Can You Be Black, Woke and Date A White Person?

Earlier this week a woman asked me out on a date. Since I began my new job more than a month ago, we’ve come in contact on a few occasions and exchanged pleasantries, maybe even flirted a few times here and there. (Note: I don’t know that we’ve flirted. I’m kind of an awkward guy about flirting. I know I’ve said some shit, and she’s laughed at said shit, thus I’ve said more shit for her to laugh at, and she’s told me I’m funny in a flirty type of way. So I guess that’s flirting.) We don’t necessarily work together, but our jobs require us to interact on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. I should tell you that this woman is white, and I am a Black man.

It’s not the first time this has happened in my life. One cannot have had the experiences that I have and not caught the eye of females with fairer skin. After all, my name is Morgan McDaniel, I frequently play golf, enjoy the outdoors, love baseball, and grew up idolizing hockey players (most notably Steve Yzerman and Wayne Gretzky) and listening to The Offspring, Barenaked Ladies, and Hootie & The Blowfish.

Despite growing up in one of the Blackest cities in the America (Detroit, what up doe?!), my mother frequently thrust my twin brother and me into settings that featured us as the token Black kids. Whether it was music camps, Saturday morning art classes, or sleepovers at a friend’s house in Suburban Michigan, I could usually count the number of brown faces on one hand within my surroundings, my brother and I included. Maybe two hands if the overall population of the event we were attending was large enough. But never more than two. NEVER!

Furthermore, my voice sounds like a mashup between Bryant Gumble and Kermit The Frog. I prefer to dress in graphic tees or collared shirts and Levi’s with Nike SB Dunks. I’ve been told by many Black chicks, some who have curbed the shit out of me and others whom I’ve dated, that I “seem like I’d be into white girls,” whatever the fuck that means. My beloved family once predicted that I’d probably be the only descendant of the Williams clan to bring a non-Black woman to a family reunion.

But given the events of last week, and my life for that matter, I couldn’t help but ask myself, “Can a woke as fuck Black person date a white person?” Better yet, “Can a woke as fuck Black person date a non-Black person?”

For the record, I’m not a subscriber to the notion that people MUST exclusively date others of the same race. I don’t believe love sees color. Anyone can fall in love with somebody. Some of the most woke people I know, follow or admire either date or are married to non-Black folks. This includes a friend who received a degree in African-American Studies from FAMU, a few former coworkers, and celebrities Franchesca “Chescaleigh” Ramsey and Dave Chappelle. This afternoon, via Facebook, I read a touching delineation of a black man’s life and his harsh experiences with racism. According to his profile, he’s in a relationship with a white woman. Thus, it’s possible.

I guess the better question is, “Can I be woke as fuck and date a non-Black woman?” And the answer is, eh maybe. But it’s highly improbable. Damn near impossible. I love ALL women, and I am indeed attracted to a fair share of non-Black females. A few of my celebrity crushes include Zoey Deschanel, Brie Larson, Ashley Graham and the lovely Jennifer Lawrence. The chick that asked me out? I find her quite attractive too, as do most of the guys that work with me.

Plus, she passes my preliminary dating criteria of a White person seeking a relationship with a Black person; She believes that Black Lives Matter and knows that All Lives Matter is thinly veiled racist, bullshit. She appreciates the musical differences between hip-hop artists like The Roots, Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole, and clowns such as Desiigner, Fetty Wap and Rich Homie Quan. Lastly, she enjoys the film Malcolm X featuring Denzel Washington, thinks Idris Elba would be a suitable choice to adopt the role of James Bond, and is eagerly looking forward to Donald Glover’s upcoming show “Atlanta.” She may be pandering the fuck out of me to secure a date, much like Hilary Clinton does to secure the Black vote, but I highly fucking doubt it.

Either way, my biggest trepidation isn’t who she is, it’s my thorough appreciation for the strong Black women in my life. Hence, it frames my mindset and desire to be with a strong Black woman.

While my mother purposely put me in Caucasian-centric environments, she also instilled a great sense of Black pride, self-worth, and identity. My childhood home is beautifully decorated with African masks and paraphernalia. At age eleven, I was forced to watch Boyz N The Hood, Rosewood, and Roots. When I showed an interest in art, my mother emphasized that I know Black artists such as Romare Bearden, Gordon Parks, Charles White, Elizabeth Catlett, Annie Lee, Alma Thomas and Jean-Michel Basquiat before studying the likes of Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, and Rembrandt.

I remember my grandmother telling me the excruciatingly brutal tales of Emmett Till, the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham and personal, racially motivated, tragedies she experienced growing up in rural Alabama. My aunt made sure my literary rotation included Alice Walker, James Baldwin, Walter Mosley and Richard Wright. I was raised by a catalog of beautiful God Mothers who taught me the importance of respecting women, even if they are “fast-tailed heffas who lack respect for themselves.”

And every time I experienced the slightest sense of failure, defeat or discrimination – like the time I was disqualified from a golf tournament for displaying “Black, thuggish behavior,” or told that I wouldn’t be Caddy of The Year because my boss preferred to give it to another white kid with close member ties (despite my exceptional performance), or most recently leaving my job and battling depression – they have all been there to stand by me, console me, and scold me, if necessary.

It is because of them that I still exist. It is because of them that I am the man that I am. It is because of them that I am drawn to women who display their traits, most of which are uniquely exclusive to Black women.

I declined the invitation to go on a date with the female I mentioned earlier. I’m sure she’s a swell person, or at least she seems like one. But following my last relationship, I’m in a place where I don’t feel like laboring through the song and dance of getting to know someone’s likes, dislikes, pet peeves, favorite colors, birthdays, or other nuances. I can do without that shit for now. But when I am ready to love again, I want to fall in love with a beautiful Black woman, who’s into the same millennial, outdoorsy, sci-fi, sports-centric, dry humor, Christian, Black power shit that I am.

Because while love doesn’t see color, it’s important that we do. It’s important that my future mate and I see the world through the same lens. It’s imperative that we readily embrace and support each other unconditionally. It’s pivotal that we bask in each other’s auras and share corny-ass inside jokes. It’s crucial that we battle systemic issues and racial biases as one cohesive unit. And while I may find this in a non-Black person, given the level of my unapologetic Blackness, it’s highly unlikely. Black love is beautiful.

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