Do you need to free your mind?

halle_gabe

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?

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6 Comments

Filed under Dating, Italy, Los Angeles, race

6 responses to “Do you need to free your mind?

  1. C W

    Great post! I am glad to see more Black women opening up their options…It’s about increasing choices, not limiting them…I am inspired about the “Free Your Mind” seminars success…And hope there are MANY MORE like this to come!

    • Thanks for the comment CW. I am amazed that in today’s age that so many Black women have never dated outside of their race. Some of my Black girlfriends say they just don’t find white men attractive and that’s fair — if that’s the case. Personally, I think they need to attend these seminars.

  2. Sandra77

    I have African American women friends who’ve said to me that they don’t find white men attractive. I really don’t believe them. I believe that they don’t find EVERY white man attractive, or find a particular white man not attractive. But given the reality that every person looks different and that there are so many different “types” of looks, I find that statement hard to believe. To me, it smacks of defensiveness and/or fear. Fear because they’ve been taught not to trust white men and fear of having their “black card” confiscated, and defensiveness because they think white men might not find them attractive so they reject white men before white men can reject them (thus saving face, so they believe). The same black woman who will loudly declare to the world that she doesn’t find white men attractive will also swoon over Ben Jealous, Wentworth Miller or some other man who looks more white than black (but it’s safe for such black woman to find him attractive because he calls himself black). Madness.

  3. Very true. I’m all about dating outside the box. I want to learn from people not just be with someone because it’s what society deems as “right” or “safe”.

  4. urbantravelgirl

    Kelly,
    How did I miss THIS post earlier this year? Like you, I’ve never restricted my dating to black men, BUT if Fleace’ Weaver DOES ever bring this to Chicago, you know I’ll be in the front row b/c I want to hear what other sisters are saying, thinking and fearing about dating someone OTHER than an African-American. We SO better get over it if we want to do something other than sitting around at a lounge with “the girls” for the rest of our weekends.

    Non-white men certainly are no more “the answer” than any single black man is. But the world is a VERY big place, and waiting around for one type of guy — or believing that that type is the only one that can make us happy — seems awfully restrictive and boring to me.

    Happy dating, ladies (assuming anyone IS dating these days)!

    Maureen

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