y soul aches when I think back to a day in high school when I, trying to speak for both me and my friend, said to a black classmate, “We don’t date black guys.”
I don’t recall a time when family or a friend actually told me that I shouldn’t be with a Black man…..it’s like I just knew.
When I was twenty, I had a couple jobs at which I was around Black people often. These people were so full of life, wisdom, and swagger. The more time I spent with them, the richer my life became. Although I have learned that it is not Black people’s responsibility to educate me, my new friends were gracious enough to answer my questions and tell their stories. I started reading books like Black Like Me and Life Upon These Shores. I watched YouTube videos featuring Robin DiAngelo. I had many difficult conversations with white people in my life as my own heart was opening and evolving.
The Black family that I married into holds more oneness and love for each other than any family I have ever encountered.
If I could go back to my Black classmate, I would tell him that words cannot accurately describe how valuable and beautiful his life is. I would tell him that my eyes have been opened to the glory and strength and resilience of the Black race. What an absolute tragedy that it took me twenty years of life to learn these truths.