The choir of Black female thought leaders and celebrities pushing Black women to date white men has gotten larger. A Northwestern University professor, has added her name to that list, says she penned her latest book with the hope that Black women will begin to “intentionally seek to broaden their idea of suitable dating and marriage partners,” or simply look for love outside their race.
In her book, Interracial Relationships Between Black Women and White Men, professor Cheryl Judice shares the stories of Black women who are dating, married to or divorced from white men. She interviewed 60 men and women to get a feel for their experience in an interracial relationship, asking about the highs and lows, how race factored into it and what led them to date outside their race in the first place.
“What I’m bringing up, for many people, is very sensitive,” said. “They’re like, ‘Why are you putting that out there?’ Because I am tired of people being so miserable, that’s why.”
By “miserable,” the sociology professor said she means single when people would rather be in a committed partnership. She said it was discussions she had with her Black female friends and students that led her to explore the topic of women’s difficulty finding “the one.” She also drew inspiration from her time chatting with middle-class Black families in Evanston and other communities across Chicago.
Judice makes one thing clear, however; the purpose of her book is NOT to tear down Black men as suitable partners, though that may be the criticism of some. Rather, she says there are just not enough Black men to go around thanks to factors like higher mortality and high rates of incarceration due to systemic racism.
She also noted that Black men are twice as likely to marry outside their race while Black women were the least likely to marry outside their race.
“Many of the Black mothers [I interviewed] expressed their frustration about the dating and marriage prospects of their daughters,” Judice wrote. “[Meanwhile], the Black mothers with sons noted that the males were pursued by women from various racial/ethnic groups.”
Many of the women in the book said they were pursued by white men as well. One of the ladies, named *Cathy said she took a risk and agreed to date a white man who asked her out.
Judice said she hopes the stories will encourage more Black women and white men to do the same.
“If we don’t talk about it, it’s always going to be the elephant in the room,” she said. “I’m looking at a core issue of how people really think. I’m not blaming anybody for anything. I’m not casting anybody as a victim. I’m just saying, ‘Let’s look at a life where people are free from some of the things that have shackled us for so long.’”