“Last holiday season gave me plenty of food for thought on this all too familiar and often uncomfortable racially-tinged question.One of my male relatives brought home a date for Thanksgiving who could have been Barbie’s twin sister.” She assures readers: she has nothing against these women. Instead the background history that has rendered black women undesirable as partners needs to be brought to light. “Romantic attraction is subject to the larger social forces of racial prestige and stigma that swirl all around us, and in this environment, black women are losing out,” she states.
Are people impacted by this socialization without realizing it? “These racial and gender preferences and the reasons behind them may not be conscious to people in the dating world, who, by and large, would probably decry bias against black women,” the professor of history asserts.
“Nevertheless, these preferences have real effects. While more black men date and marry white women than ever before, more black women cannot even get a first ‘chat’ on Internet dating sites.” In truth, according to the most recent census, 25 percent of the marriages of black men in 2010 were interracial.
At the same time, black women are the least likely of all women to get married.
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Tiya Miles is a Mac Arthur Fellowship “genius” grant recipient and lauded professor at the University of Michigan.
Most would assume her intellect and accomplishments would place her above the petty concerns of average folk.
Yet, like many black women, she is not immune to the twitch of anger evinced at the site of a black man with a white woman.
Writing for The Huffington Post, Miles penned a moving essay about this phenomenon: Hers is a tale of seeing first hand the black men in her family routinely select white women as mates.
This rattles her even though she is married to a Native American.
Bracing for more interracial couplings Miles brings the statistics about interracial marriage and black men to life by relating this trend to a typical, yet important, dating ritual: taking a serious partner home for the holidays.
Bracing herself for Thanksgiving, she anticipates more black male loved ones choosing to “date out.” “With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I cannot help but dwell on who might be coming to dinner,” Miles writes.