Why black and white interracial love aint an issue in Paris

Posted by James, 22 Jan

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.

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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:

"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.

5 responses to "Why black and white interracial love aint an issue in Paris"

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  1.   SAM7167 says:
    Posted: 29 Jan 13

    I agree with this article. I'm a French lady originated from Martinique living in the US and I always feel like in here you have to have your own community to get by. And when you're like me: French Black with no direct African lineage it's hard! I feel apart with my African or African American consorts; we are treated differentlyor even more as a White person which in my view can't be that bad but it's not for some of them. Anyway, dating interracially here is hard for me 'cause I was told that there was this generalization about the Myth of the Black Woman here in the US. You know the type of caricature portrayed on TV about this loud, uneducated and promiscuous woman. I want to shout that not all Black women are like that (cf. you cant Tango alone!) and it feels to me that I'm paying the price for this minority. Until now I've never met someone from another ethnic background who wants to date or to be with....I feel that I'm invisible and stuck. I don't say that all is beautiful and racially acceptable in France 'cause there's also some racial contradictions too oer there. I just wish it would be as easier fro Black women to be with Caucasian/ Asian/etc...men as it is for a Black men to be with Caucasian lades. Just saying.

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    • ChocolatLadi says:
      Posted: 23 Sep 13

      Sweetie, trust me you are Black 1st, then French/Black from Martinique, living in the Great USA. Before you open your mouth Caucasians/Asians will see your Blackness before they hear your accent. Your people took that long boat ride also, some disembarked here and some disembarked in other parts of the world. You do have a direct lineage Africa, we are sisters from different Mothers but we have the same Grandmothers.

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  2.   anita says:
    Posted: 29 Jan 13

    in the US or America, black men who choose white women do that for economic purposes. that's why such union has the highest divorce rate in america because it not based on true love. but still only 1 or 2% of black men do this. 98% of black men are still with the black women.

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    • bluestate87 says:
      Posted: 08 Feb 13

      What evidence do you have to back that up? What source or do you get your news from Fox "News"? Perhaps, most black men date white women because (well, I don't know <--sarcasm) because they're attracted to them.

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