Dear Black Men

By: Shariah McKenzie, founder of Mini Boss Lady. This article has been republished with her permission.

Dear Black Men,

I love you. Do you love me?

I am only physically attracted to black men. I’ve looked around at men of other races, but there is just everything about a black man that comforts me. It’s that their skin and hair matches mine, and that their roots match mine. It’s coming home from a long day of code switching, looking at your man and not having to say anything, because he already knows that you’re not only physically tired, but mentally. It’s not having to have the conversation where he says “I can never truly understand how you’re feeling, but I want to” because he simply does understand. He’s seen his mom, or sister upset about the little things that I get upset about, like my hair getting completely fucked up in the rain, and I don’t mean the “frizzy” kind of fucked up I mean the “come sit with me and help me comb out these dreads” type of fucked up.

I support interracial couples, and I’m not bitter, but I honestly question if my skin color is even a preference to black men anymore. And before you stop me.. don’t give me the whole “but, Gabrielle Union and Kelly Rowland are beautiful” speech because if had a dime for every time I heard that, I’d be typing on a fancy diamond encrusted computer right now. These women are celebrities who have also faced discrimination and been denied opportunities in the entertainment industry numerous times before making it due to their skin color.

Dear Black men,

I see you. Do you see me?

Growing up the “it girl” in music videos was always extremely light with long hair and I can name the few artists that had brown skinned/ darker women in their videos, in the 2000’s. T-pain, but does that even count? because they made her a stripper…

Are my favorite artists not attracted to women who look like me? We’ve heard black men like Lil Wayne, A$AP Rocky, Kodak BLACK (emphasis on black, so I’m confused) or even black actors like Taye Diggs talk about how they don’t like brown skinned women, or women of color in general. How often do we see black women speak about our men like this?

Dear Black men,

I got your back. Do you have mine?

During these early clubbing years in New York, and a few times Miami, I’ve noticed such similar patterns, I’ve had so many experiences with black men that seem to be experiencing self hate. Just this week I’ve had two friends tell me stories, one in New York, and one in Miami, one brown, and one light, both come to me about black men of “authority” in the club giving them trouble because of their skin color, or hair style. It’s truly damaging to a women’s confidence when a man who looks like her can’t have her back, disapproves of her blackness, embarrasses her. You have an issue with my friends and I embracing our blackness, expressing our self love through our attire, hair, how we dance our even our attitude. But, your mama is at home with her hair in rollers, sucking chicken bones watching Martin reruns.

Everyone is entitled to their preferences, but is it necessary to put all of those that you don’t preference down?

Dear Black men,

I love you, and I feel you. Do you love me, and feel me?

Kayla PasacretaComment