As a 30-something year old black woman, I pride myself on having embraced my differences. This was not so much the case back in my mid-20s when I was struggling with my so-called “otherness” during a time when most people were trying to figure out who they are. I don’t eat fried chicken (anymore, at least). I do yoga. I obsess over Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. I can express at length the differences between Aerosmith and Guns ‘N Roses. Kayaking and wine tasting are two of my favorite things to do. I have never once used the words “cray” or “twerk” in conversation. In fact, I’m still a bit foggy on what those words are even supposed to mean.

That isn’t to say that there’s anything wrong with anyone else who doesn’t have my same characteristics or interests. I think what’s great about black women is that we can’t all be put into one box. We don’t all have the same experiences or think the same way. That is one of the wonderful things about of being black; we’re all so different and beautiful all at once.

But sadly, that appreciation isn’t shared by everyone.

This summer I’ve been trying out the world of online dating (and by “trying out” I mean approaching it for the fourth time in two years after completely erasing previous unfortunate experiences from my mind and starting anew). Last week I agreed to go on a date to a bar/grill with a lovely black man I’ve been talking to online for about two weeks. If you’ve navigated the online dating world, you know that first dates from the online dating world are more crucial than those from the “real” world. You hope that he looks like his picture and that you have in-person chemistry (note: people can be very different in person than they are online–their tone, their conversation, delivery, etc.). Luckily, this guy looked exactly, if not better, than his picture online. He’s tall, handsome, nicely built and holds the door open for me.

But that’s about where it ends on his list of positives. As soon as we sit down, he riddles me with borderline uncomfortable questions:

Him: Where are you from?

Me: I’m originally from Boston, but I’ve lived in New York on and off for 14 years now.

Him: No. I mean, where are you from, from? Like, where are your people from?

Me: My people…?

Him: Your ethnicity.

Me: Oh, I’m black. African-American.

Him: Oh…wow… Me: [puzzled]

Him: Oh. Because you are kinda light skinned and you have nice hair. I mean, you’re gorgeous. You know that.

Me: [wishing he stuck with his latter two sentences while at the same time confused/flattered that my humidity-frizzed hair has been deemed “nice”] Um, thank you…

Him: Well, I’m from the ‘ hood. [Pauses for reaction. He gets none]. What color are your friends?

Me: Um…what color…are my friends?

Him: Yeah…did you grow up with white people? Me: I grew up with friends from various backgrounds…

Awkward beginning of a date, right? I tried to chock it up to nervousness. But then he continued to probe me, to try “figure” me out. He was noticeably perplexed and turned off when I revealed to him some of my interests (for example kayaking, like described above ). He says, “I just don’t know too many black people who are into those things. I’m more of a pro-black kind of dude, into mostly black things. Simple.”

I have never known anyone to call themselves simple without immediately feeling embarrassed about it afterwards. He doesn’t stop there:

Him: I was at the Trayvon Martin rally. Do you know that name?

Me: [long, staring pause] Yeah…we actually talked in depth about the case on line. Remember?

Him: Oh, yeah. So you do know him. Okay.

Me: [annoyed by the satisfied look on his face right now, the “at least I have that” face]

Him: What type of music do you listen to? Movies? [Obviously struggling to find a common ground with me]

Me: Many kinds of music, mostly old school. Old school hip hop, R&B, jazz, alternative, rock, soul, pop, etc.

Him: [dejected] Oh. I mean, I’m a hip hop guy, new school. I listen to R&B too. Some old school, I guess. But mostly the popular s^*t, from the black artists.

Me: Oh I see. So no Lenny Kravitz, Seal or Jimi Hendrix for you, huh? [Growing more noticeably annoyed and trying to make a point here]

Him: Um, no. Not really. I like the black sound.

From this point in the evening, we go back and forth about his acquired definition of the obviously subjective term “black”. What I’ve learned from him is that not only does “black” have a look but it also has a sound, and according to him, I wasn’t fit to personify the word . Apparently neither does Kravitz, Seal and Hendrix. You can only imagine his face when I told him I don’t watch Scandal (watched the first season and grew to dislike it). I can almost hear him telepathically call for the waiter and ask for the check.

I knew this was going to be our last date because as much as I was attracted to him physically, we had nothing in common. And I don’t want to date a man (black or otherwise) who confines any ethnicity to one set of characteristics and set of interests and looks down at those who don’t fit his narrow definition.

But alas, it’s all about trial and error. It’s about finding out what you want and what you don’t want. As the list of attributes that I seek in a man continue to evolve over the years, I know that there are some things on which I cannot budge. I want a man who appreciates me as an individual and who is comfortable enough in his own skin to celebrate our differences, not condescend them.

Until then, I will continue my online dating journey.

Candice Frederick is a Freelance writer and movie critic. She writes the blog, Reel Talk, and serves as the co-host of “Cinema in Noir”.

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  • Cynthia Mendoza

    It’s so great that your not afraid to be yourself…I think if more Black women push the envelope with self-acceptance, boundaries and standards Black men will be forced to oblige

    • Glede

      Great article. It’s beyond ridiculous that blackness is so narrowly defined by a series of attributes concocted by people who don’t know any better.

      I grew up in the Caribbean and our parents exposed us to all sorts of things many would consider not black: listening to music by Marty Robbins, and Buck Owens as much as we listened to Reggae and Calypso for example. I came to America before I heard there were limitations on what’s considered black. An unfortunate occurrence in American culture. I don’t think black foreigners have the same hangups in my humble experience.

      • don

        Uhm…. what is being black? I am fully confused. I grew up where the movement was black pride… self respect… dignity…. and most important…. freedom. There’s no one specific type of being black. If you are ghetto, that mwans you are broke regardless ic your blacknor whit e…. I can go but this is ridicules

      • don

        I would love to date you… just to talk. To make you laugh just to see your smile. .. maybe we can watch the big bang theory or to the poconos to go white water rafting or maybe zip lining… my favorite… sky diving

  • Rofo

    Girl, he’s just not wordly. It’s not you, or “your black.” It’s him.

  • cgthegeek

    WTF? So we need to carry our Negron Bona Fides on dates now!?

  • Gypcie

    Move to Canada hon. I stopped having the “your not black” conversation as soon as I left the states.

    • Unicorn

      Canada looks better and better each day. I’ve had the your not black comments from family members. When I ask for the how to be black handbook everyone is offended.

      • I get those comments from my sister all the time; and I don’t understand why it matters to her.

  • StaceyMarie

    Ugh! Just ugh.

    I have mostly Black friends, a group of which went ziplining last month (Loved it!). We enjoy craft beer, winefests, watch Scandal (some of us), football, basketball (!), baseball, golf (ew), and have names like Porschia, Matt, Nakeia, & Stacey (me).

    We rallied AND tweeted for Trayvon (and wrote our congressmen) and continue to do so. We wear belts, listen to Joss Stone and J. Cole, Maxwell and Lenny. Dude is limited and probably intimidated. If I had a nickel for every time someone questioned my Blackness (despite a huge 4-yr old fro), I could arrange to accomodate both you and your date; a hug and a shared side-eye for you and a “Boy, bye!” for the Black deputy.

    • I have had the exact same experience over and over! I’ve recently heard the term “black-ish” as a way of labeling black people who are interested in diverse interests and mingle in diverse settings. I have walked a lonely road for a long time.

  • TerriHD

    Wow, did THAT bring back bad memories of my 20s!

  • Krys

    Heck, yeah! Good for you. Be comfortable with yourself and the rest will follow.

  • oh, I’ve been on a date like this, too. And it IS sad and frustrating.
    But don’t think it’s just because you couldn’t relate to his ‘black/hood experiences’ that he got all weird.
    I’m into all of the same kinds as things as you plus that ‘hood stuff’ and I think it’s just as bad.
    I often get the ‘how did you get into that or make it out’ questions because I’m into all of that different stuff.
    Dull mean drive me kray! (LOL)

  • DivaScript

    Huh? Sorry you had to suffer through that nonsense with that poor unfortunate soul. The beauty in any person comes from their differences, it’s a shame he couldn’t see that.

  • Gabe

    As a black man i find it embarrassing how closed off people can be to ideas that aren’t deemed black enough. Rock is black music and honestly he doesn’t know who kravitz, hendrix, or seal were or he wouldnt have made that remark. I think this kind of ignorance is too easy to come by. Sucks for him that he misses out on so much good music and what could’ve been a good date.

  • Nebulous Mooch

    I’m so glad I don’t have to date anymore. I’ve had similar experiences. Hang in there. You have to kiss some frogs to find your prince as they say.

  • angrierchick

    Welcome to my life. I don’t get the whole “You’re light skinned and pretty” shit, but as soon as I tell people my interests – steampunk, anime, metal of all kinds, gaming, my personal choice in fashion (very very 1890s-1950s vintage-heavy flavor) – I get people that are like, “BWUH?”

    And then BRING ON THE CONDESCENSION!

    • bigjerry

      i love you girl gaming

  • Twirlisha

    You are amazing. Thank you for posting this. I have had so many similar experiences. I hate when people try to shove me into their little black box. Black is big and all encompassing. Our interests range in rainbow like our complexions. I hope more folks wake up and realize this and stop giving me the she ain’t “really” black side eye. Over it!

  • Dude sounds like a total loser. Glad you’re not wasting your time.

  • Shermeen Robinson

    Nothing frustrates me more than when people assume that because you look a certain way, you must behave a certain way. I can’t tell you the amount of times people have told me that I “talk like a white person”. I’m sorry if I take offense to that statement but I then automatically assume, you think that black people don’t know how to use correct grammar. And even worse is when people pass judgement on your so called “level of blackness” based on the clothes you wear, music you listen to or people you associate with. He sounds rather limited in his thinking and not at all someone I would want to date. Having met my husband online, I know there are good ones out there and usually it’s a fantastic way of getting to know a person. However, it seems in this case, you needed to meet him in person to realize that he is not the man for you! Better luck with the next one.

  • Ronald T. Jones

    What an idiot this guy is. He is so obsessed with what he perceives blackness to be that he totally failed to see you as a unique human being. A man who can’t respect your interests, who has a compulsive need to rate your ‘blackness’ does not deserve you. You’re better off without that jerk!

  • LaToyaL

    Oh my. Sounds like a tough deal, but that happens across the board anyway. I’m a Black Opera Singer and you’re either fascinated by that or you assume I don’t have a Black bone in my body. If it’s the latter, I just keep it moving. Ignorance is universal :-/

    • I wanted to become an opera singer when I was younger but it was always treated as a kids dream and I never believed it was an actual possibility for me so I grew up and studied information technology. But every time I see a black girl singing opera, having mad skillz, wearing gorgeous dresses and living the dream I get attacked by onion chopping ninjas. You are awesome!

  • There is no either or love. You might catch me being dragged on a Kayaking trip in Baja or Stockholm as easily as you’d catch me watching Scandal, RHOA or going on holida in Punta Del Este. Perhaps you’d be interested in dating int’l brothers who aeren’t as confined by these preconceived notions o what is and isn’t “black”?

  • Broomy

    NEXT! I relate to your tastes and have had the EXACT same experience on dates in the past. Keep on being YOU! Someof us are very limited and have a very narrow definition of what is Black. BTW the date would have been over with the “NICE” hair comment, because truly sister, people that are STILL saying things like that are not ones you want to be around.

  • Williesha Morris

    I’m just. I’m just so happy right now. A little sad too. My blackness has been invalidated my entire life, it’s almost foreign to me to see something like this. (Marrying a white man didn’t help much.) I appreciate you. I’ve shared this with folks, and I hope it resonates.

  • Andrea Jackson

    Yeah, don’t go out with him again. I’m 50+, A/A, middle class, Southern heritage. And I HATE him. lol!

  • Pandemic

    I am so sorry for you. I cringed while I was reading this. He sounds like my dad while I was growing up. “Why you listening to rock? Don’t you like BLACK MUSIC?” “
    I had to learn a lot of patience.

  • Courtenay Hancock

    If being an idiot makes him an authority on all things black, then be glad he deemed you “not black enough.” Sounds like a complete loser.

  • Nicole

    Wait…he liked Scandal? Most men tend not to. BUT I hate when I’m not black enough for some people and dealt with this coming up. I was like an outcast and tried to “blacken” myself to their tasting. it wasn’t until college that I went on to be my true self, listen to music I liked, stopped liking rap music I knew was disrespectful to women, and finding a love for other things like reading and sci-fi & fantasy t.v. and movies. I’m my own definition of a PERSON. And we are all allowed to be our individual selves. And good for us for finding individualism instead of a clustering in similarity.

  • Reese

    So so glad I don’t have to go through that ridiculousness now. Just because some people are small minded and don’t mind perpetuating the stereotype doesn’t mean we all do. I’m happy that you do what makes YOU happy. At the end of the day, we can’t please everyone. We need to be happy with ourselves first.

    There is a perfect guy out there just waiting for you! I found mine, even if he does happen to be a few shades lighter than me. He accepts me for all that I am, including my white-water rafting, skydiving, classical music loving, Dr. Who watching, NPR listening side 😉

  • Kelli Porter

    Wow, talk about conforming to a type. It’s sad for him that he hasn’t broken out of his little black box. I’m so very happy that you are out and about in the world with the rest of us. Good hunting (what I say to daters).

  • Gita

    yea, i can definitely relate. not “dressing black”, listening to podcasts and npr, wanting to go to non- black comedy shows.. all these things have kept me in a separate dating pool from most black men. I think that sometimes they equate different with difficult, but why not see it as an opportunity expose yourself to a different type of person? My dating goal is finding someone who I can share my interests with, and they’ll expose me to theirs. Openness is important in any relationship, regardless of the couple’s racial make up.

  • camkin

    This is why I don’t really bother with dating black men because I’ve never been “black” enough for them. Rock music, hockey, sci-fi, etc. I get tired of being told black people don’t watch hockey, blah blah blah! The sad thing is, a few of the white guys I dated, I wasn’t “black” enough for them either! It’s disheartening but it’s somewhat comforting to see by the comments left that I’m not alone.

  • veezworld

    Love this article, Candice!

  • Dakota Gadsden

    It’s funny I’ve had the same problems, even within my family. Since I moved to FL i still get the “you aren’t from here” from the black people and the “oh you speak so well” from a lot of older white people when I talk to them. Inside I’d scream WHAT!! but I respectfully smile. I was in a couple of interracial relationships for a while but I was happy when I found my soul mate three and a half years ago who is also intelligent, amazing and more importantly a fellow geek. And to the surprise of me and me family he’s black! It was a big deal only because I never thought I would be with a man within my race because I was..well me ^_^ It’s just nice to know I’m not the only one dealing with things like this.

  • Kanika Ameerah

    What gets me is how he proclaims to be so pro black, but was clearly fixated on her light skin and “nice hair” smh….

  • YorkWhitaker

    Ugh, he sounds terrible. So shallow. Glad you found out on the 1st date at least!

  • Dahlia DeWinters

    Some things never change, unfortunately. Sounds like a conversation I had 20 years ago. Why do people limit themselves so? “Black sound” indeed. Pffft on him.

  • Dave Lawyer

    Interesting that a lot of his ‘interrogation’ was vetted out during the 2 weeks of online chats. Would’ve saved you some time and frustration. 🙂 What kills me, is in this day and age to still have such a narrow focus and naivete. The best part of meeting and getting to know others is sharing the different “worlds” and backgrounds each come from. Not more of same thing? Good thing you squashed that before it began…..probably saved you months of boredom 🙂

  • Cynthia Lanel

    What?! Seems like with his limited perspective on Black folks, he needs to get out and experience more of the world around him.

  • glassa

    “I’m more of a pro-black kind of dude, into mostly black things.”
    What does that even mean? I mean, I don’t consider any of my interests “white” things. That’s just so small-minded.

    “did you grow up with white people?”
    And if you did, why would that matter?

    Glad you realized what a loser this guy is. He’s so entho-centric in a way that makes absolutely no sense. It’s one thing to be proud of your heritage. It’s quite another to be obsessed by it.

  • Amber

    Haha…this is 90% of my interaction with black men. Imagine the eyebrow raises when I tell them I just started learning how to surf. I actually said this to most guys this summer just as an icebreaker. Most of the black guys said, “Black people don’t surf.”

    To which I responded, “Coincidentally, that is indeed a line from Ton Loc the movie ‘Surf Ninjas.'” Alienating them further…s’okay if you can’t hang with my offbeat hobbies and knowledge of obscure 90’s children’s movies, I don’t need to date you.

  • Candice Frederick

    it’s sad indeed. Oddly enough, when we spoke about some of our differences online when we were getting to know each other, he said, “Oh, that’s really cool. I’m into certain things, but I’ve been looking to broaden my horizons.” exact words. So I was a bit taken aback when he came for me this hard when we met lol. welp, on to the next!

  • Candice Frederick

    Thank you all for all you’re awesome comments! Glad to see I’m not alone. On to the next dating adventure I go! 🙂

  • Dave Lawyer

    that IS bad…just told you what you wanted to hear in order to secure the meet…. ugh.

  • Vicki

    Yeah my jaw was dropped while reading this. Dropped. It frustrates me so much that there’s this stigma that because we’re black we have to act a certain way. I’m an author of fiction. Mostly interracial and my black heroine’s name is Lacey. I actually had a reviewer complain that she didn’t have a “black” name. I was like 0.o. Sorry. Didn’t know black people had a required list of names they had to stick to. Sorry for the rant but I really feel you here. The title says it all: my black is not your black and that’s okay. It really is 😀

  • Felicia Inniss

    This brother sounds so foolish. Growing up in the East Flatbush community of Brooklyn, I was often criticized by classmates for my choices in books, music and movies. My love of Nancy Drew mysteries, rocking out to No Doubt and Jamiroquai afforded me comments like “You’re not black!” or “What kinda black girl are you?” Even the way I speak has been criticized. I never understood what it meant to “sound black”. Anyway, thank God that the experience of growing up and going to college. Meeting brothers and sisters from all backgrounds, walks of life, races, ethnicities and cultures opened my eyes to see that, as this sister points out, my Black is different from someone else’s Black. We are as different as night and day because it is our differences make us strong.

  • popcornpatty

    BLACK MEN ARE MOSTLY A WASTE OF TIME AND THIS GUY IS THE EPITOME OF TRASH. YOU COULDN’T PAY ME TO GO ON A DATE WITH ONE. THERE ARE SO MANY GREAT MANY OF OTHER ETHNIC BACKGROUND OUT THERE FOR YOU AND WOMEN LIKE YOU, SO EXPLORE THAT.

  • AgnosticPasta

    Upvote for Surf Ninjas. That was one of my absolute favorite movies growing up!

  • Sugah

    Awesome post, I can relate.

  • This kind of thing makes me INSANE. The irony is, while calling you out for being insufficiently black, they never seem to realize that they are being unbelievably insulting to all of us. Are you really saying that millions and millions of people with different experiences, socioeconomic statuses, education levels, nationalities, and, most importantly, personalities are all required to have the same short list of hobbies and interests? What does that say about us if we’re limited in a way that no other group is?

  • Candice Frederick

    yes!!! that’s exactly what I’m always saying 🙂

  • Tina

    what happened to “what is your favorite thing to do?”or even “Who is your favorite actor/actress?”
    I mean, I married my husband not based on his color but based on what we had in common and our common goals in life! He asked cultural questions because he genuinely didn’t know. I wasn’t offended but just educated him. Although, he is white-he does have a soul spirit. His first album ever bought with his own money was Lionel Richie (way before I met him). So, I believe being black or African-American doesn’t mean you don’t have to be yourself but embrace other cultures and you never know what you might find. I would encourage you to date men who have common interest and they are like this man -stay FAR away.

  • Loake Barrett

    wow. interesting

  • worldpeacecutie

    I commend you for even staying after the second question/comment because I so many of us would have told him the truth about himself and left him there. So, for all the time you two were conversing through the net, he never realized you as a couple had nothing in common? Was he just interested in your looks/ features? Thinking you were mixed or something other than AA so just by that he thought you were “his type” but, because you are just beautifully AA, it’s unacceptable for you to have a different outlook on life-interest-hobbies-experiences-thoughts-views than him?? Sadly, he thinks his actions, sound & views are what defines “black”??- Thankfully it’s not! & never will be. Too bad he doesn’t realize how foolish and dumbfounded he really is, and bragging that he’s “from the ghetto” – ya think? He seems grounded in stupidity & has no clue.

  • That RayvolutionGuy

    THAT! Had to be the funniest, most awkward and retard date EVER!

    I honestly thought that those dumb dates only happen to me!

    Being the you in that scenario has happened more times than I care to mention, but wait, I am mentioning, so several dozen to say the very least.

    Just last week a woman who is trying to date me laughed out loud and called on her Lord and Savior when I told her I am reading a Star Trek Deep Space Nine book. She further digested on her 26 bones and 30 something joints (foot people) when she tried to clean it up saying and I quote, “..I never met a black guy who ACTUALLY liked this sci fi stuff.”

    Yeah, she said that.

    My heart goes out to you, not sure if human cloning is possible; the dating community needs a lotta Me’s to go round…

    LOL

    Thanks for the post.

    R

  • What color are your friends? And I grew up with people from various backgrounds. He doesn’t sound like he comes from a diverse upbringing.

  • Mecmoore

    I really have a problem with that attitude. Why do some people think that “black” people have to be the same? We are not a hive mind! We are just as diverse as any other ethnic group; yet, why is it so hard for some of us to realize it? I have never watched Scandal – the subject matter doesn’t appeal to me. I don’t watch any of the “Wives” shows, either. I started, but quickly grew to dislike them. I have experienced similar situations – you can almost feel the judgement oozing out of people when you aren’t what THEY think you should be. It’s not just the lumping of us all into one group, it’s that people get really condescending as they evaluate your “blackness” to determine where you’re lacking. Sad.

  • Candice Frederick

    Thanks for the comment! Funny because when we were talking online we mentioned a few of our differences, but he said he’s very open to new things and, even if he’s never done them before. He’s totally down because he seeks various experiences. But then…the date happened. He might have been just pretending the whole time. And he really didn’t want to accept I was black, especially since our differences confounded him.

  • Roxanne

    My life. Right there. My kids are going through it now and I’ve even had my own children tell me I’m not black. They’ve been influenced by folks similar to your date, methinks. Their “friends” have informed them that their mother is not black. huh. Interesting.

  • Subject2Me

    A topic near and dear to my heart. Thanks for this great post.

  • Pirate7X

    Ms. Fredrick, we need to go out. I was listening to ‘Axis: Bold as Love’ in the ride (is ‘ride’ too negro? ha) yesterday and can go head up on why Seal’s ‘Human Being’ album is his most underrated release.

    If you can tell me what your fav TVOTR album is, maybe we can hang. And I don’t watch ‘Scandal’… ; )

  • Pirate7X

    …oh and we can discuss the tonal similarities between Joe Perry and Slash, I’m good like that. Pirate7X @ OKC, holla…

  • Pirate7X

    Messed up bro. I’ve had those dates too and do my best to doge those closed types.

    We gotta remember that it starts with us, we are the universality not in reverse.

  • Pirate7X

    Great story, thank you soo much.

    And do holla if you’re in ATL, for real… ; )

  • oddrocker

    I know how you feel , I’m a guy . Black punk rock type of dude. I’ve got stories lol. I think your a cool chick . Keep being you. We are black no matter what. Peace and blesSings to u+++

  • He hasn’t heard of the Black Surfers Association then. There is a history of black surfers that I had a pleasure of researching and it is so sad that some of our own people can be so closed minded.

  • Glasses_gal

    This is perfect. I can relate to this so intensely and reading this article is refreshing because it IS saying, “our ways of being black is different and that’s great!” as opposed to be sprinkled with the special snowflake statements or othering ourselves because we like the Smashing Pumpkins haha

  • Dallas Flanagan

    dude the same thing happens to me vice versa, I’m a fluffy metalhead and love to play bass guitar, but im always single

  • Dallas Flanagan

    Dude there’s a lot of black people that don’t even know Jimi Hendrix the way they should but know tupac

    • JAB

      You say but as if Tupac is somehow beneath Hendrix. Not sure if that’s how you meant it.

  • Candice Frederick

    LOL hilarious!! like birds of a feather….:) Seal STAYS putting out great music! Oh, and Joe Perry and Slash are both awesome!

  • I thought it was just me! I had a weird experience with me online dating experience. But hey onward and upward! Always been proud of my differences and love my blackness!!

  • nicthommi

    Yeah, I’m not light-skinned but would have thought that part would have been gross enough for her to know that he wasn’t a keeper.
    I often wonder how women feel about their light-skinned privilege when men pretty much put their colorism out on full display. I mean, if this man is color-struck and you wind up marrying and having daughters who aren’t light-skinned, I can’t imagine he’s going to say things that will uplift them.
    My mom, who is much lighter than my dad and wavy haired, said one thing that appealed to her is that he wasn’t color-struck, and had dated plenty of dark-skinned women. She said she would not have been happy dealing with someone who said stuff like “good hair.”

  • nicthommi

    Which is funny considering how many successful and famous opera singers are black. I totally associate black women with opera…Denyce Graves, Leontyne Price, Kathleen Battle. Black women have been doing it in Opera for a while…

  • nicthommi

    Thank you. That’s when I think she should have left. What’s funny is that my friends have pretty diverse interests, and we are from a variety of backgrounds, so none of them would ever be as obtuse as this guy. Some are from the ‘hood, some grew up like the Huxtables, but all have interests all over the spectrum.
    This guy was ignorant but again, his good hair comment was the blaring signal there…somehow that’s one that not enough ppl seem to be turned off by though.

  • nicthommi

    Have you love, pro-black but one of the first things out of his mouth is that she is light-skinned and good-haired.
    Some of those “pro-black” dudes are the biggest hypocrites ever. If she was biracial but into the “right” things he’d have found her more acceptable.

  • MisfitsTamara

    Someone should inform him that modern rap (the stuff that gets pushed on the radio) is far more packaged for white, middle American audiences than the community in which it originated…

  • thaisha miller

    This guy is…ajssdfghhjjj he is an ass i would be so uncomfortable with those questions but i would not doubt to tell him the real facts. As for the writer i felt so identified with the tastes i love cars anime sports music and of course everything from africa and of course other cultures. Love your post
    Hello from panama

  • I figured out at some point in life that I’m attracted to black men who don’t have that “gangsta” attitude, and I was worried that I might have been prejudiced against a subculture or something. But when I read this article, and think about the comment “So you only date black men who act white?” it actually sounds like the same situation. Glad I’m not the only one who thinks there isn’t a certain way to act black, or white, or Jewish or whatever.

  • nytosha

    What do you do you use on your skin..it looks great.

    • Thanks for the compliment! I actually use Proactiv, oddly enough. I definitely suggest it if you have combination skin.

  • I’ve frequently found that those most often to pull someone’s “black card” have little knowledge of black history, culture, identity…in short, any knowledge of blackness other than superficial stereotypes and distorted media… IJS

  • Divinemann

    Great article, Its kind of sad that a ppl still think this way. Im a man who grew up on the streets but i always was a geek, one thing that remains true is the original ppl created everything in existence. The more knowledge that you can apply to your life, remains true

  • A

    When I was in elementary school this guy asked me, “do you leave on the North Side?” I live in a town where especially back then (I’m in my early 30s) there is essentially an invisible line between to the north and south sides. So it’s important to say that I was standing at a school bus stop on the South Side of town where mostly Blacks, Latinos, and self-proclaimed Oakies lived. It was a morning like any other. It’s not like I was some new kid that he had never seen before, rather I stood with him at that bus stop day after day.

    I’ve never really fit in. I call myself abnormally abnormal (I coined it!) because if I was white I’d be in some acceptable range of “different”, but I’m not. I’m a black female. That’s all there is to it. As Carlton once said (Fresh Prince), “Black is what I am not what I’m trying to be,” or not be for that matter. I wrote that very statement years ago when I was a senior in high school and it still stands.

    I think all I said to that kid at the bus stop was no or something equally as useless. I still wonder to this day if he thought that I was driven from the North Side to the South Side each morning to catch the bus. What it came down to is while I look Black I didn’t talk or act in the way that he thought black people should ask. And his question was in no way condisending, he really was confused and wanted to know how a girl like me could be on the south side…

    I gotta go. Sorry about any typos. I could go on about this forever.

  • Jane Lane

    I know this article is old but cray is short for crazy and honestly, I’ve only heard white people use it. Twerking can be found with a simple google search and tons of white girls do it all the time. In fact they have “pro” twerk teams so… yeah, it’s not just a “black” thing.

  • JAB

    This is something I relate to so much. Even my father will tell me that I am trying to “Be white” by the tv shows I watch and music I listen to. I am a big country music fan and will binge watch campy sci-fi any day of the week. None of that takes away from my Blackness. I ACTUALLY grew up with predominately Black friends and almost all of us are the same, with interests that span the gamut. You are certainly a better person than I am, because I would have left after his justification for the “Where are your people from?” question.

  • Destro

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being black and being an individual in posession of one’s own personality and interests that stray away from what the majority may consider “the norm”, but when your deviation revolves around idolization of whites, whiteness, or comparing it to what is supposedly “black” as if it somehow makes you special while placing a negative connotation on those unlike you, I would say you have something else going on.

  • I identify with this so much I cannot count the number of times I have been told I am not ‘black’ enough whatever that is. It can be very upsetting especially when young and trying to navigate your identity anyway. That man sounds atrocious!

  • Mojo Hokuto *Dangerous Queen*

    Regardless of it being 3 years old, this article examines some fantastic points. I’m a young mixed female (African-American, Scottish and Native American) with a large spectrum of varied interests that render it impossible for me to “fit” into one box or category. We are all different unique individuals who shouldn’t always have to be defined by one old or modern stereotype of our ethnicity or let characteristics of our culture be stigmatized.

  • Mack

    How can you be “pro-black” and not like Hendrix …thats almost a oxymoron lol

  • JaxVenture

    I have been through that song and dance soooo many times… I will say that you all are like unicorns and can never met one in real life that is ever single. I am going to go back to anime and XB1 now.

  • Meona Goodday

    I’m so rarely “black enough” for some people that conversations like this have often been the norm for me. Not that one ever gets used to it, I just find it sad that in this whole wide world some people would rather confine themselves to a tiny niche corner of it instead of trying to see all of it.

  • Ccmqueee

    I literally could have written this as an ode to my teens and 20s. I’m sure many of those leaving comments are like me and the writer here: Raised either in diverse settings and/or raised around people who felt that NOTHING was “specifically” built for one ethnicity or race. It took me decades to get comfortable with myself and desires and to make NO Apologies for them. I am so happy to have found like-minded people who love and embrace their inner “geek”, and revel in what makes them who they are. If there was a t-shirt that read, “Proud Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, Westworld, Lord of the Rings, Anime-loving, Attack on Titan, fan” I would wear it every day. Keep being you and enjoying all that the world has to offer.

  • wombocombo

    You not eating fried chicken or wanting to kayak has nothing to do with not being a ideal black woman in my eyes. This was a interesting thing to share, thank you for that (((:

  • quicksand

    idk…as a black woman most of my black friends and i do all those same things. and those of us that don’t do them don’t feel any kind of way about ones that do. even most guys that we date that aren’t into for instance kayaking or snowboarding, which i’ve done since age 9, don’t really care one way or the other. I’m from the DMV area (d.c., maryland, virginia) and this type of “black” is pretty common for us, not an anomaly. i guess it depends on where you’re from. anyway sounds like he was just a jerk. stay awesome.