Note from BW of Brazil: A few months back, a faithful reader of this blog decided that he wanted to chime in on a topic and an ongoing debate that has frequently appeared on this blog. The views of many Afro-Brazilian women who feel that black man have abandoned them to find love, affection and and long term relationships with white women. Joãozinho, as he likes to be called, felt that the accusations put forth by many black women presented an unbalanced perspective, a view that he wasn’t seeing in the part of the country where he lives. João is from Brazil’s northeast, an area of the country that has a higher concentration of black people than other regions of the country, particularly the south and parts of the southeast. It is certainly true that one could come to a drastically different conclusion if they lived in Bahia, Pernambuco or Maranhão as opposed to what one may see in states such as Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina or even São Paulo. So let’s take a look at João’s view from Pernambuco.
Black love and the truth about the black man
By João Okafor
Whenever I discuss the topic of love and relationships with black women, I always get the same response:
Black men don’t care about black women. Black men hate black women. All black men want is blondies.
This comment has always seemed very bizarre to me because where I live in the Northeast, you can see numerous black men with black women on their arms. If you want to see true black love in this country where there are almost exclusively relationships of black men and black women, just go to the favela or the countryside in states like Bahia or Maranhão.
Black love in this country is not that hard to find at all if you know where to look. Even in major cities if you ask the average black man walking down the street if he prefers white girls over black girls you will usually get this response:
“Eu gosto de mulher não importa a cor” (I like women, color doesn’t matter)
“Não tenho preferencia” (I don’t have a preference)
“Eu amo todas independente da cor e raca” (I love all of them regardless of color and race)
A lot of times you will get men who will respond like this:
“Gosto de loiras, mas eu prefiro negas” (I like blonds but I prefer black women)
“Gosto negras com cabelo loiro” (I like black women with blond hair)
“Para mim pretas são melhores” (For me, black women are the best)
“Eu só pode se casar com uma nega” (I could only marry a black woman)
And a minority will say that they like white girls. Now when I usually tell black women this they respond to me saying that “these men are lying.” “they don’t want to tell you the truth.” “they aren’t being honest.” and so on. They always point me to the number of black men in their cities that have white women on their arms as proof that black men value white women over black women. In response to this I want to note that sex, dating and being married are three completely different things. Just because you see a black man and a white woman together in public doesn’t mean anything. They could be friends, family, work partners, she could even be a sex worker (he could be as well). And just because a white woman is publicly affectionate with a black man doesn’t mean that they are dating married or even plan to get into a serious relationship. If anyone made this argument regarding black women being affectionate with white men, they would be laughed out of the room because of COMMON SENSE. But for some strange reason every black man seen with a white woman in public must be her life partner.
If you want to know the truth, 74% of white women in Brazil have a white husband and more than 70% of black men that are married have black wives. Not white wives, not blonde wives, black wives, BLACK AFRO DESCENDENT WIVES. There are multiple ways that someone could deny with this reality. They can say that the government is lying about the stat (A government in a society that historically has used miscegenation to eliminate the black population would most likely lie in the other direction). They can say that most of these marriages consist of old people(which destroys the belief that there is a hatred of black women in black male culture).They can even say that parda (brown/mixed) women aren’t real black women.
To me the last one is a very interesting comment that is often made by militant black feminists who are against Eurocentric beauty standards and colorism. As a man coming from an African centered perspective, I don’t believe in separating the black race along skin tones but for every dark skinned black man that you see dating a light skinned black woman there is a dark skinned black woman dating a light skinned black man. You can’t be against colorism for black men and then support it for black women. This is called hypocrisy.
Now lets say that we completely ignore the statistics, completely ignore the day by day evidence, completely ignore common sense and say that most black men in this country actually hate black women and want a white woman. If you as a black woman actually believe this and want to change it why not focus on the black men that love black women? Why not focus on the black celebrities that are engaged in black relationships? Why not focus on strengthening black love in your daily life?
The sad truth of this topic is that most of the women who spread these lies about black men are not interested in black love. They themselves are dating white men or want a white man and they feel guilty inside. They themselves were married to a white man and had children with white men. They themselves put all of their energy into white men only to be turned away at the end. Now they are bitter and sad and want to project this negative energy on to black men instead of looking inside to ask themselves why they made those decisions.
I understand that relationships and experiences are traumatic and I am all for healing, but we must heal in truth and reject all lies. The truth of the matter is that deep down inside most black men love black women and we should be working to build upon this love and stop trying to tear it down.
About João Okafor
Born in Camaçari, Bahia. Lives in Recife (Pernambuco). I am a single black man. I work as a Engineer for the City of Recife. I am African centered in ideology and hope to see black people all over the world liberated from white supremacy. I got my start in Black consciousness by reading the online postings of a Black Activist from Porto Alegre named Edemir Vicente. His knowledge inspired me to learn more about the history of black people. I am inspired by Afro American activists such as Mwalimu Baruti, Khalid Muhammad, Malcolm X, Francess Cress Welsing and great Afro leaders like Zumbi, Arlindo Veiga dos Santos, and José Correa Leite. I write on many topics which include: Feminism, Afrocentricity, Technology, Music and Politics. I am a fan of Emicida, Rael, Racionais MCs, Tupac, Curtis Mayfield, Jorge Ben, Fela Kuti and many others.