As a Black woman, whether you’re open to interracial dating or not, you have to recognize that dating someone of another race, particularly someone White is a risk. There’s a risk that this person might have some latent (and in some cases blatant) racist ideologies that may ultimately present themselves in your relationship.
These ideologies can be particularly damaging when children are in the relationship and have to be exposed to these thoughts, without the benefit of understanding their origin and falsehood.
Recently, Christina Milian’s boyfriend and father of her second child Matt Pokora posted a video on his Instagram stories that raised some eyebrows.
Pokora filmed Christina’s 10-year-old daughter Violet with producer The Dream, focusing in on her hair style which happened to be Bantu knots. While he doesn’t speak in the video, he zooms in on the style and then included a virus emoji, a crying laughing emoji and a heart at the end. He drew an arrow from the virus emoji to a Bantu knot on Violet’s head, in case there was any confusion about the connection he was attempting to make.
The only speaking in the video comes from Violet who asks Pokora, what are you doing?
It’s a valid question.
I’m sure Pokora doesn’t know that Bantu knots are a culturally significant hairstyle with roots in Southern and Central Africa that stretch back to over 100 years. The name comes from 300-600 ethnic groups who speak the Bantu language. It’s a protective style that can be used for stretching, maintaining moisture, adding curls all the while honoring African culture.
Matt Pokora is a French singer and songwriter. As a White man, I doubt he was aware of the style’s cultural and historical significance. But it’s unfortunate that as a man with a Black partner, a Black child, parenting two Black children didn’t at least understand the problematic nature of likening Black hair to a virus.
You don’t have to be a student of Black aesthetics to see the error of sending that message out to your 2.6 million followers and the rest of the world.
You can watch Pokora’s Instagram story featuring Violet in the video below.
When Black people in France saw Pokora’s story, they had a lot to say about it. Check out their reactions on the following pages.