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I resented those comments, believing that my love should not be bound to the colour of my skin or anyone else’s.
Even when I have expressed romantic interest in black guys, it has always been a futile effort.
My best match so far has been a blue-eyed engineer with perfect teeth.
But I’ve long known that there is no such thing as a perfect partner. Along the way, I’ve dated white guys who wanted to learn about blackness; white guys who pretended my blackness didn’t exist; a Jewish guy who was well-meaning but politically infuriating; and a Honduran man who promptly ditched me for my best friend.
None of them have been the right fit for me, but that wasn’t because they weren’t black.
As I skimmed my eyes across the rows of boxes, I landed on what I was looking for: a jumbo box of Rice Krispies.“Good choice,” a deep, bellowing voice confirmed.
I turned around and saw a handsome black man waiting patiently, with a cart full of groceries and a warm smile that briefly invigorated my tired spirit after a long day of work.
Blackness isn’t homogeneous, but it took me a while to see that.
As a black woman, I wanted to be seen as attractive to more than just black men.
I am a black woman who has never dated a black man, and most days I don’t think twice about that.
But sometimes, like when I encounter a well-dressed family man with a mutual love for certain breakfast cereals, I wonder if I am failing my people.
He was wearing a professional outfit, leather dress shoes and a brown wool houndstooth coat with the collar popped.