Summer of 1998, I exited a Target store with a guy I was seeing at the time. “Hey, come over here and talk to me,” a guy said standing with a group of friends. I looked over to see a group of five black males with sagging pants and backwards hats as they kept tormenting with their taunts. I immediately looked at my guy, a small framed white guy from the suburbs who started to get angry. By the squint in his eye and the clinching of his fist, I could see that an altercation would ensue. “Just get in the car and don’t worry about it”, I said. I was the first black girl he had ever dated, but he was not my first white male. I had been here before. As we drove off, I discussed the rules of survival when interracially dating. Rule #1 being, Ignore and Move Forward.
Being a black women with an affectionate eye for melanin deficient males, I would like to say that I have done my part to fulfill Martin Luther King’s infamous dream. Most of my life I’ve been the victim of the curious stares and discriminatory statements that were directly related to my dating preference. Majority of the complaints of my interracial dating had come and continues to derive from black men, which one would initially assume. The kicker is that these are black men who openly date white women.
I have received stares of disgust from men while they are holding the hand of their white girlfriend. I don’t know where in the rhetorical Rules of Being Black it states, “black women stay single and wait for a black man, even if an amazing white man is interested in you. All the while, black men, do as you please.” Unfortunately, many black women feel this stigma and remain “True to our race”, finding themselves alone.
I remember sitting in my journalism class waiting for the teacher to arrive. The guy in front of me was a muslim named, Jihad. He was a dreadlocked, black pride shirt wearing, black history enthusiast dedicated to teaching anyone and everyone around him about the wrong doings of white people. He would spout dates, names and judicial cases like they were his A,B,C’s.
One day Jihad decided to turn around and tell me that he had been watching me around campus and that my dating white men was equivalent to me dating the devil. We debated throughout the semester until, finally, we agreed to disagree. He then showed me a picture of his beautiful nine year old daughter who was biracial. I remember looking at him in utter confusion and then asked, “Why in the hell can you date outside of your race and I can’t?” His response, “Because it’s different.” This simplistic answer, from someone that always had so much to say, showed how ignorant a man could be and as I grew older, he was not the only black man to stand strongly behind that statement, without any clarification of what it actually meant.
As Black Americans, we have overcome a lot of historical barriers in regard to racism, not all, but we have the strength and a stronger voice to push for a better country. The fact that blacks and whites can now be married is one of those barriers. In the last forty years, the US Census has reported a steady increase in interracial marriage. Mostly Black male/White woman unions. So the last person I need to cause me grief in my quest for companionship is a hypocritical black male.
I urge black women, as well as any other woman, to open their options in finding a mate and not continue to be stuck in limbo waiting for a person of their same race. You may find yourself waiting a lifetime when your perfect match was right beside you the entire time. There are no rules to this life and if there were it should solely be; love and be loved, all else will fall into place.