Jill Scott is sharing her thoughts on why Black women are bothered by Black men dating and marrying outside of their race.
The topic of why Black men pair up with White women, as well as its affect on Black women, is frequently up for contentious discussion in our community. There have been articles, news segments, movies and even whole books dedicated to the subject; now Jill is adding her two cents.
In a blog for Essence.com the Grammy-wining singer named that feeling many Black women get when we see a brotha with a White woman: a “wince.” She recalls that the familiar feeling struck her when hearing about the wife of a new male friend.
“[He] is handsome, African-American, intelligent and seemingly wealthy. He is an athlete, loves his momma, and is happily married to a White woman,” she wrote. “I admit when I saw his wedding ring, I privately hoped. But something in me just knew he didn’t marry a sister.”
She admits that although she is happy for the man, she felt a small recoil in her spirit. “My body showed no reaction to my inner pinch, but the sting was there, quiet like a mosquito under a summer dress,” Jill admitted.
The actress, starring in Why Did I Get Married Too?, recalled that she had difficulty understanding the nature of that feeling. There are those who say that it comes from Black women feeling like we have dibs on men of our race, or even a certain jealousy, but that wasn’t quite right in Jill’s opinion. Instead, she argues that the “wince” came from a feeling of betrayal.
“My position is that for women of color, this very common ‘wince’ has solely to do with the African story in America,” she said before briefly recounting all the trials that Black people have made it through since the first slave ship landed in America. She made sure to note the dichotomy of how Black and White women have been treated and viewed during that history.
“Black women and Black men struggled together, mourned together, starved together, braved the hoses and vicious police dogs and died untimely on southern back roads together,” Jill explains. “These harsh truths lead to what we really feel when we see a seemingly together brother with a Caucasian woman and their children. That feeling is betrayed.”
She adds that it is something Black women are coming to accept (what other choice is there, really?), the pain still lingers. And the fact that 42 percent of successful Black women (as ABC puts it) are still single doesn’t exactly cushion the blow. S2S, prefers to look on the bright side of that stat, meaning 58 percent of professional Black women have found love, but we digress.
“Our minds do understand that people of all races find genuine love in many places. We dig that the world is full of amazing options,” she wrote in closing. “But underneath, there is a bite, no matter the ointment, that has yet to stop burning.”
Now that Jill has had her say, give us your thoughts on love across color lines.
– Sonya Eskridge