Jill Scott's spirit winces at black-white dating

Posted by Ria, 06 Apr 10

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. - Jill Scott; April issue, Essence Magazine

I know she was being honest about her feelings on 'such' coupling. She also says that her "positions is that for women of color" and that this wince isn't racist... but "has solely to do with the African story in America".

Much as she claims this to be the view of women of color, I expected better from her. Even if she had the guts to voice her honest opinion, I think people should keep such thoughts to themselves. They scream STONE AGE!. I am a woman of color ... Jill Scott's view isn't my view. Is her position the position of women of color? In what century?

104 responses to "Jill Scott's spirit winces at black-white dating"

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  1.   jacci says:
    Posted: 17 Aug 10

    I myself feel like Jill Scott. I think everyone should stay in their own race. I can never forget how black men lost their lives for just looking at a white woman.Black people are always saying that they are pride to be black, but are they really. The black man will never have nothing, because the ones that are lucky enough to make it big with money the first thing they do is to get a white woman and then she divorce him and take all that money right back to the white race. Tiger woods for example,all the black people was so proud of him and he doesn't even want to be black. Michael Jackson gave a white woman Elizabeth Taylor diamonds and she had all these things before he was born.When he adopted children he wanted white children. There are a lot of black children that he could have chose.He chose people like Brooke Sheilds,Lisa Marie Presley to be his friends he even married Lisa Marie Presley.Where was any black people in his life.When he was accused of child molestation it was only whites. The white people should have done his black behind just that way. OJ Simpson left his black wife and married a white nothing and eventually killed her, got away with it,and started another relationship with another white woman. He Knew the white people was after his butt. He got just what he deserved and they need to keep him locked up forever. I admire people like Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson they are still with their black women no matter how big they got.All races come to the United States and stick together and they open up business and get wealth. The black man have been here since slavery and they have nothing to identify with because they back stab and do not stick together, and when they have been bless to fame or fortune they give all back to the white man. Don't get me wrong I am not a white person hater, I feel like races should not mix. You don't mix a rattlesnake with a cobra even though they are both snakes.You don't mix a wren with a crow even though they are both birds. I want to say this also, I don't care what a white woman looks like her white man call her beautiful, but black men call their woman b***hes and wh**Es.

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  2.   biggsdarwin says:
    Posted: 30 Jul 10

    Not sure what spirit she's referring to, but the Spirit of love never winces over the true course and foundation of love. This is not about idealism but rather, about speaking truth in the face of personal opinions and personal paradigms. If it's love, then let it be.

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  3. Posted: 23 Jul 10

    I am new to this site, my first week to be exact; and although I have dated out of race, its been over 25 years. I made the choice to explore other races of women, but my choice is not based on race at all. It's based on wanting to love women from the spectrum that God has provided, and not just black women. Jill has a passionate love for black men and expresses that passion in her opinion and music. Racism my friends is taught to us to trick and divide us so don't be fooled. "Love" is a gift from God and must be protected. Listen to a song that Jill wrote called "The Fact is...(I need you)" (http://shinkify.com/1kvq)and you'll feel her passion. I don't know Jill Scott, but I've listen to the love expressed for black men in her words...Please, please listen to her and you'll agree she truly loves black men and holds no regret to any other race of woman. Think about it logically; When your mother took your favorite toy to wash it you "winced".... Godfather454 - "that's my thoughts and I'm sticking to them"

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  4.   Kissime says:
    Posted: 03 Jul 10

    I was 6 months pregnant when my ex-husband and I were walking out of the hospital, I was discharged from being admitted because of excruciating pain. My unborn son's heart was skipping and we were told he may not survive. I remember asking the physician to induce labor because in my state of mind I thought he'd have a better chance of surviving. The father of my child and the physicians refused. During the 6th months of our pregnancy I was hospitalized twice--for a total of 12 days. As we were walking through the corridors of ENH Hospital @ the time, I remember a black man winced at me directly. I can not described how I felt about it because my mind was so occupied. But I remember. No one ever dared to approach my x-husband about us. But I do remember the white ladies following him, trying to entice him-it never worked. They just looked desperate. I never said a word to him about my observations. It didn't matter. The end of our marriage had nothing to do with winced eyes. So, one can winced 'till his or her facial expressions remains frowned permanently. Our son is 4 years old and healthier than both of us.

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  5.   Bronze says:
    Posted: 20 Jun 10

    I'm with Donitta on this one. I understand where she is coming from and she has every right to speak her mind and heart, but I will not allow myself to be put in the same category as her and other black women who "wince". It would be hypocritical for me to wince because I prefer to date outside of my race. I feel that people should date whomever they want and not have others "wincing" at them.

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  6.   Donitta says:
    Posted: 18 Jun 10

    While Jill is entitled to her opinion, she does not speak for all Black women. Many of us do not "wince" when we see Black men with White/non-Black women. We have our own romantic relationships to worry about to be concerned with whom each and every Black man gets involved. It's time that Black women get with good quality men -- regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, etc. There are alot of blogs out there featuring Black women in relationships with non-Black men. The idea that Black women should be worried about Black men is now passe. Let's move on to something different and let Black men worry about themselves.

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  7.   blaqbeauty4 says:
    Posted: 31 May 10

    I am open to interracial dating but i now know that it is highly unlikely that i will marry either a black or white male from the United States. The typical mindset appears to be narrow and that they deserve worship. It is unfortunate, but nonetheless... I have come full-circle with this and i not a person that hates mankind. I just recognize what is best for me and the best way for me to be a healthy and productive person. People need to look at people beyond the stereotypes and look at the similarities they may have. For certain people, it proposes more of a challenge. I see this also in the gross amount of disrespect that our current president receives although of biracial heritage. The mixed and minority populations will be a minority no longer in the near future. I wish the same could be said for racism.

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  8.   kissime says:
    Posted: 29 May 10

    A Million Thanks To Our US Military Men and Women from the past and present for their sacrifices, dedication, and service to our country can not describe my appreciation. You are my heroes. The sacrifices you make every second of Your lives are inconceivable. I hope you return home with the strength of lions, peace In your hearts and minds. I hope you recognize the much needed help you need if necessary to find the balance you deserve to live prosperous lives. You are what inspires legends. I pray for your safe return home to your families and friends. I hope your hearts Remains strong through your journey~.

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  9.   NOPLAYER says:
    Posted: 15 May 10

    @ BrownClown You stated, "And lastly, with all your talk about unity, I have to wonder what brings you to this site. no offense intended." I take no offense with your question. Just like most folks on this site I'm just voicing my opinion. As for all of this "Unity" talk, I don't have a problem with it, do you? Like you, I feel love can transend ethnic differences but I also know love between people from the same ethnic groups is possible as well. Love & Be Loved, Peace

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  10.   sexylady26 says:
    Posted: 03 May 10

    I agree with R. Clayton. This has been an issue for years. Everyone has the right to speak their mind. I was raised that love has no color. If it's love, go for it. Interracial dating isn't made for everyone.

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  11.   marc5 says:
    Posted: 02 May 10

    Some of the comments posted are enlightening. Others are suspect. Exactly what makes a "good, decent Black man? Or any man for that matter? Don't want an unemployed man, but you don't want one that doesn't make enough money for your tastes, either. Because a man does not have a college degree doesn't make him unintelligent. We all think we are the greatest slice of bread, but who is really?

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  12.   jen110808 says:
    Posted: 01 May 10

    I understand 100% where Jill Scott is coming from. What she said was not racist nor was it old fashioned thinking. The reality is that there is a story as she says; and unless you are familiar with it then you probably won't understand or agree with her opinion on the matter. I read a comment further up the page by a sister (Sorry I cannot recall your name as I type this) who stated that it would be nice to see more men and women of color in happy, prosperous, loving and fulfilling relationships... and I totally agree.

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  13.   Katie says:
    Posted: 01 May 10

    To start, I am not very knowledgeable of Jill Scott. Based on the article, Jill was speaking for herself as an individual and we should view it as such. She is entitled to her opinion as well as we are. I did not read anything that says that everyone should have the same opinion or that she was speaking for Black/African American women as a whole. We all have our individual likes/dislikes, feelings, histories, experiences, and we should allow that to guide us. In a society of short term relationships, divorces, and homicides from bad relationships, if a relationship is positive and works for both parties, pursue it. Dialogue is a good thing.

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  14.   kissime says:
    Posted: 01 May 10

    So what is the psychological diagnosis for non-blacks that are attracted and admires blacks? ...I know, I bet she was told her skin was too white. Her nose was too narrow. Her father may have cheated on her mother with a black man, and she wants to prove she can get any black men. Perhaps she felt inadequate, and sensitivity to rejection from the world, and swore she would have the darkest little biracial baby to prove after all she can reproduce a darker shade of her--by finding the blackest man of all. You know those white guys they're all crazy. I know why they all may want a black woman; life would be so much easier for them if they marry a black, or non white woman. They would never be criticized by their family. They wouldn't be attacked by some black men- life would just be peachy. He may have been tortured as a child about his western eyes, so he spends his life chasing the dream of one day...one of these days I will have a child with slanted eyes. Those white guys, they just don't give up. You know they're sexual masochist; and you know us black people-- it's all about rough sex for us. Don't forget about the Latinos they do often engage in fantasizing about being beaten, bound in order to reach sexual satisfaction. And only black men knows how to beat women...can't take that away from us. And the black guys sure knows how to work it. Oh no! I'm wrong, they all want white guys because they've heard the myth was a lie. They're all illegally here anyway, and only a white man can save them from being deported-they couldn't possibly love him. You know those Latinos, even though they are all of different race-deep inside they only want darker or lighter skin babies. I know a few Indians who married out of their race. Nothing feels better than being disowned by your family. after all, their culture means nothing to them. Give me a BREAK!!! Stop trying to figure out why people love each other, and are not afraid of loving and wanting to be with each other. Everyone has an opinion...stop trying to be a psychologist. Maybe you need to see a psychiatrist. One of my sisters has a master in psychology, she gets on my freaking nerves! I'm on my couch watching a movie, and here she comes questioning me about all kinds of crap! I can see her through the reflection of the tv; crossed legs and facial expression of a nutty psychiatrist. I throw her so off--She can't even hide her frustration with me. She tries to practice her skills with me...OKAY, I suggested she gets her PhD and open a private practice. I have a few clients I've met on this site waiting for her. she's not a pill pusher though...sorry. You'll just have to suffer from her scrutiny under-medicated. But hey, I wont tell if you make a stop at the local liquor store...it'll be our little secret ;) Kissime

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  15. Posted: 28 Apr 10

    There are black men as well who will never date a black female for whatever reason, my little cousin was just 7 when he said, i only like white girls, and he does not find black girls nice looking…. i COULDNT BELIEVE it when he said that… he is now 11 and still thinks the same.. I dont know where it comes from but surely having predominatly white friends cant make a young kid say something like that…??? In addition, a pop star called Taio Cruz..(look him up) DOESNT like using black women in his videos…go on Youtube and see…… but because he wants to break US he has been told to put black women in his videos against his will, and he is black guy. He is basically disresprecting himself and his origins..to say, if I dont want to put black girls in the video, I wont. So to your case, not only black women might say I will never date a black man , there are black boys/men who will never date or dont want to look at a black female..even if they have had NO bad experiences from them.

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  16. Posted: 28 Apr 10

    First off I like Jill scott , I feel sorry for her spirit but she will get over it. My Da is White my Mum is Black My ex's have been white and black some asian I dont give a damn if the guy is green with purple dots on his body (actually that would be kinda hot lol) but I dont care about color slavery happened and ended GET OVER IT I see a white woman with a black man or a black woman with a white man and I smile I say they found love and are happy I see a white man and a white woman or a black man and a black woman and I smile I say they found love and there happy . Im going to love who I want because my heart dosent have a black white preference it has a who treats me like the queen I am preference and whoever that man be is who im with . Jill scott needs to just kiss a white guy once she'll get the jist lol :P

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  17.   Saltwater32 says:
    Posted: 28 Apr 10

    While everyone is on Jill Scott's case, I've personally seen 2 white people choose each other because they both have blond hair and blue eyes, so they can have children with blond hair and blue eyes. If that ain't racist, I don't know what is. So there is a flip side to this discussion. I have no issue with coupling with your own 'race'. A black baby is just as cute as a white one, or a mixed one. Doesn't concern me in the least. I look back on my college days and loved the exhiliration of spirited debate. Ultimately I decided that it does my spirit no good to feel optimistic about solving the world's problems through discussion in this forum, then facing the evils of pre-judgement based on something as trivial as skin color everyday as a black woman. BUT, when choosing a mate, I am mostly looking for companionship and that is a very personal, subjective experience. It's based on our past loves, and can be as specific as a smell, a touch, or a look. I think too many people (both black and white) are trying to live by some cultural 'code' and traditions are just as alive and well as they were back in the day. I say to hell with tradition; my preference is no different than the couple I mentioned above choosing each other for blond hair and blue eyes. For black women, it comes down to numbers- there are simply less decent black men to choose from. And of those men, they may think the same way I do- and seek women outside their race. So, where does that leave me if I am looking for someone who isn't looking for me? This debate has several layers and dating outside one's race doesn't necessary equal self-hatred. I am so surprised at the numbers of people who have made that implication on an interracial dating site no less.

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  18.   pumpkin22 says:
    Posted: 28 Apr 10

    @NO PLAYER, It sounds like we came from similiar communities. I was told that my great-aunt's refrain was, "lighten the race!" But that was back in the 30's and 40's when according to my dad, black folks really caught hell. So who can blame them. But what's our excuse now? But as you pointed out, people gravitate to their similiar levels anyway. If a person is suffering from an inferiority complex they'll attract someone who is the opposite side of the same coin. So in the end it's the couple's own sickness or wellness they'll need to deal anyway. "Like wise it’s, good talking with you as well and I learn lot, who needs college when you can take pumpkin22 101! LOL" Are you trying to call me a Jesus? ;) @Quiet Seeker I appreciate the fact that you hold a wide perspective based on your world travels. You get to see how much in common we humans have including our ability to tear each other apart based on perceived differences. I agree, I think it's important to recognize our individual perspectives are always limited. And since we can never live inside another person's body or see into his/her heart, we have no right to condemn. I also agree it's also to support a person when they're being open and vulnerable. That means they're allowing you to see who they really are. At least when a person does that with me, especially if that's not their normal MO, my heart just melts. To me that's compassion opening the door to true relationship and understanding. Also, I think the blessings come when you feel peace in your heart towards all humankind and accept yourself and what you've become attracted to. Anyway, I want to know if you're sooo quiet why did you almost kill that lady?

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  19.   QuietSeeker says:
    Posted: 27 Apr 10

    "We fear what we don't know." (Ali bin Abi Talib) I love these hot issues. I've probably been around the world more than most folks and have encountered numerous cultures and races. I've lived in the UK, Europe, many states in the US, Central American, a few places in Asia and Africa, Turkey, Greece and extensively throughout the Middle East (now those folks have some real racial/cultural issues...lol). And usually most of these places were and still are rife with anger and hostility; I have personally had to literally "pick-up the pieces" which resulted from that anger and hostility. And that's not pretty folks, and I'm sure many of us have lost loved ones because of various hostility which was based on some form of discrimination. I've found that misunderstandings between cultures are usually based on ignorance, non-acceptance and dare I say jealousy. But in some absurd way that's what makes the world go 'round. Recently, my one Sunni woman friend reprimanded me when she saw me talking with a male Shi'a colleague; then later that same day that same Shi'a fellow chastised me for talking with another Sunni male colleague - can't we all just get along....NOT! We were all working on the same project; someway, somehow we finished that project...LOL Is Jill Scot right or wrong? Who the hell knows! At least she has the courage to honestly speak her mind, and not just her mind, but her heart as well. Wow...if only most of us could do the same and then if we could make some honest attempt to understand where the other person is coming from instead of condemn him/her, then we might have a bit more cultural harmony, whether we agree with that culture/opinion or not. This past November I attended a US Embassy ball with a very beautiful black woman. Mind you she was a colleague that I didn't like and didn't work well with at all; we've had several major arguments on work and even personal related issues. When we showed up at that ball together, we shocked the entire US Embassy world, I was hearing about it weeks later from colleagues world-wide. But that woman and I had fun together that night, we danced our asses off together, she even tried to hook me up with some of her girlfriends - but the next day we were trying to kill each other at work...lol. Jill doesn't have to agree with anyone's opinion but her own, she answers to God for that, not us. Might I suggest that Jill could overcome her anxiety with the situation by maybe talking to the guy's wife; find out who that woman is, what makes her tick. She might be smarter than Jill and Jill could learn something new and exciting from her - cast that fear aside. And Jill could share her own discomfort with the fellow's wife, maybe she too could learn from Jill. I agree with what Bellara said about Jill and those who share her opinion: "so if you are not one of them, don’t stress yourself about it" So let's cut Jill a bit of frickin slack....hell let's all cut ourselves some frickin slack! "Forgiveness is a hell of a lot easier to live with than bitterness" (That's mine.......lol) And I must also say to Gogetta1 that I do love your comment towards one respondent's discrimination: "By choosing to alienate any race (especially your own) as an option for your potential happiness, You could be blocking your blessing." Great statement...! I would like to add to your statement, if you don't mind, by condescendingly referring that same person and any like her to Dr. Suess's book: "The Sneetches and Other Stories." Now...if only I would listen to and abide by my own words at times......

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  20. Posted: 26 Apr 10

    @ lvr2rt1234 I know we all have our opinions and I was nodding my head with you for a while, but the end of your post just got incredibly ugly. It just seemed soaked in that same 'wince' Jill Scott admitted to. Only more verbal. Eliminating the competition? More attention from white men? Hun, if you're into the white men who check you out because white women are done with them, you can have them all. They sound desperate to me. Try aiming for a man that sees you equally and wants to be with you, regardless of options. Too many black women shake their heads at black men who IR date and openly speak out about how it's wrong. I hate that, it's ridiculous and fuels the stereotype that we all feel the same in some way, especially with this Jill Scott comment now. Personally, I think she was just trying to side with the sisters who mostly think this way (because her fans MIGHT stop supporting if she doesn't follow the 'status quo'), which is why she said it so PC, so she can always go back and correct that she meant nothing by it. Nothing wrong with her opinion but it's so sad that I NEVER hear black women being geniunely happy for black men dating other races. They are ALWAYS giving the man a hard time about it. They can never say good for you finding love. Its always 'that's good he's happy, she's pretty too but i guess he couldnt find a sista', or some other sista or white girl comment. Yes, I am rolling my eyes right now. Damn, do I have to start the trend?? About that wince, I have NEVER gotten that wince inside toward black men, I can't even understand it. But I have been attracted to white men since my first schoolgirl crush, so maybe that has something to do with it? WAIT, Im lying- the exception is when a guy seems to be in IR for the image/trophy and are verbally belittling anyone who is not their partners race, thats the only time I've ever felt a wince. But thats not because the woman is white, it's because he's using the woman and she can do better. Honestly, when I see a black man with a white woman I am just happy to see IR in action. Another couple 'just doing it' and not hiding who they are and what they like. Hell I hook my white girlfriends up with black men! FTR, Not making a personal attack, that last statement just really came across spiteful.

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  21.   NOPLAYER says:
    Posted: 26 Apr 10

    @ pumpin22 I wonder if this preference for like skin came from people being so degraded and catching so much hell for being dark that they wanted to shield their future children from the same hell they caught. I've noticed alot of dark skinned BM and BW who tend to date or marry those lighter than themselves. Is it possible that this is a protective measure in the sub-conscience mind that is ingrained in many dark skinned blacks? I remeber asking my paternal grandmother (whose mother was half Chickasaw Indian) why her mother didn't teacher her the native language and she told me her mama said to her, "child being black was bad enough but being black and Indian doubled your trouble!" I can understand why back then people as a means of reducing hardship for their child made certain choices for their children or future children. I dont think most of our people hated their black skin and as a result rejected eachother as potential mates but I think many felt that if their children were lighter they just might have it a little easier than a very dark skinned children. Today in 2010 you still have those are affect by this outdated and stinking thinking in their subconscience minds.

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  22.   NOPLAYER says:
    Posted: 26 Apr 10

    @ pumpkin22 LOL! It's true about those old bourgeois social club pictures, I've seen a few of them for myself. I also recall reading that many of our fraternities, sororities and a few churches had color restrictions or the old "brown paper bag test". I've even read about the old "Blue Vien Society". This only shows how deeply color issues still affect us and it shows how thourough of a job that was done on us when we can continued this negative conditioning process on our minds long after the tormenter had stopped. I talked about the inferiority personality but I left out the person affected by the opposite condition and that's the superiority personality or what I call the "Jesus" complex. This person thinks way too much of themselves and they have a need for others to attest to their so-called superiority. These are the praise junkies, they're always seeking admiration and they need for others to look up to them. They must have someone that's always in need of rescuing or repair because this feeds into their "Jesus" complex. These folks are sick as well and they have the same holes in their souls. These two unhealthy personalities when they come togehter believe it or not, can maintain a relationship as long as they feed eachother's emotional dependencies. The problems arise when one of them tries to kick the habbit or go cold-turkey and because this relationship is built off of a mutual dependency, for one to get well is to deny the other the very thing that bought them into the relationship in the first place. For example, I worked with a guy who has a fuctional alcholic during his 25 year marriage and he said all was good until he decided that he wanted to stop drinking and live a healthier life style and that's when the drama started between him and his wife. When he stopped socializing with the folks who drank, his wife really started giving him a hard time and he finally told her, "I'm done with drinking and you to!" He told me, "man it's almost like she had a vested interest in wanting me to keep drinking, as if my wanting to get better was some how bad for her." Maybe it was something about his drinking that gave her a sense of security or a degree of control and she felt if he stopped drinking she'd loose whatever it was that she felt she gained from his drinking, who knows? Pumpkin it's true, two half people = one whole mess! As grandama would say "baby you cant treat pnuemonia with cough syrup!" Like wise it's, good talking with you as well and I learn lot, who needs college when you can take pumpkin22 101! LOL Peace

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  23.   neequee says:
    Posted: 26 Apr 10

    I relate to Jill Scott's feeling's and response. She appears to be someone who wants to build her life and family with someone with a similar background and/or the same ethnicity/race to her own. Is it racism to like/love who you are and want to produce from your own likeness (race/ethnicity)? To take her comments and compartmentalize them into something more than that without exploring her feelings (with her) is overly simplistic and insulting. My own social associations (co-workers, friends, etc.) are varied, many of which are attractive and intelligent people. Yet my desire to build from my own likeness should not be assumed more than my individual desire. The why of it should not matter as long as I don't hurt anyone in my journey.

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  24.   Dulce26 says:
    Posted: 24 Apr 10

    Well I think Jill shares similar views as a lot of other people. I don't think her comment was racist, but possibly the root of something much more deep. Personally, I don't care about BM/WF or BF/WM or whatever, just as long as you're happy and comfortable with your situation. There are a lot of people in relationships regardless of whether or not it's interracial who are absolutely miserable. My question that I have for Jill Scott would be, did she want to be with that guy? If not, why not accept the fact that he's happy with someone else?

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  25.   pumpkin22 says:
    Posted: 23 Apr 10

    @NOPLAYER, Excellent points! At the risk of showing my age(ah well!), I remember back in the 70's when girls used to gush about the guy who was and 'light-skinned and had big afro'. That was code for the guy being considered cute. At the same time, I stand with my claim that, going waaay back, this bias has always been much more favorable towards light females. I remember seeing a photograph from the 50s that featured the men and women of my grandparents' very bourgeois social club. My grandmother was very fair and my grandfather very dark. And wouldn't cha know? There was not one woman in that group of 200 who was darker than high yella. The men on the other hand, were are all medium-toned or dark. Okay, I lied. There was one. The little teenage girl who was my mom. The image of this little brown spot among a sea of almost-white was so absurd to my sister and me that we teased her and and called her 'lil black sambo'! My dark-skinned grandfather callously drove the point home to me when one day he pronounced to me that dark-skinned women were ugly. Still, I've never had a problem with my skin color. Or more exactly, I actually consider it to be a little boring, too middle of the road. If given the choice, I would be the soft, sweet, edible color of a dark hershey bar. What I have felt when looked down upon as a black person in general or as a not light enough BW is not inferiority but infuriation! But I get you when you say that when some individuals who feel inferior on some level will sometimes try to fill "the holes in the soul" in some unhealthy ways. So the question really does become, what is driving the behavior? I do totally agree that it's important especially when entering relationships, that we enter as balanced, complete human beings- not damaged, neurotic goods needing psychotherapy( or detox to use your image) more than partnership. It's good talking with you!

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  26.   NOPLAYER says:
    Posted: 23 Apr 10

    @ pumpkin22 - you stated, "What I have observed over many years however is the ARTIFICIAL SKEWING of racial preferences based on the dictates of the dominant culture." IMO I think this went both ways, I remember back in the late 80's and early 90's when Al B. Sure, El DeBarge, and Christopher Williams (all very light skinned men) were the rave of the day. If you were a dark skinned BM you were not happenning at all. I knew of a 3 blk girls in high school that got pregnant on purpose by wht boys just to have light skinned children. This shows the degree of crazziness in some of us. It wasn't until the entertainment world made dark skinned BM attractive that they became attractive in the eyes of many BW. Wesley Snipes, Michael Jordan, and Morris Chestnut up until the early to mid 90's wood have been deemed unattractive by many BW. It's no secret that many of us have some serious color issues (as much as some of us will deny it) with an inferiority complex to go along with it and as a result we act out this foolishness. People who have low self esteme and an inferiority complex always need outside confirmation, affrimation and validation. They always need reassuring and they can only tolorate those who stroke their ego. Think about this, if someone has been lead to believe that they're ugly and undesirable due to the darkness of their skin and then here comes somebody that's the exact opposite of themselves, it's only natural that they'd be atttacted to someone with lighter skin. Once again we have to look within and deal with these internal issues. It's not right that people use others in the name of love whereby, "I need you to fill in the holes within my soul and I can only love you if you feed my need for validation and affrimation." If thats my line of thinking then my love for you is not a true love, I'm not trully loving you, I'm using you. I'm an emotional gold-digger. I'm addicted and I'm using you to help support my habbit. I believe love can transcend color and culture but as long as people don't have a healthy love of self then they're not fit to love others, they're only fit to use and manipulate people in the name of love. Peace!

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  27.   barbiebby says:
    Posted: 23 Apr 10

    I understandd what she means completely and I am a women who dates mostly out of race its just a knee jerk reaction weather you are black white male or female doesnt make you intolerant to others life choices it just makes you human its not right nor is it wrong to feel that way, to each their own

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  28.   BrownClown says:
    Posted: 21 Apr 10

    NoPlayer, I feel your pain and I can see your points. I don't think many people deny the root of the disunity between black men and women. Yes, it is engrained in a racist culture with a history of racism. What is lacking is a current solution and what is needed before the solution is found...are men regardless of ethnicity who are capable and willing to love black women and be loved by them. Men is are currently, in this day and time, willing to partner with us. And lastly, with all your talk about unity, I have to wonder what brings you to this site. no offense intended.

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  29.   shotgun007 says:
    Posted: 21 Apr 10

    Meron, I agree with some of what you wrote. I can't express in words, how Jill's opinions just don't speak for me, nor for other black women out there who may see things entirely different.I think there are black women in America that can "identify" with how she feels, but not necessarily an overwhelming majority feel the same way. Shotgun007

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  30.   pumpkin22 says:
    Posted: 21 Apr 10

    @Layla32 I wholeheartedly agree that a good man can come in any color or race. It's also true that a good man can weigh 400 lbs. But a person still has the right not to be attracted to him. So sometimes a preference is just that. People have every right to have distinct preferences as they have the right to have no preferences. What I have observed over many years however is the ARTIFICIAL SKEWING of racial preferences based on the dictates of the dominant culture. And while I agree that most BM (when they do marry) have married BW, my observations are two-fold. 1)Most BM I have encountered are extremely colorist and if given the opportunity will choose light-skinned women over very dark women to marry. 2)Obviously my observations about today's young BM is in no way scientific, but I'm noticing a trend towards beyond light skinned black girls towards white. And in my own psyche, my own reaction has been a subtle shifting of my own preferences. But you know what? I actually believe we all have the right to choose whatever we want, for whatever the reason. So just as men have the right to walk away or merely tolerate our dark skin(I was actually told this), we have the right to choose men who prefer us to some degree BECAUSE WE ARE DARK. I know all I'VE been asking for is an acknowledgement of this reality. I do hope though, that as women make their own choices that will bring them happiness, they are able to do it without bitterness or resentment. After all, men are not gods, they're people. We have no right to demand from them what they are not (for whatever reason) capable of giving. One last thing, there seem to be alot of assumptions about 'people like me' in your post. There were too many for me to list but I just wanted to point that out. I think it's possible for people to misunderstand and disagree with each other yet still respect each other. Peace. @NO PLAYER, I agree that the loss of manufacturing jobs was devastating on the black family. I also related to how you described how little black boys are too often treated in elementary schools. Even as a child, I noted how the 'bad little boys' were almost always the black little boys. They seemed to be more hyper than other boys. The teachers in turn, seemed to have less patience with them. That is why instead of dwelling on 'what the white man did', I charge you and other upstanding BM to BE THE SOLUTION. Nobody else but other BM can relate to black boys and can understand what drives them. BM, like yourself, are the ones who can find ways constructively channel the high-spiritedness of black boys and their high need for belonging, and acceptance in a community. And noone else can teach these boys that women should be treated with respect and honor. And it's okay not be a macho man 24/7. That's it's a sign of strength to allow your vulnerability to show. That showing tenderness towards the one you love is every bit a masculine trait as it is a feminine one. And that darker hues are also beautiful. Peace and blessings!

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  31.   NOPLAYER says:
    Posted: 20 Apr 10

    @ Layla32 - Thank you for helping to bust up this myth that so many BM are dating or marry WM. I agree that people should date who they want but to base their decision on false information, stereotypes or propaganda is crazy. @ all others I cant help but wonder are these issues deeper than the hype, is this misguided racial ideology the result of self-alienation. I know when a people's TRUE SELF is mocked, degraded and associated with inferiority and negative behaviors this causes pain and inflicts the physche of that people. When people feel they're defenseless against this kind of physcological attack, they'll take measures to protect and shield themselves form the pain of the attach by: 1) trying to change whatever it is about themselves that they feel the abuser doesn't like 2) indentifying with the abuser - they'll try to get the abuser to see them as he see himself and myabe that will switch his focus away from the thing they believe incites his abuse 3) engaging in fantasy - thinking non realistic thoughts as a means of stearing their minds away from the truth. It's like the abandoned child that tells his friends that the parent that walked away is working out of town and will send for them once the school year is over. I know many of our people are self-alienated due to the unrelentless assult upon our pysche as a people by the media and other forces and the need to get away from the blows leads many to try a distance themselves from the reality in which they find themselves. It's something so terrible and shameful about the Black Experience in America that they need to get as far away as possible from it. Yeah I know we say we're mixed, we're from the Islands but there's no escaping the reality that others look at your skin and see you as BLACK. I wonder what makes the self alienated person feel that they'll escape from reality by becoming hyper multicultural and embracing of all of humanity before they can first love and accept their TRUE SELVES. Part of the reason many of their relationships fail is because they take their issues of inferiority, self-hate the rest of that madness into their relationships with people from other ethnic groups and in due time it all comes out. These deep seated issues don't disappear because you marry a non-black person, if anything they'll intensify. The issues the broke up their relationship with another black person will be the same issues that causes problems in their new relationships, there's no getting around it. The self-alienated person isn't fit for self much less another person, they're unable to love in a health way and theie cup can never be filled. It's not the preference but the MOTIVE behide the preference that should really be looked at.

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  32.   sarangayo says:
    Posted: 20 Apr 10

    Women of color posting on here who are products of the African American legacy or of European colonialism anywhere on the planet and pretend not to understand what Jill Scott is talking about are just being plain hypocritical. Of course we have to move on and make the world a better place, but that doesn't mean we have to pretend not to see or understand how things are right now, or how they have been up to this point. Like the brilliant poet that she is, Jill used five words "I felt my spirit ... wince", to express what some could not as clearly express even if they used a 1000 words. Everyone should be with whomever they choose to in peace and happiness. But, the clear rift that exists between men and women of color is devastating and painful - and when a woman of color dares to acknowlege that pain (obviously, God forbid, publicly) - the politically correct, the desensitised, the uninterested, the unaffected, and the embittered rush to castigate her - nonsense.

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  33.   Bellara says:
    Posted: 20 Apr 10

    IDK what the fuss is all about, the woman is spoke for herself and for those who share similar or same thought like her, so if you are not one of them, don't stress yourself about it. Most African American women shares this outlook because they wince whenever they see a "brotha" with someone who is not a "sistah", they feel like women of other race(s) are stealing their men. Most A.A women are closed minded when it comes to interracial dating Jill just happens to be one of the few that admits it. Because yoU (whoever you are) does not frown on interracial dating does not mean that majority of you people are like that. Few doesn't speak for population, population speaks for a few and majority of A.A women are with Jill on this..sad but true

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  34.   Meron says:
    Posted: 19 Apr 10

    I am SO DAMNED PISSED! After reading the above statement by Jill Scott; I don't know much about her, but, NOW I want to know even LESS!! She does NOT Speak for ME!!! (I am Black and Mixed) I KNOW what I want and I will not settle for what I DON'T want! I (plain and simple) don't want to be with a black (African American or whatever you want to call it these days) man! I am attracted to and become involved with men who are Anglo or mixed in some way. It is MY Choice! I also tend to "trend" toward NON-Americans! If and/or when I have children; they will be educated and exposed to ALL RACES AND CULTURES so that THEY may make their choice in Love! When I see a black man with a white or other race woman I SMILE AND SAY TO THEM OR MYSELF, depending on the situation, AWESOME!!! (PROBABLY BECAUSE: I DON'T WANT HIM!!!) I Love my black and mixed Grandfathers, Father, Brothers, Brother-in-law, male cousins and male friends! ALL OF THEM are EXCEPTIONAL Black or Mixed Men. HOWEVER, A Black Man is not what I WANT or NEED!!! That's ME! M

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  35.   NOPLAYER says:
    Posted: 19 Apr 10

    Part 2 Many of those without a strong spiritual foundation gave into self pitty, hopelessness and self-destructive behaviors. Spousal and child abuse took place in many homes as the man lashed out at anything he perceived as disrespectful to him as a man. Drugs, alcohol and cheap sex served as a temporary exscape from this painful reality and it also lead to the break up of many of our homes. This is no freak accident this is a predictable outcome. The natuarl jealousy and insecurity that comes from from being unsure of your place as the head of the family leads to the bickering and the disunity in the marriage. Without the man as the example to the children of what a man is expected to do and how to do it, you in up rearing confused children who end up getting married only to get divorced. Boys and girls both are deprived of the balance that comes from having a good father in the house. I don't need to go further in pointing out the effects of a broken home on the children. Now this was one generation of adult men wiped out as heads of the household but it didn't stop there now they had to work on the next generation of BM. They started working on these boys as youngs as the 2nd and 3rd grade. Expelling them at faster rates than other children, labelling them learning disabled and mentally challenged not knowing or caring about the problems these boys were facing. As an example I went to school with a boy and he always slept in class and the teacher always punished him by making him stand up or she would send him to the principals office. One day I asked him why didn't sleep at home and he told me he saw his uncle shoot and kill his wife during an arguement while he was drunk and he had nightmares, so he would stay up at night and sleep at school. Could be have been that school was probally the only peaceful environment for him to sleep? The teacher not knowing what was really going on belittled him as worthless and lazy. The aim is to have this boys unfit for marriage and family leadership before they even reach the age when they would normally marry and start a family. Many of the ones who do make it and marry are handicapped as men but if they earn good money they can cover it up with material goods that diguise the real issues within. BW the same system that's working in your favor and rewarding you is destroying so many of your men and too many BW judge us and say we're not trying hard enough or we don't want nothing, not understanding that was the system's plan all along. The plan was to break your man's legs and have you expecting him to run and jump as high as everybody else and then somehow convince you to dog the hell out of him when he cant and dismiss him as useless. The anger, hurt, and bitterness is real but we as a people we have to look beyond that and deal with the issue of other people having too much control over the critical areas that affect our lives such as education, economics and politics. Until we deal with that we'll continue to rip eachother apart and view others as somehow being better suited for us than ourselves. This silly talk about BW / BM aint this, they're too much of that and not enough of that is only the end result of someone else's game and they're sitting back watching and laughing. You can take it or let it alone but if you've read this, I've did my job. Peace!

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  36.   NOPLAYER says:
    Posted: 19 Apr 10

    @ gogetta1 - your on point man! @ layla 32 - You stated, "Just think of whom benefits from keeping Black men and women at each others throats?" This question is so critical and I'm glad that you asked it. @ Pumpkin - Not only do I hear what BW say but I listen and as hard as it is I try to let the emotions blow over so I can really let what was said sink in. Ok, here we go! It's important to understand that BM and BF reltionships don't take place inside of a vacum, our relationships take place within the context of a social, political and economic reality and these realities have an effect on the way we relate to eachother as men and women. The genius of this sysytem is that it can throw a rock and hide it's hand at the same time. It's not necessary for me to physcially enslave and oppress a people if I can manipulate their social, political and economic realities against them. I could create the conditions in which they would turn on themselves and become self-oppressing and self-enslaving by manipulating certain circustances in their lives. I could make it appear as if their problems are self-perpetuating because I'll have my sociologist and physcologist stand in front of my system and have them science-tize a bunch of non-scense. I'll get them to believe it because I know they're fooled by numbers, most wont look for the truth behide the numbers and too many believe anything Dr. Whoever says as the die hard truth. The drama between us (BM & BW)is there because it's necessary and it's part of the game of divide and conquer. During the civil rights movement the love and support of BW propelled BM to do that which they'd never done and that's fight for justice. BM saw that there women were out in the streets getting their asses kick side by side with them and this really unleashed something within the BM to want to stand up and die if need be but die fighting for a better future for his women and children. If these BM & BW for the first time on a grand scale was able to shake up the system, what would they shoot for next? Where would be the ending point of this great struggle? This solidarity was veiwed a threat and a move to nutralize that threat was in the works. To quite the masses of blacks they intergrated us along with yur dollars, opened up jobs for our cheap labor and gave us an education so that we could work for them to create wealth for them while we earned a paycheack. For 20 to 25 years this went on and all was good until they didn't need the BM's cheap labor anymore. His labor was becoming too expensive because now he was trying to get on par with the rest of WHT AM and so jobs were moved to cheaper labor markets overseas. While the manufactoring jobs for him was going away non manufactoring jobs and college opprotunities where opening up for you as a means of replacing your man as the bread winner. You would be promoted as the "back bone" of the family thus implying your man didn't have one. Work is so closely related to manhood and feelings of self worth that when men no longer had jobs as a means of validating their manhood it's like being physcologically castrated. I'll added on to this with a part 2

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  37.   shotgun007 says:
    Posted: 19 Apr 10

    This may seem very shallow to say....so forgive me in advance. It is also slightly off the subject. But I think, decades ago when we started to see predominately Black Athletes marrying non-black women, or professional Hollywood black men marrying non-black women, I think the trend continued and increased. Look around you. The more we saw it on TV, the more acceptable it became, especially on the big screens. Let’s reverse the situation. If the Oprah Winfrey's, Beyonce's, Gabrielle Union's, Vanessa Williams, Angela Bassett’s, Beverly Johnson’s, Jada Pinkett-Smith’s, Condaleeza Rice’s of the world were marrying NON-Black partners, this would inevitably send a message to young black women and we would see more of it. I say this because, we just cannot deny the powerful influence of the Media, Mass TV outlets, Magazines, you name it, humans are influenced by what we see "others" doing. In other words, it becomes okay. Many young black women are loyal to black men because we have been repeatedly told by our mothers, brothers, fathers, in laws, and everyone else that staying behind that "good black man" is how we keep the family unit intact. But the problem is, it is simply NOT being reciprocated. I just can't continue to support a group of men who've clearly ruled me out of the equation long before ever meeting me. Shotgun.....

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  38.   jenna says:
    Posted: 19 Apr 10

    @ Pumpkin22 Charity from a man? I think you misunderstood me my dear! I am a very hardworking woman, I don't believe in handouts or charity in the sense you that you were conveying. All I was simply stating is that , we as a black community need to deal with our issues within ourselves. I know that slavery did it's damage to our family life and we should be past that by now it has been over 400 hundred years. In short interracial dating should be an option not a necessity!

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  39.   vt33 says:
    Posted: 18 Apr 10

    You love me.. especially... different...every time...you keep me ....on my feet... Happily... excited by.. your cologne and your hands .. your smile... your intelligence... you wooo..me.. you court me.... you tease me... you please me.... you soothe me.. give me something to think about... invite me.... you....ignite me.. you co-write me.. you love me you like me you excite me to...chorus.... Words of a true poet, words that express a genuine love of a man.. Doesn't say what color of a man..but it just says a man.. strange she would say that..I wonder why this still bothers black women. It shouldn't it shows a level of jealousy..why couldn't he pick a sister to marry. At some point black men and women need to start forgiving each other for "jumpin he fence". Move on or better yet...re-read the lyrics to a moving love song. Disappearing.. Poof..

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  40.   BrownClown says:
    Posted: 17 Apr 10

    I think that Jenna and I may be on the same page. It's not about any 'ole' black man marrying a white woman. It is about successful, wealthy black men consistently turning away from black women. We don't really care who the unemployed, uneducated, low-earning potential, black man gets hitched with. The hurtful part is that whenever men of any race and especially of the black race gain some level of success they quickly rule out black women as a potential mate! I admit that I don't have the statistics, but I would bet that the highest incidents of black men marrying with white women or women of other races is among wealthy/successful black men. The message they send is that they have earned the privilege of not having to marry a black woman. Lastly, I have nothing but love for those wonderful white men who allow themselves to appreciate black beauty.

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  41.   pumpkin22 says:
    Posted: 17 Apr 10

    It moves me to see that some of the BM here have been deeply affected by what some of BW have been saying here. It says that you are hearing us. Also know I am the last person to say that BM are no good. I see too many men who are the opposite. I also know that it's important some of the worst stereotypes about blacks stem largely from the behaviors of the underclass. But in all fairness, even as a person who has worked with this underclass, I have seen instances of BM who are diamonds in the rough and could be real diamonds if only they chose differently. And trust me I understand I understand the legacy of slavery. I understand discrimination and racism exist big time, even today. (But again, in all fairness, we should acknowledge that there has been some real growth in this area from some whites.) But as some white and black critics have countered, if you continue to use racism as an excuse for bad behavior,as a crutch, you'll never fully walk tall. I know you've heard that BW are far outdistancing BM in terms of education. So if we're all black how is that due to racism? I can tell you that I've seen the inside of more classrooms than the vast majority of people. I can also tell you that when they should be concentrating on their studies, I see the vast majority of young BM doing anything but, whether it's discussing the latest basketball ball play or what this or that rap star said. I would think to myself if they apply all that energy they use to spout off basketball statistics, to their studies, they truly could be movers and shakers in this world. (If you guys really want to be part of the solution, I suggest you support all-black male schools/organizations that make it cool for BM to achieve academically.) And no white man forces them to make the relationship choices that they do. When I was young, I wish I had a dime for all times I heard in word(sometimes shouted) and deed how much more BM valued at least light-skinned women. And today? I know there is a concern about the messages we're sending to our black sons. Well, let me say this. None of my BW friends feel the way I do. Just like Jill Scott, they are all still enamoured with BM. I can also say that: Except 2 of them, all of them are alone. And for these BW in love with BM? ALL of their sons, went after a couple of light but mostly white girls. This includes the son of one the most afrocentric women you can imagine. Some of sons even admitting that they didn't love these girls but are now new baby-daddies. I really don't like dwelling on the negative though. I guess it has been important to me to at least get some kind of acknowledgement that this reality exists and it's not a part of our collective imaginations. I think with that acknowledgment, there can be more healing. Besides, I also think it's all good anyway. I think we grow as human beings when we get together with people who are different in some ways. For a BW who prefer WM at this point, trust me, I know how ferret out the good from the bad. And many of us enjoy being shown off, that means our men think we're hot and want the world to know. And that's fine too AS LONG AS the man's heart is with you as well.

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  42.   Layla32 says:
    Posted: 17 Apr 10

    The myth surrounding Black men and inter racial marriage is perpetuate by whom and for what reason? First, less than 5% of Black people marry inter racially. Second, Blacks are the most conservative people in the country when it comes to inter racial marriage. Third, Black men marry white women at double the rates that Black women marry White men, however, Black men have the highest divorce rate in the country with White women. Read and research for your self. Just think of whom benefits from keeping Black men and women at each others throats? Why aren't the real facts about Black men coming out? Why do they keep saying there are more Black men in prison than in college, when it is not true? There are 800,000 Black men in the prison system, 9,200,000 black men over age 17 are not in prison at any given time and that number is dropping dramatically due to the success of drug courts and several other factors. Why do so many people keeping feeding the press so many wrong and out dated statistics, who is getting paid and who is getting depressed and angry? Why do we have computers at our finger tips and refuse to seek the truth but rather continue to speak with emotion first? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interracial_marriage_in_the_United_States does not jive with the perception on Black men and marriage. All in all Black men marry Black females 95% of the time. Black men have a usually high rate of divorce in inter racial marriages. So what looks like Black men are leaving Black women can be very deceiving. In the United States there still are disparities between Black female and Black male exogamy ratios: According to the 2006 census, 286,000 White female-Black male and 117,000 Black female-White male marriages were recorded. Marital stability studies published on the Education Resources Information Center found that White female-Black male unions are more prone to result in a divorce than White-White marriages are, while Black female-White male marriages show similar of divorce than White-White marriages. It should be noted that the studies revealed this trend to exist in near equal proportionality in all interracial marriages of every ethnic group. According to enrichment journal on the divorce rate in America: The divorce rate in America for first marriage is 41% The divorce rate in America for second marriage is 60% The divorce rate in America for third marriage is 73% In 2007, 4.6% of all married Blacks in the United States were wed to a White partner, and 0.4% of all Whites were married to a Black partner.

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  43.   Layla32 says:
    Posted: 17 Apr 10

    I have a few comments on this subject. One, I don't think anything Jill scotts says was that bad. There is nothing wrong with given an honest opinion about a subject. If the same thoughts came from a Hispanic or Asian person, I would understand from not only a personal standpoint, but a historical one. For the record, she is not against interracial relationships or people that love outside color lines. Read it again. Now, I'm going to call out pumpkin, just because she is one of the last posters. One: A good man can come in any color or "race". Practing a form of racial perference of dating because you perceive a person is better because of skin color because you think that man is superior or another is inferior is racist. No matter how you slice it, your racial ideology comes through, and you are no better than the people you are criticizing. There is nothing wrong with having a perference or being attracted to someone because of hair color, eye color or skin, but what I read a lot of times from women like you is that you infer a lot of false racial ideology and hide behind it in a sense of being open. I have enough white female friends that are and h have been married to white males that will attest that not all white men are the "best of the best". And there are many groups of men in the world, why focus on one particular if you are just being open. A white person can't be a savior no more than a black one. I am so tired of the racial ideology that is now happening, which is the notion that the only way black women will survive is by marrying white men or better yet turning our backs on black men completely. Women like you keep the propaganda going by feeding it. Nothing productive will happen by this practice. Black men are my brothers, ,y father, grandparents, all who are great men in my family. If I married an Asian man, hispanic, white, it wouldn't be because I am responding to racial falsehoods nor is it because I am putting down black men. Regardless of what propaganda and misquoted studies, the majority of black men are dating and married to black women. Interracial dating is not the cure all to issues in our community nor society at large. The more we focus too much on race, the more we will be divided. I date and married my first time based on love and compatibility, I didn't care about his color of skin and I still do not. People that overly reley on race as a barometer for dating do not have high sucess rates in marriage or dating. And it makes sense why. I'm going to leave a study I read in my next comments.

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  44.   shotgun007 says:
    Posted: 17 Apr 10

    Great points Pumpkin22. So true that we are pre-disposed against white men. for "Gogetta1"....What about all of those hasty generalizations that have plagued black women for years, coming from that of Black Men? Such as "Black Women don't know how to Treat a man!, White Women treat us better, less attitude, “Black Women can't raise black sons”, “Black Women try to emulate the Black man/less submissive". Reversing your scenario, what do you think the daughters of those "Black Fathers" are thinking if those little girls grow up to hear their own flesh and blood refer to "their mothers" as basically substandard, or unworthy? And we really need to get away from this whole**** "maybe those are the kinds of men you attract"**** type statements. With the amount of black women out there who have clearly experienced poor relationships with black men, the numbers are endless and all of them can’t be telling the same lie. Shotgun007

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  45.   pumpkin22 says:
    Posted: 16 Apr 10

    @jenna, The only thing is do you really want charity from a man? Men should recognize your value and act accordingly. If some men don't, then you move on to men who do.

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  46.   Callia says:
    Posted: 16 Apr 10

    Since when is the Economist concerned with how black people live, who they date or mate......?

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  47.   Callia says:
    Posted: 16 Apr 10

    http://www.economist.com/world/united-states/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15867956&source=most_commented Sex and the single black woman How the mass incarceration of black men hurts black women IMAGINE that the world consists of 20 men and 20 women, all of them heterosexual and in search of a mate. Since the numbers are even, everyone can find a partner. But what happens if you take away one man? You might not think this would make much difference. You would be wrong, argues Tim Harford, a British economist, in a book called “The Logic of Life”. With 20 women pursuing 19 men, one woman faces the prospect of spinsterhood. So she ups her game. Perhaps she dresses more seductively. Perhaps she makes an extra effort to be obliging. Somehow or other, she “steals” a man from one of her fellow women. That newly single woman then ups her game, too, to steal a man from someone else. A chain reaction ensues. Before long, every woman has to try harder, and every man can relax a little. Real life is more complicated, of course, but this simple model illustrates an important truth. In the marriage market, numbers matter. And among African-Americans, the disparity is much worse than in Mr Harford’s imaginary example. Between the ages of 20 and 29, one black man in nine is behind bars. For black women of the same age, the figure is about one in 150. For obvious reasons, convicts are excluded from the dating pool. And many women also steer clear of ex-cons, which makes a big difference when one young black man in three can expect to be locked up at some point. Removing so many men from the marriage market has profound consequences. As incarceration rates exploded between 1970 and 2007, the proportion of US-born black women aged 30-44 who were married plunged from 62% to 33%. Why this happened is complex and furiously debated. The era of mass imprisonment began as traditional mores were already crumbling, following the sexual revolution of the 1960s and the invention of the contraceptive pill. It also coincided with greater opportunities for women in the workplace. These factors must surely have had something to do with the decline of marriage. But jail is a big part of the problem, argue Kerwin Kofi Charles, now at the University of Chicago, and Ming Ching Luoh of National Taiwan University. They divided America up into geographical and racial “marriage markets”, to take account of the fact that most people marry someone of the same race who lives relatively close to them. Then, after crunching the census numbers, they found that a one percentage point increase in the male incarceration rate was associated with a 2.4-point reduction in the proportion of women who ever marry. Could it be, however, that mass incarceration is a symptom of increasing social dysfunction, and that it was this social dysfunction that caused marriage to wither? Probably not. For similar crimes, America imposes much harsher penalties than other rich countries. Mr Charles and Mr Luoh controlled for crime rates, as a proxy for social dysfunction, and found that it made no difference to their results. They concluded that “higher male imprisonment has lowered the likelihood that women marry…and caused a shift in the gains from marriage away from women and towards men.” Learning and earning Similar problems afflict working-class whites, but they are more concentrated among blacks. Some 70% of black babies are born out of wedlock. The collapse of the traditional family has made black Americans far poorer and lonelier than they would otherwise have been. The least-educated black women suffer the most. In 2007 only 11% of US-born black women aged 30-44 without a high school diploma had a working spouse, according to the Pew Research Centre. Their college-educated sisters fare better, but are still affected by the sex imbalance. Because most seek husbands of the same race—96% of married black women are married to black men—they are ultimately fishing in the same pool. Black women tend to stay in school longer than black men. Looking only at the non-incarcerated population, black women are 40% more likely to go to college. They are also more likely than white women to seek work. One reason why so many black women strive so hard is because they do not expect to split the household bills with a male provider. And the educational disparity creates its own tensions. If you are a college-educated black woman with a good job and you wish to marry a black man who is your socioeconomic equal, the odds are not good. “I thought I was a catch,” sighs an attractive black female doctor at a hospital in Washington, DC. Black men with good jobs know they are “a hot commodity”, she observes. When there are six women chasing one man, “It’s like, what are you going to do extra, to get his attention?” Some women offer sex on the first date, she says, which makes life harder for those who prefer to combine romance with commitment. She complains about a recent boyfriend, an electrician whom she had been dating for about six months, whose phone started ringing late at night. It turned out to be his other girlfriend. Pressed, he said he didn’t realise the relationship was meant to be exclusive. The skewed sex ratio “puts black women in an awful spot,” says Audrey Chapman, a relationship counsellor and the author of several books with titles such as “Getting Good Loving”. Her advice to single black women is pragmatic: love yourself, communicate better and so on. She says that many black men and women, having been brought up by single mothers, are unsure what role a man should play in the home. The women expect to be in charge; the men sometimes resent this. Nisa Muhammad of the Wedded Bliss Foundation, a pro-marriage group, urges her college-educated sisters to consider marrying honourable blue-collar workers, such as the postman. But the simplest way to help the black family would be to lock up fewer black men for non-violent offences

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  48.   NOPLAYER says:
    Posted: 16 Apr 10

    @ pumpkin22 - I respect your admitting that you're short on answers as far as how to heal the rift between BM and BW because I don't have all of the answers myself. Pumpkin as a lover of history in general but Blk history in particular I understand that this rift between us is not historical but in reality it's no more than 35 to 40 years old. For almost 120 years, from the emacipation proclamation of 1863 up until the the early 80's BM and BW were marrying eachother. In slavery they were jumping the broom and after slavery the first act of freedom for many of them were to go to a Justice of the Peace or a preacher and make their unions legally offical. After the late 70's and early 80's you started to see an increase in divorce and a decline in blk marriages, so you have to ask what societal factors were contributing to this delimma. We were able to stay together during slavery, reconstruction, Jim Crow, the cilvil rights and blk power movement eras. We faced the fire hoses, the dogs and the KKK and through it all we still reached out for eachother. I ask what happened that once things socially, politicaly and economicaly appeared to be getting better for us after the 60's our marriages and families started going to hell in the 80's? I'll give you a hint, somebody feared the the possibilities that come from the love, support and inspiration of THE BLACK WOMAN! I'll get back at cha!

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  49.   jenna says:
    Posted: 16 Apr 10

    There is an old saying that "Charity begins at home and ends abroad" Think about that and maybe what Jill was trying convey in that article would be understood better!

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  50.   pumpkin22 says:
    Posted: 15 Apr 10

    ylady, Some other thoughts: "Is it wrong to want a family and a life with someone that looks like you?" While I originally disagreed with some the posters here for calling Jill Scott's sentiments racist, I had some second thoughts. First of all, there is nothing wrong with a geniune desire and love for black men. At the same time, if we're honest, we should admit that our respective groups(black and white I mean) have all harbored racist, prejudical ideas about potential mates of the other race. And while I have already mentioned the BM's artifically high bias TOWARDS light/white women, I failed to acknowledge the other side. What had been drummed into me for years by the black community is that white men: 1)will only use BW for sex 2)are not truly virule or masculine It's little wonder therefore that too many black women are also artificially pre-disposed- AQAINST white men. So I do think that there are many, Jill Scott included or not, who maintain preferences based on false stereotypes(whether they're conscious of them or not) and therefore could be missing out on their true mates.

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