Beyond Black & White http://www.beyondblackwhite.com Chronicles, Musings and Debates about Interracial & Intercultural Relationships Thu, 19 Apr 2018 05:08:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 Atlanta Recap, In Pit-chas! http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/atlanta-recap-pit-chas/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/atlanta-recap-pit-chas/#comments Tue, 02 Oct 2012 05:43:19 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=11279 My Atlanta trip was probably one of the BEST, no...it was THE BEST trip on the SWIRLING book tour thus far. I got to go to the CNN center NOT as a tourist, but as a guest with a tag and everything! The interview with Natasha Curry was awesome sauce, and she's so unbelievably down to earth. Turns out Natasha is a product of an interracial union (dad black, mom white) and is married to a white rainbeau, which explains her enthusiasm for all things Swirling.

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My Atlanta trip was probably one of the BEST, no…it was THE BEST trip on the SWIRLING book tour thus far. I got to go to the CNN center NOT as a tourist, but as a guest with a tag and everything! The interview with Natasha Curry was awesome sauce, and she’s so unbelievably down to earth. Turns out Natasha is a product of an interracial union (dad black, mom white) and is married to a white rainbeau, which explains her enthusiasm for all things Swirling.

Me and Natasha cheesing it up for Instagram

 

 

The book signing at Barnes and Noble Perimeter Center was amazing, event though I was an hour late due to Atlanta’s legendary traffic jams. There was a crowd of folks waiting and it’s hard to describe that feeling. It’s like, “You guys are waiting for me?” If somebody told me five years ago I’d be doing this I’d say they were crazy.

 

I’m holding the first SWIRLING hard cover book I’ve ever seen. I had no idea it came in hardback until a lady said she bought it from her book club.

 

The ONYX book discussion was amazing! We had a great crowd and I was pleasantly surprised at all the rainbeaus who came out. Some of them made connections. I was even more thrilled about the ladies who came to the event who never dating interracially but where curious. One woman in particular was stunning, and shy guy named Josh was digging her, but alas, didn’t make a move. He’s hoping to see her again, and I’m pulling for you, Josh!

 

Then afterwards it was off to Sage for some delicious Greek food, dancing, and the official SWIRLING drink!

 

Take a look-see…

 

If you Atlanta ladies and gents haven’t joined ONYX’s outstanding MeetUp group, well…I just don’t know what else to say to you.

Next stop, San Francisco. Then on to Washington D.C. After that I’m going into a much earned, much needed, month-long coma.

*If you’re part of a MeetUp group or book club and would like us to visit, let us know! Hit me up at ckarazin@gmail.com.

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Attention Atlanta Peeps! Join Me For No-Holds-Barred Discussion About Black Women and Relationships! http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/attention-atlanta-peeps-no-holds-barred-discussion-about-black-women-and-relationships/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/attention-atlanta-peeps-no-holds-barred-discussion-about-black-women-and-relationships/#comments Thu, 13 Sep 2012 18:40:49 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=10574 If you don't live in Atlanta, I'm so sorry you'll be missing this. Because on September 28, we're holding a NEKKID discussion about what relationship issues specifically plague African American women in Atlanta. The topics are so juicy you'll temporarily reconsider your slavishness to the "Real Housewives" franchise. Sponsored by ONYX and DateWhoYouWant.com, we'll tackle the following issues:

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If you don’t live in Atlanta, I’m so sorry you’ll be missing this. Because on September 28, we’re holding a NEKKID discussion about what relationship issues specifically plague African American women in Atlanta.  The topics are so juicy you’ll temporarily reconsider your slavishness to the “Real Housewives” franchise. Sponsored by ONYX and DateWhoYouWant.com, we’ll tackle the following issues:

–Is the Black Church keeping women of color single? Is it a “conspiracy”?

–Does the issue of men outnumbering women in Atlanta REALLY have an impact on women of color and their dating choices?

–Why do so many groups have an issue with women of color dating outside of their race or culture? Why is there a problem with women of color expanding their dating horizon?
Have public opinion and views on IR (interracial)/IC (intercultural) relationships in the South REALLY changed?

–Do White Men get “backlash” from their families and peers for dating women of color? Does it affect their job or their ability to “move up” in their company if their wife/significant other is a woman of color?

–Are expectations too “high” when entering an IR/IC relationship? Does it take more “work” to make these relationships succeed?
Do spiritual views have a greater impact on IR/IC relationships than those of the same race?

–Do some women of color view white men as their “savior” and seek to date/marry white men for financial security and not love?

–Why do some women/men “sabotage” themselves by being needy, playing “games” or displaying “stalkerish” tendencies in a new relationship? Why can’t they get of that “baggage”?

–Why do some women/men consider a first date a readymade relationship?

–Are there REALLY “mixed signals” or do some people use that as an excuse to “hold on” to an eligible person?

–Why do some women/men have such low self esteem and such low self worth that they willingly “share” a man/woman? Or date a man/woman that’s “suspect” (i.e. on the “down low, abusive, etc)

–Why do some women act with such jealousy towards other women of color who have a mate that’s another race? Or have a mate PERIOD?

–Why can’t women of color come together and support each other in true “sisterhood”?
Why is it some men have NO problem approaching women but others do?

–What changes can YOU make within YOURSELF to insure that you achieve and maintain a happy, healthy, loving relationship?

You’d better hurry up and RSVP, because I have a feeling the place is gonna be packed to the hilt. For more details, click here.

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Ladies, It Looks Like We’ve Got Some Allies…! http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/ladies-it-looks-like-weve-got-some-allies/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/ladies-it-looks-like-weve-got-some-allies/#comments Thu, 26 Jul 2012 21:42:56 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=9165 Just a little reminder...;-)

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Last night’s SWIRLING event in Brooklyn was by far the largest we’ve had so far. My agent says that there were about 160 people there, so woo hoo!

It was my first time outside the haven of Manhattan, and I have to say I loved it. It felt more…authentic for me. Of course the absolute highlight was seeing all my BB&W peeps–especially Brenda55 and Sirloin, Karla and her hubster, Carlea (the makers of my awesome SWIRLING jewerly, accompanied by her hubster), Ana Cedeno, Vintage Narsissa, Lormarie, who was so sweet to let me hitch a ride with her) and all the other fans and regulars who came to support me. Some of you travelled far and wide, and I’ll love you always for that.

The entertainment format was a panel discussion about interracial relationships, with Marlon Rice of Good Brother Productions, Abiola Abrams (love and lifestyle diva), Alex Barnett (comedian) and Ron Worthy, founder of BlackPeopleMeet.com.

(from left to right)Regina Brooks, Alex Barnett, Marlon Rice, Abiola Abrams and Ron Worthy

With all the black guys in the room, I was a little nervous about how the “Swirling” message would be received, because frankly, the black blogosphere can skew your perception of reality if you let it. Turns out my worry was completely unfounded, because Ron Worthy, Sanford educated and married to a beautiful black woman, admitted that for the life of him, he couldn’t pick out any of his African American male alumni brothers who were married to black women, and openly advocated for black women to pursue ALL their relationship options. I about swallowed my tongue, because it was the first black man, married to a black woman (besides Ralph Richard Banks) who was so candid about admitting that “Yes, Virginia, we are really seeing what we’re seeing.”

The event organizer, Marlon Rice, event organizer, told me he read the book from cover to cover, and later shared this note with me:

“Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa What you are doing isn’t curing cancer or solving world crisis. It is small in comparison. However it is quite evident that your commitment to empowering young women by sharing your experience and perspective is being done with great love. Thank you for your service to our communities through your work. It’s needed, and it’s appreciated. All I ask for is two free tickets when Swirling the Movie comes out!”

THEN, one guy in the audience bought the book for a friend who thought she might need to read it:

 

The chief-honcho at Madame Noire magazine (a black man) sent out a camera crew to cover the event:

And here’s a biggie: Senator Kevin Parker (!!!) made an appearance and not only bought a book, he asked for my autograph and a photo with me. I was beyond honored.

This, and a dozen other little things to show their suppport, concern, and empathy for their sisters, I wanted to just take a moment to remind myself (and you!) that, in our quest for relationship equality, we do indeed have allies. All those black men, successful in their own right (all of them married or about to be married to other black women) felt absolutely no threat by the idea of black women finding love in whatever package it comes in.

And now for your viewing pleasure…

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“Swirling” Review By a GASP!! Black Man!! http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/swirling-review-by-a-gasp-black-man/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/swirling-review-by-a-gasp-black-man/#comments Thu, 12 Jul 2012 05:20:38 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=8799 Might this review hush the mouths of folks who are trying to paint SWIRLING as some gross betrayal of the race, or some black-man bashing fest? Meh. Not likely, but I just love rubbing it in! ;-)

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I’m a little neurotic about checking the Amazon rankings for SWIRLING, mainly because most writers are EXTREMELY neurotic. But I just so happened to look tonight and gawdallmighty SWIRLING got a review by not just a black man, but THE Eric Deggans, reporter for the Tampa Bay Times!

Here’s what he said:

As a black man married to a white woman with biracial kids, I have found this book invaluable, not just for me but for my daughters, who will face their own challenges in deciding who to date and why.

Much as people try to shrug off and deny the impact race difference has in America, there’s one place where we often remain divided: in romance.

But the authors here provide a book which doubles as a how-to manual and pep rally of sorts, encouraging readers that it is okay to consider dating people outside your own race or culture while offering much-needed tips on how to navigate the new ground you’ll be walking.

From thew lists of all the cool places to meet new partners to the author’s own heartfelt and open detailing of their own “swirling” relationships, the book bursts with the kind of thinking which is sorely needed in world where we are growing more diverse every day.

And even though I’m a male, I found much of the tips and stories mirrored my own experiences and gave me new insight. But what really got me, was when my oldest daughter picked up the book and started reading it on her own, drawn to its material in the same way I was.

I just wish a book like this had existed when i first began dating women of different races more than 25 years ago.

Might this review hush the mouths of folks who are trying to paint SWIRLING as some gross betrayal of the race, or some black-man bashing fest? Meh. Not likely, but I just love rubbing it in! 😉

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“Swirling” Made it in theGrio’s Top Summer Reading Picks! http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/swirling-made-it-in-thegrios-top-summer-reading-picks/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/swirling-made-it-in-thegrios-top-summer-reading-picks/#comments Fri, 06 Jul 2012 16:15:16 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=8604 As an aside, I have to give props to the online black media at large who [mostly] remained open to the message of the book, and upon reading it, realized that this book was not about white knights and white-man worshiping, nor was it about black-men bashing. There is one blog magazine in particular that has it out from me, but I'm heartened that most people can see through their agendas.

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Here’s what theGrio has to say about “Swirling

It seems there are guides for everything these days. Thinking of mixing it up this summer, but don’t know how? Karazin and Littlejohn come to the rescue in this insightful and amusing handbook on the ups and downs of interracial relationships.

The authors lay out the dismal statistics we’ve seen over the past few years, the shortage of black men; the fact that seventy percent of black women are single,and that only forty two percent will ever marry.  Karazin and Littlejohn encourage black women to break away from the sell-out stereotype of dating outside of their race (“you are allowed to love a rainbeau and still advocate for your people”) and embrace their options. Towards this end, Karazin writes: “…You just have to snatch snatch love for yourself when it comes knocking, in whatever color or cultural package he’s wrapped in. That’s the purpose of this book, and my hope is that all who read it will find love, however it arrives.”

No matter what your opinion is on this hot-button topic, Swirling, a well-researched and intelligently written book, is certainly food for thought.

See full list here. “Swirling” is Number Five on the list.

As an aside, I have to give props to the online black media at large who [mostly] remained open to the message of the book, and upon reading it, realized that this book was not about white knights and white-man worshiping, nor was it about black-men bashing. There is one blog magazine in particular that has it out from me, but I’m heartened that most people can see through their agenda.

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Black Women Need to Start “Swirling Into Reality” Says Kola Boof http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/swirling-review-by-womanist-kola-boof/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/swirling-review-by-womanist-kola-boof/#comments Mon, 02 Jul 2012 23:42:32 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=8543 "Sadly, as much as I enjoyed reading “SWIRLING” and found myself laughing and slapping my knees in agreement with the author’s and their experiences—I became very upset when I tried to get other Black women to read the book and found myself met with walls of stubborn resistance."

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“Swirl Into Reality”
By Kola Boof

“Swirling”—a social term that refers to the recent interracial dating boom in America is now a crucially important book that every Black woman should read. Written by Christelyn D. Karazin and Janice Rochelle Littlejohn—two beautiful sisters who’ve experienced all races of men and have very compelling information to share—the book is a porthole into the world of possibilities that await Black women when we dare to wander beyond the gates of today’s dying Black community and reinvent ourselves, making our own options; our own realities.

Sadly, as much as I enjoyed reading “SWIRLING” and found myself laughing and slapping my knees in agreement with the author’s and their experiences—I became very upset when I tried to get other Black women to read the book and found myself met with walls of stubborn resistance. I decided to write this review to say a few things that I feel a mother would tell a daughter. The first thing being that as an African-born woman who comes from a tribe and a clan, I would love nothing better than to see a world of “Black love” and the continuation of our people in the African sense—I myself married a wonderful Black man and have two wonderful sons. But the reality is—we now live in an age where Black men’s media images worship every kind of woman but Black. It’s an era when many Black men publicly instruct each other to ‘use black women for sex and money’ and reserve love and marriage for ‘anything but a black woman’—creating the statistical reality that most Black women will not be able to find suitable mates in their own group and are more likely to be abandoned after being ‘used for sex’ with babies.

We also, as Black women, need to understand where this compulsion to be loyal to Black men at the expense of our own lives comes from.

Ever since there’s been an African—the honor of having a life has been packaged and bestowed as an entitlement for little Black boys. Little Black girls were raised to protect, respect and celebrate the entitlements of the little Black boy’s life—as it’s drilled into us that the whole world is out to destroy him. If need be, the hopes and dreams of the African female is to be sacrificed for him we are raised; that his right to soar is the most important thing.

Beyond hollow Nationalist rhetoric and words, there has been no altar where either boys or girls worshipped Black women—but we imposed rather a male-identified worker bee culture that patronized the elderly Big Mama and pitted black male beauty, cool and self-interest as the symbolic value of African virility.

Pan-Tribal-Clan tradition injected racial reproduction as the sole value of the Black woman—because back before slavery and colonialism, when Black men loved being dark, powerfully authentic African males, they needed our dark wombs in order to be born again in their own image. The reproduction of “Black Sons” was the most centrally important ritual throughout African cultural hierarchy. Therefore Black women were acculturated to be most loyal and loving of the Black man—to see her world as out of balance unless he was reborn—while he on the other hand was acculturated to see Black women as his faceless obligated worker bees; his caretaking backbones and emotional bastions—long suffering inanimate reproduction vessels that could be taken for granted depending on his up or his down.

For these reasons, our stupefied loyalty to Black men has been extremely hard to shake. While other races of women are publicly and profusely ‘watered’ like flowers by the men of their societies—Black women, no matter where they exist on the planet, are the only flower among humans that perpetually grows ‘unwatered.’ She is constantly called “strong” and told: “be a strong black woman and take it like a man.” Any caring on her part for her inner self is treated as an affront to all the other humans she serves. If she defends or imposes her own will, then she is dismissed as ‘angry,’ ‘bitter,’ ‘non-supportive,’ and historically undeserving of happiness.

In my writings as a Womanist Black African author, I strive to bring a new message to young woman. My message is that we are the center of the universe and that our loyalty should be to our wombs—that we like those who like us; and discard those who fail to acknowledge and honor us.

What makes me so love and strongly recommend “SWIRLING” is that finally, here is a ray of sunshine of a book that joyously, comically and seriously takes the side of Black women without blinking an eye and without alienating other types of readers—even Black males.

While Janice Littlejohn takes the clinical and more scientific role in the book, Christelyn Karazin gives us the ‘warm and fuzzy’—both women graciously offering up their own personal lives to weave a tapestry of love, information and self-acceptance that can only help anyone who dares read “SWIRLING”. And let me tell you Black women—we truly need to be reading this book, if for nothing else than to educate and expand our minds to what’s out there. Our landscape whether we like it or not is changing. The future is now and “SWIRLING” is right on time. Get your copy.

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