My perspectives on black and interracial love have shifted since stepping into the reality of the way things really are in the black community versus the way I’d perceived them to be. When I first became “awakened” or “cognizantly aware” of the “Black Plight” and where I am classified according to my race and sex in this country, the notion of black love was proposed through lectures, online rhetoric, and self-proclaimed leaders as a resolve to some of the issues plaguing the black community.
The rationale for black love seemed logical and applicable; nonetheless the idea of creating healthy black families between a black man and a black woman became and is still apart of my practice. However, I have noticed that there is an underlying “honey hush” which seems to be continuously overlooked in regards to the one sided expectations and standards between black women and black men, which begin very early on during adolescence; training black women to be loyal to black men who are encouraged and have no problem venturing out!
My first year teaching, I worked with a group of seniors, majority eager for their senior year of activities, college the following fall, and not having anyone tell them what to do because, “they’re 18, legally making them an adult”. It was advisory/homeroom period, I’d already taken role, completed the lesson, and decided to allow the students to have “free time” the last ten minutes or so of class. A few conversations sparked around the room between the students; one particularly, between a group of guys and girls about dating. I allow my students to express themselves so long as it does not become inappropriate , plus this was one of the ways I learned about them individually.
The conversation ventured into dating outside of their race, all of the students involved in the conversation were black and offered different takes on the topic. I noticed that the boys were heavy advocates for dating out and bragged about why doing so was better than being with the black girls. The black girls on the other hand gave varying perspectives. A couple of them spoke of their non-black crush, some stated they like black boys, but only one girl called the boys out for their comments and stated that she would only date a black man because she wanted black children.
I never once intervened but she made me smile on the inside, as I thought to myself, “that’s right”! But the girls sitting at the table had a look on their face like “girl,I guess ”. I wasn’t sure if it was because the boys had just finished bragging about how the non-black girls were better or if it was because they just didn’t share her same sentiments. I can say, that none of the girls downed black boys while expressing their likes and preferences.
During my second year of teaching, I had the privilege of teaching 8th grade at a school with a predominantly black student body and faculty. By far my best year as a teacher, but yet again I was hit with another eye-opening realization about the notion of black love. My students were separated into group work stations, I’d just completed my lecture with the direct-instruction group, and explained the assigned class work, when one of my male students decided to find his way into a conversation across the room between the girls sitting at the independent group work station. My male student said something which ignited an argument between him and one of the girls sitting at the table.
After letting them get a few of their outbursts out I decided to redirect them to their assigned tasks. Before my male student complied with the directions given he states that he doesn’t like black girls because they are not classy enough for him and he likes high class girls. I stopped and chuckled because I really thought he had his nerve, according to his academic performance he didn’t appear to be the best catch either. I thought of the conversation between the 12th graders my first year realizing; black love could be preached until I’m blue in the face but the reality is little black boys are expressing a disparage for black girls early on in their dating “preferences” and encounters.
These are just two distinct accounts; however, I saw frequent couplings of black boys with non-black girls versus the opposite on middle and high school campuses during my time teaching. They’d walk the halls holding the hands of their non-black love interest but would hold their head down as if they were embarrassed upon walking past my door, I wasn’t bothered one bit by their decision but it was clear that they would be. For the generations of, baby boomers, X , and millennials black love may still be desirable and attainable, but for generation Z things are shifting greatly. We cannot preach black love to our daughters while our sons are saying I don’t want or I don’t like black girls.
While I understand that my beliefs are just that, “mine”, I cannot cognizantly encourage little black girls to desire love with someone who does not consider them to be“classy enough” or “not as good” as non-black women. The mentality of elevating non-black women over their own is projected to little black boys through the media ( movies, music, and social media platforms), and to be honest some of the pro-black leaders have biracial and non- black wives, yet no one is calling it out. Unless we are realistic in our approach to restoring black love by addressing the disproportionate amount of black women and girls desiring black love in comparison to black boys and men then we are doing nothing more than selling black girls a hopeless fairytale.
One rebuttal by black lovers is for black women to expand their options and date across the diaspora. This I do recommend, however I rarely hear/see discussions of how some, not all of the men from the diaspora can be just as white washed in their preferences and see non-black women as more valuable. I recall a Haitian guy telling me that what he loves about America is all the races of women he has access to and how he would love to make a baby with women of different races to see the mixes he could create. Where as in his homeland all the women are predominantly one race which didn’t seem to excite him in the same manner.
I also knew another guy who had immigrated to the U.S. from Nigeria tell me that white women were better when we got into a disagreement. Again this does not reflect the views of all of the men within the diaspora, but suggesting that black women expand their options to the African diaspora without making it clear that they may very well encounter similar mentalities from those men is a “set-up”.
Personally, I made the decision to either date/marry black or be alone. I am aware that to some that may be a bit extreme, which is why I acknowledge that these are “my views and decisions” and everyone will not see it this way. It is also, selfish to ask/tell black girls/women to sacrifice and hold out for a black man which may never come. It is no secret that black men date out more than black women and are perpetually on public platforms dissing black women with little to no “push back” from the black men who allegedly don’t agree.
It must also be established and understood between the swirlers and black lovers that opting to date/marry non-black means you can no longer lead in spaces designated for black agendas. Your non-black spouse and mixed children is NOT a black family, and a swirler cannot tell black lovers how to identify black people, love, and operate in their spaces; no more than black lovers can determine who swirlers can/cannot date and how to raise their mixed children.
At the end of the day people are going to date/marry whomever they want. We cannot force anyone to choose based on our beliefs and perspectives. If we are going to advocate that something be done a particular way because it is in the best interest of the collective then we must also be willing to acknowledge the flaws within our perspectives, because I think I can speak for all of us when I say that none of us want to be forced or condemned to adhere to a particular lifestyle that requires us to sacrifice our personal free will at the expense of being loyal to a cause, only to gain "the short end of the stick".
A' Cylo ( ˈā/ˈsil/ lō) - “I am a writer with a passion for using my voice to speak on the issues many refuse. My hobbies include writing, dancing, and gardening. I'm a fan of all shades of blue; with a slight addiction to popcorn, chips, and salsa. I teach but more importantly I learn; continuously. Did I mention I'm a writer; and I'm serious about my content"?!