"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.She's a former Los Angeles socialite who ran a once-popular site for affluent African-American Angelenos:
As recently as 2011, science (or, "science") has been used to claim that black women are decidedly unattractive.As black women in the United States, we're told not only that we likely won't get married, (based on oft-misconstrued statistics that apply only to women aged 25–29), but that trying via modern conventions like online dating are probably futile — after all, we're also the least likely to get messaged in online dating.But black men are more than twice as likely than black women to marry outside their race, perhaps because stereotypes about black men and sexuality increase their desirability — while comparable parallels aren't often available to black women. ' I love my black kings, I'm holding it down!According to some advocates of interracial dating, unlike black men, black women face a unique pressure to date within their race."Black women are the community," said Christelyn Karazin, founder of Beyond Black White.com, author of Swirling, and creator of a new interracial dating show Swirlr, told me via Skype. ' Meanwhile, so many of us are so miserable and unhappy and think that we don't even deserve to be happy — that it's about being black first and a woman never." Karazin, who also spearheaded a controversial movement advocating against single motherhood in the black communtiy, describes tangled and knotted long-standing ideas about black desirability and femininity — or, the supposed lack thereof.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.At first glance, Black Girl Travel seems to be like any other American international travel club, just one that caters exclusively to black women.But buried toward the bottom of its About Us page is a fuzzy You Tube video that indicates a wider problem."It's like what Alice Walker said: We're the mules. The slave trade turned black bodies into objects of toil and labor, and made black women's bodies desirable largely in the context of rape, which allowed slave masters to exert further control over them.Slapstick mammies made exultant, toothy-grinned claims on the screens of early 20th-century cinema, their large and lumbering figures merely vehicles for laughs.As much as I wanted to believe in sites that told me differently — that men across the pond were just waiting for my arrival — I felt like I also knew better.