Yesha Callahan

According To Jimi Izrael Black Women Are To Blame: The Denzel Principle Review

For the past several weeks “The Denzel Principle: Why Black Women Can’t Find Good Black Men” has been sitting on my nightstand just collecting dust and waiting for me to get around to reading it.  First off, I figured I could go into this book review with a clean slate for a few reasons:

A) I had no clue who Jimi Izrael was until a few weeks before I received the book

B) Why wouldn’t I enjoy reading another book by a man telling me what’s wrong with women, particularly black women?

C) A & B

After receiving the book I still ventured out to find more info on lowercase (j)imi lowercase (i)zrael. jimi izrael is basically a jack-of-all trades. For those unfamiliar with Mr. izrael, he’s a writer, journalist and educator. He moderates “The Barbersop” for NPR’s “Tell Me More with Michael Martin” and he also blogs for He’s taught at Case Western, Cuyahoga Community College and will teach at Cleveland State University later on this year.

So let me get down to the point of this post, which is his book, “The Denzel Principle: Why Black Women Can’t Find Good Black Men”.  I truly found jimi izrael’s memoir a bit discouraging to read, particularly because I’m a Black woman (go figure) who isn’t necessarily limiting her options to just include Black men.  jimi izrael thinks Black women are delusional. Our standards are too high. We expect too much. We don’t know how to make good choices. We’re to blame for global warming, pollution, the budget deficit,  and the failed health care system. According to jimi, we’re all delusional in thinking we could find someone of Denzel’s “magnitude”.  He thinks if black women wouldn’t have such high standards and expectations, coupled with making better life choices, they would be better off.

{oprah shrug}

A point of his that really touched a nerve was in his chapter titled, “She Hate Me”, in which he discusses “his” issues with single women raising boys and asked:

“Why do single moms raise their sons to be beta males in an alpha world, and then wonder where all of “real men” are? Single moms raise great beta males. But we need alpha men to save our communities.”

Generalize much?

Unlike other take the advice of  a man that has had his fair share of relationship disaster stories and is probably partly to blame “dating” books, jimi izrael’s approach is more satirical. Sure, some of the chapters were extremely long winded & just all over the place, but it’s a memoir, and his opinion, so you can only take it with a grain of salt. Who am I to knock someone’s opinion, it doesn’t mean I have to adhere to it or take their advice.

High standards? Sure I have them. Will I lower them? Never. The End.

  1. February 23, 2010 - Reply

    As someone with no standards who is fully aware of the fact that there are almost 2 million more black women in this country than there are black women, jimi izrael will HAVE to stick to memoirs because he should not be speaking at the community with such nonsense.

    “Why do single moms raise their sons to be beta males in an alpha world, and then wonder where all of “real men” are? Single moms raise great beta males. But we need alpha men to save our communities.”

    It fascinates me that black men who have themselves “together” are soon the defensive that instead of blaming themselves for the fact that so many black sons are raised by single mothers, they blame the single mothers doing their best after a BLACK MAN made a child and decided not to be a father. Eff alpha and beta males, izrael should be addressing the root casue – nada males!

  2. February 23, 2010 - Reply

    Is this twit a father first and foremost? And where can I get a book published with my retarded opinions at? #wheretheydothatat I'm a non-black woman (my grade of hair disagrees tho) and I can see the audience of folk being easily swayed by this dudes book. :/ I guess Imma have to wait til that book goes on sale in 2021 for 23 cents.

    I believe as long as the woman's capable to somewhat meet or supersede her standards for a man , I don't see wtf the problem is… I'd assume she's somewhat of equal or higher caliber of what she's requesting in a mate, tho.

    Tongan men don't need books for shit like this, the law was set from the fish spearing Moses days on what to consider standards for these ladies.

    Can she cook? Does she have a functional body & brain? Can ya crazy not clash with her crazy? Can u guys coexist/cohabitate long enough to kill and eat the horse together in peace? Does she praise white Jesus? Is she really a woman and not a fakaleti (trans)? Can I tolerate looking at her for hours on in?


    That's why I date black men. #Oop

  3. February 23, 2010 - Reply

    Social comments and analytics for this post…
    This post was mentioned on Twitter by OneChele: RT @fungkeblakchik: New Post : “According To Jimi Izrael Black Women Are To Blame: The Denzel Principle Review”-

  4. February 23, 2010 - Reply

    my sentiments exactly…..wrote about it last week. it's a ridiculous notion to suggest that it's just our fault…but what's new in this twisted realm we call society…..additionally, it shouldn't be standards but rather expecations that we all have a right to have. but i won't be buying the book but would be happy to read a lended copy. not giving him a dime!

  5. February 23, 2010 - Reply

    I say it is our (black women) fault!! Shame on us for wanting a good educated, sensible, and honest black man! We need to be ashamed of ourselves for expecting a brotha to have a job, be faithful, a good father to his kids, and mature! Black women what is our problem? Why are we forcing our black men to choose to go to jail, to wanna be rappers, and make babies all over the place. WE need to stop putting guns to their heads and forcing them to be idiots. We need to tell ourselves that it's ok to have low-down scumbags in our lives just so we can say we're not single anymore. I'm gonna take Izrael's advice and lower my standards!! Why be happy alone when I can be miserable with a man I've settled for?? Woohoo!

  6. February 23, 2010 - Reply

    izrael isareal ass. bottom line. there is no one group of people or circumstances that caused this disparity. I do place a good portion of accountability on men but it's a shared cause and concern. I'll be happy when we really address the underlying issues so we can try to fix them and move on to the next one. this issue spins its wheels too much for my taste.

  7. February 23, 2010 - Reply

    Like I said on twitter…no real “alpha” male will ever need to refer to themselves as such..
    I dont' care who saves the community….as long as it's being saved…alpha/beta/male/female…

  8. February 23, 2010 - Reply

    Well you already know how I feel about Tongan men…lol!
    Girl, I'll gladly mail you the book, so you can read for yourself….

    A person, regardless of being a man/woman, should never ask for anything they don't expect to bring to the table…no matter what the situation is…and if they do…then so be it…ppl set their own expectations and goals…who is anyone to knock them for doing so?

  9. February 23, 2010 - Reply

    Let me know when his book encouraging black men to stay and raise their sons AND daughters drops.

  10. February 23, 2010 - Reply

    Hasn't this book been written b4????? Hey, I'll just continue to do my part to be an active father, so my boys will grow to be great men (omegas of course…couldnt resist lol)

  11. February 23, 2010 - Reply

    Thanks so much for reading the book, Yesha. It means alot to me that you took the time. I asked you to read it because I am a fan of your writing, and you did not disappoint. Great analysis. Do I agree? Nah. But so what — I respect your opinion. Short, sweet, hard, fair. Nicely done.

    Thanks again.



  12. February 23, 2010 - Reply

    it's like mr. izrael just wants to make money from the divisiveness and not really help.

  13. February 24, 2010 - Reply

    Amazing how there's an influx of folks who have the remedies to all that ails us. Wondering how genuinely concerned any authors, “experts”, etc. are about us sans the almighty dollar.

  14. February 24, 2010 - Reply


  15. February 24, 2010 - Reply

    and you year..someone else will put their spin on it as's a never ending story…
    i was always told..when you point one finger at person..there are 4 pointed back at yourself.

  16. February 24, 2010 - Reply


    hmmm..don't hold your breath!

  17. February 24, 2010 - Reply

    you always find a way to throw omega in it don't

  18. February 24, 2010 - Reply

    everyone has a right to their opinion…what type of world would it be if everyone agreed? pretty bland, i'm sure. thanks for stopping by & commenting!

  19. February 28, 2010 - Reply

    As someone who has never limited herself to black men when it comes to dating, I generally find books by black men that are about the “perils” of black women to be nothing but generalizations. And this author is just another example of that. I'm in no rush to read yet another book by an obscure man telling me why I will forever be miserable because I refuse to lower my standards.

  20. February 28, 2010 - Reply

    Good post.

    Historically, men blame the mother for the failings of other men and are stingy with the credit when men succeed. It wasn't that long ago mothers were blamed for schizophrenia, autism, crib deaths, and even ADHD until some group then misidentified sugar as being the culprit. Biologically, male brains are more susceptible to problems, including learning disabilities, violence, alcoholism and drug addictions. They have more accidents and they die earlier. There are proportionally more homosexuals than lesbians. Eliminate the most vulnerable from the dating pool, and an awful lot of women won't have a man, at least one on one.

    Notice that I haven't even addressed the impact of discrimination, racism and mass incarceration on the black male psyche. Add that in and the dating & marriage demographics are not in the favor of black women seeking a black man, and is worsened further by the larger proportion of black men to women who will not marry within their own race, and the pickings are even thinner.

    And historically, women who complain or bring attention to problems that men create catch a lot of hostility. I don't want to knock the book since I haven't read it and you said it was satirical, but your review, which the author said was harsh but fair, makes it sound like its a modern day Salem witch hunt, but his time black women and mothers are the witches.

    Black women need not accept unfair and unreasonable blame. You work with what's there in the dating arena and go outside of it if possible, but understand that except for being targets of racism, a lot of non-black men have serious issues too. Secondly, you do your best as a mother, single or otherwise, and learn to accept it if your son is one of the vulnerable ones as aforementioned, no matter how hard you tried, and when he hits adulthood, to let go of your hopes you had for him, and to let go of him as well. Been there, doing that, and it's hard, but not impossible.

    As for the male neo-witch hunters, they can go sit on two tacks.

  21. March 10, 2010 - Reply

    My MINIMUM standards to go on a date with a man was for him to have a job, a car and an apartment. One element missing, no date. He'd get a second date if he wasn't a liar, a theif and had no substance abuse problems. If his intentions were to have a monogamous relationship with me, we'd have a third date. I had a lot of 'relationships' end after the second date. The bonus of the man who made the cut for the third date was that we grew up with the same religion, both our parents were still married to each other and he was as funny and as take-charge as if I had designed him myself.

    No where in my standards did he have to be black (I'm black), have a particular profession or have a particular look. I married the man I went on the third date with nine years ago. I suggest that women know what their standards are and live by them. If you want to get married, make it clear early-on (but not on the first date). DO NOT have sex with him if he's unwilling to be monogamous. Find out by date three, otherwise you're wasting each other's time and his money. Women, alpha men will pay for at least two dates.

    Haven't read the book yet. Thought I'd add my 2cents.

  22. March 15, 2010 - Reply

    I had a good laugh, tears rolling down my cheeks, I am waiting for the next book, the reason for global warming….it is caused by black women.
    Jimi Israel needs Jesus in his life quick, what is the real issue behind this book. Intelligent black women aren't worrying with fools, they are getting on with their own lives, getting married, living in other countries, having children and being very successful. These men are crying because they are left behind and they are left behind with equally horrible women like themselves. Intelligent and sensilble black women don't have time for man babies, most babies grow up, man babies still need babying until they are dead, who wants that burden!

  23. March 19, 2010 - Reply

    A few nights ago, a guy I have been with on and off told me I ask for way too much. I told him, “No, I just know exactly how I want to be treated, so I know when not to accept bulls*@t.”

    If jimi israel is talking about young women like me, then too bad. Because if the men (and I mean all men not just Black) he's talking about are to afriad, self-conscious, selfish, or just plain ignorant to step up and treat a women with the love and respect she deserves, no matter how high her standards, then so be it. I'd rather be alone then settle for second best!

  24. April 21, 2010 - Reply

    This is a very nice update – thanks for sharing.. definitely going to bookmark!

  25. May 13, 2010 - Reply

    I’ve been checking your blog for a while now, seems like everyday I learn something new 🙂 Thanks

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