I’ve recently had conversations with four of my friends about the lack of dates, mates or love in their lives. They are attractive, educated, active and fun. Three are well-traveled. They are heterosexual. They are Black. In each conversation, the idea of dating outside the race has come up. It is an idea they consider but most have not practiced.
I was looking browing Shelfari.com when I saw the title of a new book by Karyn Langhorn Foley, Don’t Bring Home a White Boy And Other Notions that Keep Black Women From Dating Out. Published by Simon & Schuster it came out in February 2010.
She addresses the cultural resistance of black women to dating outside the race despite the fact that many black men do so. Karyn Langhorn Foley herself married to a white man.
I haven’t yet read the book but plan to buy it soon. After viewing a video in which she talks about the book, I feel that her approach will be informative and nuanced. She is clearly thoughtful in discussing the challenges of being “unhappily single” and the need for women to go beyond their physical preferences and the messages they’ve received about not dating outside the race.
In the discussions I’ve had with my friends over many years about this topic, one of the reasons they’ve said they don’t date men of other races is because they aren’t asked. For every black woman I know who has dated or developed a long-term relationship with a white man, there are scores of others who have never been approached by someone outside the race. There are still more who don’t even get approached by black men. (Whoopi Goldberg discussed this on The View earlier this week. She said that she’d been criticized openly about dating white men and when one black guy challenged her about it she asked him, “Have you asked me out?”)
I have had two dates with white men in my life. The first was when I was in high school. The second was when I worked at Boston City Hospital and it was a lunch date with a colleague so I’m not sure it qualifies as a date…make that two, we also went out to the movies once.
I would have dated white men and other men of color but it just never happened. I am now happily married to a black man. Our relationship and subsequent marriage came as a surprise to me because I had basically decided to move from Boston and had given up on finding a mate in this town. Several people who knew both of us would have never thought the two of us would become a couple let alone husband and wife. This goes to show you that your friends and acquaintances don’t always know what will make you tick and, therefore, won’t introduce you to single, eligible people they know.
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