Sardonic Sistah Says

Observations… Ruminations… Ponderances… & Rants from Another Perspective

Something New… But Not Really

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Sandra "Pepa" Denton and Tom Lo: the new face of Blasian Coupledom

  I received a couple of emails about Sandi “Pepa” Denton and her new boyfriend Tom Lo on the television show “Let’s Talk about Pep“.  I’ve seen the show’s premiere episode and I liked it; I would describe it as a reality slanted black version of “Sex and the City”.  But after the first episode I never got a chance to go back to it because I’ve been, for lack of a better word, “consumed” with the final season of “Lost”.  But I am hoping that VH-1 follows these ladies a 2nd season and keeps the first season online for people to watch.

 Suffice it to say, I haven’t seen the episode where Tom woos and courts Pep so I don’t know if it is a real romance or a showmance, but does it really matter?  For may women just watching an AsAm/AfAm couple like Pepa and Tom on-screen is a bit revolutionary.   Not only can a professional sister like Zoey Andata (Gabrielle Union)  hook up with Demetri Noh (John Cho) on FlashForward but if a down chick like Pep can cross a line to date a Chinese brother then maybe there aren’t as many blockades as we thought there were.  The “Nothing but a Brother” brigade might be losing members.

 AM/BF love connections aren’t really new.  They might seem like something new because they aren’t as ubiquitous as BM/WF or WM/AF but they exist if only in small numbers. 

 A few years ago blasian groups were all  atwitter with the AsianWeek cover with an Asian man and black woman.  The impetus for the article was writer/former AsianWeek editor Sam Cacas’ book “BlAsian Exchanges”.  In the interview Cacas says, “BlAsian relationships only started happening in the late ’90s and are regularly verified on the Internet in Yahoo discussion groups like PowerCouples_AMBW with 300-plus members — mostly black women—which I co-moderate, and YouTube videos like the one showing the BlAsian couple in an IKEA commercial. The image of black women and Asian men needs to be broadened beyond their archetypal racial uniforms of accepting notions of white beauty.”

  I found this picture on my new favorite blog, B. Vikki Vintage.    The Wedding announcement is circa the late 1950s. 

 Taking it back further, after the civil war Chinese coolies were invited into the south to help keep down salaries of poor whites and newly freed blacks.  When some Chinese put down roots in their new cities they married black and white women (1).

 Something new really isn’t something new and probably surprises each generation when it comes around again.  But I guess if you haven’t seen it then it’s new to you.

 At one time it was new for me and I haven’t seen myself reflected back in the couples around me.  But back in January I was running errands during lunch saw a young AM/BF couple walking towards me.  I stopped and looked , trying not to appear too shocked.   As I entered the building I stopped to talk to a friend and I saw a different AM/BF couple come in holding hands oblivious to their surroundings.

I haven’t thought much about although yesterday as I was working the desk I was approached by a Chinese man and African woman.  I helped them find the book they were searching for and couldn’t help noticing the love taps that kept going back and forth, the shy smiles and the furtive glances.  A smirk came over my face and I had to ask, “Are you two a couple?” 

“No,” said the man.  “We are students.”  I told them my husband was Korean American and I just thought I saw something there.  We began to talk about visiting Asia then he thanked me for the book and as they left they jostled and touched on the say going out. 

Mmm hm, I thought.  

Then later that day another young Chinese male came in to use a computer and of all the empty computers around he chose a table that had a few pretty young black females.  I slyly watched their interactions; he smiled at one particular dark girl with long black hair.  She seemed to be a bit attracted to him, too, because she kept smiling back and answering questions that I’m pretty sure he knew the answer to.  I left the desk not knowing the resolution to their mild timid flirtation.  Maybe they exchanged numbers or maybe they have other connections that might keep them apart.   Who knows whom likes whom?  How does one approach blank and what do we have in common?   The modern dating dilemma is not something new, color withstanding.


Written by rentec

6 March, 2010 at 8:04 pm

5 Responses

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  1. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and there are lots of Black and Asian couples out here – usually Black men with Asian women, but more and more often you see Black women with Asian men. As a matter of fact, my first boyfriend in high school was half Chinese/half Hawaiian. FIONE! Stanley, I will never forget you.

    For many years I’ve observed confident, good looking, hella cool young Asian men throughout the area. I’ve danced with many of them in nightclubs, and these brothas can MOVE! So I’m thinking hmmm, if a guy can move like that on the dance floor, how can he move horizontally. lol!

    Haven’t had the opportunity to date an Asian man since high school, but I would certainly be open to the idea.

    Deborrah Cooper

    7 March, 2010 at 2:37 pm

  2. Well, FINALLY someone is giving some props to AM/BF couplings! My soon-to-be-hubby is Chinese (traditional, no less) and had NO qualms about hooking up with this dark skinned, big “booty” Sistah!

    The thing I hear a lot from them is that they don’t think black women are attracted to them due to all the stereotypes that have been put on them by white society. Sisters think the same so the two don’t merge as often as they both would like. Personally, I’d much rather deal with another minority than a white and am much more attracted to the Asian look and culture. I love the eyes, smooth, hairless bodies and full lips – thin lips are such a turn off for me!

    Matter of fact, of all Asians, Chinese and Koreans are most likely to date and marry black women. The Korean factor is especially compelling considering how racist Korean society is with negative perceptions of blacks (but don’t ask me WHY every singer there wants to imitate R&B and hip hop entertainers!) lol

    I remember placing an ad for an Asian man for dating and friendship and was shocked at how inundated with replies my inbox was! I finally found my Asian Prince am dizzy in love! 🙂

    Ms. Patty

    7 March, 2010 at 3:32 pm

  3. […] it and what seeing this pair means. Over on Sardonic Sistah Says a great point is made in her blog Something New…But Not Really For many women just watching an AsAm/AfAm couple like Pepa and Tom on-screen is a bit […]

  4. My friend actually linked me to this article of yours due to the fact I have done academic research on BWAM dyads. Unfortunately even though the coupling is gaining more visibility there still is little to no actual academic research on the different dynamics that may or may not be present in such a couple. Most of the literature is on people of color mixed with Whites. And speaking as the child of a Black mother/Japanese father I am interested in someday doing more research by interviewing couples and singletons.

    Maybe someday I could contact you and others =o)

    Thanks for posting this. This only adds to my body of research and makes me excited. Considering my parents got together only about a decade after the decision of Loving Vs. Virginia I am excited to start seeing a little bit of me reflected in media and on the streets.

    I went to San Fran State and yes in the bay there were more couples but in most areas my family still get stared at like we’re sideshow freaks.

    OH and if y’all haven’t seen this. In this year’s BET’s Lens on Talent (which honestly didn’t watch because I have issues with BET but my friend is the director/co-producer of the film) showcased a short called Akira’s Hip Hop Shop which featured James Kyson Lee (Ando from Heroes) and Emayatzy Corinealdi (i believe from Bold & The Beautiful or Young & The Restless) featuring a BWAM coupling =o) And as many films (the few that are around) featuring a BWAM couple, this is the only one I’ve seen with a passionate love scene.

    Enjoy =o)


    Autumn Y.

    18 March, 2010 at 3:53 am

  5. I’m Jamaican born and Asian/Black couples are not at all unusual!! Most of us currently, or in generations past, have at least one full Asian or White family member and contain multiple mixes of their cultures + our “obvious” African and Arawak Indian heritage. Why do you think its not at all unusual to run across Jamaican-Chinese restaurants here in the Northeast US, Canada and the UK?


    29 February, 2012 at 5:03 pm

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