Now, maybe this article might or might not be what you are thinking.
I have started a conversation like this before. It was on my quick thoughts surrounding the reality of Chimamanda’s book Americanah here and how I did not think that the reality of her protagonist tells the story of many African women in America. I explore a similar issue in this article.
I have had this conversation with a million and one people by now. I strongly believe that when it comes to love and attraction, amongst other things, the black women always place last. Over the years, with media and colonialist mentality telling us white is beautiful, we have slowly begun to accept it in our unconscious. Black women themselves have had to battle this manner of thinking through movements such as natural hair movement etc. Because the truth of the matter is, white is not what is beautiful. We have many kinds and variations of beauty, white, black, brown etc.
Unfortunately, this manner of thinking has equally affected men all over the world. But the men I am most concerned about are black men. When looking at women, black African men have slowly fallen prey to the understanding that the foreign, fairer, curly haired or even white woman possesses more beauty than that of the darker, kinky curled black or African woman. Now shhh, shhh, shhh before you start coming up with all your “buts”, yes there are exceptions. But look around you, and think about it. If the African man standing next to you, your brother or your friend had to choose between a black woman and let’s say, a biracial woman with the same characteristics, which do you think he would choose? And what percentage of men do you think would choose the latter?
Now I’ve had people ask me why I am so concerned about this issue even if it exists. I am concerned because as the popular saying goes “there are levels to this sh**”. Yes, I may be biracial but I am half Nigerian, half Indian. I bet you the biracial woman who’s half European Half Nigerian is one level above me with her looser curls and lighter skin. Even more I do not believe that black women deserve to always come last.
Another reason this is an issue for me is because, not only do African or black men go after more “foreign” women, but that white, Indian etc. men stick to their women. So let me ask you then: where does that leave black women? With nothing. That’s where. From my experience, a very low number or percentage of white men approach black women unless maybe they appreciate the fact that you are “authentically” African. Which means that you probably have to look like Lupita Nyong’o or Alek Wek to get that sort of attention. As I mentioned in my “Americanah” article, I feel like white men cease to see black women like me as romantic interests, even though they may laugh or joke with me.
Some men have tried to explain to me that black women just come with more stress. Really?? Maybe that’s because more than any other race of women, black women have constantly needed to defend their intelligence, beauty and sexuality. To date a black woman and think she is crazy means that you need to recognize that that is no fault of hers but rather an inadequacy of yours. And every woman, like every man comes with faults, white, black or yellow. Another excuse has been the need to experience the “foreign”, and I agree with that. However, what is foreign? As a Nigerian, foreign for me could constitute anything from Ghanaian to South African to Egyptian. So why exactly do black or African men get more intrigued with what’s closer to white?
At the end of the day, my heart breaks to see the African or black woman abandoned and considered last option. Because guess what? I am pretty and not just for a black girl.
P.S: If my article seems too short and rushed, I apologize. I am so much better at speaking than writing. Maybe I will post a video up of my opinion. Let me know if you would like that!