The "Myth" of Black Love
Let me start off by saying that I got inspiration for this post from another post about the disillusionment of a black woman about dating within the black community, expressing that too many black men aren’t attracted to black women and ideally go for non black women. Which got me thinking that with all this recent promotion of black couples via social media, I feel like we can’t just focus on the pros of black love, but we must also bring to light the darker, behind the scenes reality for black women finding love among black men who directly and indirectly express their refusal to be with black women.
I get it, the praise for black love has to do with unifying the black community by saying, “See, black men and women DO love each other.” And yes, I believe it. I don’t believe the photos I see of black couples on social media are fake or anything, but can we also bring to light female black singles and how their singleness is affected by the presence of misogyny noir and anti blackness among black men? Dating in general is hard, but imagine how dating is as not only a black person, but a black woman who does not fit Eurocentric beauty standards (such as light skin, light eyes, loose hair, slim facial features, etc.) Often times I commonly see these types of “conventionally” attractive black women paired up with black men more so than mono-racial looking black women - I wonder why?
As a mono-racial, dark skinned black woman who grew up in predominantly white spaces, from my own experiences on and offline, I can confidently say that a lot of black men don’t consider me to necessarily be their “ideal” type based off black and white standards of beauty, and I feel like black and white standards of beauty go hand in hand for obvious reasons having to do with cultural assimilation, a history of colonization, and so on. Which brings me right to another point I’d like to make about looks equating to superiority or inferiority. Sure, you can’t judge a book by the cover yet too often black men do so, falling prone to the stereotypes associated with non black ethnicities of women - so it’s not just about non black women meeting a Eurocentric standard of beauty easier than most black women. It’s also about how black men view them as less “controlling” than black women, therefore more agreeable and “nicer” JUST due to ethnicity and ethnicity alone. Mind you, I’m not saying black men who date outside their ethnicity all have agendas behind their attractions, BUT I am still iffy about their reasonings for “racial preferences.” I think now is a good time to quote myself from the post about the disillusioned black woman:
“And whenever I see a black woman who exclusively dates outside the black community I feel like it’s not for the same reasons black men often do it - for black women who either often or only date non black men I feel like I have more understanding for them because of the treatment they receive from black men who often have no issue with voicing how undesirable black women are to them. That gives black women more authority of their love lives by expanding their dating pool (since the lot of black women go for black mates) vs. black men who often go for non black women for superficial, anti black reasons rooted in sexism. So when a black woman says “I don’t date black dudes” I don’t see it as excusable but at the same time I understand her reasons for doing so more than a black man refusing to date black women. I feel like black women are often looking for genuine love, the kind of love too many black men can’t give them because of their racial baggage, while said black men are oftentimes looking for trophies to use to spite black women and make non black men “envy” them for “stealing” their women.”You read it right. I do feel like a lot of black men aren’t capable of loving black women the way they need to be loved, which has to do with seeing their blackness in the same way that they see their own and not letting gender be the deciding factor concerning superiority vs. inferiority, especially if said black women don’t fit the Eurocentric standard of beauty. I will say that non black men aren’t the “golden ticket” of black women in order for them to find love - there’s undeniably issues of anti blackness and sexism in all communities. But at the same time since non black men aren’t hit the hardest by racism, since anti blackness is global, they do have less baggage from that and less pressure to socially conform in my eyes. Because really, I believe more non black men are attracted to black women more so than they let on, it’s just that their cultural ties such as pleasing family and community hold them back from acting on this attraction confidently.
We really do need to have a real conversation about misogyny noir alongside “black love.” Because part of the way black men are going to love black women unconditionally has to do with an awareness of their own social conditioning and their own perceptions of black womanhood.