"Once those images are posted and once they're permeating society, then a certain kind of picture is presented and reinforced about who black women should be with," Tiya Miles told me over the phone.Last year Miles, the chair of African-American studies at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor and a former Mac Arthur fellow, wrote about the issues facing black women and interracial dating for the Huffington Post.The video is a defense of the company — directed at "haters" who have criticized Black Girl Travel for encouraging black women to date men in other countries."The heart of what we do is about empowering African-American women with options," says Fleacé Weaver, founder of Black Girl Travel, in the clip."I have done a lot of research and talked to a lot of women in this country, and what I'm hearing is: You can't find dates, you can't find mates, you can't find husbands."Weaver, a statuesque black woman flanked by two chic employees on either side, is all long lithe limbs and wavy hair. "What you gotta do is open your mind." Weaver's not alone in her exhortation to black American women.
If you've been frustrated and confused about why your relationships aren't working the way you want them to - this book will change your love life.To get you to start thinking about dating interracially," Weaver says warmly. I first came across the encouragements to go to Europe and "swirl" when I was a junior in college preparing to study abroad in Sweden."There are a lot of incredible men out there, yes, you know you want a brother. Though I cringe to admit it now, I was excited by the possibility of a semester spent flirting with Swedes."We say, ' Date all men.'" And her statement was more or less repeated by nearly every one of the women I interviewed who advocate that black women date interracially and internationally.Several added that they tell women to "choose character over color." But it's difficult to scroll through picture after picture of beaming-black-woman-with-smiling-white-man and not feel that interracial relationships are being idealized, rather than simply celebrated, an experience discomfiting enough that it has at times made me question my own relationship with a white man."Are we going to start talking about some of the issues going on in America, why there's not so many black female couplings ... We'll just go to Europe and find a white guy.'" "That's not what we're saying," Weaver told me via Skype from Rome.