Sardonic Sistah Says

Observations… Ruminations… Ponderances… & Rants from Another Perspective

Approaching Loving Day

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One day when my daughter was still in Elementary school I ran into a college classmate in the school office.   She was there to pick up her nieces/nephews.  I asked her what was new with her and she told me she got married and showed me their picture.  She looked happy in her picture; she had a big broadsmile that showed off her front gap and her chocolate brown skin glowed.  Next to her stood a swarthy, olive complexioned male with dark hair, thick brows and a large grin, too.  He had his arms around her waist and looked just as happy as she was.

He was white.  I was floored.

“You married a white guy?” I asked incredulously.  And its not that I’m against interacial relationships (IRRs) because I’m in one but I was just surprised… she was for it.  And she got married.  Most black women I knew then were adamantly against IRRs, vehemently against them I mean it was a black man or bust (usually bust) so to meet a girl from the same hood (we used to walk or catch the bus to class together) who I assumed felt the same way was just as surprising as refreshing.

They worked at the same place and he was with someone else at the time and she just had her mind on school.  When she got out of school she was ready and she said she prayed to God for a helpmeet and race wasn’t a criteria.  That’s when she ran into him again.  He asked her out, she said yes and a year later marriage ensued.

But what did your family say?  Did you have reservations?  What did your homegirls say?

“I just prayed to God and asked that he send me the right man for me,” she told me.  “I don’t look at color, I don’t care about color.  I just needed a man who loved God so I know he would love me.”

“Yeah… but what about–”

“You heard the girl!” my daughter’s grandmother interrupted.  She worked at the school and overheard our conversation.  “You know race doesn’t matter, but where you stand in the Lord is what counts.”

With Cricket’s grandmother in the middle the questions abruptly stopped.

Just a few years ago I hadn’t met too many black females who were willing to step over the colorline to date males of any race other than black.  Sometimes when they were willing they made certain stipulations.  Like they had to be Italian because Italians weren’t really white (or just weren’t too white) or they could date Latinos because they probably had some black in their background.   Whenever anyone vocalized thoughts about dating outside the race it is usually in response to something that some black man that they love had done.

“Maybe I should start dating out,” a friend of mine said flippantly today during lunch.  Maybe it wasn’t that flippant this time.  Maybe it was more than just an empty threat to the Black Male God of Fidelity that she wasn’t going to take this shit anymore, that his acolytes better behave or she would be one more sister out the door and into the arms of another non black man who knows how to treat a sistah right.  Maybe she is now finally tired of being one of the sad depressed group of black women holding on to any little bit of man they can get as long as he is black and ready to check for more than just skin color in searching for a mate. 

Or maybe she just needed a sounding board.

“I think you should date out,” I said but not too assertively.  I’m not necessarily an interracial advocate.  I have dated IR and have black female friends who are in IR relationships/marriages but I don’t try to encourage all my bf friends to do it.  At one time I used to.  A while ago I believed that dating IR was the panacea for all of black women’s romantic woes.  And some have done it, even Grace who is only into thuggy black guys.  But things just didn’t work out.  There was no deep attraction, there was no magic.  Perhaps it was the guys they met.  They were nice, but the women just weren’t attracted to them. 

“I just can’t date a white guy,” my friend Kendra said.  We were discussing our aerobic teacher: how fine he was and how all the white girls in class were going to end up killing themselves (and possibly each other) just to get his attention.   He was a white ex-marine and although she could acknowledge he was attractive it would never be something she would act on because he was white.

“I just can’t go there,” she said.  She also didn’t want to be with a man more than five years younger than herself and lacking a certain education level.  She was a divorcee and knew for certain what she wanted.  Okay, I thought, she just wants to be alone.  She was already in her late 30s and I didn’t see what could be wrong with dating a brother who was no more than 10 years younger but she wasn’t having it.  But she found him.  When she was in her early 40s she met the man of her dreams, a professional black male who was four years her junior. 

It seems to me its more black women my age and older that have had problems thinking of dating outside the box.  My black female friends in their 20s have no problem with it.  It doesn’t seem to be something they grappled with the way my peers and I had.  For those of us who have we gave reasons to our girls, “Its not that serious” or “I still love the brothers” or “Its just a date”.  We help to keep one another in check of what is expected and not expected of us.  Women are the keepers of the culture in any race; we prepare the food, we pass on the stories, and we protect and teach the next generation.  Seemingly, as black women it has always meant more to us to keep the community together which could only happen by reproducing children with black males.

Its intersting that it was a black female/white male couple that helped to abolish the interracial marriage ban in the US but black women take advantage of it the least.  In the 2000 census  it showed that black male/white female couples were 2.65 times more likely than black female/white males.  (Asian men faired worst on the IR dating front; Asian females were 3.08 times more likely to be paired with white males).  (stats swiped from Steve

As different blogs with different black women (and others) mull over what it means to have 70% of us of marrying age single I suspect by the end of the century a dent will happen in those stats.  I already see more black women dating white males than I did when I was in my twenties.  I have a couple of friends that are married to white males and a few others who are with Asians, Hispanics and Arabs.

Eve is in her mid-twenties.  She dates across the color spectrum.  Last year her boyfriend was Asian, a few weeks ago she broke up with a white male whom I thought was bit too old for her.  Recently I introduced her to a male friend I thought she’d have a lot in common with.  They both love art and can talk intelligently on a wide range of social topics.  He just happened to be white.

“He’s a bit young for me, isn’t he?” she said after he discussed his age. 

“Only a few years,” I said with a raised brow.  She’s in her mid-twenties and now that is very young to me.  She began discussing all the things she liked and the things she was unsure of about him.  I told her to just date him, don’t people your age just date anymore?

“I don’t know, I might be a bit too worldly for him,” she said so thoughtly serious that I had to suppress a laugh.  She is so funny, so dramatic but something tells me he can hang.

“Still waters run deep,” I said.  “Don’t count him out too soon.”  She’s of a different generation although by not much.  If it was Grace, or even me, 10 years ago I’d be assessing how much his race would come into play.  We’d make stipulations on what it would mean and how he would act and discount him out of hand immediately.  Eve did none of that.  Maybe she’s more worldly than I gave her credit for.

“He did say I say I was beautiful,” she said with a sigh.  Good, another credit. 

But not too big of a credit.  “The man isn’t blind,” I said matter-of-factly. 


Written by rentec

10 June, 2007 at 10:56 pm

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