Warning: This Post is NOT About Hair! But You May Still Learn Something *giggles*

Hi Y'all
So I just read a pretty thought-provoking post from bglhonline one of my fav natural hair sites and what better place to expound on my thoughts in response, than on here. For the few of you who read this, I humbly appreciate it and definitely welcome your thoughts on the matter.
The post was a response to Jill Scott's article in Essence magazine Jill Scott Talks Interracial where Jill Scott comments on the feeling or 'wince' she gets when she hears her Black male friend is married to a White woman and her idea as to why she gets this feeling with some details about the effect of the history of the relationship between Black men and Women and some references to the African diaspora in general.
Well I felt compelled (and did) leave a painfully long comment in response (bglh if you happen upon this post, please accept my apologies for clouding your post space with such a long post - its just that I had alot to say).
Anyway, in case its not posted there, which I wouldn't fault her for due to its length, here was my response:

I don't know why but I have yet to feel this 'wince' when I hear a Black man is with a White woman. Maybe its because I'm Jamaican but I lived there only the first 10 years of my life and then I moved to the States. I think one feels the 'wince' when someone in the only pool your are looking to, chooses outside your pool.

For example, let's imagine a room where there are clusters of people rounded up into groups and each are on a quest to find a partner. You are in group A and somehow have convinced yourself (or been told) that the only pool from which you can, will, or want to find your partner is group B (although there are groups C-Z in the room). You also understand that for whatever reason (maybe because group B shares some history with you) group B should be most inclined to choose a partner from your group, group A.
 Then you look and suddenly see members of group B moving away from the group to select their partners from groups C-Z. You see that group dwindling as the members find their partners but your group A is still fairly large (though some may have managed to find their partners in group B and a few have also gone off to find partners in groups C-Z).

I would feel the pinch, the 'wince', the sting if not panic all together.

 I mean does this mean I will not have much to select from? And it would hurt even more if the members of group B I see straggling off to find their partners in groups C-Z were what I thought of as compatible matches for me. I would have several options:
1. Resolve to go it alone.
2. Crumple up and disgard my belief that my partner can or will only come from group B and start looking at the other groups.
If I definitely don't want anyone in the other groups then I will just have to take the risk I may never find what I want, or settle my expectations of what I want so someone still in group B who I may not have been willing to consider before, becomes a viable option for me.
Basically, I will have to think outside the box. This is what I would do.....but then again, I have never been an 'inside the box' thinker in general.
I love Black men, especially ones from the Caribbean who share my love for ackee and saltfish and can play dominos and do the latest Jamaican dance and understand when I speak patois. I dreamed of marrying a man like that. But then I met someone who loves me to no end. I did my big chop and he was telling me how beautiful my kinky hair is, showing me the curls here and there and you guessed it - he's not in group B.

 Damn he even helps me mix my homemade concoctions for my hair. And never fails to bring me an avocado when we run out without my asking just because he knows I use it in my hair.
I'm not married yet so who knows who I'll end up with but for now, I'm happy. I think we have to abandon whatever has made us think we can only find love - we should, or will, only find love in group B and look around us...all 360 degrees.

So that was my comment.

I know the dating thing is way more complicated than this. And I see where Jill Scott is coming from because the complex and emotionally charged history of the relationship between the Black man and the Black woman does have alot to do with how some Blacks may feel about interracial relationships -  And I didn't even touch on how much more of a sting it is if the relationship between the members of 'group A and B' with 'groups C-Z' was historically plagued with negativity, hostility and other bad '...ity's  :)
In any case, what are your thoughts on this topic?


Mashie said...

I hear you loud and clear. I, too, have natural hair and I have felt more appreciated by individuals from groups C-Z than from my own. As a matter of fact, I was told by a bonefied-no-pork-eating-Rastafarian that I am a white man's dream. I thought that to be very ironic - but according to him I had the "look"; specifically -"little and sexy", "cute", and "confident in the way you dress and wear your hair". What! Does a black man not deserve any of these things? Do I appear too unconventional? Is my vogue intimidating? Ok....I get it....I started rocking this natural hair-do a few years back - when it was happening in New York but wasn't quite hitting the streets of South Florida in a fashionable sense - but the source of the argument shocked me to the core - a Rastafarian - Mr. Au Natural who should be loving his African Princess...lol! Time and Time again I've had black men tell me to do "something" to my hair.

Then I met him. A man who prefers me with my hair kinky over it being flat-ironed;who when his fingers get caught in a knot he gently plays his way through; who who helps me to comb the conditioner through in the shower; for crying out loud - a man who did not mind being slapped straight in the eye on one of those occassions by a fistful of hair decked out in a half jar(8 ozs.) of conditioner and who proudly wore the fruits of his labor- his eye red and swollen for 3 days - and was not shy to share with his friends that "M's hair punched me in the eye"*** Cute*** Of course he would later explain and it felt so good to see him "openly" loving me and not being macho with "the boys".

This man....he is Black but in my case, he belongs to group C-Z; I am Jamaican and he is African-American. Never in a million years did I think that I would have gotten on this level with someone outside of my culture but being open to love took me there. Love knows no COLOUR, it is not puffed up and it is forgiving. Why lock ourselves away? (No Pun Intended...lol) Seriuously.

Question for you though....what does having lived in Jamaica for ONLY 10 years have to do with anythin? Curious.

Thanks for the blog.

DM said...

@Mashie, love the enthusiasm you expressed in your comment about what you have going on.
Responding to your question: I think that culturally Black women who grew up in the Caribbean may have a different perspective than Black women here about the idea of a Black man dating someone from another race (I may be wrong) just because our history's though similar through slavery, are kind of different given that Jamaica is predominantly Black (without getting into all that history). I was highlighting that since I grew up (at least half) in the States even if there is a difference in perspective (and there may not be) I think I can relate to the African-American perspective as well. In this case, the perspective African-American women may be coming from with how they feel about the interracial dating thing. That's why I brought it up. Don't mistake me though I am PROOOUUUD of my Jamaican-ness and my Jamaican heritage. :) Definitely didn't mean to downplay that.

Mashie said...

@DM I am loving your blog. I hear - the multi-perspective; and I feel you - the the African diaspora sometimes get disconnectd - a'la islanders versus African-American. So imagine just how interesting and challenging my relationship is; and that in itself I can appreciate.

Keep on Bloggin :-)