I am a Black man whose accomplishments are shaped through, and by, my Blackness, not “despite” my Blackness.At this point, the societal factors for not dating a white man become personal and political.And after two attempts, this racial challenge makes a potential relationship too difficult and bears too few benefits to merit trying again.
Institutions and society work together to purposefully prevent white people from seeing their privilege.But even when they do acknowledge it, even when a white man is “woke,” he will never have the lived and embodied experience of a Black man.This is not to say that racial compatibility solves all relationship problems; Black love is not without its many struggles because relationships inherently require work.But add in a Black-white racial component and the difficulty is taken to new heights.When his friend calls me “Malik or whatever,” will he let that slide?
And finally, when I’m exhausted from the psychological toll of racial microaggressions, daily Black Death, and everyday life, do I have to educate him on the ways in which he is further dehumanizing me or invalidating my opinions? This also applies to non-Black people of color who aspire to whiteness or uphold white supremacist ideals.
Most importantly, though, is a conversation I had with a friend when I was 19 and interested in the man who I later stayed with until I was 22.
I asked: “he’s cute, do you think he’s into Black guys?
So whether he is or isn’t into Black guys, I don’t think he’s for me, and I’m finally ok with admitting that.
Anthony Williams is a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow studying Sociology and minoring in Theatre & Performance Studies at UC Berkeley with research interests in Blackness, sexualities, and social movements.
Porn, on the other hand, included Black men, but only as the trope of the ‘Black brute’ or ‘thug’ with the “Big Black Cock (BBC).” I remember wondering if I was a twink because of my small size or an otter because of my body hair, only later realizing that porn categorized me “Ebony.” This is symbolic of larger issues within the LGBTQ movement that ignores the intersectional identity of being a Black gay man.