I wrote a post a couple of years ago entitled: Why I Won’t Date a White Man. Though I do not regret this post, I do wish I used the space to implement an affirmation for why I, a black man remains not only my sole romantic preference, but my only option for partnership. Why I, a black woman, do not need a husband if he is not a black man.
There’s an image burned into my mind. There are two lynched bodies hanging open-mouthed from a tree. The horrifying image composes the background for a little girl, dressed up as if for picture day or church, who smiles eagerly into the camera. The photo captures the essence of what it means to be an African in America—to be the backdrop of a picture, the ground on which they stand, the catalyst for a young white girl’s smile. Once I saw this picture, I knew that even if every black man was to hang off every branch of every tree throughout the United States, I would never espouse myself to the African-adjacent or the descendants of those pictured.
It does something to you, you know? Being an African in America, or anywhere for that matter. To look back at all the steps taken before our arrival, to think about what those at the beginning of our genealogical line endured—the silent struggle that echoes in our very existence. Yet, despite the consequence of color in this nation, I know I was put here to reproduce the strength, power, and resilience that runs through my veins. Personified in our bodies, hair, and features, I know only a black man can aid me in reproducing our shared legacy.
There are countless folk of the collective who have sipped the Koolaid and bought into the unspoken rhetoric that has lead blacks into a burning house by way of interracial relationships.
“Ain’t nothing wrong with the swirl” continues to encompass the ideology of those who equate “the swirl” with revolution or those on a perpetual journey to whiteness consummated in partnership with the African-adjacent.
They can say their names in the performance of neoliberalism, but the true portrait of the anti-black world is saying a black man’s name at the altar or signing his name on your child’s birth certificate.
There is nothing more revolutionary than black love. There is nothing more revolutionary than finding the “something” this world never gave us in one another. There is something unequivocally powerful, even magical, about men descended from those who built this country. Though the white media remains adamant in mutilating our abduction with those of migration, we know that this is not the narrative of the African in America. We must reproduce this truth in children that will carry this torch in their blood and in their minds.
To a world espoused to diluting black genetics to the point of extinction, my words are the testimony of a woman who has vastly limited her options. A woman who is likely to be perennially alone. To this I say, black women espoused to the teachings of our past, black women devoted to their role in keeping culture and birthing nation are never alone in the arms of our ancestors.
When my hands are trembling with rage or uncertainty, I need a black man to hold my hand. When the waves of white nationalism threaten to drown me, I know this is a language only comprehended by he who wears the same skin color as me. Only he knows what it’s like to have the most valued resources in the world embedded in his canvass, to live under endless attack that varies in form but proves commensurate in severity. Only he understands that our identity, though marked by disruption, remains inundated in triumph. A triumph culminated in one another.
Our union is a non-American aesthetic necessary in our pending liberation as a people.
Simply put black men, there is no us without “u.” Similarly, there is no husband for me, if he isn’t a black man.