Black love: … I read Cecily’s post about the latest Donna Britt column. I hoped I’d come across something almost as cool this weekend, and Brooklyn, N.Y., freelance writer Angela Ards’ article in this month’s Ms. magazine’ll more than do. Go get a copy if you can and give it some thought.

“Of all Americans, black people are the least inclined to marry. Black women get divorced at a rate that is double the current average. And while black women considerably outnumber black men — if you don’t count all the men in prison — twice as many available black men marry someone other than a black woman. …

It’s an old lament that interracial marriages, especially between black men and white women, shrink the pool even further. But the reality is, the vast majority of black people marry other black people. Maybe we choose to be with each other, or maybe it’s because so few others choose to be with us, a fact that would explain the obsession with interracial relationships. Last November, when the Alabama Legislature finally erased a constitutional provision barring interracial marriage — a provision that the Supreme Court struck down in 1967, mind you — 40 percent of the electorate voted against rescinding the century-old rule. …

I believe people should embrace love wherever, and with whomever, they may find it, and I have a shameless double standard when it comes to black women dating white. I dated a golden-haired white boy my entire senior year of high school, and to this day he ranks as one of the nicest men to have graced my little black book (figuratively speaking). As my best girlfriend says, if a man has nine out of the ten qualities you’re looking for, and the only thing lacking is black skin, he’s a better choice than the man who only has two, one of them being that he’s black.

I raise a silent “you-go” cheer when I see sisters escaping the numbers crunch by dating or marrying interracially. I refrain from open applause because my love hates this: to him, a black man living with his white wife in Sweden is a giant step for the race, while a sister marrying across the color line is a betrayal. “What kind of psychological dissonance is involving in dating white for a black woman aware of our history?” some brothers ask. No more than that which comes from wondering if the black man you’re dating sees you or bodacious T&A à la BET music videos. And let’s not forget, those race men — Frederick Douglass, Richard Wright — got over the pyschological dissonance of marrying interracially.

Increasingly, sisters are getting over it, too. There’s this cell-phone commercial where a white boy flirts with a cute chocolate sister whose Afro is reined in by a psychedelic scarf. The din of a party drowns out his rap, so he sends her a message via cell phone. By commercial’s end, she’s charmed, and so am I. It’s rare that I see a black woman — unmistakably of African descent — portrayed as someone whose affections should be courted rather than ravaged. I tease my boyfriend that it’s probably only as white men start to find black women attractive that brothers will give us the correct time of day. …

It requires patience and undoing some damage. I don’t want to be another bitter black woman haunted by my father’s absence or that man who opened my heart only to leave scars. He doesn’t want to be another bitter black man still smarting from his mother’s shortcomings or that woman who used him. Nobly trying to be above it all means that the hostitilities appears as stories of friends who are struggling with no ‘count brothers and evil-ass sisters. The misogynist rap lyrics he shares supposedly so we can both concur that they’re hateful feel like sly ways to vent anger towards women . When he winces at my rants abou the boys in the park who follow me around, sharing unimaginative musings about the uses of my “fat black ass,” I suspect I’m doing the same. We endure and embrace these eruptions of unresolved history like labor pains, knowing that we are creating something new, from scratch.

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