“A Swirling Community by the Bay”
Swirling made another small step forward this weekend, when our Meet-up group (Sisters and White Misters) met at Rassela’s Jazz club in San Francisco. It was, for so many reasons, a memorable swirling experience and a true demonstration of community being created.
For anyone who visited the club last Saturday, it was impressive just to see the sheer size of our group. Consisting of white men and black women, our intimate group of 40 people literally occupied about 1/3 of the club. With our tables near the front entrance, we were seen by everyone who walked in the door that evening. It was fun hearing the “curious questions” after others realized every guy in the group was interested in dating black women and, conversely, every woman in the group was equally interested in dating outside of her race.
The evening flowed well, and the attendees, including a wide range of people from their 20’s to their 50’s, were welled dressed, looked good and (most importantly) were having a good time mingling and laughing together. As a group we were well received, and we had great interactions with everyone who entered the club. This included white couples, black couples, several black women (who came on their own), groups of black men, mixed asian couples, and, of course, the “white man-black woman” couple who arrived not knowing anything about our group — but were quite tickled to see us just the same!
There were many unique moments throughout the evening. Obviously, the group photo was fun. There was a memorable and distinct moment when the small dance floor was entirely occupied with white men dancing with black women. And then, as will happen when boys get together with girls, there were moments of real connection. For example, a reserved young man (in his mid-twenties) was sitting by himself early in the evening. A stunningly beautiful black woman arrives and walks up next to him as she orders a drink. He says nothing. She says nothing. Then a host briefly mentions, “By the way, the young man next to you is with our group.” They say Hi. And two hours later, they are still talking to each other — oblivious that anyone else is even in the room. Sometimes, it takes so little to get a good thing going!!!
Of course, not everyone is going to find a special someone in a single evening. In fact, for some, the agenda was just to get out, talk with friends and have a dance. The hosts made sure everyone mingled —and everyone was made to feel welcomed. The more gregarious people in the group made their way about and kept everyone involved. Simply stated, everyone was made an integral part of the group. Nobody sat alone, and nobody became a wallflower!!!
It was more than just a casual get-together, it was a celebration–the further forming of community and an evening filled with the spirit of “acceptance” and “inclusion.” One of the attendees was escorted by her brother and her cousin. It was awesome seeing two black men escorting a close family member to a swirling event!!! Of course, with such a great attitude, they quickly and easily became a part of our party — dancing, taking pictures and mingling.
With so many of us together, we created a social space where everyone, including attendees and other friendly patrons, could truly enjoy our unique love and appreciation for one another. By the end of the evening, the main topic of discussion became — when is our next event?