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How To Love A Black Woman

Many, many years ago a fraternity brother of mine bitterly confessed that he couldn't deal with black women. He is of African-American descent and although I couldn't say I had never heard that sentiment before, I was intrigued to hear it from someone so close to me.

He told me black women had too much attitude --- on the bus, at work, in any given situation --- they were just difficult and mean for no reason, especially the ugly ones.

He went on to marry a brown-skinned Dominican woman a few years later.

For all four of you out there reading this I should explain, he was referring to culture and not complexion, just in case you don't happen to be black/African American and have no idea what I'm talking about.

I've watched many boys with my skin grow into to men and exclusively date or marry whites, Asians, etc. Sometimes they were athletes, sometimes artsy-fartsy creatives that couldn't be tied down to race and culture, and sometimes (more times than most) they were outcasts, not cool enough, not cute enough, too fat, too ugly, "too busted". For these guys, I guess they feel they had the last laugh with the dearth of available "good black men" as occasionally written about in Essence and talked about on Oprah.

I was one of those outcast boys as I've said again and again - a lopsided fro, coke bottle glasses, crooked teeth, doofy smile, pin head on an even skinnier body. This was my life until junior year of high school and some black girl somewhere, be it in a hallway, a staircase or lunchroom was always around to remind me just how effed up I looked and how I unworthy I was of their empty acquaintance. I never was on the short or long list of guys to get in good with before a dance. I didn't go to my junior prom and my senior prom was such a catastrophe it is the stuff of legend (I'll share another time). One of the popular girls who befriended me our senior year told me on the last day of class, "You know, you're a really nice guy. I wish I had gotten to know you sooner." Our lockers had been next to each other for our entire four years of high school. Until then, I don't think I had ever been so hurt.

Water under the bridge. Time caused me to shed all that awkwardness as I grew into a man and the insanity that is New York City made me sharp. And although at one point in my life I had every intention of traveling the world and sampling the world's women I never stopped loving what I've always loved: black women.

I genuinely believe love is blind, so I'm not frowning on interracial relationships. Close friends are black and Chinese, black and Japanese, etc. etc. Our next president refers to himself as a "mutt". He wouldn't have existed were it not for interracial love. Who am I to judge if the love is real. But I stress the if.

Are black women difficult? Of course they are. In my experiences, they've take very little crap off of anyone (including me). Do many have attitudes? Sure. But that's what distinguishes a black woman from every other woman walking this planet. And there's nothing wrong with a little attitude if there's something there backing it up. Again I stress the if.

Some men feel that in order to love a black woman they must be broken. If you break their strength and crush their sense of self, they'll give you their love because they're too insecure and weak to go anywhere else. My only problem with this that a woman should know it's better at home because of what a man brings to the table, not what he takes away from it.

And then there's other black men who choose to live out their days with women of other nationalities, just so they don't have to "deal" because they think women of other nationalities are "easier." O. J. Simpson is one of these men.

So here's my solution: How do I love my black woman, one who's picture is next to the word "difficult" in the dictionary?

Constantly and fervently. And it's been working out so far so good.

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