Luckily, interracial dating and marriage have been on the rise for the last couple of decades, but still, many stereotypes linger to this day — and they make dating quite challenging — in particular for black men. A recent survey showed that 88% of millennials are supportive of interracial relationships, but that’s just in theory. Only 54% of them have actually dated a person outside of their race.
Since dating a person from another ethnic group is an unknown experience for many young people, stereotypes can be quite persistent. There are many myths that make dating for black men hard, and here are some of them.
Dating a black guy is a proof you aren’t racist.
Dating a Black guy does not prove you aren’t racist. It’s not some sort of a silver bullet that kills racism – at all.
Hannah Strong hangs around nothin but black people. She probably felt comfortable with sayin that @ the time. The guy she mess with is black
— Keon Lyn (@KeonLyn8) September 6, 2014
Let’s say you’re a black man dating a white woman. This most certainly doesn’t have to mean that woman isn’t racist. She could still think black people are bad, but you are one of the few good ones. This happens way more often than you might think.
2. He doesn’t like black women
This is quite a touchy topic. Very often, when a black guy is dating a white woman, he gets tons of hate from black girls and the black community in general. These guys are often seen as haters of their own race and people tend to think he’s dating the white girl just because she’s white, not because he likes her as a person — which, in most cases, isn’t true. Black guys are able to see past color, just like any other non-racist person is.
3. Race doesn’t matter if you love him.
No matter how much you love each other, race does matter. It matters in terms of handling weird looks in the public transportation, it matters in terms of being strong enough to last through numerous family members who will condemn the love you feel (and this is unavoidable). Rudeness from all sorts of people, familiar ones and strangers, is something the two of you need to talk about and handle together. You can’t just pretend it doesn’t exist and put it under the carpet each time it happens. And it will happen.
4. He’s packing.
The myth about all black men being “heavily equipped” down there has more sinister roots than you may think. First of all, there is no scientific evidence that black men in general have bigger penises. While this myth might seem like an actually positive stereotype, it’s not.
In fact, this myth has been used to make racism more progressive and to seed fear among white women, when it comes to black men. Check out what Gary L. Davis and Herbert J. Cross wrote in the Archives of Sexual Behavior:
“Black females are thought to have a near insatiable sexual appetite, and Black males are thought to have an oversized penis and to be more sexually potent than white males. … Along with this ascribed Black male potency is a fear of Black male aggressiveness. Whites are allegedly fearful that white women may be raped by Blacks because of the Blacks’ ungoverned sexual appetites. This fear is an implicit reason for segregation. History is replete with instances where Black males were lynched for supposed sexual indiscretions with white females; and not only were they lynched, they were castrated. Castration-lynching in this society has been directed primarily at Blacks and has been interpreted as direct violence on the sexual potency of Black males by whites, because of the threat of Black sexuality.”
Let’s just add this: if you’re fetishizing someone, you aren’t complimenting them.
5. He wants you to be “down.”
Many women think they need to suddenly accept black culture when they start dating a black guy. They often start mimicking the way black people talk, move, or act in general. This is far from complimentary. This is trying too hard and in most cases, it looks absolutely ridiculous. Appropriation isn’t appreciation. If you want to appreciate your black man’s culture, learn about their history, learn about their struggles and achievements they’ve been going through throughout history. Get to know them, but please, be yourself. Don’t try to be a black girl. You aren’t.