As black women dating white men becomes a topic I see more and more of in the black press and on blogs, I wonder…Will the stigma that haunts these relationships in the US be as large as the one that haunts Black Male/White Female relations.
Now, rather than sitting around dreaming about the perfect black man, black women are considering the possibility that ‘Mr. Right’ could be white. Casting aside reservations about interracial relationships – for some, due to the atrocities committed during slavery – they are beginning to look past race when choosing a potential mate.
Race doesn’t matter to Paul Kennedy and Michelle Clarke. Best friends since primary school, they are now in a relationship together. Kennedy is white and Clarke is black. “People are finding people with common interests and common perspectives and are putting race aside,” says Clarke, 26, a Middlesex University graduate who works at Barclay’s Bank.
Clarke and her friends are among the new generation of black females that are opting to date outside of their race due to their social environment. Like Clarke, the majority of young people have friends or acquaintances of different races and nationalities, and are seen as more tolerant and open-minded than previous generations. Unlike their parents and grandparents, today’s teens and twenty-somethings have grown up hearing the buzzwords ‘diversity,’ ‘multicultural’ and ‘inclusion’, and are used to seeing interracial friendship and romance portrayed in films and on TV – especially in soap operas and adverts.
“I don’t see colour as an issue,” states Clarke. “We have been very happy together and apart from a few isolated incidents, we have not experienced any open hostility towards our relationship.”
Admitting that at first her parents disapproved – she was told while growing up never to come home with a white man – Clarke explains that her parents have come to accept her relationship decision because she would not back down, and Kennedy has proved his commitment to her and, most importantly, her family.
“I come from a stereotypical Caribbean black family and I am the first Clarke to date a white person,” she says.
Historically within the black community, people are more used to seeing black men dating white women. Black men as a group are three times more likely to date and marry white women. But black women are now exercising their options like their brothers.
Events manager and mother of two Kerry Jones, views herself as a ‘new age black woman’, who decided to marry a white man because she felt that she could not find somebody compatible for her to date within her own race.
“Let’s be real, if you are a successful black woman you only have two choices: date outside of your race or date other successful black women. And because I’m not a lesbian, I went for the first option,” says Jones, who lives in Surrey.
The 35-year-old adds: ”I love black men. My father is black, I have dated black men all my life, and if I have a male child he will be part black, but many black men my age are just not suitable for marriage.
“Black men over the years have become less and less of value to black women like me, because while us black women have progressed on to higher levels they have stayed the same. Not all, but most.”
Married to her white husband for six years, Jones says: “A black man in my position wouldn’t do it, so why should I? My husband and I will raise our mixed race boys together so hopefully he will be a worthy choice for worthy black women. Not the only choice, or ‘there’s nothing better out there so I’ll settle for this’ choice.
“When you are successful you want the best. The best food, clothes, places to live etc. I want the best man also.”
Angered by statements that black men are failures, Jamilla Staples from south London says: “All races have good or bad and I get really annoyed when black women rubbish black men. Yes, I’m married to a white man, but not because I look down on black men but because I fell in love.”
Staples has been married for fourteen years to her husband Sam, and together they are coming to terms with being parents of mixed race children.
“When I met Sam at work it was instant attraction for both of us. I’m not one of these women that hate on black men just because I’m with a white guy. Sam in one word is ‘great’ and both of our families have gone out of their way to make us both feel comfortable when we are around.”
Click here for the whole article…it’s very interesting.