Why black and white interracial love aint an issue in Paris
Apparently, in Paris, attitudes towards interracial love aren’t the same as in the U.S. If anything, there are plenty of Black and white couples; as many as there are hair weaves on women says Ebony's arts and culture editor , Miles Marshall Lewis, as he looks back on his recent visit to Paris. In a conversation with his French girlfriend Christine, he tries to understand why the Parisians’ thoughts about the interracial couples are different than in the U.S.
"I think we’re growing up more together here," Christine said.
Much as Lewis told her he grew up in the Bronx with all kinds of races, Christine who had lived in the U.S. for 15 months before going back to France says she did not experience that in New York saying:
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"I remember taking the train to the Bronx, and after 116th Street there’s no more White people on the train. I’m not saying we’re going to see Black people in the 16th arrondissement, not really. But in the average neighborhood here, you’re going to have une mixité. What makes the real difference is that we’re growing up together, so we’re going to learn the other person’s culture, and maybe enjoy the person for who they are."
"At the same time, there’s love as well. When I see, par example, Patoche and Paco, to me they were meant for each other. Paco, he dated African women in the past, and Patoche dated White and Black before. But I saw when they met. They were meant to be, besides race."
She says this with a smile.
Here is the difference with us Americans: "Black women look at Black guys choosing White girls and think they have a problem with blackness, or they’re scared of Black women, or they think they’re too good for sisters," Lewis explained.
Is it easier to look past race in France?
It probably is. Christine believes the pressure of society expecting you not to "mix in that way" is stronger in the U.S. She thinks the pressure is even stronger within the family. However she acknowledges that if you lived in a small village, even in France, the pressure is much stronger.
"Mais, the less you are together, the less they are going to expect you to be together, and in France we are not as apart from each other. You don’t have a separate Black school here where they’re teaching you how wonderful it is to be Black and what Black people did to make humanity grow", she adds.
Plus according to her, there is no "real Black" community in France like we have in the U.S.
"The fight that you had in the United States became the fight of Black people around the world. For your parents and grandparents, I understand they feel responsible to keep fighting. But here, there was no such fight. Slavery ended aux Antilles in the 19th century, and then people came to France from Martinique and Guadalupe to work. There’s no fight that happened here on the territory. La France, the Republic, is no race! There’s no statistics of how many Black people are here. We have an idea but not really. That was shocking to me when I was in New York, to fill out stuff and see race questions. C’est incroyable."
Well, as Lewis looked at Christine’s family and friends, several of them were in interracial relationships. "Back in New York I knew of only one mixed couple even peripherally, an old classmate from high school I hardly spoke to anymore who’d married a White guy… This made me even more curious about the reality behind France’s colorblind reputation, and the truth of Black Parisian life beyond all the good publicity."
Read Miles Marshall Lewis' whole article at Ebony.
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