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Black Women And White Men, An Unlikely Duo

Couple camping in a grassy fieldBlack women are the least likely to date outside of their race while Black men are the most likely. Why are Black women reluctant to date White men? Or are these two groups reluctant to date each other?

Given that Black women are the least likely to get married and the least likely to date outside of their race doesn’t the survival instinct dictate that Black women should start dating outside of their race? Part of the hesitance may be about stereotyping. During slavery we know all to well that “Master” would take whomever and whenever he pleased. White men had an internal love/hate struggle over their Black women slaves. They loved and were drawn to their “exotic” features but hated them as inferiors and for tempting them. Given this there may be a conscious or unconscious fear that White men still view Black women as property to be ogled and possessed not revered and loved.

This is a very complex topic but to over simplify for the purpose of this post Black men looked to White women as a status symbol. Once they reach a certain level of success it meant that they were worthy of a White woman. White women were drawn to Black men as symbols of virility and wild manliness. Essentially both were forbidden fruit for each other. There was no taking of White women by Black slaves or vice versa. The relationship between Black women and White men, however, was much more contentious. Perhaps some of that lives on today in our cellular memory. While of course racism still exists, most White men don’t see Black women as property or revile them.

However Black women probably do remain a mystery for White men. Another possibility is that Black women may feel a White man wouldn’t understand them. We already don’t want to go to work and explain what’s going on with our hair, why would we want to do it at home. You know the first time a White man throws you in the pool the relationship is over. There’s a lot of education that goes into who we are that we don’t have to do with Black men. Statistics say that most Black men grew up in a single parent household with a Black woman at the helm. They know what time it is when it comes to our hair, our skin, our words, etc. As Black women continue to become more educated, rise in social, political and professional status they are more and more on par with White men. Yet Black women are plagued by stereotypes that may hinder us in dating a White man, they certainly hinder us professionally.

Another reason Black women may not date White men is we may feel they aren’t interested in dating us. Look at the stats, White men are mostly interested in White and Asian women. Aside from being female, we don’t share much in common with these two groups physically speaking. Everything we see in the media says that being a size zero, blond, blue eyed and White is the standard of beauty. If that’s the case and that’s what White men prefer then why would they prefer us? The media does what the media does. Again, statistics say that White men are really drawn to Asian women who are not within that standard of beauty. Perhaps while we’re out and about in the world we feel unseen by White men and as such not attractive to this demographic. A blond super thin woman walks by and the heads turn. You could be super fierce and ravishing and not a single White head is turning in your direction. There’s the invisibility factor to overcome. Even when we do become visible, typically in one-on-one conversation there’s still the separation to overcome. Black women are still in some sort of strange category of woman. There’s women in one group and Black women in another group. I once had a co-worker say to me he didn’t understand how I could be single because I was one of the most beautiful Black women he had ever seen. Not one of the most beautiful women, no, there’s was a distinction. Of the Black women he had ever seen I was among the most beautiful. I took it as the compliment it was meant to be, but the distinction still left a small mark.

Stir into the mix the tension between White and Black women. As Black men have married White women at an increasing rate some White women have taken it as an opportunity to explain to Black women what’s wrong with them and why Black men don’t want them. The relationship between Black and White women is one that was especially strained through the 50’s and 60’s when Black women were seen as White women’s help. This relationship was highlighted in the movie The Help. Black and White women were rivals of a different sort then. Black women were subjugated and served at White women’s pleasure. Now as Black women have attained an almost equal status (still a ways to go), the rivalry has taken on a different shape where White women still see themselves as better than because they are marrying Black men in increasing numbers. Some Black women may just want no part of having this struggle in their homes on a daily basis.

Lastly, it has to be said, maybe Black women don’t date White men because they have a perceived lack of swagger. I don’t even need to expound on this rationale. Yes, White men do have swagger but the market may be cornered by Black men. Under swagger we’ll throw in the widely held stereotype that Black men are working with more, physically speaking. Perhaps there’s an unwillingness to test this theory.

Let’s flip the coin over. When a Black woman dates a White man you can be almost assured it’s genuine. Because, generally speaking, Black women don’t see White men as status symbols mainly because we have our own status. There’s also an interesting phenomenon when a Black woman is with a White man, racial backlash. A Black woman who dates a White man is seen as contributing to the destruction of the American Black race/family while the Black man is not. Tamera Mowry of Sister Sister fame was called a White man’s wh*re for marrying a White man.

So maybe the time has come for Black women to more widely explore dating White men, or men of other races in general. If a single Black woman with marriage statistics against her wants to improve her chances of marriage expanding the dating pool is a very real possibility. While I have not laid out a very compelling argument to date outside of our race the fact is not everyone is like that. You don’t want to be discounted based on your race so don’t discount others. Who cares anyway? Date who you want to date and quit trippin’.

What do you think about Black women and White men? How about Black women dating outside of their race in general? We want to hear from you, please comment and share.

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