Before my husband and I got married, I wasn´t aware of the struggle mixed race couples go through. The insults, the hate, the fear.
I do remember as a teenager back in Nigeria, women who dated caucasian men were seen as prostitutes, people disrespected them, called them names, turned their backs on them.
Even back then as a teen, I didn´t get why people were so bothered about a woman´s choice in a man who wasn´t black. I still don´t get it now as an adult.
When we first got married, we lived in a small town that gave us the looks, and also dealt with a turkish teenager that used the N word at us.
To be really honest, when I saw the black love hash tag trending on social media, I automatically assumed we fit that idea. I am a black woman after all. Sure The Mr isn´t black but so what? His wife is and that alone set us in the community.
Then I saw this video where some black man was talking about black people who marry outside their race. His thinking was that if your partner wasn´t black, then you were not pro black, that black love meant people who were black and had black partners.
His statements upset me at first and I remember talking to a friend about it and it shocked me that she too agreed with him.
I realised later that I didn´t need validation from anyone. No one had the right to choose a box for me to be put in. I decide what and who I am.
So recently, I started watching the Black Love series created by Codie and her husband Tommy Oliver, and I had to back up a bit and read the title again. It said Black love and I fully expected to see strictly black couples. But nooo, Interacial couples were included in the series and I wondered how the black community felt about that.
People like Kelechi Okafor who advocates for black people in the UK have had to deal with backlash for having a partner who isn´t black.
The idea seeping through the black community that if you as a black person fights for black lives, then your partner must be black is shockingly accepted by a large number of people in the community.
Then you move to YouTube and you see the huge following interracial couple channels have compared to a black couple and that shit just gets you confused. People condemn you for dating outside your race but then go on social media to oooh and aaah over interracial families doing regular every day shit.
What I would mostly love to see isn´t “watch as my white husband does my natural hair” videos.
Sure, these seemingly adored videos helps people forget the blatant racism these couples face in real life but the truth is we want to see those too. Interracial coupling isn´t all fancy. The tough days are more tiring than usual, but the awareness for it is barely discussed. Or atleast I have not seen it.
A lot of people in such relationship claim they don´t see color and I find that statement to be seriously dangerous because color is in their daily lives. They eat, sleep, and breathe color.
For some others, the reality of their differences in skin color and culture dawns on them once they have kids.
But of course, everyone has an opinion on your “unblack” love. From the friend who thinks we should only adopt mixed kids because it will look weird if your kid is either black or white, to the relative who fears you as the foreign spouse will one day miss your home so badly you would take their son and leave the country.
Someone once asked me if it was tough talking about race, white privilege, and inequality and my short answer was no.
Why should it be? I am a black woman, my community faces these things, so of course we will talk about it. We will have kids one day, and they will have to learn that the world isn´t all sweets and ice cream for people who look different.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts” -Mark Twain