It’s funny how things happen but when all the signs point go west young woman it seems that you have no other choice. Two years ago, when I ventured into the challenging foray of race relations, dating, and relationships I didn’t think anybody but my sister girlfriends were talking about it. It refers to being single, financially secure and/or independent, professional women of color. A slight mention here and there in the scholarly literature about balancing family and work obligations but nothing substantial on the romantic experiences of professional women of color. Yet, in popular culture the evidence was everywhere, a conversation was being had in regard to professional women of color seeking or looking for suitable romantic partners. First, it was the movie “Something New” with Sanaa Lathan and Simon Baker which caught my attention–in which Lathan plays a successful yet single corporate attorney who is torn as to whether to explore a relationship with a white landscape architect played by Baker’s character. Then anchor and journalist Soledad O’Brien came along with her “Black in America” series and literally blew the roof off this issue in her segment entitled the Black Woman and Family. In this documentary O’Brien profiles black men and women dialoguing with respect to intersections of race, class, and gender as it relates to dating/marriage. She talks to black women including the editor-in-chief of Essence Magazine about the difficulties black women face in their social and dating life…..and the beat goes on. Most recently, law professor turned writer Karyn Langhorne Falon wrote a book called Don’t Bring Home A White Boy and Other Notions that Keep Black Women From Dating Out, in which she discusses the stigma attached to black/white unions between black females and white males which prevent black women from dating outside of the race. And just last month R&B songstress Alicia Keys premiered her music video “Unthinkable” which traces an interracial black/white couple throughout several decades til present day. Keys and Chad Michael Murray of “One Tree Hill” fame play star-crossed lovers forced to deal with racial tensions and familial opposition to their love. The message: yes things have changed but sadly things haven’t changed that much. Interracial dating is not a new phenomenon, nor does it come as a surprise that black men/white women pairings are much more common than black women/white men ones. Perhaps what is surprising is how popular culture and social media have managed to crack this topic wide open in a big way. As I troll the internet reading blogs it seems like the number one question on everyone’s one’s mind including my own is why are so many successful sisters single?
Go West Young (Wo)Man!