Half of my mother’s four sisters are married to white men.My cousins can be split into two groups: Ones who grew up with weaves and skin lighteners and ones who needed sunscreen and haircuts.I had hushed conversations in the corners of cafés about how important it was to keep feeding the black community with positive affirmations and how it began with loving black men.I wore Black Lives Matter buttons, attended marches, sported hoodies, vowed to date only black men, and prepared myself to raise a son who might be faced with a death in the same vein as Trayvon, a name I had spoken so often that it felt like that of a brother.It was only when he started saying things like, “They’re all wondering why you’re with me,” while gesturing to a group of black men, that I realized he was doubting himself, too.exclusive.There were days when we fought and said things to each other like “That must have been from how you were raised.” We got assaulted on the street by men who would yell “Black and white don’t mix” and smash their shoulders into ours.
He supported my work and called me Butterfly; our relationship was nauseatingly blissful. I posted photos of black love on every social media account and considered myself as part of a larger revolution.I didn’t date for two years following that breakup.I cleaned myself up: I got a well-paying job; moved to the city; got my own apartment and painted it yellow and got plants to place on the windowsill. I joined Tinder on a whim to break the routine of eat, work, eat, sleep.He rode skateboards and carried around napkins in his front pocket, a habit he’d learned from his grandpa.He joked like friends from my hometown, but there was a newness to his voice that I didn’t know.We always felt halfway to a crime that we could never commit.We were two people of color, the passive transgression, but the responsibility of leaving our races still clung onto our chests." data-reactid="31".It didn’t feel like love at first, more like companionship at our all-time lows.We were open with each other; he had been warned to stay away from black girls, and I was advised to not date men of color.There was something about watching a black boy murdered from the comfort of my home that made me want to go out and love a black man as hard as I could, as though somehow it could resurrect the child in him.I started dating my first official black boyfriend, a neuroscientist, shortly after.