said. "Those mirrors are important because they help me get back to myself."
Kerry On The Couple's Upcoming 10-Year Wedding Anniversary
Photo by Bruce Glikas/Getty Images
That same month, Washington expressed that in addition to the many years the couple has been together, and their personal and professional accomplishments, she still finds Asomugha "incredible."
Washington shared this revelation while promoting her latest project, UnPrisioned, in an Entertainment Tonight interview.
"I do have an incredible husband," the actress told ET host Kevin Frazier as she disclosed little to no details about their upcoming plans for their tenth wedding anniversary. "Do you remember how secret my wedding was? How private and secretive it was? That's how the anniversary is gonna be too!"
Kerry On Why She Thinks Nnamdi And Their Children Are A Gift From God
Washington's love and admiration for Asomugha and their family grow increasingly each day, so much so that she uses it as inspiration to share positive messages with her fans.
The 46-year-old revealed during a panel with Al Sharpton at National Action Network Convention on April 12 that she sees her husband and their children as "proof" that God exists and loves her because of the great joy they bring to her life.
"Well, you've met my husband, my husband's amazing. I got a good one. We have three beautiful children. And I think, you know, when I look at my marriage, and I look at my kids, fundamentally, they are proof of God to me,” she said. "Because I know that God loves me to have put those people in my life. And that sense of like, knowing that God loves me. That, to me, is so much of how I make the decisions about the activism that I do and the content that I make."
Regardless of what the public may think about Washington and Asomugha's private union, they are proving with each moment that love can conquer all.
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Feature image by Arturo Holmes/MG23/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue