A racist jury acquitted his murderers, Roy Bryant and J. Milam, despite overwhelming evidence, and, to rub salt in the wound, both admitted to killing Till in magazine the next year. The shoe was on the other foot for once and so be it if two white people wound up dead. That's harsh, but that's the historical context of black men dating white women that I unfortunately have to consider when doing the same. Even then, I understood that it was racial, but there was a disconnection from my personal reality. Whatever I learned from the trial was tucked away as something that I should know as a black man, but it didn't have a life-altering impact on my own development. For whatever implications the trial had, that shit also had nothing to do with me. My attraction to them was likely a natural response to my environment. Nobody was trying to assimilate with white people, but sometimes that's just the way things go when you want a better home and better schools for your family.Though those events are something of which I'm always cognizant, I didn't adhere to them as any sort of cautionary tale. The idea was always to live my life however I wanted to live it. But it does have an unforeseen effect on your outlook when you're one of the few black families in town.I can't say that my own mother has never asked, "When are you going to bring home a girl who looks like me?
By middle school, and especially high school, those expectations were even more apparent.The concept of a black man in a relationship with a white woman is a "thing" that people have an opinion on, and that opinion comes with an entire set of stereotypes, fueled by racist ideology, a complicated past, and sometimes even pop culture.Kanye West once rapped about how successful black men will "leave your ass for a white girl," and then put himself into that box by marrying a white woman, furthering the pervasiveness of flawed, generic ideas about interracial relationships.Any time a black man walks around with a white woman he's giving off the impression that white women are his specific preference and that he has a problem with women of his own race, and because that applies to some black men who date white women, it becomes a label that all of us are subjected to. I totally get where black women are coming from, too.It's nothing to walk past a random black woman on the street and get a death glare and maybe even overhear something like, "They're taking all of our men." I was out with my white girlfriend at The Graham in East Williamsburg sometime last year and a black woman came up to me and asked me why was I dating a white girl when she can't even get a man. Truth be told, it's important to me that they also get where I'm coming from and know that I'm not one of these sellouts who views them as undesirable.