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The Black Lives Matter BLM protests have not swept across Russia the way they have elsewhere, but people of colour living there have told the BBC about the casual discrimination they experience on a daily basis. There are estimated to be tens of thousands of people of colour living in Russia - including Russian-born people with mixed heritage and people from African and Caribbean countries who are working or studying in Russia.

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When a black man meets a strong black woman, part of the reason he doesn't stay around is because he knows that there is a "simpleton" out there who won't demand to be treated with respect. Brothers blame the sisters and sisters blame the brothers. I have friends of all shades, so I know that to be false.

And I don't buy the argument that white or nonblack women are "easier" or "less challenging" than black women. We all need to take a long look at ourselves before we start pointing fingers. As long as we continue to allow ourselves to be mistreated, it will continue. It's something black men were told they couldn't do. Black women need to be nurtured, too. I'm still hopeful that one day, my Mr. Right will come along.

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I can't tell you how many times I've heard sistas say that "it's either a black man or no one at all," and they're often stuck with the latter. I am a professional black woman who has been having problems with African-American men. I think it's more about something different.

The fact is most black men these days are looking for the typical "Video Girl. It still is not good enough. I think if you've got a black woman and a white woman and they're doing the exact same thing, black men are going to look at what the white woman offers as something better than what the black woman offers. I think that is a sad reflection of the kind of trouble we are in as a race. He was able to fight in this three-year relationship with this white woman.

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Here's what some had to say, in their words. About a month into our relationship, he said he was scared of getting hurt again. I must say something to my sisters. Still more people e-mailed the story to their girlfriends and social and professional organizations. Further, let's say I did change myself to become more demure, submissive and feminine so that I am actually desirable to many black men and, as a result, I do find a committed relationship. Just as brothers have realized that they have options, we also need to be open to our options. That's almost a slap in the face to a black woman.

Statistics show that the black family is in crisis, black women are more likely to live alone than white women are, and we're far more likely to see a black man in a jail cell than in a college lecture hall. I think it's more about that than what the white woman has to offer. To echo what one of the gentlemen said in the article, I was told that I was not submissive enough for a lot of black men.

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There are a lot of supportive black women, but it seems that we still lose out. What does that say about the state of black "manhood" today? Physical appearance.

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A vicious cycle. Do you feel that since there are so many women out there looking for love, why should you give in so easily? Just through my personal relationship explorations, speaking with black male friends and reading the current literature on this topic, black relationships are definitely in turmoil. I have been told that because I am intelligent, ambitious, attractive and somewhat enlightened, I am undesirable to a lot of African-American men.

Once you open up yourself to love from any direction, you won't feel a man shortage.

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Their voices often have been either muffled or absent from this discussion. I am intelligent, attractive, well-traveled and spiritual.

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The gentleman. If a black man is having a hard time finding a real black woman, a woman of substance, maybe he should broaden his scope a little. She supported him during a rough time. We complain constantly about the way we are treated. Yet I find myself having to go beyond dating African-American men for companionship. This appears to be an excuse that men use to appease us and themselves and to avoid the realization that they simply feel that nonblack women are somehow better than sistas.

I'm a year-old divorced black woman. The story has forced people to do just that.

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When elementary school teacher Patti Hairston picked up Monday's edition of the St. Petersburg Times, she braced herself. Personally, I don't feel the love from black men to black women and doubt much of that "love" still exists. If you put an educated pound woman with no children and taking care of her own next to a pound woman with four kids and no job, who do you think he is attracted to?

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Black men and women need to talk about why things are the way they are and how they can be fixed. Black women are probably some of the most supportive women around, but I think it's still not enough coming from a black woman. Both sexes need to realize that who we choose as a partner says a lot about who we are. I believe the nature of our problem as black women is that we have a strong sense of loyalty and I would argue misplaced to black men. We have more choices than settling for someone not good enough, sharing a man, or being alone.

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Days after the story was published, my e-mail inbox and telephone voic are clogged with messages from women and men living in small towns in North Carolina and big cities such as Chicago. I knew their comments would resonate with some, offend many and embarrass others. The relationship I just got out of, prior to dating me he'd been in a relationship for three years with a white woman.

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Nobody wins. I'm actually asking a question: If you had a choice between a "gift" that is wrapped in the most beautiful paper you've ever seen and one that was cute but not so neatly wrapped, which one would you choose? Though I agree with some of the points made in this article, I think we have missed one other crucial point.

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It can be the same kind of support. Initially that stings. We just can't give to a selfish and self-centered human being all the time before we ourselves fall out from exhaustion. One has to think, "What kind of man am I committed to? This white woman treated you like a crap and you stayed in the relationship for three years, but here all you can do is keep running scared.


I'm in no way suggesting that he lower his standards. What you fail to realize is that this perception of settling too soon is in fact limiting your possibilities because the good ones that are intuitive enough to sense that you're not giving your all, and that you're burning the coals in many different fires, will never open to you completely to reveal their true worth.

But the fact is, there are some of us who allow it. And I wanted to engage black men who were unafraid to speak openly and candidly about black women. I wanted to speak to real people, not experts. They want the envy of their friends, their kids to have "nice" hair and to feel a sense of accomplishment and success through their mate.

I think the issues that black women are facing that were not mentioned in your article are those dealing with trust, respect and commitment. You would be surprised at what each package contains.

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But more than anything, I wanted the story to spark a dialogue. It stings not only because I know that I am loving and kind, but because I have all of these other attributes it makes me fundamentally unwanted by a lot of men. I don't understand.

We keep passing the buck. You made a good point that black women pretend to be strong and independent when we don't really want to be.

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And if we are looking for a life partner, we really need to scrutinize our reason for choosing that person. I'd written a story in which eight black men responded to this question posed by Essence, a black women's magazine: Do Black Men Still Want Us?

I didn't want to write a meaty thesis with tons of data and expert analysis. But in order for us to relinquish that stance or let down our guard to reveal the soft, submissive side that is willing to recognize our king as king, we have to be able to trust: trust that he is willing and ready to cherish his queen. He'll see me, appreciate me, cherish me and get in return a very deep and lasting love that he thought possible only in a book or a dream.

I've realized that there ARE plenty of good men out there, but they may not look like you or share the same ethnic background. It saddens me more because it seems as if the vast majority of black men want a "submissive" woman.

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I've been divorced for nine years now. These days, it seems that appearance matters more than whether this woman is educated or employed.