Black love – Why the taboo?

Black love! What an obviously beautiful thing. So why all the fuss? For those who are confused by this question, let me explain…

Historically, it was a common sight to see black people together in a couple. The image of the strong brown man, with this Nubian queen was a staple sight in most black communities. And let’s not forget them chocolate babies…yum! The unity that comes from two melanated humans procreating, upholds the strength and growth of our powerful existence. I’d be lying if I say I’m able to pinpoint the time in which this position began to change from a societal point of view, but I can tell you that Willie Lynch’s letter purporting to know the secret of controlling black slaves by setting them against each other based on a number of physical differences rings similar to today’s racial issues in our society.

In the US, interracial dating was against the law in many states (including all Southern states) until 1967, when the United States Supreme Court deemed that anti-miscegenation laws are unconstitutional. This gave people the full freedom to enter relationships with whomever they desired regardless of their skin colour.

As time ensued, the trend became clear – black men commonly began to date outside of their race, as well as favouring black women of a lighter skin tone. The reason behind this is speculative; you will hear a plethora of trash, and you will also hear a lot of truth but there is no collection of reasons we can attribute to every situation. So was Willie Lynch right? Is pitting blacks against each other based on our skin tone a successful method of breaking down a whole community and halting our strength in numbers? I would have to agree and say yes – the impact of the media (TV, films and magazines) painting the white/light woman as the most coveted prize has had a detrimental impact of the status of the black woman.

It’s clear to see that many successful and high profile black men have chosen to date and marry outside of their race. For some reason, these unions are regularly put under the spotlight which has created a trend at ground zero. Dating lighter females has become the promoted standard for the ‘normal’ guy on the street. It’s not common sight to see ‘popular’ black men with dark skinned women as their chosen partners. What this has done to the image and the self-esteem of the black woman has been immensely damaging. It’s not unusual to read demeaning comments under posts on social media, whether it be black women expressing their anger at another black man without a black woman by his side, or a black man complaining about another black woman acting sour – whatever the case, it’s a sad sight to see our people so divided about a topic that should always bring joy… Love.

My choice has always been to date black men – is this completely conscious? Quite so. Why? Not just because I see and hear all of the negativity in public forums about black love and wish to champion such a union, but I also genuinely see black men as Mecca (however, if Brad Pitt walked into my life right now, it’s highly likely that I may experience my own entanglement!). I do ask myself – why is race such a complicated topic within the black community? Why are things that are ‘normal’ for other races, such a thing for us? Why do I, as a liberal person and lover of all humanity notice so much when a black man overlooks a darker skinned woman? Why am I somewhat bothered by this – not on a personal level, but on a representational level? There are so many questions that show me that the issues run deep, but in the long run love wins. But the love I’m talking about is not the love for someone else, but the love we have for ourselves.

If you are choosing partners based on the dislike you have for yourself, the love that you’ll experience will never be the genuine love you were put on the earth to redeem. The love will be shallow, conditional and replaceable. We all have the freedom to choose who we want to be with and we can and should enjoy this right, but it’s vital that we look at ourselves in the mirror before we choose to buddy up with a partner. If you are the type of person to shame others for choosing a ‘type’ of partner you wouldn’t pick due to your own internal issues, I urge you to stop because it’s embarrassing. Using unkind words (which unfortunately black women seem to bear the brunt of) which makes others question their own choices as well as marginalising a whole group, is only prolonging the slave mentality created by our oppressors. And targeting your own race is truly mind blowing.  

Regardless of what the media publicises, true black love does exist:

Black love is just as beautiful as any other love. Your choice of partner should not be treated as a status symbol – if you do choose to do this, you are missing out on the love you truly deserve. And just as a kind reminder, show all woman the attention and respect that makes them feel desired, rather than stripping away their confidence, even if you don’t wish to be with them.

The moral of this blog post is know thy self, then you can authentically choose whomever you want to be with.

Sending love and light always.

DiDi x

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