Sometimes it’s Worth the Risk

Brandon - Hampton, Virginia
Entered on April 28, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: courage, love, race
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As a black man, it’s expected that I pursue relationships with black women. Everywhere you look there are advertisements, music videos, and TV shows all featuring black couples. Our parents, teachers, and preachers inadvertently teach us that we must not date outside our race. But I’m a slow learner; can love really be confined by race?

I attended a majority black high school, and for the most part, my friends reflected as much. I had mostly black friends, who all saw things as they did on BET. A strong black man must date a strong black woman. Dating outside the race is as bad as voting for Bush. As with many others my age, there was a common, slight distrust of white people. Eventually, I began to dislike white people all together.

Coming to college, changed my whole outlook on things. Right off the bat, my friends and I went to walk around the freshman dorms, trying to scope out the black girls on this very white campus. My friends told me they wanted me to meet ‘some white girl’ they met when they moved in. I went with them, and after I met her I thought, ‘dang! They won’t playin’, this girl is white!’ From what I heard she didn’t have nice words about me either. According to her I was a skinny little boy trying to be a player! There was something about her though…I had to find out more.

I told my friends about her, they all told me to go for it. Then, I told them she was white. Several said it was cool, race didn’t matter, but the others felt otherwise. They said I was making a mistake. Or they would say, ‘Brandon, you know how white folk be actin’.’ I didn’t want to alienate old friends, but at the same time I wanted to do what I wanted. So I made a decision and asked her to an outdoor movie they were having on campus, and she said yes. The rest, you could say, was history.

Even though I had come so far from my beliefs in high school, some of my friends did not. Many of them expressed their hatefulness in the “nicest” of ways. They would try and fix me up with some of there black friends, constantly remind me that I was black, or even say I was abandoning black women! But I wanted no part in that.

“If you can’t be happy for me, then we not cool no more.” I would tell them.

Most of my high school friends clearly didn’t grow as much as I had; so they had to be dropped.

My girlfriend and I have been together for a year and a half, and have not looked back. Sometimes to get to that point where you can open your heart to love, you have to take risks. And in the end you’ll learn that love is not confined by race, gender nor ethnicity.