op-ed: you have your black love, i have mine

June 23, 2014

It only took me three years to write this article. It took three years of question avoidance, to bring to me to this point. After three years, I finally have an answer. The question? Well, the question is always the same, “but what about ‘Black Love’ ?”. Now this question surfaces wrapped in different phrasing, but its core remains the same.
This questions surfaces consistently around the discovery of my partner’s racial and ethnic identity. I am proud of the love that I’ve found so my voice never quivers when I say, “Yes, he is white. He’s Italian,”. My statement is often followed by any variation of the following:
“Oh so you just like white guys, huh”
“Haha see it must be because you’re light skinned”
“What’s wrong with Black men?”
“That’s cool, but I’m #teamblacklove”
The problem with this volley, which began with an inquisitive inquiry about my love life, is that I not for one second think I don’t possess ‘Black Love’.

By Skye Wilson, AFROPUNK Contributor

As far as I understand, the goal of promoting ‘Black Love’ is to strengthen our community. We are trying to bring the present members together in the most basic way, emotional and romantic support. As a community we are screaming out, calling for a rebirth; reconciliation with the pride we possessed in the past, in hopes of breeding a community as timeless as our culture. As time moves forward plans for retention must be made. This movement is one that I align myself with, but unfortunately according to others, I’ve jumped ship.

My ‘Black Love’ may not look like everyone else’s but it is inherently the same. I am strengthening our community by telling our stories. I am removing our history from outside the ears of the choir and into the streets of the public. I am removing the blinders from his eyes through the will of my love and affection. Our history and our culture remain out on display for him to feel and absorb. He will never possess it, but he can attempt to understand it. He will never be Black, but he can stand as an advocate, when our voices are absent. He will never understand what it feels like to be Black, but he can support us in the disassembling of the systematic oppression that has plagued our lives for centuries. I love my community by allowing an outsider the chance to bare witness to the glory that is Black America.

If I marry, and I bring children into this world, my children will be Black, and they will be loved. They will understand fully the power dynamics of this world. They will hear stories of suffering, but more importantly understand the stamina it takes to survive. They will be proud to be Black, Creek, Mohican, Italian, and Polish, because they’re standing on the shoulders of survivors. Those once deemed less than, but proved otherwise. This can and will be achieved without the presence of two Black parents.

So it only took three years, but here is my response to every statement, every question, and every turned up nose. I live and I love. I have not jumped shipped. See, you’ve got your ‘Black Love’, but I’ve got mine. I’m not destroying our community. I am providing our community with allies. You don’t have to love us, but we’ll never stop loving you.