Buy “Swirling”, Plus Rave Reviews!

What are people saying about “Swirling: How to Date, Mate and Relate, Mixing Race, Culture & Creed” ?

“This book is critically important in our time to help foster a more open dialogue about interracial dating & marriages. I enjoyed it thoroughly and I highly recommend it to everyone. What a great read!” –Sophia A. Nelson, award winning author & columnist for NBC’s theGrio.com & Essence Magazine

In Swirling, Christelyn Karazin and Janice Littlejohn perform a vital service. Their insightful discussion is both in your face and disarming. A much needed contribution to our national conversation about race and relationships.–Ralph Richard Banks, Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and the author of Is Marriage for White People? How the African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone

Check out the trailer!

“A welcome, heart-felt primer on what African-American women can and should do better prepare themselves for the challenges, frustrations as well as the possibilities and hopes in the turbulent world of relationships. It’s a book whose time has more than come.” –Earl Ofari Hutchinson, Nationally syndicated columnist, author and social commentator

“Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn and Christelyn D. Karazin bring a refreshing perspective to this hotly debated and newsworthy topic — they also have the journalistic mettle and personal experience and humor to pull off a book that is both entertaining and informational … a must-read.” –Brian Lowry, Variety Chief Television Critic

“This surprising and oh-so-timely book should be considered essential reading for any woman who feels rudderless when it comes to finding a soul mate … smartly researched and eye-opening.” John Griffiths, Us Weekly Television Critic

“After nearly 20 years in an interracial marriage, the one thing I’ve learned is that black folks often have more hang-ups about these kinds of relationships than anyone else. And if anyone can help us all sort through the nonsense, problems and preconceptions, it is Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn, one of the smartest, most empathetic writers I know. I only hope she starts on a book for black men next!” –Eric Deggans, TV/Media Critic, St. Petersburg Times

“Wisely written … smart, conversational and honest.” –Mekeisha Madden Toby, The Detroit News

“… What is sure to be one of the hottest new books for Black women this summer.” –Deborrah Cooper, relationship advice columnist, blogger for SurvivingDating.com, and author of Sucka-Free Love.

65 comments
LJ
LJ

This was lovely. Thanks.

Tracy Solomon
Tracy Solomon

Very well written and in many ways, I do know what you are talking about. You have touched many areas that today, so many are unwilling to talk about but yet much of what is causing heated debates and misunderstandings is the lack of conversations that should have already been had.

It seems there is a mix of two extremes in many cases. There is hate and there is misunderstanding and those two just don't mix well. On top of this, the media can spin a story in one way or the other and cause a lot of confusion or more heat and it just makes the situation worse in most cases.

While reading your writing, it was a good explination of where many people have found themselves and have to make a choice of either just giving in and being unhappy or settling or does a person take a chance and go ahead with their life in a way that may not be so comfortable with everyone else's expectations?

Both ways, no matter how a person lives or decides to move forward in their life, the things that seems to be missing more and more is respect and tolerance.

I very much enjoyed reading your article.

Tracy Solomon@tracysolomon

Jessica
Jessica

I just want to say, "BRAVO"!!! Your story is beautiful and inspiring! I am the child of the loveliest and most "in love" interracial couple in the world! My parents have been married for 34 years and have managed to achieve true happiness despite all the odds they faced. Only 10 years before they said their vows, it was actually illegal for blacks and whites to unite in holy matrimony in the state of NC. They went through hell together in the beginning of their relationship and marriage but their love has certainly stood the test of time and they have 4 very proud children to show for it! I hope the same for you and your husband...that you would always choose each other over every ugly circumstance life may throw in your direction. And in the words of my late maternal grandmother (when my mom told her she wanted to marry my dad), "If the world had more people like you who are color blind and who choose to love despite the differences in race, what a better and more peaceful place it would be." Thank you!

Annette Madden
Annette Madden

Just found your site thanks to my cousin who is in an interracial marriage just as I am. It's great to have this site to share. I have been married to my white Prince Charming for 11 years and he treats me like a queen. I have had plenty of black men to compare him to, including previous husbands and I tell people all the time I truly saved the best for last. I had dated white men before, so this was not outside my comfort zone, but it sure was for a lot of people around me including some in my family. But over time they have come to see that he is a good person who takes great care of me, so there have been attitude adjustments. The same can be said of his family as they have grown to accept me. I say to all AfAm women who are considering the move, jump on in, the water's fine!!

Ginny
Ginny

Your story was wonderful. (hear me banging my head on the table: *bang bang bang*). When are people going to realize when God puts the person He has for you right under your nose, it does not make a ding dong difference what color he is? Ay caramba. Why do we get in the way of our blessing? My Prince is a black man that loves me and treats me royally. My girlfriend's Prince is a wonderful white man that treats her royally. I thought I was going to marry a white man and she thought she was going to marry a black man. Look at that lovely irony! To my single black sisters know the difference between settling and being open. Your Prince Charming may not come in the shade you expect. If you can grow old with him and he enriches your life and you enrich his, and make a difference in this world, embrace your blessing!! :-)
P.S. : I would like to kick the fool that believes marraige is for white people. How asinine!

Nita
Nita

Thank you for this post. It helps calm some of the fears I have about my own relationship- and it lets me know I'm not alone.

Mrs.Rose
Mrs.Rose

Thank you for sharing your beautiful story =)
My husband and I are also an interracial couple. Our daughter is mixed and we have already dealt with ignorant people in our small (Ohio) town calling her "N.....Baby". I refuse to say the word out of principle... I am a white woman who grew up in an all black neighborhood. I went to school, grew up with, and loved people of all colors as much (or more then) my own family. I have had my share of black history lessons that left me speechless and in tears... with only the unanswered question, "Why? How could a human do that to another?" I am proud of all the american people who are trying to put bigotry and racism in the past. To see each other as PEOPLE with feelings, hopes and dreams rather then black or white. It's a beautiful thing =)

Mekia
Mekia

Hey there,

Whoop! I am so glad I am not alone in jumping the broom. I really want to do it when my husband and I have what we call our "big wedding". We got married in the courthouse a year ago and we are planning a bigger wedding soon. I wanted to jump the broom my entire life, but when I fell in love with a white man, I thought everyone would scoff at me. It is nice to see that it has been done before.

Mekia

Cami
Cami

Can't believe I'm just now reading this. It is absolutely wonderful.

Curly Lox
Curly Lox

I absolutely love this story. Love comes in all colors, hues, and ethicities and I am so happy black women like me are recognizing that just because black men are not interested in marriage and family does not mean all men. We are beautiful people and you story can inspire so many.
I look forward to more women following in your footsteps. I can't wait to read your book. I just know we have a lot in common. Feel free to check my book out too: 'black men vs. White Men; the Black Woman's Choice'

Annie
Annie

touching story.an interacial marriage is beautiful.we are all in it and in times of difficulty,we survive with the support of our various spouse.one day,we will all see ourselves as one and there will be no racism or any form on hatred among black and white (im hoping so.. )

Alisha
Alisha

I felt as though I was reading my own story!! Well written!!

jubilee
jubilee

Anyway, southern california is different than no cal when it comes to things like that, a lot of 'crackers' from the south, went to southern cal. so you might have found more incidents like that like what you had in Costa Mesa. even the so cal accent was different than no cal I found out that 'jumping the broom' is a symbol of marriage because in africa, it used to be a stick or spear from the head of the tribe in marrige. and in slavery times, the 'house' was the place of authority and the broom kept it clean. EVEN AFRICANS AT THAT TIME KNEW MARRIAGE WASNT JUST FOR WHITE PEOPLE

jubilee
jubilee

I can't believe that those people told you marriage is for white people!! because there are OTHER ETHNICITIES who marry even more than whites. I think we say WHITE PEOPLE because other ethnicities have more than one language when blacks, and whites of every european ethnicity does not. The whites cant say there irish when there italian and german and polish, etc. and we blacks are not just mixed with crazy crackers from slavery, some of us are mixed with NATIVE AMERICAN as well. So, english language and being AMERICAN is our default position. I think we blacks should take it. although this country wasnt perfect in the past (don't forget, the constitution doesnt cite race; the crazy crackers wanted to keep slavery, so they wanted to form another union as early as 1820)we can do something about it now.if you go on wallbuilders.com, you'll find out stuff about the black founding with original writings.

Valerie
Valerie

What a lovely story, although I married my husband and we divorced after seven years, I have always found white men attractive, there are the ones who always spoke it me, even when I was a teenager, I am from the UK, most of the guys who I was friends with were mixed race (white mother and asian or other race father), Asian, Greek parentage, English. Most of the black boys only laughed at me, except for my cousins.
God bless you!

Hodan
Hodan

wow, I don't know how I missed this amazing story. Thank you for sharing your life with us, I'll pass it on to my friends.

Robin Henson
Robin Henson

I recently married a white male June 19,2010...I really enjoyed the story ...I understand exactly where your coming from .....But love is deeper than that....it deeper than skin color....height, weight..economic levels ....its all about those two people and how they feel about each other...We are truely happy and we defend our love to ingnorant people...... loving my white man.....truth be told
I've only dated white men....
I've only been with 2 black men in my entire life....i just prefer white men...

stellas
stellas

Wonderful story and so filled with hope.
"If black women—regardless of class and education—were really honest, most will tell you that their ideal mate is a black man."
Some black women (myself) actually prefer white men. I've always been attracted to white men but somewhat shy about flirting with them. Blogs like these give women like myself the courage to go after their dreams.

Aaron
Aaron

This was beautifully written. I appreciate your story. Thank You!

Roni Jackson-Etienne
Roni Jackson-Etienne

Chris, I want to thank you for sharing your story. It truly brought me to tears because as an Afro-American single woman, I DO UNDERSTAND!! I feel honored to know you. You give me hope in knowing that I will one day find my soul mate despite of his ethnicity. God Bless, Roni

Zen
Zen

Nice!

January Noir
January Noir

I loved this story. Thank you for sharing your life.

zoriansmom
zoriansmom

@Boomer babe. I don't know how diverse your environment is but your comment about if randomthoughtsfromcali's husband is white and if he would defend her honor and stand up for her makes me want to ask if have you notice black women are the only women I've ever seen who is not protected? Men from different cultures by nature protect women. I am happily married to a man from North India who is not a tough guy but if somebody ever disrespects me he will be protect me without any hesitation. Men who truly love you will defend you and respect you in front of anyone. Black women sadly most don't know what that feels like being able to not have to be strong and your own defender trust me its liberating.

boomer babe
boomer babe

sex is supposed to be FOR MARRIAGE ONLY

boomer babe
boomer babe

Nic, GOD BLESS YOU for adopting that little girl!! I see what you mean about BW but i think it's starting to change.Although, we seem to be our own worst enemy; women shouldn't be wanting someone that doesn't cherish them, not just 'sex' them.

boomer babe
boomer babe

It's nice that you have a white husband BUT its a positive IF he defends your 'honor' and 'slays the dragons 'for you (fight the redneck garbage in the pickup truck) etc.'figuratively' ahem, not get into a brawl. and 'brothas' need to watch out if they try to hurt you when hes with you

Kether
Kether

I'm totally sending a link to this one to one of my student workers who is 50, three children and never married. We talk about this all the time. I think she'll enjoy your blog.

Nic
Nic

“If black women—regardless of class and education—were really honest, most will tell you that their ideal mate is a black man.”

If my recent conversation with my 8yo Black daughter is any indication, you are right-- or at least AB is right when he says "Sometimes the preference disappears, sometimes it doesn’t, but it was always there at her coming of age."

A little context: Mine is an odd household, a Nordic dad (me), a white mom (brown eyes & hair, not at all "Nordic"), and four children who are Chinese, White, Mayan and Black. As God would have it, our youngest is the only Black person in the extended family (which also includes olive-skinned Persian and redheaded Irish and square-jawed German). Although we certainly have our share of race-relations stories to tell, by the time our youngest came along, we must have created a local bubble of racelessness... not because we perpetuated the lie that race/culture doesn't matter, but because everyone had a slightly different one, and it was never a point of division but of delight. She was six years old before she realized the label "Black" applied to her and also grouped her with others whose skin wasn't nearly as dark as hers-- very confusing. Before then when talking about skin color she would call herself "dark chocolate", since she wasn't quite as "black" as her aptly-named friend Eboni.

ANYWAY... on a Dad/Daughter walk with her recently to get smoothies and pick up the mail, conversation turned to what her wedding would be like someday. (Little girls talk about this?! My wife says it's normal...) I asked what kind of guy she might marry. She gave me a surprisingly detailed description, mostly character virtues and abilities, but including the fact that her ideal mate would have the same color skin that she did. This from a girl who has grown up in South Los Angeles (where we live) but in a wildly multicultural/multi-class family. At her age, not yet having a fully-formed grasp of Black identity, culture, history, etc. (though we are working on that), the reflexive desire was for a husband of her same race.

On the other hand, when I asked "Like, anyone in particular?" she beamed up at me and said "Yes-- maybe Sam Voss!"

Sam happens to be white, the only white family in a nearby Latino neighborhood.

I didn't point that out to her. When she gets older, I'll point her to this blog though. ;-)

Aabaakawad
Aabaakawad

"If black women—regardless of class and education—were really honest, most will tell you that their ideal mate is a black man."

This constantly denied fact (denied by more than a few BWIR bloggers) is a real stumbling block in IR relationships ... not because of the fact, but because of the denial. These feelings are natural, should be expected, and not in any important way anti-race. There a few natural cosmopolitans, but most of us create our romantic target out of instinct mixed with what we are familiar with, at least initially.

It is assumed by many BW interested in IR that this simple fact will cause their suitor such pause that they may evaporate. Yet the little "white" lie (pun intended) isn't really believed. So both parties pretend.

The truth is not awful, for mature people anyway. Yes, most BW open to IR grew up dreaming of a Black prince, and may still prefer such if all else is similar. BlackGirlInMaine has been honest about this in her blogging. She is in a stable marriage w/ a WM.

Sometimes this (non-BM as plan B) is denied with anger. But I have been in a few IR relationships, and, perhaps because I am easy to be honest with, every BW I have dated *so far* has admitted this preference. Sometimes the preference disappears, sometimes it doesn't, but it was always there at her coming of age.

Despite all the angst, this really isn't a big deal. Most of us don't end up pursuing our first choice in career, romance, or location, but don't consider that a tragedy. Human beings fall in love with human beings. Their partners either grow on them, or not. Familiarity eventually creates comfort, then ease.

I hate to tell you women yet another thing to be brave about, when you have been dealt far more than your share, but it is much better that he understand what your life has been about, what you have faced, and how you have evolved and why ... than to try to have him think you live colorlessly. Do you really want him to be oblivious to your stressors?

If this level of complexity is overwhelming to him, he wasn't worthy of you anyway.

Sharon
Sharon

So very sorry that you have been called that awful word.
Hugs

beautifulbrown
beautifulbrown

1st let me point out that i love your blog. i have come across black men who are in their 40s almost 50s who say they are still waiting on 'the right one' which makes me always tell them that they are getting older and not younger.. i come a predominantly black country jamaica to be exact, so they are many black couples who do marry along the same age range as whites do.... so i guess i am privileged.. i have been called the n word but its never by whites but always by blacks problacks as a matter a fact. and i have to say that i have my own share of critics and laughs by black people because of my relationship especially on the stereotype that white men have small penis and because oral sex is something that is frowned upon by my society that white men love to eat.. but i dont let that bother me.. since lately my relationship as become the center of conversation whenever your gossiping about me.. but i coulda careless.

Christelyn Karazin
Christelyn Karazin

You're not even CLOSE to being alone. We're family here. Welcome! :)

randomthoughtsfromcali
randomthoughtsfromcali

Thanks so much for passing it on. It's my hope that it will give hope to whomever needs it.

victoria
victoria

Wonderful post and congrats on your marriage. Hoping for nothing but the best for you and your hubby. I hope that I will be able to find the love of my life ...soon!

randomthoughtsfromcali
randomthoughtsfromcali

Thanks so much for the kind words, and here's to hoping you find Mr. Right VERY soon!

vonnie
vonnie

I think that I missed this "must want the same race" gene, I really did. Even from a super young age my taste has been allll over the rainbow, with main celebrity crush examples being Zach on Saved by the Bell AND Slater, Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock, Brad Pitt, Bad era Michael Jackson, and Will Smith. Honestly, none of those people look at all alike or have totally alike personalities nor races. And there was never any desire that "omg, must have my black prince!"

randomthoughtsfromcali
randomthoughtsfromcali

The perspective your present as a WM assessing the conundrum of interracial dating angst amongst black women is well assessed, and accurate. I love you point, "the truth is not awful, for mature people anyway," is an excellent one, and should be openly discussed, but in a loving and sensitive way. Thanks for chiming in!

randomthoughtsfromcali
randomthoughtsfromcali

THanks so much for visiting! more and more, I think online interracial dating is the most effecient way to step outside your comfort zone.

randomthoughtsfromcali
randomthoughtsfromcali

Vonnie, scientists must quickly extract this gene from you, copy it, and implant it into all single black women!