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I met my current boyfriend the next night, and he we are, still together five years later.Still, I would never ever say that being in an interracial relationship has been easy.I started thinking about the media and asking myself what qualities I was actually attracted to in a man, specifically my boyfriend, versus what qualities I'd been taught to find attractive.Part of me used to envy how soft, straight, and blond his hair was.I couldn't stop repeating the first part of the Clutch headline over and over again in my head. She wrote in a Huffington Post blog late last year: It is the same sharp tug of disappointment that gets me every time I see a black man with a white woman on his arm.Try as I might to suppress the reaction, I experience black men's choice of white women as a personal rejection of the group in which I am a part, of African American women as a whole, who have always been devalued in this society.While scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I came across a link to a Gawker article that one of my friends reposted.In an essay entitled "The Reality of Dating White Women When You're Black," writer Ernest Baker tackles big topics like Eurocentric beauty standards, the taboo aspect of interracial relationships, and why he dates white women, among others: Why do I date white women?
For instance, I felt the need to defend my relationships to my mother who, like Baker’s mother, wondered when her daughter would bring home someone who looked more Michael B. My mother will resent me for saying this, but I know there is a part of her that wanted to see me settle down with someone black, someone who looked like me.
In fact, I completely forgot about it until a few responses started to pop up. But what about that 4 percent of blacks and 16 percent of whites?
It was Britni Danielle’s "Nobody Cares That You Date White Girls" piece for Clutch magazine that caused me to go back and reevaluate. Lots of people in this country would like to believe that race relations are swell, racism is dead, and everyone is happy. Image: Gallup There's a belief among some members of racial groups that one who dates outside of that race is disloyal, self-loathing, or has, for lack of a better word, been brainwashed. As author Lincoln Blades asserts in a piece at Uptown magazine, we need to promote an honest discussion about interracial relationships. It's hard to face the truth that educated and talented women like Mac Arthur Fellow Tiya Miles feel contempt towards black men who date white women.
But then something happened: people started talking to me, flirting even.
Once I escaped the small, isolated microcosm of Upstate New York, I met people who didn't think of me just based off of my skin color.