While I’m on the subject of dating and race: I couldn’t wait to meet up with my neighbor Angela on Tuesday morning. We walk to and from the gym together three times a week. It wasn’t so much that I was anxious to work out on this particular day but I couldn’t wait to get the scoop from her on the “Free Your Mind: The Black Girl’s Guide to Interracial Dating” seminar she attended on Sunday.
I wasn’t interested in attending the seminar because as someone who has never restricted myself to only Black men when it comes to dating, I didn’t feel there was any knowledge I could gain. Plus, I needed to hole up in my writing cave on Sunday. The seminar was more geared toward Black women who were considering dating outside of their race but had yet to do it. Or maybe they were already doing it but dealing with being rejected by their family and friends for doing so.
Angela deemed the event a success and I thought it was interesting that she said the afternoon reinforced to Black women how much we are desired. With some Black men opting for any race BUT Black, it’s easy to forget. Men of various races attended the event and indicated they didn’t care what size, shape, hue we are or how we wear our hair. That’s not what it is about. It’s about finding a partner with whom they connect.
A stat was given that said, based on African-American estimated population results from the U.S. Census, even if all Black men only dated and married within their race, 1,779,570 Black women will NOT find Black mates. The message was: Black women who want a partner or to get married better free their minds and quit sitting around waiting on a brotha to sweep you off your feet because the odds are not in your favor.
The event was hosted by Fleacé Weaver, founder of BlackWeekly.com, BlackGirlTravel.com and Bella Italia. I met Fleacé two weeks ago and she told me that Black women need to learn how to recognize when a white man is interested in them because how he presents himself may be different than how a Black man does. She probably didn’t see me roll my eyes because I had on my sunglasses. But I thought to myself, are we really that clueless about the opposite sex of another race that we cannot figure out when that person is interested in us? Gawd, I hope not and I hope we don’t need a seminar to school us on the basics. But it did bring to mind a post on Asylum.com in April 2008. Written by two African American women in hopes of bridging the divide between the races in light of the upcoming presidential election, it was a list of the 10 worst things to say to a Black woman you are interested in getting to know or dating. Drum roll please….
10. “I was raised by black people.” (If your nanny or butler was black when you were growing up, you do not pass as an honorary black person.)
9. “Black women are so sexy.” (You may think this is a compliment, but it’s just another form of stereotyping or fetishizing African-Americans.)
8. “Can I touch your hair?” (Don’t ask anything about the hair, or whether you can touch it. Such an exchange will never end well.)
7. “I only date black women.” (You think you’re going to impress her because you’re down, but saying that just makes it seem like black women are a “type.”)
6. “You’re the black Audrey Hepburn.” (Don’t tell a women she’s the black version of a particular white woman. Men do not say to a white woman, “You’re the white Condoleezza Rice.”)
5. “I don’t see any difference between the races.” (You may think you’re Ghandi, you’re not.)
4. “It’s not like you’re the first black woman I’ve dated.” (Yeah, that comes off as creepy fetishizing, too.)
3. “You look like En Vogue.” (It’s never a smart idea to compare one woman to a group of women who all look very different, no matter their color.)
2. “Black women are so much cooler with sex than white women.” (If you think implying black women are looser than white women is gonna get you some, you’re wrong.)
1. “I’m voting for Obama.” (Millions of people are voting for Obama. It doesn’t make you that cool.)
I doubt this list was distributed to the men at the seminar, which may be coming to a city near you. Fleacé plans to take the show on the road to New York, Chicago and Atlanta. What do you think about it? Would you attend?