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Via JezebelJill Scott relays the pain :. Popular Latest.
The Atlantic Crossword. In Subscribe.
My new friend is handsome, African-American, intelligent and seemingly wealthy. He is an athlete, loves his momma, and is happily married to a White woman.
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I admit when I saw his wedding ring, I privately hoped. Although my guess hit the mark, when my friend told me his wife was indeed Caucasian, I felt my spirit My face read happy for you. My body showed no reaction to my inner pinch, but the sting was there, quiet like a mosquito under a summer dress. Was I jealous? The answer is not simple. I was taught that every man should be judged by his deeds and not his color, and I firmly stand where my grandmother left me.
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African people worldwide are known to be welcoming and open-minded. We share our culture sometimes to our own peril and most of us love the very notion of love.
Scott goes on to detail the history of black women, racist degradation, and beauty standards. All of which is true and holds weight. But I think the key problem here is a common one—a kind of collectivist approach toward something as individual and private as marriage.
There is certainly part of me that feels my partnership with a black woman says something about me. But I vacillate on precisely what.
The problem is that no committed person goes to bed with black spouse or a white spouse. In other words, they go to bed with an individual who hopefully has very specific idea about their life that go beyond whether the revolution will be televised or not. An individual, with her own specific hopes, dreams, and problems, did those things.
But we often take this abstract, hazy view of an institution that, like anything else worthwhile, is mostly about dirt, work, and tedium. Relationships are not anymore, at least a collectivist act. They really come down to two individuals doing business in ways that we will never be privy to.
Writing about this has helped me get clearer and clearer on this. He could have a trail of baby mommas from Oakland to Kansas City. As much as my own limitations allow, I sympathize with race and the constructions of beauty standards, just like I sympathize with race and its effects on the justice system.
But at some point brothers have to stop reeling off stats about college and prison, and resolve to be something more. We all have a moment, as black people, where we have to stop the process of bemoaning what the world thinks of us, and start asserting that which we think of ourselves. There is no other way.
Forgive me, if that sounds hectoring. What the hell is going on?