A Guy’s (Nostalgic) Take on Things

My clutter bug tendencies have one great benefit—a great collection of old editions of Essence magazine, which published a terrific 25th anniversary issue in February 1995. It led off with a magnificent cover shot of Tyson Beckford embracing a beautiful woman. There was a bangin’ recipe for sweet-potato pie, a luscious photo spread featuring the cast of the old Fox sitcom Living Single in ethnic wedding fashions and a tribute to Bob Marley (whose mother was black and father was white, by the way) written by his widow Rita Marley.

It also ran a feature article about an interracial BW/WM couple. This piece steered clear of discussions about whether black women should open their hearts to the possibility of dating outside their race. There were no statistics detailing the higher rates at which we were dating across color lines. (Blah, blah, blah) In a pair of companion essays, it simply laid out the husband’s and wife’s perspectives of their union. They described their courtship, marriage, parenting a bi-racial child, and the ways in which the social scene in Oakland, Calif., responded to them.

Shimon-Craig—the husband—had a great essay. We don’t often hear from guys on the other side of this issue (probably because they would rather watch old episodes of Lost or 24 than talk about relationships), so his essay provided refreshing insights into the dynamics of their relationship. He talked about why Katrina LaThrop made his heart flutter. I also felt a bit bad for him when he recounted some of the hostile reactions he got from blacks in public whenever the family was out shopping or were trying to enjoy a cultural event. You would think blacks would understand why he and Katrina made a point of educating their son about his mixed heritage. But no. According to his anecdotes, some people went out of their way to be obnoxious and unkind. I expect the social scene in Oakland, Calif., to be much more welcoming for all interracial couples. And I hope he and his wife are still going strong after another 15 years (from publication of that article).

Back in the 1990s, when Susan Taylor was still editor-in-chief and the magazine had not lost its way, it used to run occasional, sometimes annual, write ups about interracial dating. People were just getting around to talking about the issue, and Essence did it’s share to deliver classy, well-thought out discourse on the topic. At this point, I hope that we can talk less about whether interracial dating is alright for black women, and start talking about how, like other married couples, we make it work.







1 thought on “A Guy’s (Nostalgic) Take on Things

  1. I think one of the biggest problems, it that we kept referring to other black people as brothers and sisters, and we are far too personal with each other. We are brothers and sisters in Christ, brothers and sisters with anyone regardless of race, once they accept Jesus Christ, we are in Christ.

    The next thing is that marriage is important for upholding a society and gives it stablity. The problem I am finding, is that … there is not a problem about black men marrying anyone from a different race, whereas with a black woman, there is far too much debate, discussion, who and how black women should marry. It is none of anyone else’s business. Also they should stop trying to convince people they have a right to marry and it has to be a black man, if they are attracted to men of other races, there is far too much dispute. Marriage is from God, and if God doesn’t care what race or nationally your husband is, why should anyone else care? The first recorded interracial marriage in the bible was between Moses and Zipporah. There is far too much negativity about black women and their relationships—questions about why are they single, claims that we are not attractive to men of other races. It is all absolute rubbish. Another form of brain washing for the black woman.
    We are living in societies, where we can achieve so much. Black women need to educate themselves. It was Mildred Loving, who changed the law that all people could marry a person of any race and yet we are constantly be quetstioned about our choices in marriage. I was very annoyed about a recent interview about Halle Berry’s choice of partner; it was like she had to apologize being with her present partner, who is a white guy. Halle had two bad marriages, bad relationships and now she is in a stable relationship, on the one hand, she is congratulated about her relationship, then she is questioned why a white man. As long as our choices of husband is suitable to God and us, we do not need the permission from other people to tell us, who we should marry and not marry. While we are asking and waiting for permission, the same people are getting on with their lives. That is why blogs like yours are very inspiring and cause many black women to open their eyes and think.

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