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I can't pinpoint physical features or characteristics of black men because that's not only wrong, it's just not the entire case. Have I come across one that's caught my attention? I have strong Mexican men in my life, too—my father and my two brothers—that I hold close, respect, and admire.What I'm attracted to can be found in men of all races: strong arms (sense of protection), a great smile, nice build (healthy), ambitious, passionate, a sense of humor—a touch of sarcasm helps—and a kind heart. My brothers never seemed to have an opinion as to the type of men I dated, and were only concerned with how each guy treated me. My dad has always been a quiet man, and his only insertion in conversations about my dating life: "Are you happy, ?

Since many young people lack experience dating a person from another racial group, that provides fertile ground for stereotypes to persist.

In my own life, I've encountered my share of dating myths about Black men; here are a few that make interracial dating challenging: Dating a Black guy is not some silver bullet against being racist.

I've dated other races aside from black men—my first and only boyfriend of two years was Korean. "My parents, I should say, have never forbidden me from dating black men, or a man of any race, but their silence, more so my mother's, has been felt—it rendered each guy invisible.

But I've never dated someone of my own ethnicity: Mexican. And I would say Colombian, but that courtship never blossomed into much after he came over my house and serenaded me with his acoustic guitar. Time and again, after being introduced to a black guy I was dating, my mother either let out heavy sighs or foretold my future under her breath. My dad used his seasonal, strictly temporary passport for work and came to Arizona to pick fruit.

The fact that you are Black and your partner isn’t doesn’t mean she or he isn’t prejudiced against other people who look like you or that your partner can't commit racist acts.

A person could hold on to racist beliefs and still believe that “you’re one of the good ones."You don't have to get fresh cornrows, start listening to trap music, or attempt speaking African-American Vernacular English just because you're trying to date a Black dude. And remember, there's a difference between appreciation and appropriation, as Maisha Z.

Both insatiable and lazy, he is creator of chaos and maker of his own inevitable demise; he is forever guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. As angry and volatile as their female counterparts, black men, by their very presence, give society reason to assume the defensive.

He is simultaneously invisible and ever present in the minds and lives of white America. Debased, filthy and unworthy, black men, we are told, are sexual deviants incapable of either desiring or maintaining healthy, meaningful relationships.

Personally, you'd get more points from me for if you can quote James Baldwin or if you're knowledgeable about or genuinely interested in learning about my culture beyond popular trends and stereotypes. Johnson wrote for Everyday Feminism: part of Black culture, that has to include learning about the history of what you’re appreciating and about the struggles and achievements of the people you’re borrowing from.

Then you’ll be the kind of ally who’s informed enough to honor our culture in a way that supports us — instead of just taking what you like and hurting our community.

Racism is a beast whose tentacles touch everything, from public policy and interpersonal interactions to academia and the Academy Awards.

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