When I choose to date a black man, I inevitably send a message to society about who I am and what I represent.
The ease with which this white man navigated the public sphere was simply amazing and I wanted that. No matter how I modified my company, as a conscious black woman, I knew I was different and could not shake that suspicion of being exoticized by white men; I could never fully trust these relationships were real because at the end of the day I was still black.
I was not raised a sheltered, “white washed” black woman, and so the permanence of being black, with all its burdens, was always more important to me than temporary ease of access – but that privilege afforded by my complexion was not so easy to ignore.
But, perhaps more shameful than being publically passed over is thinking that just maybe your life would be easier – better even – if you were dating a white man.
While I was angry with the security guard and the establishment, I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel a tinge of regret at that moment for being with a black man or a hint of frustration at the very man who was just victimized and dismissed.
In fact, at a recent fellowship dinner at Columbia Law School, a wealthy, white businessman told me that the biggest business problem occurring in America is the inability of black women to find [black] husbands.