Monthly Archives: September 2011

Interracial Relationships

Holding HandsLet me say first that I am a lover of love, regardless of race, and I am in no way attempting to submit language that divides or offends. Nor am I trying to change minds. I just have questions, nagging ones, so this title may be a bit of a misnomer because I don’t really have questions about interracial relationships as a whole. I myself have participated in, daydreamed about, and enjoyed them. And I have found interracial relationships to be dreadfully similar to same-race ones. My questions though are about Black professional athletes. And as another disclaimer, my goal is not to discredit other races of women as reasonable and qualified mates. I just want to know why dating women who aren’t Black seems to be such a status symbol.

My question stems more from a place of hurt than of mere curiosity because I notice that more often than not when a Black male athlete reaches a place of success, there is woman on his arm who is not Black. If we all pretended to not see color, then perhaps this wouldn’t be startling at all, but since we’re being realistic, can we acknowledge that there is a bit of a formula here. I believe it looks something like this : Black male athlete+success=anything but a Black woman. And this formula sends a very disheartening message to Black women. Here we are, –well in order to avoid being too inclusive or exclusive, I will use myself as an example. Here I am, growing up around Black men, admiring Black men, and loving Black men. And here I am thinking that I will one day be the prize of one said Black man. But every time a Black male athlete chooses to overlook a Black woman, he tells her over and over again that she does not fit in with the image of success, that though she was great when he was broke, she is no longer suitable to a wealthy and successful man. How hurtful this is! And perhaps, I am taking things a little out of context, but I wonder how much of this is a figment of my imagination and how much of this is a case of deeply rooted rejection within the Black race.

Perhaps I lied–at least to myself. Maybe I really am trying to change minds. And maybe I’m not just hurt but annoyed at how insensitive this bold display of renunciation of Black women can be. Perhaps I thought that in 2011 Black women wouldn’t have to stomach feelings of being second best. Perhaps I thought Black men, even successful ones, saw Black women as valuable too.

I marvel at still how sensitive some racial wounds are.

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Social Networks

Of the many things that cause me to wonder, social networks, or at least the implications of social networks, are certainly one of them. As I use my blog, what I consider to be social network offspring, I think about the home assignments that I received as a grade school student that I could hardly imagine giving to my own students. I remember cutting and pasting (in the archaic sense of the phrase) newspaper articles to notebook paper, being ever so careful not to use too much glue and to give myself just enough space to write my thorough summary and analysis. I think about licking stamps to invite all of my friends to my birthday party and interrogating every blank invitation until I find just the right pattern. I think about knocking on my neighbor’s door to sell gourmet cakes for my school fundraiser around Christmas. I can’t remember the last time someone has knocked on my door without me eying the nearest weapon before approaching the peep-hole.

I marvel at how something created to bring us together has made us so afraid of each other. I find it bizarre now when someone just strikes up conversation with me in public. I’m much more used to seeing faces buried into smart phones. I sat in the car the other day with a friend for hours, and we sat, with phones out, discussing our tweets, barely looking one another in the face and interrupting one another periodically with laughter when someone tweeted something particularly funny. And the last time I was asked out on a date was via Facebook message.

I marvel at how something that holds my attention at times for hours has somehow rendered me inept in diligence. My mind wanders when I read the stuff that matters and even during my prayers. Social networks: compromising my social life and even subjecting my anti-social habits to unproductivity. How I marvel…

Yet Do I Marvel

Yet Do I Marvel

By Countee Cullen

I doubt not God is good, well-meaning, kind,
And did He stoop to quibble could tell why
The little buried mole continues blind,
Why flesh that mirrors Him must some day die,
Make plain the reason tortured Tantalus
Is baited by the fickle fruit, declare
If merely brute caprice dooms Sisyphus
To struggle up a never-ending stair.
Inscrutable His ways are, and immune
To catechism by a mind too strewn
With petty cares to slightly understand
What awful brain compels His awful hand.
Yet do I marvel at this curious thing:
To make a poet black, and bid him sing!
While I may not marvel at all the same things as Countee Cullen, I do understand his awe of things that seem inscrutable. This blog is my attempt to absolve myself of a “mind too strewn with petty cares” in order to seek out understanding of the curious things. Perhaps I won’t find answers. But I will marvel, and I will seek. Join me?