Black Movies

January 4, 2006 | Family & Life

I was raised in the south, during a time when black people sat separately from whites, attended segregated schools and the N- word was ugly. If you even thought about talking to a person of another color, much less dating them, you could count of getting beat up. First, from your family, and then whites who really didn’t approve. So, it was somewhat of a shock, when I was home for my mother’s funeral last year, my daughter commented on how many interracial couples she saw. Not just the black man/white woman, but black woman/white man combination. Being that there are several armed forces bases around my hometown, and many couples come from different parts of this country and abroad, it’s normal. I have always tried to explain to my daughter that when she looks for someone to be with, she should look beyond color. Oh, I know, she wants the cute, tall, black guy but he maybe interested in someone else. Someone not the beautiful chocolate color she is. This threw her for a serious loop her freshman year in high school. Most of the black guys she noticed, were noticing the white girls and it pissed her and the other sisters off! There was a minor incident about a note passed around, but all in all, it eventually faded away. I won’t go into her ‘gangsta phase’ which lasted for about two years and almost got her thrown out of the house. Someday, I’ll blog about raising a daughter. I told her that if the brothers insisted on dating white girls, then if a white guy asked you out, and you like him, then go. In high school, the white drummer in my youth group, a definite hottie named Mark, showed serious interest in me. He knew how strict my parents were, but he dared to show up at my house! He ‘courted’ me on our front porch, scaring the shit out of my parents, and he had the nerve to ask me to his senior prom. I was not allowed to go. My parents thought I might be hung. I had entirely different definition of ‘hung’. Our version of ‘dating’ for a time, was during our music practices. We had a lot of practices that summer, our group was very good. Later, I did date white guys, in Washington, D.C. but I never brought one home.

The media is slowly starting to show interracial couples. I didn’t watch Friends, but Ross had a black girlfriend. A highly intelligent black girlfriend. Some commercials ‘imply’ interracial coupling in a large group. I never could get through Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?, without cringing. Sydney Poitier is one of my favorite actors, and Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy were awesome in anything they made. The movie was considered ground breaking when it came out, and not to take anything away from it, it was. But, the relationship between the good doctor and his white rich fiance, was boring. No kissing that I can remember, no intimate hugs, suspicion from the black maid and many debates as to what this couple would face in their lives together. Spencer Tracy’s final monologue did make me cry. The newer version, Guess Who? with Bernie Mac was more realistic, although it was played for laughs. The Jeffersons tv program, did have a more realistic interracial ‘rich’ couple, black woman/white man.

Publishers are also getting on the interracial kick. New Concepts Publishing has several interracial novels coming out in the spring. Harlequin, just purchased BET’s three black romance lines. It will be interesting to see if H changes the writing of these imprints. Before, no interracial stories were not allowed, the hero and heroine had to be black.

Today’s world is changing. Mixing of the races was once illegal in this country. Couples still have a difficult time, although it is more covert than overt. Black women are faced with trying to find suitable mates, so we’re told. Black men have trouble competing with black women financially, black men are incarcerated, use drugs, black men are on the down-low, black men prefer women of other colors because black women are difficult to deal with, black women are only looking for daddies for their babies, black women are loose. The list can go on. This makes it hard for those young black women and men who are trying to succeed, trying to find someone they can live their lives with.

Black women read, there are lots of dollars involved, and all I’m asking that is that the writing avoids stereotypes, have good plots, well developed characters, and are romance driven. Dyanne Davis wrote, The Color of Trouble, the first interracial romance I read. I was blown away. It is an awesome book and she should be credited for her storyline. It’s sensual, realistic in how parents view interracial relationships, and identifies the stress it places on the couple to figure out how to deal with it and live their lives. Who exactly are they living for? As for my story, my couple truly love each other. For Elizabeth, color does matter, but no matter how many excuses she finds, no matter how many times she allows her father to interfere, and she tries to walk away from Stephen, she can’t because she loves him. For Stephen, he loves her color, he loves her, she is his heart, his soul, his partner and the sooner she realizes it, the sooner they can marry. Alpha male, white or black.

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  1. I lived in Chattanooga, TN for 4 years while attending college back in the early 80s. I came from a town in Northeast Ohio where, in my graduating class of nearly 600, there were 2 black graduates. Color has never mattered to me, even back then when I wasn’t that “exposed” to it. When I got to Chattanooga, working in retail, I was able to interact with more people who weren’t white. And color still didn’t matter. Now, living in Arizona, I’m much more exposed to cultural differences with Hispanics and Native Americans. And color still doesn’t matter.

    There are whites who act like idiots. There are blacks who act like idiots. There are Hispanic idiots and Asian idiots and Indian idiots. There are Christian idiots, Jewish idiots, Muslim idiots. Idiots everywhere and not a drop to drink. 🙂

    It’s what’s on the inside that counts. Someone who’s intelligent, kind, thoughtful, compassionate, etc. has the right to live and be successful, no matter the color of their skin.

    And they have the right to love whoever they want to, no matter the color of their skin.


  2. Amen, but unfortunately you are a minority steadily growing in numbers. Some day, we’ll outnumber the idiots, including men who don’t ask for directions even with a GPS in their car.


  3. Hey, Yasmine, go check out New Concepts Publishing (www.newconceptspublishing.com) — they’re starting a new line, Harmony, for interracial sensual/erotic romances. I don’t have any details other than what they list on their website.


  4. Sherrill, New Concepts is featured in RT for February, don’t love how we get magazines a month ahead? That’s one reason I feel so behind. Thanks.


  5. Yasnine, things are changing but s.l.o.w.l.y.

    In the case of GWCTD, Poitier couldn’t show intimacy for several reasons. First, inter-racial relationships were VERBOTEN by the masses. Second, that era’s polite movies rarely showed anything more than a hand hold because the almighty dollar was more important than depicting reality. Third, the almighty dollar paved the way to Oscar and more almighty dollars.

    The world has changed but not completely. The majority of people from all races still glare when an inter-racial couple walks down the street. Old ladies still whisper behind their wrinkled hands, and there are still assholes who think, “once you go black you don’t go back”. Makes you want to vomit.

    What always bothered me was the children born from these multi-culture relationships. Who really wants them? Where do they really fit in? What background can they really associate with?

    Having a mixed granddaughter has made me more aware of the situation. God help any sonvabitch who ever hurts my Little K.

    Studly was at a bar last Sunday and there were some “remarks” about two people who’d walked in. It made him sick because earlier he’d been holding K on his lap to help her fall asleep for her nap. He loves her and has this protection thing going on. All he could do was walk out of the place and it’s bothered him ever since he didn’t tell the loud mouth to Fuck Off. It wouldn’t have done any good. People like that aren’t ignorant because they can never be taught. They are just plain stupid.

    Maybe in our grandchildrens era life will be more ideal for the people who do believe there should be peace on earth.


  6. The Kerner Report commissioned in the 1960s’ on the race problem in America, began with a sentence I have never forgotten. ‘America is moving towards two socities, one black, one white. Well, I would add two more, one rich, one poor.’ Katherine Hepburn got an Oscar for GWCTD. Denzel got one for playing a racist, corrupt cop and Halle got one for her character’s having an illicit relationship with Billy Bob. I would have preferred them receiving Oscars for other movies, but hey, I didn’t get a say or vote. Sloane, if the mixing of the races continues, then what the Jesse Helms’ of the world feared will come about.(and Strom Thurmond had a birracial daughter he hid) You won’t be able to tell the players without a DNA test and a family tree. Works for me!


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