In the latest edition of  Essence singer Jill Scott addresses the subject matter of interracial marriage.

My new friend is handsome, African-American, intelligent and seemingly wealthy. He is an athlete, loves his momma, and is happily married to a White woman. I admit when I saw his wedding ring, I privately hoped. But something in me just knew he didn’t marry a sister. Although my guess hit the mark, when my friend told me his wife was indeed Caucasian, I felt my spirit…wince. I didn’t immediately understand it. My face read happy for you. My body showed no reaction to my inner pinch, but the sting was there, quiet like a mosquito under a summer dress.

Was I jealous? Did the reality of his relationship somehow diminish his soul’s credibility? The answer is not simple. One could easily dispel the wince as racist or separatist, but that’s not how I was brought up. I was reared in a Jehovah’s Witness household. I was taught that every man should be judged by his deeds and not his color, and I firmly stand where my grandmother left me. African people worldwide are known to be welcoming and open-minded. We share our culture sometimes to our own peril and most of us love the very notion of love. My position is that for women of color, this very common “wince” has solely to do with the African story in America.

When our people were enslaved, “Massa” placed his Caucasian woman on a pedestal. She was spoiled, revered and angelic, while the Black slave woman was overworked, beaten, raped and farmed out like cattle to be mated. She was nothing and neither was our Black man. As slavery died for the greater good of America, and the movement for equality sputtered to life, the White woman was on the cover of every American magazine. She was the dazzling jewel on every movie screen, the glory of every commercial and television show. She was unequivocally the standard of beauty for this country, firmly unattainable to anyone not of her race. We daughters of the dust were seen as ugly, nappy mammies, good for day work and unwanted children, while our men were thought to be thieving, sex-hungry animals with limited brain capacity.

We reflect on this awful past and recall that if a Black man even looked at a White woman, he would have been lynched, beaten, jailed or shot to death. In the midst of this, Black women and Black men struggled together, mourned together, starved together, braved the hoses and vicious police dogs and died untimely on southern back roads together. These harsh truths lead to what we really feel when we see a seemingly together brother with a Caucasian woman and their children. That feeling is betrayed. While we exert efforts to raise our sons and daughters to appreciate themselves and respect others, most of us end up doing this important work alone, with no fathers or like representatives, limited financial support (often court-enforced) and, on top of everything else, an empty bed. It’s frustrating and it hurts!

Our minds do understand that people of all races find genuine love in many places. We dig that the world is full of amazing options. But underneath, there is a bite, no matter the ointment, that has yet to stop burning. Some may find these thoughts to be hurtful. That is not my intent. I’m just sayin’.

Your thoughts please….

20 replies »

  1. my thoughts are that I ought to blog about this. No but serious was just reading the ybf and then the comments on essence…. liberals keep saying get over your history it is in the past and who cares. however. the black man is the most fiercest critic of the black woman. from her hair choices to the clothes she wears to etc etc etc.

    I like the fact Jill Scott just said what it is and did not skirt around the issue. I do not feel the issue is mixed raced relationships but the fact that Black women have yet to be given her rightful place in society. Think of the pain trials and tribulations that winnie mandela, corretta scott king, star jones, terry mcmillan, etc etc have endured some silently. (down load men get the blame too).

    I thought it was good to talk. Then surely if we feel a pain or a thought or a way or something, than we ought to talk about it and discuss it. I am sick of people telling Black woman(and black people in general) to be quiet on certain topics. and then some

    I enjoyed reading the article btw because it did not dig at anothers chose but addressed why people feel the way they do. Plus not all get deep ad take it to history and how history has created the situations we are in now.

    Would be interesting to know thoughts on this article from the African continent and anywhere in the world where Black people are majority.

  2. I think people who say that people need to get over it or their past and history, need to get over it and accept the fact that some people are not going to forget and get over it. The people who say this tend to be those who are benefiting positively from their past and at the same time cannot get over their benefits. Anywho,

    Jill is stating the reality and giving insight into her and many other people’s process and reaction to interracial relationships. Is she lying about the black woman’s position in society or rather may i say black woman position in the media? I do not think so.

    There are other reasons people will not get involved in interracial relationships eg cultural clashes. Me, i could care less who gets married to who or who dates who, but i am not knocking where their pain comes from or thoughts.


    Speaking as an African who was raised in England and has also lived a near decade in Ghana I can say that similar cringes occur. We don’t share an identical slave history regarding the whole plantation experience but in some ways suffer a greater set back of neo-colonialism: (Don”t forget ladies and gentlemen, we brough you AKON!lol!) But jokes aside, any black girl who looked more African than ‘mixed’ who is in my age group (36 now-yikes!) will agree that many many many black men rejected us as objects of desire from adolescance. Some would go as far as to hail you as ugly in front of all of his friends (both black and white). A hell of a lot of my black male peers have never been out with black girls and as a result have mixed race children who again were seen as back in the day as the preferred mode. (let’s face it, ppl talk about what they want their kids to look like, as narrow as it is) I suppose secretly they never wanted thier daughters to go through the trials of being ‘nappy headed and ugly’ so went in for the good hair and fair skin qulities that allegedly would lead to success for them.

    As it stands, I see many of these brothers in broken relationships with their white partners-a sign of the times for everyone to be fair-but in some cases a new found interest in his black sisters with no clue as to who we are anymore. His only positive relatonship with a sister was perhaps wiith a sibling sister or his mother but does not know how to translate desire towards a sister.

    In the midst of all of this many sisters have been getting their head down to just getting on, acquring the needed finances to look after themselves or their children relativeley alone and in some ways have left behind a lot of these men who took the easy route of acceptance in the west. Ironically, many of these women too have ended up in mixed relatonships as they can no longer relate to their brothers.

    Of course theirs more to it and I could segue of into many different aspects but you can probably hazard a guess that I have a slightly bitter view when it comes tinteracial relationships IN THE WEST and for the purpose of clarity between black and white people (don’t wanna hear about no Scottish white man defending his lovely interaccial relationship whi his white Italian wife-ur both WHITE move on!!). The truth is that my own experiences showed me that many of the times these guys were lazy and did not want to deal with the ‘hardship’ and possible rejection of his peers if he was to be with a black girl. Sure, this was when I was very young- a teenager where popularity is fundamental to the young adult but it tended to form the types of relationships we dould continue to have with the opposite sex.
    Luckily for me I moved to Ghana and found a whole load of men who looked AT me not THROUGH me so my initial lack of self confidence around black men dissipated. However back here in London, I still see that glazed nonchalalnce when I see a certain kind of brother on a train or bus who has the uniform of a man that exclusively dates white women. I think times have moved on but not in their minds. I don’t wince when I see him with her but I do feel the immediate defensiveness from the pair when I casually look over.

    To conclude , I tend to think that these relationships are sometimes the least colour blind..

  4. PS: Mixing of the races is a GOOD thing from a very long term (thousands of years) perspective. The human gene pool is relatively shallow (we all are about 98.9% identical genetically, race irregardless), so mixing colors actually makes sense.

    Culturally, however…


  5. yawn.
    and who cares.
    no offense, but for someone who has had failed relationships..nevermind.

    i just think the whole being offended..errr..wincing, at a black man dating a white women (or any other race) is RIDICULOUS. Maybe she just mad that she doesn’t have a man of her own. NEXT.

  6. I’m really sincerely glad that people have moved on and think that this is all irrelevant today. I do agree that it is ridiculous to bemoan someone else in their relationship-people should deal with their own issues and not be watching others- co signed.

    But I will say that I still think that there aren’t as many liberal minded folk who feel this way, I could be very wrong.

  7. There are not many liberal minded people indeed who think that way and for various reasons.

    One is the issue of racism( a result of the past and present), another is the issue of cultural indifference and backgrounds. Things which create bias naturally and things i cannot hold against anyone as long as that anyone is not knocking another s relationship. Relationships are relationships. It is not like you can stop someone from getting attracted to whoever they find attractive.

  8. *sigh*

    there are some great comments on here, some not so great and some…well lets say typical ones

    THIS is why I have got so much time for this woman, Jill. while others seek to make this an non-issue or couch it in terms such as ‘progress’ (which speaks to whole ‘nother set of psychological disorders that Global Afrcan people are still majorly struggling with on a daily basis) she tackles it head on, writes PERSONALLY, beautifully and with such grace that even if you try to tackle this head on with mis-directed aggression which sadly says a lot about yourself you look silly, she just smiles (again beautifully) and the truth is left as…well…THE TRUTH

    this is just simply real talk and I love it

    if only we could get more of this in the UK but that…would be quite subversive which kinda is a bit weird don’t ya think?

    me dun

    big up Miss Mad News

    The Almighty’s Blessinsg

  9. people ought to get over telling people to get over it. each to their own. Jill should have sang back to them “Cant get in the way of what I’m feeling…” If what Jill Scott said did not bare any truth no one would have bat an eyelid and even the likes of Digital Spy would not have talked about it.
    People saying Get over it – now that is being politically correct.
    I have no problem with Black women African women Diasporan women speaking their thoughts and minds on any issue they feel. Jill was being constructive and I do not see where anything that she said would cause offense. People need to chillax

  10. I get what Jill is saying, but I’m looking out the window and thinking hard… Yep, You guessed it, I’m on the fence with this one LOL 😉

  11. I wrote a piece of poetry inspired by a track Mishal Moore had done a short while, and in it I was acknowledging that black women have gone through the same struggles as the black man, and what Jill had written above brought this back to my thoughts and my thinking, nobody really gets the black man, like the black women, but still many black brothers run laps for the trophy wife, the highly thought of pedistal women, the caucausian women. (I have nothing against Caucasian women or mix relations/ships lol… but what went down during slavery is some real mind programming stuff amongst alot of other fuckerys, the effects are still evident today imo)

    When I say looking out of my window, I mean like the things I see everyday, I think that interracial relations/ships are far more mixed now and things aren’t so black and white in this area… it’s a free world and people are free to do what ever they please,….

    But I think it’s sad if as black men we don’t see the beauty in our own black sisters / women, and deem then to be generally less attractive then women of other races, I think this is the case with many brothers who choose to only really date caucausian women…. but in reagrds to just dating, settling down marriage etc…I don’t think race (in relationships) is as important as it once was / seemed, what is important to me is compatibility, trust, levels of communication, a belief in each other, if these things are in place, then who cares about race really??? just that usually it’s easier to find these things with partners from one’s own background, culture, race….

    ahhh, my 5p worth lol

  12. I am reading both your post and Reclaimin’s post.

    Slavery was some fuckery and so was colonialism. I say colonialism because there are some uneducated, naive African women who get involved with white men just because they are white men. A white man representing supposed wealth and education. OK, fine, do your thing, here is what irks the hell out of me. Why do they have to lie to their equally naive relatives back home even when they know that that is not the case? They fuel the myth. And this is why some of these problems are never going to go away. Then they bear kids, and these kids are only aware of their white culture, do not appreciate their black culture or african culture just because their mothers cannot be bothered to teach them, and we wonder why they look down on black sisters. smh

    Ps Fr, i went to the bank with your story and it was worth a grand, apparently. lol

  13. Lol, thanks Lati ;)…

    that is a sad case, and I’ve sent this alot too, in a few cases the kids grew up to want to know more, but if the parent that comes from a certain culture, fully turns from it to embrace everything in other culture, forgetting their own, what message does that send out to their children?… and so the cycle will continue.

  14. In the words of Agnes Kuye, ‘some people are lost’. AND lack identity, no wonder we have confused, unfocused kids running the streets like strays. It is sad. Parents need to step up their game for sure, but if we have lost parents, chances are we will have lost children. The cycle really continues.

  15. I agree with Miss Scott whole-heartedly. The majority of our brothers with money go out and marry white women. And the majority of them are just after the money

  16. A sad reality. At some level black men and women define their success by marrying outside of their race. It’s that final trophy! So I poss the question “Do you love you mother’s, your sister’s, your auntie’s, your brother’s, your father’s, Yourself?” As we all know we are a broken race; and if we are not willing to fix us who else will? Everytime we chose someone outside of ourselves our race brakes more and more. We are the only race that’s so free and willing to accept something from the outside. I want “you” any black man without money to go to the father of a (white, philippine, hispanic, etc.) women and ask to marry his daughter and see the response. So that should show that the only reason families are accepting of it is because all they see is green!!! So to Jill Thank you for saying what’s on the minds of many. Sorry, that even our people can’t understand why you feel this way. To the world before you bash someone for how they feel ?? “how you really feel”. And as I end my paragraph; Black WOMEN we are beautiful and any little black boy who does not want us is intemidated by our stregnth; Black MEN any little black girls who don’t want you she can’t take your power!! Peace Love and Blessing.

  17. It’s a pity that Ms. Scott doesn’t use her celebrity status for more progressive politics, but chooses instead to create more mischief in the world. It is apparent that her travels aboard, did not widen her horizon, and if White person made the same comments they would be labled a racist . Because she a celebrity she is given the leeway to spew this rubbish. I wonder how she feels about Gay marriage? Her remarks are bigoted.

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March 2010
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