“To be black and conscious in America is to be in a constant state of rage” – James Baldwin.
I am not American, but this quote applies to all blacks and not just those in the states. When you become an activist, especially a pro-black activist, are you limited in your dating pool? Once you have developed the reputation that you strive for the empowerment of black people, is it fair for your credibility to be in question based on the race of your other half? How many times have we seen black people who have jumped on the bandwagon of supporting a black individual who seems to be pushing for the empowerment of the community, only to have raised eyebrows the moment we find out that their spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend is not black?
In much recent media outlets, the rise of social awareness; as accentuated by the Netflix series Dear White People, the most well-known “pro-black activists” in the media seem to be in relationships with non-black individuals. Why is this? And in all honesty, why are we disappointed when they are? I had to ask myself this very question, why was I completely thrown and very honestly taken aback to find Sam Whitfield was dating a white Guy? Or when it was rumoured that Jesse Williams was involved with a white woman?
Is it because too many times, “white” has been situated as the standard to reach to prove that you have made it in the western world? Is it because once again, black women seem to be left at the bottom? Or have I subconsciously been subject to the social dynamics that give the rules of the dating world? Why should who you date even matter, so long as you fight for the right things. If the world was perfect, then it wouldn’t matter. But the world isn’t perfect, systematic racism, ignorance, uneducated nonsense continues to sprout out.
What is Pro Black?
This “is a lifestyle that encourages the economic growth and development of the black people as a whole with a purpose of increasing the wealth and population of black people around the world” (urban dictionary). After coming across two posts of two well-known “pro black activists”, I had to ask, why are they devalued by who they share their beds with? Then the saying comes to mind, show me your friend and I will show you who you are, but in this circumstance is it fair to apply this saying? After all who knows where love can show up? On the other hand, do they prefer the white counterpart because, while they might fight for black empowerment, they still seek acceptance from the white community? Is this the difference between Malcolm X and Martin Luther, the activist we can get on board with and the one that fights for separation? There are times where it seems as though our fight to be heard is more for an acceptance than anything else. Or maybe I am jumping to conclusions. Don’t get things twisted, everyone is entitled to date whoever they please, but the question here is can you have it both ways. Can you have your cake and still eat it? Can you be pro black and not be seen as hypocritical if you’re with a non-black partner?
It Comes down to this
After looking at all the points I eventually had to ask myself, should I be in a relationship with someone outside of my race? Would it stop me from wanting to contribute to the black community? Would my passion dim? And guess what the answer is, absolutely not. Whoever I am with does not determine what I want to do in my life. My passions will be my passion, which includes my determination to contribute as much as I can to my community. It is up to the individual what they do, and let us not be too quick to jump to conclusions. Actions will always speak louder than words.
#IssaMovement presents… Let’s Debate
On a separate note, we as a team have decided to release an additional 25 tickets to our Let’s Debate event on 2nd November. Woohoo! Grab your FREE tickets here ASAP before they’re gone as we won’t be releasing any more.