This is a scanned Polaroid pic of me back in the very late 1990s in Delaware. Please forgive the condition of it, but there I sit at my sewing machine table on a scorching hot dog day of summer day. I know the temperature outside because of my tank top and toasted skin. LOL! My ex-husband had also just given me this necklace that a friend of his sent to me as a gift from Bendel state in Nigeria, so that also helps me to pinpoint the date.
Anyway, I post this old pic as an indicator of a major turning point with the content of my site and focus. In a few days, it’ll be the 10th anniversary of my blackfemaleinterracialmarriage.com site. Yes, I started this leg of my life’s journey way back in July 2006! It’s been a rip-roaring segment of my life. Thank all of you for joining me for portions of it and contributing to the many rich discussions and experiences.
And wow–I have learned so much from all of you, about African American women! Primarily, I’ve learned so much about what I thought I already knew. At the time I started the blog, I was convinced that I knew the profile of the typical African American woman almost perfectly. But after doing this for a decade now, I look back and realize how incredibly wrong I was! When I think back on it, that profile in my head was based largely on me, my life, my experiences, my observations, and the lives of my black American friends and other close black American associates in my social circle, with whom I had mingled for decades. But we were not typical in key ways. Still aren’t.
But black American women are very diverse and in every niche. We’re probably the most or one of the most diverse cultural groups of women on earth because we’ve never had a secure niche carved out for us. In essence, we’ve been in an array of nooks and niches and this could and should be viewed as a plus because we generally survived, and many of us have even thrived. Survival is the most important imperative. Our survival in the various nooks and niches, though sometimes very insecure ones, shows that we’re highly resourceful and adaptable.
Resourcefulness and adaptability spring from intelligence and are key survival and thriving traits. Black American women should praise ourselves for having these traits. It means that many of us can go into any nook or niche and rise to the challenges and prosper. We need to make it a point to deliberately tell our daughters and granddaughters often that this is a valuable part of their identity and then shape many more of them to develop these traits to the level of a high art. This is not the same as being strong. I am against telling black girls and women that they are strong because it carries with it the notion of not needing help. Black American girls and women are very vulnerable and need all the help they can get, just like any other female.
So, it may not always be easy to enter or remain in certain nooks, niches, but this is an area in which we excel. Furthermore, black American women have no choice but to leave barren social circles, areas, environments, etc. Therefore, being resourceful and adaptable are excellent traits to have and use. Many black American women have learned to do this well.
Remember that if YOU don’t tell your daughter and granddaughter and other little black girls that these traits make up a part of who they are, others with ill intentions will only be too happy to tell them that the only good thing about them is their butt size. This is exactly why so many younger black women, these days, do all they can to emphasize that part of their anatomy. The key reason why so many black women struggle so much with so many things is because their identity has been shaped and handed to them by people who don’t appreciate them and don’t have their best interests at heart. If you can shape and control a person’s identity, you can control them.
In practice, black girls and women often get the message that certain people, places, and things are just not available to them because they’re black American females. These people are trying to control these black females by crippling them via their black American female identity.
Black women are everywhere, in every niche! For ex., Darren and I were traveling through Amish lands in deep Pennsylvania Dutch country a few years ago and encountered 2 black Amish women in a small Amish country store. These were African American women. There’s a black American woman who is married to a wealthy Amish man in my general area. I’ve never met her, but people have mentioned her to me a few times.
But I’ve digressed. All the black women that I mingled with during and since college dated outside their ethnic and/or racial group and most of them married men of other ethnicities and races, just as I did. Or they had no serious reservations or hesitations about doing so. Intercultural and interracial marriages of African American women may not have been widely common during the 1980s onward, but to me, those marriages and relationships were normal, since those were primarily the only relationships I’d experienced and observed since becoming an adult. Prior to starting this blog, I’d only had one close friend who had married a black American man.
Also, ALL of the women I knew during that time viewed marriage as the normal destination for a woman to aim for, after college or grad school. We did have various reservations, concerns, conflicts, and fears about marriage. In my early twenties, I, for example, emphatically stated to others that I was never, ever going to get married, but deep inside, I knew I would. What else was there to do if a woman of my station in life wanted children? OOW children? Never!
And you may find this to be the most shocking thing, but ALL of those black women were and continue to be feminists. I am a staunch feminist and always will be, but of course this depends on how you may define feminism. I’ll state here that I like some men and I love some of them a whole lot. I’ve been fortunate to have had some wonderful men in my life when I was growing up, married 2 wonderful men, and I have 2 fabulous sons. My grandson is too adorable for words! The only males I’ve ever had a problem with are the ones who are not fair to girls and women, and I will always dislike males of that type.
More about feminism later, but very often, people disagree about an issue or a topic because they’re not defining the key terms of the topic in the same way.
I now can better understand why some of the things I wrote about in my initial blog years were shocking to black women and black men. Lol At that time, I couldn’t figure out why–telling or suggesting to a black woman that if she weren’t happy with the selection of men she’d been dating, that she should date men from other groups–was even viewed as revolution talk to many of my readers. But I certainly found out I had touched the third rail since some African Americans even accused me of heresy and treason. Other tried to track me down, and one person reported me to the IRS. LOL Several black women emailed me threatening emails, saying they wanted to hurt me! This was why I didn’t post my pic during my first years of blogging. Menacing emails! I knew that a large slice of blacks out there somewhere felt I was committing a high crime, but I couldn’t figure out why they were mad at me for expressing what was sheer common sense.
Even now, I still encounter black American women (though many fewer) who still just don’t think it’s right to date or marry out or won’t admit to friends and family members that they prefer to go that route. I also still encounter black women who say they would like to explore their dating and marital options outside their group, but only talk about the men inside their group. I used to chat with them about that to find out why they were doing that, but I stopped because there is no rational reason that I could discover.
Honestly, if I’d known then what I’ve learned over the past 10 years about the predominant experiences of black American women, I would never have gone in the direction I went with my site. Maybe in a somewhat similar direction, but not that one. What I didn’t take into account was that unlike me and the black women I knew in college in NYC and in my social circle, most people outside of NYC don’t mingle outside their group.
In some ways, it was so much easier for African American women to date and marry out 10, 20 years ago. It was virtually virgin territory for black women and nonblack men to engage in interracial dating then. But in this information age we’re now in, the waters have become so muddied on both sides. In some cases, saboteurs have deliberately muddied the interracial waters. These days, the topic of black women interracially dating has been scrutinized, dissected, and discussed from every angle. I just find that to be surreal and tiresome.
That being said, I’m so thankful that I had the farsightedness to stumble into becoming one of the pioneers of the interracial/intercultural option for black women. This happened mainly because I don’t actually believe there are different races of people. There are, however, different cultures of people. I’m still wildly passionate about Cultural Anthropology and therefore, intercultural relationships, along with Bio-Anthropology, as well as success strategies for black American girls and women along those lines. So, I won’t make a point of posting interracial pics anymore since I’ve internally never felt comfortable with the evils behind why those pics were so riveting to some people. As a devotee of Anthropology, I’ve known since my early college days that there’s only one race of people on earth. So, down deep inside, I’ve always felt I was doing a bit of a con by having people come to my site to look at interracial couples. Those couples were actually intercultural couples. I’ve voiced my discomfort about this behind the scenes to various other bloggers and commenters. But in the U.S., race is king, so most people will not understand what you’re saying if you don’t talk about people in racial terms. So, my site uses the term interracial to avoid confusion and arguments.
I did cut-throat vetting, married interculturally twice, and both marriages have proven to be very smart decisions for me.
Darren doesn’t believe in race either, and scientifically, bio-anthropologists, biologists, and other scientists can find no proof of race and therefore can’t define it. Geneticists often point out that there is much more genetic diversity within any race than exist between members of different so-called races. Still, there is a profound belief in race in the U.S., just like there’s a belief in the various religious doctrines. Race is a religion in the U.S.–a matter of faith, but some of us have never believed in that faith.
Naturally, Darren and I know we are trapped inside the delusion of race that others hold most dear. To use an analogy: Since we live in CATLAND and all the cats believe we’re cats, it’s just easier for us to pretend to believe that we’re cats too. Lol Therefore, I’m black and he’s white–of two different races.
I think about my beautiful little granddaughter a lot these days and what her life will be like as a black female. I want to give her every proven-effective success strategy and every ounce of help I can. I also want other young black females to be aware of various strategies for living as smart females. This is way too important for trial and error, so in the future, my writings and podcasts will be devoted almost exclusively to combining my enduring passion for Cultural and Bio-Anthropology and culling the valuable old, but smart strategies that these areas have to offer black girls and women in the realm of moving to higher grounds.