Sorry to say, Ashley, but Kanye is right. He will leave your ass for a white girl when he gets on and so will plenty men like him. But here’s the thing – don’t sweat it. Neither you nor I really want men like him anyway, so let the “white girl” he’s talking about have him. In that “Goldigger” song, he was just predicting what he was going to do once he reached legendary status, so let’s take it as a blessing. Don’t you know God looks out for Black women always? Let me explain.
Kanye West, 40, and his wife, businesswoman Kim Kardashian, 37
Kanye is no prize. He is a genius, yes. But a prize? Nah. We all know about Kanye’s shenanigans, and each one has involved his reckless mouth. Before all of the happy-smiley photos you’ve seen of him on social media lately, the 40-year-old went off on his brother Jay-Z and Beyoncé, during one of his concerts in 2016. He even admitted that he didn’t vote in the presidential election, but if he did, he would have voted for the one currently in office, proving that he is on a different scale of cray. Please don’t get me wrong. I am not shaming Kanye for whatever issues he’s going through. I’m just saying there’s no need for any Black woman to get her panties in a bunch about a man like Kanye who has married a non-Black woman.
Now with Kanye as a barometer, let’s talk about other famous Black men who have married non-Black women to see if they’re really a prize at the end of the day. The long and short conclusion is no.
Michael Jordan, 54 and wife, model Yvette Prieto, 39 or 40
Michael Jordan made my Chicago hometown more famous than the Sears Tower. This man destroyed sports and retail records with his gift of playing basketball. With a net worth of $1.39 billion, the 54-year-old would seem to be a catch for any woman on the surface. But over the years, Jordan has been labeled a jerk, a cheapskate, and a Black man who refuses to stay in touch with the inequities in the Black community, a community that has made covenants with God to buy every new Jordan shoe that comes out. Remember that tone-deaf open letter the Space Jam star wrote in response to police brutality in 2016? He said that he would donate $1 million each to the NAACP and a police organization. If that ain’t an “All Lives Matter” breadcrumb, I don’t know what is. Although Jordan started off married to Juanita Vanoy, they divorced in 2006. He is now married to Yvette Prieto, a Cuban-American model. And to that, I say congratulations to him. At least someone wants him. That man got problems.
Jordan Peele, 38, and his wife, comedienne Chelsea Peretti, 39
What could I possibly say about Jordan Peele? The 2018 Academy Award-nominated director of Get Out ruled 2017. He used the daily experience of a living, breathing Black person in America and put it on the silver screen, using the horror genre to paint the clearest picture of our experience I’ve ever seen in a such a creative way. And yes, his film should have gotten a 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes (someone was definitely hating).
But I’ve got an old bone to pick with the 38-year-old. Familiar with Key & Peele? It’s a sketch comedy show named after him and his fellow white-wifing friend, Keegan Michael-Key. In their 2015 sketch titled, “Negrotown,” Key and Peele imagine a town where only Black people live (not Atlanta), and to steal from The Wayans Bros., they’re happy and they’re singin’ and they’re colored. The whole sketch is a nightmare of unfunny, but the part that made me roll my eyes was when a group of women sang:
“We’re going down to Negrotown, where the strong Black men are raining down. There’s light skin, dark skin, every shade. And there’s no white b-tches to take them away.”
Really, Peele? So the problem is that a white girl “took” you from a Black woman? You had no say, huh? You just got “took” and that was that? If melanin, the gift of not aging, well-roundedness and a knack for adapting to anything doesn’t “make” you return to a Black woman, then just stay “taken.” But good luck at the Oscars. You deserve all the awards. But again, ladies, that man got problems.
Tyrese Gibson, 39 and his wife, Samantha Lee Schwalenberg, age unknown
You already know. Tyrese got problems.
Do you understand where I’m coming from now? Men like these, as Kanye says will leave your ass for a white girl. And I am totally OK with that. And you should be, too. Good riddance! But there are famous Black men who have “gotten on” but still married or stayed married to Black women. Here are some examples.
Denzel Washington, 63 and Pauletta Washington, 67
The obvious: The Washingtons have been #BlackCoupleGoals since they married in 1983, and I don’t think that’s ever going to change. Denzel has received every acting accolade created by mankind, and as his career rose over the years, Pauletta was right there supporting him, which is the key to a successful partnership.
Last year at the SAG Awards, one of the hosts of Extra asked the couple how they make their marriage work. Denzel said, “I got a good woman — that’s the first thing. [And] You just keep working at it.”
Courtney B. Vance, 57, and actress Angela Bassett, 59
Courtney B. Vance and his wife, actress Angela Bassett, have also been #BlackCoupleGoals for a while now as well. Although it wasn’t love at first sight for Bassett, the two have been successful with their 20-year marriage. Vance melted our hearts when he took the stage to accept the 2016 Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actor portraying Johnny Cochran on FX’s American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson. At the end of his speech, he belted out, “And to the woman who rocks my chain, Angela Evelyn Bassett, this one is for you girl!”
Mahershala Ali, 43, and his wife, artist Amatus Sami-Karim , age unknown
Mahershala Ali, one of the stars of the Academy Award-winning film Moonlight and HBO’s upcoming third installment of True Detective, celebrated his wife, Amatus Sami-Karim’s, birthday with a shout-out on Instagram last week. How beautiful are they? They’ve been married since 2013, and judging from the picture they look quite smitten with each other.
In an interview with Elle magazine in 2014, Ali expressed just how special Sami-Karim is to him: “She and I have known each other for a really long time [about] 17 years. So, at this point, she’s seen a big shift in things, but at the same time, she’ll ground me real quick if I start feeling myself a little too much. She’s very real, like, seriously.”
Morris Chestnut, 49 and his wife, Pam Byse, age unknown
I can safely say that Morris Chesnut is still the finest actor on the planet. I clutch my invisible pearls any time he comes on-screen in The Best Man Holiday. I mean, he still has it. And Pam Byse, his Black wife, still has him.
They’ve been married since 1995, and the 49-year-old actor always speaks highly of Byse whenever he’s asked about how he keeps a lasting marriage. In a 2014 interview with Essence, he said, “I have been with my wife for a number of years now and the number one thing that keeps us strong is a mutual respect; that is first and foremost.”
So, there you have it. When you compare the lists, Black women, which would you want yourself and any other Black woman to be on? I’ve gotten quite bored with this notion that famous Black men are so over Black women. That’s partly true. That’s the MO of the Kanyes of the entertainment industry, but not for the Denzel Washingtons. And there are quite a lot of Denzels out there – Will Packer, Russell Wilson, Will Smith, Boris Kodjoe, LeBron James and others. Don’t believe the hype! I’ve never seen a famous Black man with a non-Black wife and been like, “Ah, what a shame.” I’ve never had that experience walking down the street either, so I really take it as divine intervention. And I implore you to do the same.
I do wonder what happens when that verse from “Goldigger” comes on Kanye’s playlist when he and Kim are cleaning their Calabasas home though. Does he sing it or does it act like a flash of light?