Black Women Opening Up to the Idea of Dating White Men

When I first arrived in DC, I would say that it was extremely rare to see an interracial couple composed of a Black Woman and a White Man.  An Oddity of sorts.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m all for it.  Other than a few visions of Master/Slave forced relations that pop into my head at the initial thought, I think it’s a win win.

In the last 2 years, on the streets of DC, I’ve noticed a huge rise in the number of Black Women and White Men I see coupled up.  I’m talking young, old, professional, yuppies, bohos, BMW drivers, and pickup truck enthusiasts.  Blacks and whites of all different strata.  I know Essence did an article on this topic maybe a year ago, so maybe people took that as a permission slip.  I’m just wondering, Hello Negro family, if you’re seeing what I’m seeing and what you think about it? Does this form of interracial dating carry the stigma that Black Man/White Woman dating does for some in the African American community?

Honestly, I’m real tried to hearing the “I can’t find a man” swan song from African-American professional women who have never tried online dating or interracial dating (two things I usually recommend when I hear people bitching about their singleness).  Time to get down with the swirl, Ladies.

17 Comments

Filed under african american, black women, community, culture, d.c., love, opinion, relationships, washington dc, white folks

17 Responses to Black Women Opening Up to the Idea of Dating White Men

  1. honestly? it’s a Southron thang. that is, it’s new to you Sistas in the south. up here? been going on for a while. and the “stigma” part has more to do with the white guys, and their willingness to say to their white guy friends, “yes, i’m dating a black woman” than any unwillingness on the part of black women. at least, that’s how it works up here.

    i am the product of a Black woman/white man relationship. my mother is classically African American and can claim a rich ethnic heritage; my dad is second generation “off the boat” whitest of the white people type. i grew up thinking this was normal and it wasn’t until i was about 10 or so that i came to understand that there was something called “race.”

    my point is that people like me are dangerous. we go about our lives asking “white” and “black” people why they think certain things, believe certain things. imho: the idea that it is African American women who have rejected interracial dating? myth. given to the community by white racist men, who don’t want black women to know how much they desire black women, nor to know how beautiful they perceive us to be. this may be heresy, but i’ll say it because i’ve talked about this many times with my not-racist white family: different is *always* sexy, and many white men long for black women in a way that has nothing to do with racism, the heritage of slavery, etc. it’s just that “oooo. it’s different, i like it and want some!” thing that if we’re honestly, we can all admit we have, from time to time. white racists greatly fear the empowered black woman. i could go on and on about this one, but all i’ll say instead is: turn off BET, and the TV altogether. go talk to a white boy. they aren’t all so bad, really. some of them can even, ahem, “compete” if you catch my drift.

  2. meh. sorry, i had a dog issue while i was typing that. “don’t want black women to know how much white men desire them” that should’ve been. damn dog, he always wants attention and hates this glowing box i’m constantly talking at.

  3. Marta

    I agree with both of you, I am married to a very white Cuban man (his 2 sets of grandparents from Spain).
    Nevertheless, our relationship even though is color blind, is not “cultural blind”, we married because we are both Hispanics. ( I am Puerto Rican 25% black) I just can’t imagine my husband marrying a non Hispanic (any color)
    I have met many white men attracted to black women, and vocal about it. It has a lot to do with education, the more educated a man is, the more he is willing to date black women.
    Another problem I see between black woman-white man relationship is single motherhood, it seems as a deterrent when it comes to dating.

  4. RXB

    Only 4% of white people date or marry outside their race.

    If black people have a problem with interracial marriage and dating, why is it only black publications and blogs are the only ones discussing it.?

    • RXB…wouldn’t the more valid stat be the % of black people who date outside of their race? You answer your own question in your comment. Black people have a problem with it (most notably black women) therefore black publications and blogs discuss issues that their audience (black people) are talking about or care about.

      2008 Census: 3.7% of married Black American women and 8.4% of married Black American men had a non-Black spouse. 6.6% of married Black men and 2.8% of married Black women had a White spouse. 0.1% of married Black women were married to Asian American men, representing the least prevalent marital combination. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interracial_marriage_in_the_United_States

  5. Funny, but until I started reading magazines aimed at Black women more than once a year I also saw the relative lack of Black woman/White man relationships as a product of the unwillingness of American men (of many races) to date Black women.

    It didn’t even occur to me that it might be more an unwillingness of men to admit a desire to date Black women. I just thought that we were somehow stigmatized in their eyes.

    Now, that doesn’t mean that I thought men weren’t attracted to Black women. My own dating history disproved that theory before I ever even contemplated the issue. In college, I was many a man’s (White, Asian, non-Black Hispanic) first Black date. But all of those men were friends first, most of whom hadn’t considered us as viable mates before getting to know me and other Black women in non-romantic situations. However, at the time, I considered these men to be exceptions to the norm.

    I went on thinking that way until I tried online dating at an older sister’s behest, I found that on sites where stating a racial preference is an option (and it was an option on every site I viewed), the majority of non-Black men, and many Black men, listed several racial preferences for potential dates. And Black was consistently excluded.

    Before I noticed that trend, and before I start reading Black women’s magazines, the only protest I’d ever heard against dating White men came from another older sister and her friends. And my sister belied her protest by dating White men behind her friends’ backs.

    That said, I have *not* noticed a new trend towards more Black female/White male relationships. I see just about as many as I always have.

    Then again, I live just outside of New York City, and have an extremely diverse circle of friends. Since, at one time, it was pretty rare for any of us to date outside the “tribe” (I know! Weirdly incestuous of us.), it was damned near impossible for anyone *not* to end up with someone outside his or her own racial or ethnic identity at some point or another.

    So, maybe, as chicago dyke suggested, it truly *is* a regional thing.

  6. covert rage

    Please. Black women who seemingly can’t find a man are usually being a little too selective, afflictively limiting their choices to one prototypical dream companion that may not even exist. There are plenty of men out there who find any in an array of women to be attractive. Sister may have to leave their comfort zones to be a little more adventurous, that’s all. Will Smith and Denzel Washington are taken, girls. Get back out there, and make another selection from the choices available to you, and not the Halle Berry avatar misrepresenting you on FaceBook. It’s actually about you, the real you! You want to meet a man who completes you, whom you complete. And, he may not be a Denzel. He may be Justin or a Todd, and may look more like Dougie Houser than Dougie Fresh.

    In my personal experience, compatibility is whatever we make it. And, that tends to run deeper than complexion, hair texture, and ethnicity. Get the one who gets you, no matter what color he is.

  7. tl

    I’m still on the fence. I just have a hard time believing that there is not one left (a good black man). But it is something to think about….. More than ever I find a lot of friends going that route and finding happieness. Until a recent dicsussion with a childhood friend did I began to think differently. She was married to a black man they had a child and now are divorced. now she is married to a white man. She states and I quote “black women are usually for mr. black right not mr right”. I do believe that we have been trained that there isn’t anything better than a GOOD black man. But what do you consider good is always the question. And yet I also believe that we as black women want to preserve our race. We want brown children who look like us. We are all black and want to keep it that way. Like I said I’m still one the fence!

  8. Alot of interesting points.
    I like how someone mentioned that sometimes it’s not just race, but heritage is a commonality that can build connections between people. I say heritage because I am beginning to learn about this concept of “lumpy” racial categorization- that sadly I won’t go into too deeply. It simply addresses the “census-backed”, few racial categories that possibly influence our preceptions about our racial identity.

    Also, we grow up around different groups of friends and people that play a part in our exposure, but it’s up to us to stay open to people of any background beyond what we’ve “heard” about so-in-such.

    I also know the feeling of being stigmatized and undesirable(romantically) to other races and I am still wrestling with that delusion. Although, I just hope that this issue is not overemphasized and inflated. I hope that it is just sparking an otherwise unexplored option for black females- and that the “idea” of having a white man isn’t this racial measuring stick or caste elevator among black females- (hopefully someone understands what I mean by this statement, and perhaps had similar suspicions of their own). If so, here it is in writing. This thought may also be from growing up and it was black men that were many times discussed in a negative light -black men in prison, black men not taking care of their kids (me being from a single parent home), gangs, the crime rate, etc. So it is staggering all the cross messages out there aswell.

    Covert rage has a good point in her final, tiny paragraph.

  9. As a correction: The “issue” I am referring to in paragraph three, near the beginning of the paragraph, is the issue of this article- not that of the previous sentence.

  10. @tl: Clearly, everyone’s experience is unique to the individual.

    You quoted a friend as having said “black women are usually for mr. black right not mr right.” She has a valid point. Many women I know had this experience, as well. Even in the absence of an overt edict, they had report family and friends leaning on them to “choose a brother.”

    I believe anyone who clings to that kind attitude isn’t thinking any more clearly than the White Nationalist who claim that rather than promoting an agenda of hate, they’re interested in separation and racial preservation (for “us” as well as for “themselves.”)

    If more folks adopted covert rage’s “Get the one who gets you, no matter what color” motto, there would be at least one less complication-of/obstacle-to happy coupling.

    I have to disagree with the second part of your post, however. I equate the statement “We are all black and want to keep it that way” with the kind of things that the (again) White Nationalists say.

    I am not especially motivated to “preserve our race.” Yes, I’d like my kids to “look like me,” but I don’t I believe their father needs to be Black in order to achieve that goal.

    Just by virtue of having me for a mom, though, whatever kids I have will be made aware of the cultural identity that comes with being the children of a socially-conscious Black woman.

  11. Dominique

    I enjoy reading the post. They are all quite intelligent and give me lots to consider. I was thinking about how during my dating years (some sixteen years ago), I was constantly pursued by all different races of men but found me often snubbing my nose at the non-black candidates. I felt a responsibility and duty to find a good black man and that he would be found. I remember telling this Dominican guy, who was darker than I was, that because he wasn’t “black” black I couldn’t see a future with him. I know, I know, my ignorance was showing, but at twenty I did want like was mentioned on the board “little brown babies” and anything else was inferior. I, however, realize that my latent desire was more of a racial thing than anything else. This duty to continue my race was imbred by the images of the strong black men in my family, or how I saw them. I guess when you lack those images, you are a bit lost for a model of a man. I was expecting nothing less than that strong, intelligent, motivated brotha. I am not against black/white dating, but if you notice, it is often said that, well in the recent past anyway, that young white girls date black guys to piss of their fathers. There perhaps is some truth to having a disdain for your role model mate and choosing what you consider the opposite. food for thought…thanks

  12. bdsista

    Interesting question. I have interracially dated from the jump being from MD/DC suburbs, but had a major preference shift when I attended HBCU’s and found maad love for the bros! So after being married to a Blasian (Black-Japanese) and divorced, I still lean real heavily toward Black men, but also find Asian men very attractive and I know damn skippy they don’t have a clue! (Except in Northern Cali where they will hit on a sista-to my surprise). At this juncture I am open to anything, but I really really need a man if he’s white to very openly treat me like I am his trophy, his prize and he needs to love me madly, crazy and be completely aware that despite my politics, he is soo lucky to have me, my sexiness, my brilliant intellect, my deep abiding faith, my generosity, caring, ability to look good at any event, be polite to the rudest people ever, enjoy anyone’s kids and pets and know that when its me and him alone, we may very well knock the earth off its axis. Haven’t found him yet but I can’t be Kizzy in the closet.

  13. Aubri

    As a black woman who grew up in a household where my mother only dated white men, I felt a bit of pressure to date outside my race. Unfortunately my mother had a bad marriage with my father, who is a black man, that left her completely disinterested in black men altogether. Dating white men for her was easy because we lived in predominantly white city. But from what I saw, it was a sad existence. They treated her like some exotic object, only coming around late at night, never admitting to their friends that they were seeing a black woman and sometime fronting her off in front of their friends. She is now married to a white man whose parents died without ever knowing that he married a black woman, without every meeting my mother or even knowing of her existence, yet my mother still impressed upon me to date white men.
    When I moved away and went off to college I dated black men, white men, latin men and east indian men but in the end the cultural connection brought me back to black men. In my experience of dating men of other races I always got that sense that I was some exotic little secret that they would later joke about 10-20 years from now with their buddies about how they had some black booty back in their college days. I always felt like some kind of experiment that they were proud to brag about but never took as a serious option for a long term commitment.
    After seeing some of the things my mother went through and then experiencing them myself, I exclusively date only black men and I believe that there are still good black men out there. When I was in my early 20s I was open to the whole idea of interracial dating but now that I’m in my early 30s that idea has gone out the window. And some of my female friends feel like I’m really narrowing my options but truth be told I’m not really sweating it because I’m fluid in my attractions and sexuality so if I want options then I’m open to dating other black women, but not as some sort of last resort because I can’t find a good black men, I just genuinely love black women as much as black men. I know that not all black women “get down” like that, yet I will be bold as to say that I would rather see a black woman with another black woman than to see her with a white man, for cultural, historical and healing reasons. Just my 2 cents.

  14. Not recommended

    Not Recommended

    At least not now, from the experience of being in an interracial marriage. Race relations in America have not come that far.There are a lot of constraints that are inherent in a majority/minority relationship that will outlast the novelty/infatuation. At the core a white male will bring the same drama(finances,infidelity, head of household problems,etc) but it may not be at the forefront or as apparent initially.

    I also hear the locker room talk, white guys love black women ,but most that I know will not have your back when ish hits the fan, i.e. getting a taste of their own systematic racism. It is a novelty act, and time and energy expended would be better served for nurturing a mate with the similar cultural experiences. There are of course exceptions to the rule, but again they are just that exceptions and not the norm. I could go on and on but I’ll spare you, unless you ask….lol

  15. ATLSis

    Chicago,

    No,It’s not a Southern”thang”. It’s a untrue generalization that some Black women utter from all regions.

    As a Black Southerner, I do not get the thoughts of some of my non-Southern peers? Do Southerners, Black or White, automatically supposed to such? As a Southerner, as a Georgian and as an ATLien, it can become a pain in the butt with people thinking they know where you came from when they don’t.Just because I, as well as many others ,are from the South doesn’t mean we’re stupid,naive or racist as we’re too often depicted as.

    Speaking of Southern, as a Black woman, I’ve never had any problems with dating/being approached by Black men, from PHD backgrounds to welders.I’ve even been approached by non-Black men . They too , were educated. Wow! I guess southern girls like me must have never seen a mixed couples—NOT! You said that interracial pairings are ” new” to us?
    I hate to be the bearer of bad news,but it has been around for decades . There were mixed couples around even during the Jim Crow era. Laws , prevented them from going public( Remember the Lovings?They were from Virginia). Also, in a lot of those IR supposed safe net states that aren’t in the South, what you probably didn’t know was that Blacks, as well as non Whites w/ White spouses/non Blacks were also BANNED from marrying.So if you just think interracial dating is a new trend for people there or that the South was the only region closed to it, think again.

    I know that I’ve seen many of them here and in some places where I wouldn’t expect for them to be. Again, I’ve seen IR couples since I was a child and is about to push the 40 mark. According the US census bureau, the SOUTH came in second with the higher concentration of IR couples, followed by the Northeast and then the Midwest. The West came in at number one. Far as myself, I’ve never had any deep racial strife with the Whites /non Blacks here. As a matter of fact, I was raised in a mostly White environment.Nobody burned a cross on my yard or called me the
    “N” word and nobody didn’t make feel less of a Black kid because of it. Today, it’s pretty much the same.More diversity ..and loving every bit of it.

  16. I am a little late to this subject but i would like to say something. Several months ago, i spoke to one of my friends girlfriend. My friend is White and his girlfriend is Black. I ask her an honest question about her relationship with my friend. My question was”Are you involed with him because he’s white?” She said “Yes”! I’m tired of brothers who are either on drugs or selling them, in and out of jail, dead weight fathers, no education, no job, and i’m tired of being called “shorty” or being called a whore or bitch because i don’t say hello! I must admit, based on what this sister said to me, she does have her point. However, it is the few that makes so many of us good Brothers seem like lazy,ignorant, unreliable, and unresponsible men. But i do feel that a woman,regardless of color, has a right to follow her heart regardless of what color it beats for. Thank you!!

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