“Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in.”
– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I’m no Coretta Scott King but I’m certainly no Erykah Badu either. I would say that my personality, ideologies and all that in between flirts within the realm of bohemianism or even the radical Left but still not quite a fully fledge member; I still keep one foot buried firmly on the ground of innocuous, mundane, sensible living. I am fiercely and unapologetically independent (not by choice but as a result of my upbringing and current circumstances). I love to wander the globe alone, don’t follow any particular religious beliefs, consider myself a liberal but equally suspicious of Liberal Elitism. I work in a competitive financial corporate setting but at the heart of it, all I want to do is save the world from AIDS, gender violence and social injustice.
This all sounds like an incongruous excerpt from my bio of a dating website right? But no, they are fundamental truths of who I am. And I love these things about me; a host of contradictions that still somewhat seem to work. Yet these very same things make me wonder if I am giving off a radar that screams ‘I DON’T DATE BLACK MEN’?
I’ve heard it all throughout my life ‘You don’t suit Black men’, ‘I see you more with a White guy’, ‘I can’t imagine you with an African guy’ etc. Always I shrugged it off but increasingly I began to wonder, am I too radical / care-free for my fellow Black, and more specifically, African male counterparts?
I have always been led to believe that African men, including the first/second generation born in the West, want a woman that is, a Proverbs 31 (or the Muslim equivalent), conservative, fertile, demure woman who happens to be a mean cook and have a big butt. You know like, you guessed it, Coretta Scott King (I think it’s safe to assume that she was a good cook).
I have met many interesting and wonderful Black men but more often than not the men that I think I am the most compatible with either don’t date Black women (literally, a flat out refusal to date Black women), or are gay (ha, I don’t make a habit of fancying gay men). Then there are the guys which I see often; a conservative man who holds very strong views based on traditional gender roles and want to mould me into what a woman OUGHT to be. Oh and then there are the lowly ambitious roadmen…NEXT!
I eventually came to the conclusion that I probably wouldn’t marry an African man because I would not find one who shares the same quasi-hippie outlook on life as I do. Sometimes this still bothers me. Thankfully the older I get and the more comfortable I am with myself, the more I genuinely believe I have much to offer any man, even if I may not meet the conservative standard of what it means to be a demure woman that so many Black / African men hold.
So as I continue this journey of singlehood I know that I will attract the person I am supposed to attract. I will continue to be me, and with discernment will hopefully attract the love of my life; be it African, Caribbean, Morris Chestnut, White, Asian or anything else.
One thing is for certain, being a non-conformist can be a lonely bitch!
Let me know your thoughts when it to finding love from your own race.