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Yet, until recently, I did not consider white men as romantic prospects. Meanwhile, my social circle is full of black women married to or dating white men.
All seem no more or less happy than other couples I know.
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Some cities schedule more themed events than others. One is named after Nathan Bedford Forrest, a lieutenant general in the Confederate Army. Both are men I would trust to raise and protect my son should the need arise. Or wonder whether Justin Timberlake’s prowess on the dance floor translated into, well, other areas. It was not a hard-and-fast rule, as in: I don’t date white guys.Men of character, wit and charisma, alongside whom I have spent some of the best times of my life. East and South Asians, Persians, Arabs, Native Americans, Polynesians — all options as far as I was concerned. Then came the night my girlfriend jokingly called me a racist after I rejected a list of possible options, including her brilliant and cute brother, because they just were “not my type,” my longtime code for “melanin-deficient.” We laughed about it. I pride myself on being open and accepting people at face value, yet, consciously or not, I was writing off millions of single and potentially interesting American men simply because they were white.Fear of being ostracized by those very same men or fetishized by their white counterparts. I grew up surrounded by handsome black men who were strong-minded, hard-working, upwardly mobile and worldly. At a home, it was understood that if Billy Dee Williams — not Paul Newman, not Richard Gere — should ever knock on our door, my mother was leaving with him. Still, as a rule, good Southern black women do not dishonor their communities or betray their history by willingly sleeping with white men. The same grace that is extended to black men who date white women is not as easily extended to black women who do the same.And, then there are the unspoken questions once inherent in any semi-intimate interaction with a white guy: Do you want to date me as a way to stick it to grandma?
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