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Unfortunately, that wasn’t the first or last awkward date I’ve had with a white man.I wish I could say that I’m surprised and appalled by the ignorance that white men tend to show when they approach me, but I’ve come to expect it.Once, I was at a bar with friends when two white men approached me.One was a guy who was interested in talking to me, and the other was acting as his wingman.White men navigate society with relative ease while black women are teetering on the precarious margins of race and gender that they do not have the privilege to ignore.This is not a game to us, nor is it something we can ignore.
We ended up hitting it off, but it wasn’t until our first date that I realized I had underestimated the wingman’s abilities.
A white man must be willing to work toward a better understanding of how race and gender intersect differently for everyone, and he must also be prepared to speak out against the injustices that their partners will endure.
We’ve recently offered suggestions on how people of color can approach their white partner on the issue of race.
When getting to know a black woman, don’t ask them to be the authority on black culture.
Don’t ask us “Why do black people like or do _____?
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You should want to date a person because you like who they are and have compatible views and interests, not because their race is the next thing to do on your bucket list or because you were enthralled by their “exotic ways” (honestly, are you doing an anthropological study on black culture? If you answered no to these questions and you think those assumptions on black womanhood are downright absurd (hint: they are), then perhaps you are well on your way to showing a black woman that you want to date a complete person and not a stereotype!