Celebrating love and culture with #blacklove

(CC BY-NC 2.0) by More Good Foundation
(CC BY-NC 2.0) by More Good Foundation

One student’s experience of complexities in dating and race

I believe that black love plays a major part in progression and growth in the African-American community. So what is black love? Black love is everything from a black mother showing affection toward her child to an African-American couple who have been married for 50 years.

There are examples of black love in the media, such as Beyonce and Jay-Z, the Huxtables, Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union, and of course Barack and Michelle Obama. Black love has also become such common discussion topic online, even earning its own hashtag on Twitter. Black love can be a controversial topic, as it is often discussed by black women who believe in it and black men who refute it. This topic prompts discussions for interracial couples as well as discussing aspects of African-American culture that must be celebrated.

Most women have certain qualities that they desire in a partner, and for many African-American women, that list includes a partner that is also African-American. One of the issues that arises for these women is the fact that many of their potential partners are not seeking a partner who is also African-American. A study from pewresearch.org found that black men are 25 percent more likely to marry outside of their race in comparison to black women, who are only 12 percent likely to intermarry. I have many theories as to why black men and black women differ in their taste in partners, but every case is different for each person.

Black love is important to me because there are common interests and issues that only other African-Americans can relate to. Romantically or platonically, it is important for individuals who understand a certain struggle to come together, especially important in these times where people like Donald Trump are running for president (insert gag emoji). Black love is about relationships, but it is also about supporting one another.

I have a problem with the way that black women are frowned upon as if we are less desirable than other women. In my 20 years of living, I’ve had many conversations with African-American men and women about their dating preferences and some of the responses that I received were disturbing.

“I don’t date black women because they are all ghetto.”

“I date white women because they don’t put up a fuss and we can get away a lot more with them.”

The worst comment that I have ever heard was, “I don’t like black women because everything about them is fake. Even their nails and hair are fake.” I’m sorry sir, but we don’t wear weave to get your attention. Just to be clear, if it is sewed to my head and I paid for it, it is my hair!

How rude is that? Why aren’t we celebrating women for their differences instead of criticizing them? Black love can also be about loving yourself as well as others.

The media discussion on black love is allowing us to explore the ways that dating and race intermingle in the modern romantic experience.

Many other cultures seem to push, for the most part, the younger generation to stay true to endogamy. The controversy I want to highlight is the fact that many African-American women are seeking people who are not seeking them.

In closing, how does black love help the African-American community blossom and grow? It allows people to come together and celebrate what makes us unique rather than allowing others to put each other down. Black love matters, and we should celebrate it together.

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