Guests of the Inner Sanctum

Racy JC: The Angry Black Woman Ain’t So Mad

JC Davies is the author of I Got the Fever: Love, What’s Race Got to Do With It?

People perpetuate the idea that if you date a black man, you will suddenly find yourself being pursued by hordes of bitter, angry, black women carrying torches and screaming, “You are stealing all the good black men!”

That was never my experience. Most black women I encountered had no objections to my relationships with black men; in fact, black women were often the ones who made the introductions. That was my personal experience, but then I started researching for my book. And when I asked people what they thought about the angry black women “myth” I got mixed results. Some non-black women I interviewed did tell stories of scathing looks from black women and even the occasional comment. Also interesting was that black women were much more likely to say that what I had presupposed as “myth” was actually a reality. Like Caitlin 30, black, physical therapist: “I am light skinned, and I have been told that I am not ‘black enough’ to date black guys. In high school, this woman even called me out to the parking lot after school and told me she would beat me up if I dated any of the black guys in school.”

Moreover, when I stopped writing my book and joined the blogosphere I noticed that black women seemed to take on this “angry” moniker as a thing of pride. The Internet is flooded with sites propelling this stereotype (and yes, there is even a When I write as a guest for my friend’s website, her black readers can’t wait to jump on me because I am a white woman talking about race. WTF? I have been interracially dating for 20 years and never had a problem. Where did all these angry black women come from? And more importantly, does that mean I have to change my book? Thankfully the answer is “No” (or “Hell to the no!” if I were to quote Whitney Houston).

I will go to my deathbed believing that as it concerns your daily life as a non-black woman dating a black man that you are unlikely to run into much of a problem with “the angry black woman.” The reason is twofold. First, the squeaky wheel gets the website. People seem to enjoy being nasty—particularly on the web, where that behavior has little or no consequence. These same women will treat you very differently in person. Second, the black women I interviewed for the book were about as un-angry and enlightened as possible as it comes to race and dating, and while they talked about seeing that issue with other black women they themselves do not harbor any of those feelings. Read just a few of their comments:

“I know it’s still out there,” says Zahara, 29, black, nurse. “Some black women think the white girl has something they want. But they are looking in the wrong place, looking outside instead of inside. They are too consumed with what others are doing instead of trying to fix what is wrong with themselves.”

“It is out there,” says Ranisha,“but no one said you have to love one type of person. It’s a big load of crap to me. No one has a lock on anyone, no matter their race.”

So yes, you may find the occasional small-minded black woman out there, just as you’ll likely find small-minded women of any race. But to me, the “angry black women” is a pathetic caricature of what I know to be a vibrant, tolerant, thoughtful group.

If concerns about angry black women have kept you from dating that cute brother at the office, stop your fretting. You’re more likely to slip and die in the bathtub than be mobbed and run out of town by this dying breed. It’s completely worth the risk.

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