Found this lifestyle piece on CNN today: 'Could Mr. Right be white?' More black women consider 'dating out'. Of course, being the product of a Black woman-White man relationship, this topic is of poignant interest to me.
The piece discusses Black women’s loyalty to Black men, and how just recently they (we) are beginning to see dating outside the race as a viable option. The article goes into particular detail about the romantic interest conflict between Black men and Black women:
“'I think a lot of black women are realizing or feeling that the pickings are slim,’ [Roslyn Holcomb] said.
They're made even slimmer, grumble many black women, by high rates of successful black men choosing blondes. For some, they argue, white wives are the ultimate status symbol.
…But black men are voicing their own frustrations with women they feel regard them with suspicion. …It's a frustration director Tim Alexander tackles in "Diary of a Tired Black Man," a frank film covering everything from black women's demeanors to their weight. Frustrated by black women, the main character dates a white one.”
But is it really the "datable" Black men, few and far between, dating blondes, and/or frustrated with Black women, that keep us from expanding our options? I think not.
So here’s a little tale I'd like to share:
I’m walking down the street in NYC’s Lower East Side after a night out with my man. We are holding hands and giggling, as we normally do… because being around each other just makes us giddy, I suppose.
We approach a Black woma n, probably about 25, walking with a White friend of hers. They are laughing and bouncing around like old friends happy to be in each other’s company. She smiles at me and says, “Now you, you are gorgeous.”
Wow! How nice! I smile back and start to say, “Well thank you, and so are you,” when she turns to my man and says, “And you, you are ugly.”
Now let me just say this now. Even someone needing the thickest bifocals can see that my boyfriend is 100% pure Ukrainian stud. He’s – well – he’s beautiful. I say this because I love him to death and because it’s absolutely true.
I’m still smiling, but it’s an awkward remnant of a smile that spilled over from her earlier compliment. I’m surprised, confused, bewildered. I also think she might be joking. So I chuckle and little, and my boyfriend asks her what she means.
“You’re walking with a beautiful Black woman. And you’re ugly. You’re ugly because you’re White,” she says, still smiling as if she’s said nothing but the obvious.
My boyfriend, completely dumbfounded, stumbles back a few steps as if he’s been hit in the jaw. I stare at her incredulously. The best my poor boyfriend could come up with was, “Well… you’re ugly too.” And me… well I was so shocked that I just froze up.
We walked home and I just kept kicking myself for not saying or doing something more. What a chump I was. I kept thinking, “How could that have been real? How could a peer, who is walking with a White friend, say this to me? To the man I love? To a human being?” It seemed too over the top to be real, but unfortunately it was. Three cocktails was all it took for this girl to really show her true colors.
And so my point is this. The whole interracial dating topic is not just Black man versus Black woman conflict. It’s even more internal than that. It’s us—our girlfriends, or workplace diversity group colleagues, our aunts, our cousins.
Sisters need to support one another’s values and choices, whether it’s a question of another sister’s profession, how she wears her hair, or whom she chooses to love. Though a strong woman can succeed in life even under the harshest of criticism, how can we really thrive without the backing of our base?