Beyond Black & White » Christelyn Karazin http://www.beyondblackwhite.com Chronicles, Musings and Debates about Interracial & Intercultural Relationships Fri, 22 Aug 2014 13:25:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 How to Talk to Your Partner About Racially-Charged Issues http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/talk-partner-racially-charged-issues/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/talk-partner-racially-charged-issues/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 13:25:45 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=32633 I was invited to talk as an interracial dating expert for the Tom Joyner Morning Show this morning with Jacque Reid to discuss how people in interracial relationships deal with potential conflicts when discussing issues like the Trayvon Martin case, Mike Brown shooting, and the Eric Garner killing. You can listen here. One thing that black […]

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I was invited to talk as an interracial dating expert for the Tom Joyner Morning Show this morning with Jacque Reid to discuss how people in interracial relationships deal with potential conflicts when discussing issues like the Trayvon Martin case, Mike Brown shooting, and the Eric Garner killing. You can listen hereinterracial couple argue.

One thing that black women often assume is that white people inherently can’t or won’t understand us because they aren’t black. The truth is, there have ALWAYS been white people who have lobbied, fought, marched and even lost their lives to join hands with us to overcome. Don’t assume that because your partner is white that he won’t share you grief. Remember, your guy is walking this experience alongside you, and if you marry and have a family, he’ll be completely invested in your experience.

Often, black women talk themselves out of dating interracially because they throw roadblocks like, “What if Greg wants Mike Brown’s killer to get off!! I can’t. That’s why I don’t date white men. They’re all racist.” Say that out loud so you can hear how truly ridiculous that sounds.

However, if you’re the type of person who wakes up every morning wondering who the first person will be racist against you, then you’re probably not a good candidate for interracial dating.

Tips to Successfully Discuss Racial Issues

–Give each other equal listening time.

–Don’t assume that his whiteness means he inherently can’t or won’t understand.

–Don’t downplay your partner’s feelings or attempt to gaslight.

–When things get too hot, take a break.

–Remember your relationship is not the United Nations–you don’t represent all black people, and he isn’t the rep for all whites.

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Stay Away from Sociopathic Men Who Wish to Corrupt and Shackle You Via Single Motherhood! http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/stay-away-sociopathic-men-wish-corrupt-shackle-via-single-motherhood/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/stay-away-sociopathic-men-wish-corrupt-shackle-via-single-motherhood/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:02:50 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=32595 Caution: I advise women who are never married single mothers to refrain from reading this post. This is not about you and your situation. Many of you might be offended about what I’m going to say. Again, this post is for SINGLE, CHILDLESS WOMEN OF REPRODUCTIVE AGE. I produced a video about a year ago […]

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Caution: I advise women who are never married single mothers to refrain from reading this post. This is not about you and your situation. Many of you might be offended about what I’m going to say. Again, this post is for SINGLE, CHILDLESS WOMEN OF REPRODUCTIVE AGE.

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I produced a video about a year ago addressing the concerns of a young, single mother who asked me if her having a child and never being married makes her “used goods.”

This video must be linked to some he-man-woman-hating websites, because it’s currently being overrun with men who clearly read those sites, because they all use the same type of self-important language and lingo.

“Your child is deserving of a quality mom; a mom who picked right the first time, who’s still in a relationship with the child’s quality dad. So, is a single mom damaged goods? Barring extenuating circumstances, of which there rarely is, yes, single moms are damaged goods, they have already damaged the lives of at least three people.”
“YES 100% many reasons why, one of them is that she didn’t choose the right man (says something bad about her selection ability and what she based it on – probably gina tingles like most) or that she walks when the going gets tough.  No self-respecting man would ever go that route.”

 

However, the comments from these men are not without merit. Having a child from a man in which you have never been married is a liability in the dating world, and there’s just no amount of hearts, flowers and glitter I can put on top of that pile of shit to make it smell better. Other sites catering to black women simply will withhold the truth, celebrate and perpetuate the dysfunction or be completely silent, but that won’t happen here. This is one of the only mainstream blogs of note that will actually give it to you straight–if you’re young, fit, ambitious, educated and childless you are a commodity. You are considered “high value” in the dating world, and you need to acknowledge and protect your position because believe me when I tell you that there will be men who might come along to destroy every beautiful thing you have going for you.

Mainstream black society remains defiantly silent on this issue, so much so that black women, regardless of class and education are falling victim to the “struggling baby mama” lifestyle. I know of at least one very successful professional for a black website who had a child with a man who didn’t marry her–the mother of his child– but went on to marry another childless black women who more suited his career goals and social standing. That man left this high-value woman with the baggage of his seed, and has unapologetically moved on to live his wonderful life while she will be left to do all the heavy lifting. What is even worse, black social media is cheering on this woman’s “beautiful struggle.” In a community where quality men are a scarcity, they can demand a woman be childless while simultaneously contributing to the out-of-wedlock rate. Male privilege at it’s worst.

Understand this. There is nothing noble or honorable about taking up the torch of single parenthood. It is hard and often thankless work. It’s scary. You’ll often cry yourself to sleep. You’ll be stressed and lonely. Trust me, I know because I’ve been there. The fact is, people will make assumptions about your character, forethought, and long-term-thinking abilities, because folks will assume you’ve had 100% control over your situation. The judging probably won’t happen overtly; people will make their decisions by way of steering clear.

That’s why I’m so dedicated to preaching, teaching a nagging young black women to know their worth and value their wombs. In a patriarchy, a woman’s womb is of tangible value. There may be men who see your prime position and will seek to knock you down from that pedestal. They seek to corrupt the beautiful life you are creating for yourself and thwart the advances of more worthy, quality men. Make no mistake that these sociopaths know exactly what they are doing.

I also should note that the desire to knock your pegs down might also come from your peers who fell victim to the single-mother trap. They’ll want you miserable and struggling right along with them; they’ll love the company.

Childless women, please, please PLEASE guard your fertility. Investigate birth control options. Refuse to let DBR’s corrupt your beautiful life.

I love you. I want you to have every option in the world that you want for your life. Listen to me.

 

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How Roasting Makes Everything Better. http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/roasting-makes-everything-better/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/roasting-makes-everything-better/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 05:14:55 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=32589 I am, by a HUGE margin eating more fruits and vegetables since growing my own food. I remember being especially interested, but I knew that if I was going to buy the seeds, nurture them under lights and sprinkled with fish guts, I would feel obligated to eat the stuff. I’m not a super huge […]

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I am, by a HUGE margin eating more fruits and vegetables since growing my own food. I remember being especially interested, but I knew that if I was going to buy the seeds, nurture them under lights and sprinkled with fish guts, I would feel obligated to eat the stuff. I’m not a super huge fan of raw veggies. I’m sorry; I’m just not. Most of the time I drink my greens in a smoothie my Vitamix churns out for me. But even that gets old.

So how to keep up with all this amazing produce without following some complicated recipe with a laundry list of ingredients? Roasting. The process of roasting transforms boring veggies like eggplant, green beans, onions and pepper into something savory, filling and delicious. The caramelization and cooking draws the natural sugars in your vegetables will change the taste for the better.

The picture up top is what had for dinner tonight. You can easily add Italian sausage for a complete meal.

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Add a little pesto for an additional layer of flavor and mmmmmmm….

How I Roast:

First cut up the vegetables in chunks to reduce cook times and ensure even surface area for caramelization. Set the stove to 400 degrees. Sprinkle olive oil on all areas exposed face up. You can use a basting brush to assist if you like. Sprinkle the veggies with a pinch of sea salt and a generous helping of thyme or other dried Italian herbs, like oregano or basil. Cook for 15 minutes and switch to broil during the last five minutes to finished.

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Here’s Another Rainbeau Who Just Came Out of Lurkdom http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/heres-another-rainbeau-just-came-lurkdom/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/heres-another-rainbeau-just-came-lurkdom/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 03:42:29 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=32582 On the surface Beyond Black & White might seem like a chick hangout. Bet you didn’t know that 30% of our readers are men. And why are they here? Take a guess. I remember a few years ago, members of the GAT-DL (Guardians of All Things Dark and Lovely) made fun of us, and proffer […]

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On the surface Beyond Black & White might seem like a chick hangout. Bet you didn’t know that 30% of our readers are men. And why are they here? Take a guess.

I remember a few years ago, members of the GAT-DL (Guardians of All Things Dark and Lovely) made fun of us, and proffer that non-black men were not checking for us or this blog, nor were there any of them in sight who were interested in interacting and blogging on the topic of interracial relationships and black women.

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Huh. How the worm has turned. I swear to you guys I get at least one or two letters from men per week, consistently. A BIG change is happening despite the detractors, and BB&W is at the forefront of rewriting history.

Here’s a letter I got just today:

Good afternoon,

I just wanted to say that I am a new reader to your site and thus far it has been an interesting read. I am a 24 year old white male, Marine Veteran and IT professional. My beautiful girlfriend and I have been together for 9 wonderful months now and being that she’s the first black woman that I have dated, I am astounded that I have found the one on the first try. We are not without our problems, I also have had an interest  in black culture since I was young; but we communicate through it all. I’m not a “wangsta” by any means but I do get down on some Otis Redding and Schoolboy Q. I would love to get her an autographed copy of your book, we love seeing swirls all over when we travel and I know that she would love it. I don’t know how many white male perspectives you get as far as relationships are concerned but I would be happy to do some writing, and or possibly give you insight. I have met most of her family and she has met most of mine. I am bursting with passion and love for our relationship and I see your articles as an outlet to resemble my thoughts with. I look forward to your reply and possibly working with you, nonetheless I will remain a fan. Thank you for your time and consideration.

(Photo of the writer and his beautiful girlfriend up yonder. And yeah; DAMN he’s fine!!)

You know what I’ve also noticed? Most of these men are in their 20′s. This is not a coincidence. This is a trend.

Welcome to the future, folks.

Oh and writer? You just earned yourself a free autographed copy of Swirling for your girl.

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(Bonus) QOTW: “How Can I Talk About My Culture with My White Boyfriend?” http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/bonus-qotw-can-talk-culture-white-boyfriend/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/bonus-qotw-can-talk-culture-white-boyfriend/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 04:56:25 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=32573 Hello Christelyn, I’ve been seeing my boyfriend for about 8 months now.  We are very much in love.  I’ve met most of his family, his 21 year old daughter, his parents and all of his siblings.  He has met my ENTIRE family because I took him to my cousins wedding.  No problems or awkwardness at […]

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Hello Christelyn,
I’ve been seeing my boyfriend for about 8 months now.  We are very much in love.  I’ve met most of his family, his 21 year old daughter, his parents and all of his siblings.  He has met my ENTIRE family because I took him to my cousins wedding.  No problems or awkwardness at all, even though I know his family previously has had very little or NO interaction with black people.  Basically, no drama.  Good thing, right?  Ok, maybe it’s my tendency to overthink but I feel like he needs to acknowledge me a little.  I’ll explain…he is unconcerned with things regarding race, pretty aloof and unconcerned, which is a good thing to some degree.  I mean, it never even came up until well into our relationship, and then I could tell he was a bit uncomfortable with it.  He could care less, but it is a part of me, I mean, it’s a HUGE part, it’s my identity, so I need help in how to broach the subject with him.  He just never spent ANY of his time around black people and simply knows NOTHING about us.  He really seems to have no biases, just ignorance, which isn’t his fault.  I think he thinks because I was raised by my white family (another subject for another day) that it doesn’t matter, but it DOES and I don’t know how to tell him this.  Sometimes I think some white people, for fear of sounding racist, are just afraid to even address the issue of race.  I think he falls into this category to a degree.  I don’t expect him to get all “afrocentric” but I need to feel he respects and understands this part of who I am.  Can you help, I do love him, but things cannot progress until he know ALL of me.  Plus, I would just like to know that he WANTS to know all about me, after all, I know all about him.  I’m so sorry for being so long winded, I just wanted to get the point across accurately.
Thanks for all you do and any advice that you could offer would be greatly appreciated.
   I feel like I can answer this question with one hand tied behind my back, because aside from the whole, you being raised by white people thing, this was my story with my husband, circa 1999. My very white-bred husband did not start dating me because of  a preference–he’d never dating a black girl before me. He just thought I was cute and laughed at his jokes, so that was enough for him. I understand that you have a desire for your partner to know, understand and empathize with what it means to you to be a black woman in America, but you have to have some foreknowledge that that empathy goes both ways. He has been able to navigate through life without the albatross of race on his back, so you’ll have to exert some patience in that regard.
   Second, you might have to be honest and ask yourself how important is race and black culture to you. Like, is it your whole existence? When you wake up in the morning and you look in the mirror, are you looking at a black woman or…a woman? Does race permeate every aspect of your life–from education, work, your neighborhood, down to the food you eat? Is Hotep your hero? If you’ve answered “Yes!” to any of these questions, then I have to be honest and tell you that things will probably not work between you and Mr. Clueless About Black People. You’ll either have to find that ONE white guy who takes the African Studies class at every university that has one, or date someone black who shares the culture you most identify with.
   Another option is one I prefer, because you’re not making black culture confrontational and super serious. Expose him to aspects of black culture that you are fascinated with and enjoy. Take him to a soul food restaurant and talk to him about the history of eating pig feet. Take him to a jazz club and talk about how juke joints were a major thing with black folks in the 1920′s. Go on a road trip and follow the path of the slaves who dared to take the Underground Railroad. Then after that, sit down with some popcorn and watch Love and Hip Hop. (Just kidding about that last one, okay?)
   What I sense from your letter is that you’re feeling some sort of anxiety that the man you love won’t really understand you, or at least an aspect of you that’s really important to you. And I propose that you have a little more faith in him. He might not understand it all, but if he loves you, how much does that really matter? I know women dating men that are ‘living the struggle’ right along next to their men and their relationships make train wrecks look like fender-benders. What is more, don’t forget to cherish and nurture the aspects of culture that you both SHARE, as Americans. I find that while Hubby and I are different ethnicities, our culture–and more importantly our values–mesh, which is why it’s worked since 1999.
   Stop overthinking. Have fun with it. Not everything about black culture is about pain and struggling. Start with the good stuff, and go from there.
   Finally, a word of caution: When you inevitably discuss the serious stuff, refrain from taking a “Your people did this to my people!” stance. You boyfriend has most likely done NOTHING to “your people,” and should not be blamed for such. He happens to be a white guy, born into a privilege he didn’t earn, and really love you.
If you’d like from to answer one of your burning questions, hit me up at Christelyn@BeyondBlackWhite.com. Also, don’t forget that a lot of this information can be found in my book, “Swirling: How to Date, Mate and Relate, Mixing Race, Culture and Creed.” Don’t forget to check out our BB&W-approved sponsor, InterracialDating.com.

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New Study Says Exercise Help Black Women Fight Breast Cancer http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/new-study-says-exercise-help-black-women-fight-breast-cancer/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/new-study-says-exercise-help-black-women-fight-breast-cancer/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 05:52:20 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=32543 As if we needed another reason to get up off the couch and move, a new study reveals that seven or more hours of vigorous exercise per week reduces breast cancer risk. “The exercises included swimming, running, basketball and aerobics in addition to brisk walking. However, walking at a normal pace was not associated with […]

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As if we needed another reason to get up off the couch and move, a new study reveals that seven or more hours of vigorous exercise per week reduces breast cancer risk. “The exercises included swimming, running, basketball and aerobics in addition to brisk walking. However, walking at a normal pace was not associated with a lower breast cancer risk,” according to the journal, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. [SOURCE] Exercising seven hours averages about a hour per day. All the above activities are cardio workouts, so that includes Zumba, hoola hooping, hiking, or sweating it out at home with a high-intensity work out DVD. I’m a big fan of yoga, and while it can be relaxing, advanced yoga can also get your heart pumping. One you might try: Power Yoga for Everybody. 91ZESTPZQLL._SL1500_

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