On black men dating white
There was something about watching a black boy murdered from the comfort of my home that made me want to go out and love a black man as hard as I could, as though somehow it could resurrect the child in him.
The match wasn’t ideal, but we took to each other like people end up doing when left in a room alone.It was only when he started saying things like, “They’re all wondering why you’re with me,” while gesturing to a group of black men, that I realized he was doubting himself, too. We got stared down in every bar that we entered, and approached with unsolicited offers for company, as though our relationship could only be sexual, as though we needed more than each other to be satisfied.These were the days that he learned how to hold me when I cried.Half of my mother’s four sisters are married to white men.My cousins can be split into two groups: Ones who grew up with weaves and skin lighteners and ones who needed sunscreen and haircuts.I didn’t date for two years following that breakup.
I cleaned myself up: I got a well-paying job; moved to the city; got my own apartment and painted it yellow and got plants to place on the windowsill. I joined Tinder on a whim to break the routine of eat, work, eat, sleep.
He was gentle in a very straightforward way, pulling out chairs for me at restaurants and picking me up after work to take me to exhibition openings, where he would look at me instead of looking at the art.
He supported my work and called me Butterfly; our relationship was nauseatingly blissful. I posted photos of black love on every social media account and considered myself as part of a larger revolution.
I had hushed conversations in the corners of cafés about how important it was to keep feeding the black community with positive affirmations and how it began with loving black men.
I wore Black Lives Matter buttons, attended marches, sported hoodies, vowed to date only black men, and prepared myself to raise a son who might be faced with a death in the same vein as Trayvon, a name I had spoken so often that it felt like that of a brother.
She was looking to me for advice on raising a fatherless child, considering my firsthand experience. It was like that for a while—dismissing every suitor who resembled my father.