Being white and dating a black man

It was a strong symbolic gesture – taking a stand for African American civil rights in a year of tragedies that included the death of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy. For this reason I never really paid attention to the other man, white, like me, motionless on the second step of the medal podium.

I considered him a random presence, an extra in Carlos and Smith’s moment, or a kind of intruder.

I used to think that these types of sentiments were limited to White, Anglo Saxon individuals who grew up in minuscule towns, but as I mature, I’m learning that a “separate but equal” mentality thrives in America and beyond– regardless of your race—especially when it comes to love and marriage. Understand one thing: everyone has the power of CHOICE.

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Nevertheless, I still feel that, by not dating black men, I’m neglecting the shared history, solidarity and future prosperity of my fellow people.

As a young girl and even throughout college, I was frequently annoyed when my peers would suggest that I would magically find a partner if I exclusively pursued black men.

I walked down the cereal aisle in the grocery store, determined to finish my shopping list.

As I skimmed my eyes across the rows of boxes, I landed on what I was looking for: a jumbo box of Rice Krispies. I turned around and saw a handsome black man waiting patiently, with a cart full of groceries and a warm smile that briefly invigorated my tired spirit after a long day of work. This encounter was nothing unusual; I frequently have similar encounters with strangers at the grocery store.

In 2016…hell almost 2017, you would think that folks wouldn’t trip over interracial dating.

But social media continues to let us know that prejudice thinking individuals are still alive and well.These are probably the same black men secretly living under the Kanye West motto of “And when you get on, he’ll leave your ass for a white girl.” Somehow, these men felt as if Serena Williams, the embodiment of the black woman, had not done her due diligence in giving enough black men a chance to be her Prince Charming.When a celebrity gets engaged, it’s likely to be met with commentary from the peanut gallery from all sides. I always saw the photo as a powerful image of two barefoot black men, with their heads bowed, their black-gloved fists in the air while the US National Anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” played. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, and it certainly deceived me for a long time.The most decorated woman in sports history has time and time over proved her ‘blackness’ (even though she never had to), including showing her appreciation for black culture and the importance of its preservation.

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