A few weeks ago I met a friend for a drinks and dinner catch-up. While sitting on the patio sipping cocktails and people watching our "culturally diverse" surroundings I began to comment on some of the folks we saw. We'd catch a decent brother and before our hopes could raise too high his Becky was not far behind. In my musings I began to notice a shift in my friends attitude (a fellow black woman). My optimism for black love in our little city and my disappointment when only 1 out of the 10 black couple potentials was "black love" was becoming offensive to her.
Perhaps I was being insensitive. I mean, I know her love interest is a white man. I know she is more "open" to who she will date than I am. I have dated outside my race in the past, but at this point in my life I know what I want. So what is it about my unapologetic desire and support of black love that became so offensive?
"It just seems like you have a problem with it" she told me as we left the first restaurant. I quickly explained that I was simply observing my surroundings and have no problem with anyone dating anybody that their HEART desires. However, as a black woman, it HURTS me to have to ask a friend who is potentially hooking me up with a black man "does he even date black women", or to know that black men in my surrounding area are overtly stating that they will not entertain black women. It HURTS me that so many black men and black women have been taught to love ourselves so little that the only value we can find in our brown skin is at the validation by another race.
To again be abundantly clear; these attitudes are very different than simply finding the one your soul loves and they also happen to not be black. I salute all of those who find true love in any race, culture, gender, or creed.
It was reflecting in this conversation that I grew tired. Fed up. I have reached various levels of frustration in the past but now I simply cannot
Why must I feel bad for loving my own? No one ever questions why my Asian, South Asian and Caucasian sisters seek or date others that look like them. If anything it is a bigger shock when my East Indian girlfriends reveal their white boyfriends. So why when we desire to be with our men...and make that desire known to the universe, it becomes a thing. It ranks right up there with the need to clarify that being "pro-black does not mean anti-white". I'm over it.
I know part of the answer. I know all the studies and news stories and media that tells us black women, our entire community, that the pool of "eligible" black men is too small and we should stop hoping. I understand the subliminal messaging we are being fed to weaken and dismantle any repairs to the black family. That media tells us that black men don't want us so we should stop wanting them and look elsewhere. The message to black men that we women have too much attitude, are too "strong", or too much of a hassle to love. The narrative that basically if we sit around waiting for a black men to love, honor and cherish us we are fools. Well I for one am sick of it.
Perhaps I do restrict how many free dinners I get (lol) or I do feel a little extra lonely from time to time. But I refuse to waste focusing my energy on something or someone I know is not for me. And now, I refuse to apologize any further. I refuse to feel bad for promoting something that is natural in every other community. Consider this my swan song. I love black love. And I love each person in my life and respect who they choose to love. I respect everyone's decision to be with who their soul draws them to. Now please give me the same respect and let me love my black men in peace. Please do not ask me again why I only date black men and look at me with pity in your eyes. Please withhold your need to tell me I live in an area where there are not enough to go around or why "they ain't ish" or even to convince me of "all that I'm missing". And please do not take my desires as a judgment on your lives. Love is love. I just choose to love melanated.