But this isn’t just about him— I could marry any white guy. I could marry any black guy, and pop out a kid who is the spitting image of me— but will still have to deal with shit from people almost every single day, because no matter where you go, there are intolerant people. I do this all the time: junior year of college I got a pixie cut, and suddenly I was all about Keira Knightley and Halle Berry.
But the “black experience” can’t be summed up with a chapter of W. There is only one thing: you must be tolerant and willing to learn.
That’s all I can ask from my boyfriend—and, thankfully, that’s what he’s giving me in return. Jazmine Hughes is a freelance writer and online producer at New York magazine.
As a child, she always wanted to walk down the aisle to "Black or White," by Michael Jackson, but now fears it may be a bit too on-the-nose. originally appeared on Literally, Darling, an online magazine by and for twenty-something women that features the personal, awkward, pop-filled and pressing issues of their gender and generation.
The above situations have deeply struck me, as a woman, as a person of color, as a person in an interracial relationship.
Situations like these still hurt and surprise me, even with 21 years of being black under my belt, and getting teased in school for the way I talk, and being told I wasn’t black enough to hang out with the black kids, and getting asked if my hair is a weave, and smiling politely when people around me use the “N” word casually, and hearing “oh, but you’re not really black” as a compliment.
(Once, I swear to God, I was told that I wasn’t really black because black people put a lot of cream cheese on their bagels and I don’t.
I swear to God.) I have had years of experience, years to build up armor, but they still sting and burn and chip away at my confidence, at my sense of self.
And I think: if all of this hurts so bad, how is it going to affect my child?
If this is coming across as a “my boyfriend and I are definitely having babies!
” sort of thing, then you must be my mother, and I am curious to know how you found out about the Internet. It was difficult enough to grow up and be rejected by anyone, let alone people who look like you telling you that you are nothing like them — but what if no one looks like you?
We are definitely having burritos sometime in the near future, but that’s about it. I am in a constant struggle of identity: humans, particularly insecure, neurotic, coming-of-age ladies like myself, are in a constant search for identification, an anchor that we can hold onto that validates our existence and legitimizes any worries we have that we aren’t normal.