Tag Archives: interracial relationships

Aw’ C’mon: Or How My Wanting to Cross Color Lines Wasn’t Always Taking Black People’s Concerns Into Consideration

10 Mar

white woman yelling black manAs I read Debby Irving’s Waking Up White, (review here) her account of “waking up” to how her own white privilege, and the greater societal systems created to give white people advantage over people of color, shaped her perceptions of race and the way she interacted across color lines, I couldn’t help but take a look at myself, and the actions and inactions I have made, or not made over the years. […]

On Raising Black Sons: A Reader Responds

25 Oct

A reader who goes by the handle Brown Cowgirl mosied on over to WJSS via my Black Twitter  article featured on The Root’s website recently, and graciously took some time to read more posts on my site.

She landed on one I wrote some time ago:  Black Beauty Back In The Day:  What I Learned From The Grown-Ups, and Interracial Marriage From A Five-Year-Old.

When I wrote the post about my time working in a black-owned beauty salon, which ends with a young black boy telling me “my mother told me to never marry a white woman,”  I could only imagine that his statement came from the place and time we were rooted in–1982 on the Boston/Roxbury line–a time rife with troubled race relations in a city notorious for its school busing crisis–a city divided across color lines.

I thought back then, and even when I posted this a year ago, that the boy’s mother was simply coming from a place of not wanting anything to do with white people. Brown Cowgirl’s beautifully rendered response enlightened me, gave me an “aha” moment, one that should have been obvious in a year filled with stop-and-frisk, Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Jonathan Ferrell, and getting arrested for shopping while black.  I also was reminded of my friend Kym’s talk during our interview on WJSS, about the way she felt she had to raise her son, the things she needed to tell him, things that white mothers didn’t have to consider telling their white sons.

I won’t say anymore.  I’ll let Brown Cowgirl tell her point of view.  I wish I could thank her by her real name. I did reach out (only very recently) by email to see if I could, but alas have not heard back from her yet.  Perhaps, one day, she’ll ride back out of the sunset, and reveal herself.  In the meantime, you can visit her blog at www.browncowgirl.com

Read on for Brown Cowgirl’s Response…. […]

Re:post from The Root: Coulter on ‘Freedom Riders’ and ‘Black Gals’

25 Sep

I will let Ann Coulter speak for herself here in this re-posted article from The Root.  She just left me kind of speechless.  Be sure to watch the video, and then leave your comments below.

Coulter on ‘Freedom Riders’ and ‘Black Gals’

Coulter on 'Freedom Riders' and 'Black Gals'

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News

Ann Coulter, who is evidently living in some year way before 2012 (and quite possibly the Jim Crow era), joked in commentary on Fox & Friends on Tuesday that television hosts Lawrence O’Donnell and Bill Maher think of themselves as “freedom riders” because they date “black gals.”

No, really. That’s not out of context. Here’s the exact quote: “These are not people who have black friends, who know black people. Oh, sorry, except, you know, Lawrence O’Donnell and Bill Maher, who date black gals. So they think they’re freedom riders.” It goes without saying that the joke said more about her thinking than it does about theirs, whomever they may be involved with romantically.

Oh, and Coulter made the remark in the process of accusing MSNBC host Rachel Maddow of being too complimentary of African-American program guests (not something we would put among the top racial-justice issues of our time, but she’s entitled to her opinion).

Nice, Ann. Nothing like making fun of someone for dating interracially to simultaneously invalidate everything you’ve just said and cement your place as the nonexpert of the century on racial bias.

P.S. If you do ever decide to join the rest of us in the modern age of race relations (where people don’t actually think that loving someone of another race transforms them into a civil rights activist), update the outdated vocabulary along with the outdated thinking: No one says “gals.”


SOURCE:  www.theroot.com, Coulter On “Freedom Riders” and “Black Gals”, by Jenee Desmond-Harris, September 25, 2012




Re-post: The Root Explores Whether Obama Has Made the U.S. Postracial

1 Aug

On my About page, my first line reads… people say we live in a post-racial society with the election of Barack Obama as our first black President.

I didn’t agree with that statement when Obama was elected in 2008, and now, The Root, with it’s July 30th posting of Jesse Washington’s article from the Associated Press,  Has Obama Made the US Postracial?, is revisiting that question four years later, to see if Americans feel the matter of race has changed in our country.

It seems some people think things have gotten better, some think it’s gotten worse, some blame Obama for being anti-white, some blame Obama for not supporting the black community enough, some think at least we are talking about race more openly.

What do you think?


Has Obama Made the US Postracial?


Has Obama Made the US Postracial?

(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

As America approaches a new presidential election in November, Jesse Washington, national writer on race and ethnicity for the Associated Press, digs into the country’s race relations. Are people singing in ethnic harmony now that we’ve had nearly four years with Obama, or are our racist skeletons emerging from the proverbial closets? According to Washington, people are more aware of our racial differences.

As the nation moves toward the multiracial future heralded by this son of an African father and white mother, the events of Obama’s first term, and what people make of them, help trace the racial arc of his presidency.

Shortly before the 2008 election, 56 percent of Americans surveyed by the Gallup organization said that race relations would improve if Obama were elected. One day after his victory, 70 percent said race relations would improve and only 10 percent predicted they would get worse.

Just weeks after taking office, Obama said, “There was justifiable pride on the part of the country that we had taken a step to move us beyond some of the searing legacies of racial discrimination.”

Then he joked, “But that lasted about a day.”

Read Jesse Washington’s entire piece at theAssociated Press.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.


SOURCE:  www.theroot.com, Has Obama Made The US Postracial?, Jesse Washington via the Associated Press, July 30, 2012


Lighter Rice, Darker Rice

2 Jul

The waitress at my favorite home-style Korean restaurant brought us our left-over Bi Bim Bap in a bag containing two take-out containers.

“You’ll know which is which, because,” as she points to me, “yours is the lighter rice,” and pointing to the man I’ve been seeing, who, yes, you guessed it, just so happens to be black, “and yours is the darker rice.”

I squirm in my seat, and half-smirk, half-smile at my companion across the table.

The waitress, the friendly 20-something daughter of the husband-wife team that runs the place, pauses, I believe realizing her awkward Korean moment, places the bag down on our table, and hurries away.

I laugh, and look over at Super H. Genius, the name I am giving him here–letting him be anonymous for the time being–Super: because he’s super nice, Genius: because he’s super smart, or smaht, if you say it with a Rhode Island accent, and H. for Handsome, because he’s that, too.

I have to admit, that this being the first time I am posting about dating someone since my divorce, I feel awkward. I don’t want to be disrespectful to my former husband. I worry about relatives of his reading this and thinking badly of me. I even wonder what my own friends and acquaintances will think about it, since I’m a pretty private person and haven’t shared much publicly about my relationship news.

I even feel a bit like a traitor to the Korean family that runs the restaurant. I wonder if they remember me from when I used to come with my former husband and daughters, especially since my daughters told me they’ve been there with their Dad recently. Are they disappointed that I didn’t stay in my marriage? Do they think it is too soon for me to be ordering the fragrant Bi Bim Bap with somebody else?

I suppose I can’t worry about being a private person now that I have a blog.

Back to the rice. I say to Super H. right after the waitress leaves, “see, I get the lighter rice because I am white and you get the darker rice because you are black.”

“Naw, I think it’s because I have a darker mood, and you have a lighter spirit.” See how nice he is.

The waitress returns, and delicately, using humor as her saving grace, says, while looking at Super H., “yes, you put a lot of the sauce in your rice, like me. You must like it spicy, too.”

We all laugh. I don’t even want to start reading Freudian slips into her references to spiciness. Like I said, she’s a lovely young woman, and as you’ve witnessed here on this blog, I have had my awkward white girl moments on more than one occasion.

Next time I’ll be sure to use just as much hot sauce as Super H*., just to help an awkward sister out.


*Oh well, Super H. broke up with me the same night I wrote this post up, but I decided to post it anyway, because I think it’s funny, and it’s honest.










Wendy Jane Recommends “Yes, We’re Together” blog by Atinuke Diver

1 Jun

Today I want to feature one of the blogs I link to on my home page, “Yes, We’re Together” by author, Atinuke Diver.

I first heard about Atinuke, or Tinu, when she was noted on writing center, Grub Street’s weekly newsletter.  Tinu had won a 2011 Black Weblog Award, an Internet Award Ceremony that recognizes black bloggers from over 90 countries.

YesWe’reTogether.com is Tinu’s blog that, in her words, challenges the assumptions and assume the challenges of interracial love with humor and grace, and where all racial/ethnic combinations are fair game.

Since I noticed that Tinu lived nearby in Boston, and had started a blog that dealt with matters of race, I decided to reach out to her for advice on starting my blog.  I was having “cold feet,” and needed a push, and Tinu was very generous in giving me feedback on my About page, as well as shared her experience of what’s it been like blogging for her.  She helped send me on my way.

Here is Tinu’s bio from her About page:

The oldest daughter of Nigerian immigrants, Tinu was born in Mattapan, Massachusetts, raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland and lives with her White/Somewhat Irish lawyer husband in Boston, Massachusetts.  She earned an English degree, Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership, and Law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She is a proud graduate of UNC’s Creative Writing Program, an honored recipient of the Wanda Chappell Scholarship, and former Editor of Virtuous Woman Campus Magazine.  Her writing has been featured in BlogHerThe Review Review, The African Immigrant Journal, Racialicious, Love Isn’t Enough, The Fresh XpressExaminer.com and has been an Editor’s Pick on OpenSalon.com.
I truly enjoy Tinu’s style of writing, and sense of humor when it comes to writing about her experiences of being in an interracial marriage.  Here’s a post of hers that I really got a kick out of–a piece about her worrying whether her white husband would be up for all the dancing involved for their wedding day.