I wrote Swirling: How to Date, Mate and Relate, Mixing Race, Culture and Creed back in 2012. Upon it’s publish date, it was met with excitement, celebration of how far we’ve come, and unfortunately, a lot of derision. Many people in the peanut gallery said the book wasn’t necessary, or black women aren’t interested in dating men of other races, and nobody wanted black women anyway, because some Japanese doctor said so.
Since then, things have changed, and definitely moved in the right direction. Intermarriage with black women has increased by 33% since I first did research on who was actually “jumping the broom” with a white boy. It was obvious then that black women open to such pairings would be outliers. We were the women who asked the hard questions and took off the rose colored glasses and did what was right for us, and not the “community.”
Rachel Lindsey, ABC’s historic first black female “Bachelorette” and seeing a black woman happily entertain the attention and affection from men of all races STILL has folks shocked, as referenced by Newsweek’s now-deleted article titled, Unlike New ‘Bachelorette’ Rachel Lindsey, Single Black Women Rarely Date Outside Their Race. The magazine caved and apologized, but in my opinion, they shouldn’t have. They were looking at the numbers just like everyone else, and can see that while every other minority in America is increased their intermarriage rates, black women still lag behind. But unlike the article, we’ve spent years here discussing the reasons why this is the case, and I’ve been in the trenches…I know what the challenges are.
Black women have a lot of undue pressure to remain loyal to the black community, with little or no reciprocation or expectations. They are also taught from a very young age that a black man is the “ultimate win” for a black woman, and that we should strive to attain this status even if it means dating below your station. No other race of woman is taught this. No other. There’s also a historical component to this. The legacy of slavery has allowed for the symbolism of a black woman with a white man in the 21st Century to be used as a manipulation tactic to keep black women from really feeling free to date white men. But let’s be clear. The black community really doesn’t want it’s women with any other race of man either. It’s not just about black and white. It goes, well…beyond that.
But a lot of this we black women have to own too. To this day, you have black women shouting from the rooftops that the ONLY man for them is a black man, and they aren’t shy about putting those preferences out and telling the entire world most black women feel the same way they do. Fear mongering about being “fetishized” also keeps black women stuck, and these people are more than happy to perpetuate that nonsense. They have seriously damaged the interracial dating prospects of black women in some misguided desire to martyr themselves for the race, despite the reality that the men they pledge eternal fidelity to are barely marrying at all, and when they do, 24% of them marry non-black women. And if they’re educated, that number shoots up to 30%.
So it’s no wonder why Newsweek wrote such a headline. They only used the information they had available to them. They should have taken some time to look at this blog and maybe pick up a copy of Swirling.
One thing does ring true–black women ARE interested in interracial relationships more than ever before in modern history. But it’s been slow going, and at some point, I hope we’ll get out of our own way.
I’m encouraged. Many skeptical black women on the fence about IR are seeing a woman that looks a lot like them being treated like a princess by all races of men, and those images go a long way in effecting change.
Pick up a copy of Swirling on Amazon here.
Interested in interracial dating? Check out the official dating site for this blog, InterracialDatingCentral.com.