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And that's something that I want in my life," she said. 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 YouTube videos; and ABC produced a "Nightline" segment on the topic. But now a different conversation is emerging in the black community.

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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.

This grass-roots movement is forcing some singles out of their comfort zones and into territory once viewed with trepidation by many African-Americans.

African-American singles change their approach to dating - Chicago Tribune

Traditionally, African-Americans shied away from professional matchmakers and relationship coaching, said Paul Carrick Brunson, a Washington-based matchmaker. Brunson said interest in his work as a matchmaker has grown steadily over the past two years. Every ethnicity is obsessed with relationships. We all have the drive to love and relationships are an integral part of our lives. African-Americans are now embracing new strategies because of all the dialogue around relationships," Brunson said.


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Called Flow Dating, it screens singles and engages them in dozens of mini-dates. The introductions are made in a laid-back venue with light music and cocktails as the backdrop to make it less intimidating, Brunson said. According to U. I asked him to repeat himself, but still I couldn't quite catch the foreign phrase, though this time I heard enough of the question to realize that my original worries were not unfounded: I was being quizzed on a papal encyclical.

The amount of concentration required for me to keep a straight face took up most of my brain power. Unfortunately, the remaining portion of my brain couldn't quite remember if the encyclical's publication date was or Through a smile, I guessed ' A moment later, the event's organizer called for the dates to change seats. The men shifted, and because one of the participants hadn't showed up, the organizer sat down across from me to fill the time. He described his business and politely asked about my job. The organizer looked confused, then worried and possibly amused.

The organizer got up, and I laughed, freely this time. With his news, the evening's events made much more sense, and at the same time became even more absurd. At the end of the evening I took out a piece of paper on which "yes" and "no" was written next to each date's name. I sat down and considered which of the guys I was willing to see a second time. The guy from the young adult group seemed nice, and I noted that on the paper. Then my pen hovered over the space next to Travis's name.

He was a bit judgmental, but then again, I had been too.

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He was also hilarious, enjoyed his work, and seemed interested in mine. And, well, I had to give him credit for his knowledge of Church history. Was I glad to have taken a chance, to have gotten outside of myself and to rethink my opinions?


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Was I looking forward to whatever new surprises lay in store? I pressed my pen onto the dog-eared sheet of paper and emphatically circled "yes. Kerry Weber is an associate editor for America , and author of 'Keeping the Faith: John Cawley, a professor from Cornell, remembers when the hiring market was held in Philly. So Philadelphia four or five years ago got hit with this big snowstorm, and people just could not get in.

And so, yeah, there's job candidates who just could not interview. OK, the profession survived. And this year, they lucked out in Chicago - no snow. Julian managed to run to just about every interview on time when he didn't get lost. Oh, Google Maps doesn't know where I am. So this is Stetson. I actually am not sure where I am going. After his very last interview on Sunday, Julian plops down in a chair and makes the final tally. Plus one bad blister from his new shoes. It is a lifetime of interview experience in just one weekend. And Julian realized something very wise about the process.

Sometimes it's just you figuring out that you don't want this job or this job doesn't want you because you're just not a good fit for each other. After the economist speed dating in Chicago, Julian got a few second-round interviews. A federal hiring freeze slowed down the whole process a bit. But as Julian himself would note, it is better to rely on the data than just one story.

Economists have carefully studied their own process and say 97 percent of job seekers that go through the speed dating find a job by the summer.


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BSU Presents: Black Love Week: Speed Dating & Auction

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