This morning I was supposed to do an interview about interracial dating for the Wall Street Journal’s site, WSJ.com. The goal was to sit down with Ralph Richard Banks, a Stanford law professor and the author of the very controversial book, “Is Marriage for White People?” which says it’s in Black women’s best interest to give non-Black men a shot.
Stay with me.
An unexpected issue made it necessary for the news site to reschedule this morning, which may be for the best. Trust, I know you’re tired of hearing about single Black women and the implications of what they need to “fix” in order to become married Black women. But before you click the “X” at the top of the screen, I ask you to hear me out… once again.
I have issues with Banks’ outlook, as I made clear in a previous Real Talk post. But I do agree with his overall premise that’s it’s time Black women considered the other options we have when it comes to dating and relationships, i.e., dating non-Black men.
You still with me?
This isn’t about dogging out Black men. If you’ve read my work, you’ll know that I think there are “good” Black men aplenty. I select one to be featured in each issue of ESSENCE and I find a bevy of them for the annual Do Right Men issue every August. I meet them nightly as I scour the city streets of New York, and other cities too, and narrow the prospects down to offer up to you, email addresses included. I’ve dated several, and I have one to call my own.
My outlook also isn’t about placing non-Black men on a pedestal. Men are men, some will do you dirty. Some won’t.
What this is about is suggesting to you that you expand your options to include men, of any color, who will treat you in the manner that you find acceptable, whether they share your skin color, or your culture, or not. Dating is a numbers game. And if you are single and don’t want to be, it makes sense to tip the odds in your favor by expanding your palette.
One of my very good friends is married to a non-Black man. Before I knew that, I loved the way her eyes lit up when she told me how they’d met at a bar on Canal Street, found they had everything in common, and from that first conversation, they had spoken every day since.
When I finally met him, I was surprised to find he wasn’t Black. Honestly? “She got a white boy?” was my first thought. But as I watched the way he looked at her like she was the only woman in the room, his race became a non-factor. I wanted a man to look at me that way — the New York wind chill was a little warmer, like the ‘I can barely make ‘em out here’ stars in this city were a little brighter, like my kisses were a little sweeter, too. I wanted that feeling of being looked at with love — and not just from my Daddy.
Maybe that feeling would come with a Black man. Maybe not.
If I feel that way, does his race matter?
Demetria L. Lucas is the Relationships Editor at ESSENCE and the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: Your Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Ask her your dating and relationship questions on Formspring.me/abelleinbk