As a black woman married to a white man, I’ve had my share of people critiquing my relationship, why I’m in it, why I chose him, blah, blah, blah. I’ve also done my own introspection over the 12 years we’ve been together, and in retrospect, I wouldn’t change a thing.
I know that’s it’s just easier for some black folks who are against interracial marriage (mostly it seems it’s directed mostly at black women who do it) to clump all of us couples into one, self-hating batch. But not so fast. I’m with my husband not because I hate myself. In fact, I feel quite the opposite. I married him because I think quite highly of myself, thankyouverymuch. I came to the point in my life that after much dating and striking out, I needed to stop being a mile wide and an inch deep about my choices in men. I had to stop being so shallow about stupid crap like, is he fine? what kind of car does he drive? Can he dance? Does he have a penis like a horse? and really, I mean, REALLY examine what was important to me in a life partner.
Qualities that go beyond the level of melanin, like integrity, honesty, a strong sense of family and value of marriage, commitment, love, affection, little-to-no drama, and loyalty led me to my choice. For the first time in my life, I picked character above color, and I will not ever apologize for that.
But here’s a warning–if you’re dipping your toe into interracial dating because you want pretty babies, think it will augment your social status, or that ALL black men are unworthy, you’d best re-think your position. This is shallow thinking, and any relationship based on anything remotely related to these reasons will be doomed from the start.
But let’s be real. This MUST be said: Coloracism runs rampant in the black community, and I can’t say I haven’t been stung by it. And if you are chocolate like me, chances are you have too. And it doesn’t help things when we black women see in the media and day-to-day the most appealing, eligible, Hot black men dating and marrying non-black women, especially once they reach a level of success and financial security that attracts women of all races. If you’re a millionaire, people care less and less what color you are. And if an IBM (ideal black man) doesn’t marry interracially, they often marry the lightest and brightest-skinned black women they can find. And this isn’t me just hating: a recent Pew Research Study revealed that only a puny 43% of black men marry, and of that percentage, 22% of them marry non-black women. Yet these men are still celebrated and welcomed into the fold, we black women will protect and defend them to the death, but when a black woman does that same, then it means we hate ourselves?
Christelyn D. Karazin is a health writer and co-author of Swirling: How to Date, Mate and Relate Mixing Race Culture and Creed (to be released February 2012), and runs a blog, www.beyondblackwhite.com, dedicated to women of color who are interested and or involved in interracial and intercultural relationships. She is also the founder and organizer of “No Wedding, No Womb,” an initiative to find solutions to the 72 percent out-of-wedlock rate in the black community.