When confronted by an irate reader’s closing remark “I can tell; you’re one of those women with a white boyfriend”, Sandy Banks says in a recent article in the LA Times:
“I was pleased to be able to rally back: “My boyfriend is black.” Take that. But I was also grateful that her challenge hadn’t come the year before. Then I would have been guilty as charged, of being one of those women with a white boyfriend… I recall feeling vaguely ashamed at being so blatantly called out; and relieved that I had reclaimed my place in the sisterhood by landing an acceptable mate.
It wasn’t until years later — when that relationship was done and I was surveying the pool of eligible men — that I had to ask myself, what does “one of those women” mean? And how is it that my romantic choices somehow publicly brand me?”
Sandy Banks is a sister to the infamous Stanford professor Rick Banks and writer of the book “Is Marriage for White People?” – who has stirred quite a debate all over the internet on the subject of the unwed Black woman and how white men black women marriages and interracial dating in general is something the Black woman needs to consider as the solution to “the problem”.
Looking back at where we have come from in terms of interracial dating and marriage, there are times I feel like its safe to say the stigma on interracial unions has faded considerably. But when it comes to white men black women relationships, sometimes it seems as though the educated black woman is still struggling with the whole idea of interracial dating.
Looking at Sandy above, and how pleased she was to report back that she dating black, it seems to me that the choice of whether to be in white men black women relationships or maintain the “sisterhood” is something most black women struggle with when it comes down to whether or not to pursue an interracial relationship. Others just find excuses not to be with white men. Sandy talks about a book club where she heard women reliving their college dating choices about white men black women dating: White dude rejected because black chick didn’t trust his motives; Dinner invite by white co-worker interpreted as just being friendly.
According to Sandy, the explanation to what may have pricked her about the reader’s comment may have been the question most Black women emotionally struggle with when it comes to White men Black women dating:
“What kind of black woman has a white boyfriend? Open-minded or desperate; a champion of her gender or traitor to her race; someone who is culturally secure or trying to look away from her own black face?”
Do most Black women sacrifice being happy in an interracial relationship for “sisterhood”? Do they worry too much about the labels people will brand them if they were to cross over? Is the decision a struggle?