“Why couldn’t you find yourself a nice Black girl to settle down with?”
— an older Black woman who I’d met on the streetcar
Frankly, I couldn’t believe I still heard this in 2017 in Toronto of all places, but there it was without a hint of sarcasm in the air. The idea’s plagued our community for ages—that it’s audacious to look outside our race for love with plenty of eligible candidates in our ranks.
But the truth isn’t so simple.
Love isn’t easy to decipher, and I question whether interracial coupling is as dangerous as we make it out to be. I often hear the same arguments:
- It’s DESTROYING our CULTURE! But no culture’s ever going to thrive if it can’t withstand change. We aren’t who we were in the context of our homelands before Canada—it’s up to us to define what our lives look like here and how we coexist/integrate with people who don’t look like we do.
- The blacker the berry, the sweeter the fruit—we need to keep our people as pure as possible. Our world isn’t perfect, and though those in the majority once stood as our slavers and oppressors, we need not necessarily punish them today for the sins of their ancestors. Interracial relationships are slowly on the rise as we learn to overcome these barriers, and just because the next generation might look a little different, it doesn’t mean we need to treat them any differently than we do our own. What we need to update is our thinking—the very idea of what Modern Black Love means to us.
These thoughts in mind, I have a couple of contributors I’d like to introduce you to with their views on modern love—Andrée Nicole, who speaks on the promise of what Black love can offer, and Anthea Ryan, whose experiences fall on the spectrum’s other end.