The "plight" of successful single black women has been a hot topic for the past couple of years in the media. " Nightline " has had a couple of specials about it. CNN has addressed the issue on the Soledad O'Brien series " Black in America." Many films have touched on the subject like artist Damali Abrams' short art film in the exhibit at the MoCada in New York, "Baby It Couldn't Have Been You That I Feared."
The recurring hypothesis is that due to a large achievement gap between African-American women and African-American men, educated black women have issues finding partners that they have things in common with. The issue is compounded by the fact that repeated studies and anecdotal evidence shows that black women are least likely to date outside of their race. This is, of course, due to a myriad of socio-political issues and inequities.
The co-hosts on "The View" kicked off the discussed about Ralph Richard Banks' new book, "Is Marriage for White People?" The author has received death threats and been called a sell-out for suggesting that if black women aren't finding compatible black men to marry, they should date outside of their race. People have even accused the author of promoting racial genocide.
Of course Sherri Shepherd and Whoopi Goldberg were the most vocal about the topic as it hit close to home. As a love columnist who happens to be of African descent, I have written extensively about this topic, and interracial dating as well. Comments generally range from agreement to anger, but there is always a passionate and fevered response.
Whoopi said that she's always dated interracially as black men in the past have not been interested in her. Sherri indicated that black women may be less likely to date interracially because other groups are less interested in us. She is only partially right. Many black women in my experience still feel a huge stigma about dating non-black men.
A recent OK Cupid study revealed that black women are the most likely to reach out on their online dating site, but the least likely to get a response. This is compounded by stereotypes of the angry black woman and articles such as the Psychology Today blog post earlier this year asserting that black women are ugly. In my personal life and in the lives of my friends, I find the opposite to be true. I see men of all races flocking. Most of the white men I meet are crazy about black women; so much so that I wrote a tongue in cheek interracial dating guide for white men. Then again, I live in New York City.
Obviously marriage is not just for white people, although this is a great, book-selling inflammatory title. I tell any woman of any race: If the pool you're swimming in isn't interested in you, widen your horizons and swim in a different pool. That's not racial treason. It's just good sense.
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