Like, Whoa! Black Women Featured AGAIN on BuzzFeed…But In a Good Way.

enhanced-27026-1397076365-13Yes, I’m sure you’re all still a bit miffed about that video BuzzFeed did about interracial dating perferences, but there is good news–this widely-read tabloid of a blog is giving us a platform to tell OUR side. In Anita Badejo’s feature, “Why Black Women In America are Being Told to Find Love in Europe,” I’m quoted along with Fleacé Weaver, founder of Black Girl Travel. It’s a long piece, so settle in and get a cut of coffee. Here’s some highlights: At first glance, Black Girl Travel seems to be like any other American international travel club, just one that caters exclusively to black women. But buried toward the bottom of its About Us page is a fuzzy YouTube video that indicates a wider problem. The video is a defense of the company — directed at “haters” who have criticized Black Girl Travel for encouraging black women to date men in other countries. “The heart of what we do is about empowering African-American women with options,” says Fleacé Weaver, founder of Black Girl Travel, in the clip. “I have done a lot of research and talked to a lot of women in this country, and what I’m hearing is: You can’t find dates, you can’t find mates, you can’t find husbands.” Weaver, a statuesque black woman flanked by two chic employees on either side, is all long lithe limbs and wavy hair. Her presence, despite the poor video quality, commands the screen. “And I kind of thought about, like, well why is that? And as I started talking to [women] it’s like, they’re only dating black guys. Don’t shoot me!” she exclaims, pressing her hands to her chest, then throwing them out in a shrug. “It’s the truth. That’s what’s happening.” And then I come in waaay later to talk about how black women often get the bum deal in the romantical department in the U.S. “Black women are the community,” said Christelyn Karazin, founder of BeyondBlackWhite.com, author of Swirling, and creator of a new interracial dating show Swirlr, told me via Skype. “It’s like what Alice Walker said: We’re the mules. We’re the mammies. We’re not supposed to leave. We’re supposed to be holding it down. ‘I love my black kings, I’m holding it down!’ Meanwhile, so many of us are so miserable and unhappy and think that we don’t even deserve to be happy — that it’s about being black first and a woman never.” enhanced-27026-1397076365-13 Karazin, who also spearheaded a controversial movement advocating against single motherhood in the black communtiy, describes tangled and knotted long-standing ideas about black desirability and femininity — or, the supposed lack thereof. The slave trade turned black bodies into objects of toil and labor, and made black women’s bodies desirable largely in the context of rape, which allowed slave masters to exert further control over them. Slapstick mammies made exultant, toothy-grinned claims on the screens of early 20th-century cinema, their large and lumbering figures merely vehicles for laughs. And black female sexuality has often only been portrayed in its most grotesque and sensational forms, those of Hottentot Venuses or conniving jezebels. Throughout American history black women were either desexualized or hypersexualized according to the whims and anxieties of whites in control of their images. Read the full story here.

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