0 sc0 ls0 ws8">‘Not at first. I learned to. He loved me very much, and I
learned to love him because of how good he was to me,
and patient and the things he taught me,’ says Horne.
‘And he could come in the club with me and ask for this
and that and the other and that would happen, where a
colored man—I revert to that word, because in those days
that’s what we said—couldn’t get me a job. And I had to
love him for that, because you see, then I began to be very
hungry for him to see me as black.’” (CBS Television “60
Minutes” 2003, May 18).10
Walsh (2012) presents this account of a Black man who is
married to a White woman, but in opposition to his daughter
marrying a White man:
Notice how Maurice Hollands beliefs about gender cannot
be disentangled from his racial notions:
Umm I dont know about my baby, but my older two picked
black people to marry. Whether she will or not I dont know. I
dont know. (ETW: Will it matter to you?) Oh yeah (Talk about
that to me).
Kris. Umm I hope she doesnt. I mean, I dont like white men.
In general I dont. It would be hard. Yeah I would not be in
favor of that. I couldnt know his white familys outlook, se e,
about racial things. And it could impact her. How would he
raise kids? Ya know? I would be very, very upset if that were
the case, a white man. I would actively discourage it. (ETW:
What if your son married a white girl. Would you feel the same
way?) No.
(ETW: Tell me about that) Because generally the wife
adapts to and enters into the husbands world. Id say that
essentially is what it is. Ya know? And um, if my son mar-
ried white, shed come into his world. And I would imag-
ine if my daughter married white, her life would be in his
world. Just the way it is. Maurice married his white wife
in 1967” (p. 78).
McClintock (2010) presents this account of a Black female
student in her Stanford University study:
“In contrast, Black students, particularly Black women,
expressed hesitation to engage in any interracial sexual or
romantic partnership (including hookups). When asked
whether it was important that potential hookup partners be
of her own race, a Black woman seemed uncomfortable,
but acknowledged ‘Ummm... yeah... it’s kind of... it’s...
it’s... yeah... I am a product of my environment. Like,
growing up in [city omitted], like, the Black people are
pretty much with Black people, like White people are with
White people’” (pp. 66-67).
Henry (2008) writes of a young Black American woman and
her apprehension about getting involved in interracial romantic
relationships: “However, their interracial relationship is threat-
ened not only by Kenyas own dissonance about dating outside
of her race, but also regarding how the relationship will be
perceived by her family and friends... In an interview with the
Philadelphia Daily News... “[Black female movie star] Sanaa
Lathan expressed strong identification with the Something New
storyline because, like her character, she has dated outside her
race and struggled with feelings of guilt’” (p. 19).
In a study of 100 African American female college students,
to determine their rates of interracial romantic relationships,
Porter and Bronzaft’s (1995) found that 87% of them prefer
Black males, 1% prefer Whites males, 4% prefer Hispanic
males, 1% prefer Asian males and 2% prefer the group of males
called “Other” (pp. 167-168). However, 19% of the students in
the study said that they would marry White men if there were a
lack of eligible Black men to marry (p. 169). McClain (2004)
studied 22 young adults of mixed Black/White parentage over a
few years and points out that one of them deliberately sought a
dark-skinned Black man to be her romantic partner because she
wanted to make sure that her future children were seen and to
see themselves as Black (p. 47).
Fear of Perception of Being a Prostitute
The topic of prostitution is considered very sensitive to Black
American women (Crenshaw, 1997: pp. 267-268). This is due
to the fact that government laws, in addition to raw human ha-
tred of Black people resulted in very few to no opportunities for
any real gainful employment for Black women after slavery,
thereby putting them in a position not much better off than
slavery. In addition, Black women took the responsibilities of
the children that they have with both Black men and White men,
since up to this day most White families refuse to acknowl-
edge their family members with Black blood or ancestry. Also,
many White men who refuse responsibilities of a committed
romantic relationship, can get involved with Black women for
paid sexual service (Coleman, 1998: p. 83; Collins, 2003: p. 54).
As a result, many Black women find themselves having sex for
money with White men, which results in a perception in society
that if a Black woman is out with a White man, people in gen-
eral might think that she is a prostitute, since White men do not
10CBS Television “60 Minutes,” 2003, May 18. “Special: Asking Tough
Questions,” http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/60minutes/main3415.shtml
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
418
A. J. KABA
marry or want to be seen in public with Black women. As
Maillard (2012) notes of “Dirty looks on the subway or at the
mall. Bringing separate checks to dining couples. Catcalls in
the park. Assuming the black partner is a servant or em-
ployee.”11 Walsh (2012) presents this interesting account of one
of the subjects (a Black woman) in her study who is married to
a White man:
“Dianne Kennedy, a walnut-color with freckles across her
nose, has her hair pulled lightly to a bun at her neck.
Wearing a white sweater draped over her shoulders, she
looked right through me with coffee color eyes as she
discussed her strategy for countering the stereotypes of
black women, married across the color line, by describing
her considerations when out in public with her white hus-
band of twenty years:
One, you got to be more on your P’s and Q’s. You got to
be careful how you act. I would never go out with Mi-
chael looking like a tramp. I would not. And I think that’s
from childhood growing up in the South. You think of a
black man with a white woman she’d be all fat and nasty.
A black woman with a white guy-that wouldn’t look good.
Where I come from, she’s probably a working girl, if you
know what I mean.
The awareness of stories that circulate and impressions
others might have of an interracial couple works as a so-
cial control mechanism for Dianne who continues after
twenty years to consider how strangers might misinterpret
her for a prostitute. Dianne was not alone with this con-
cern; two other black women interviewed also made
pointed comments about being concerned about their ap-
pearance in public with their white husbands and their as-
sumption that black women in the company of white men
might be mistaken for prostitution” (p. 78).
According to Sivanarayanan (2005):
“The sexualization of the image of the black woman
becomes almost a constant refrain in succeeding years. At
a 1937 New Orleans street revel, the photographer John
Gutman took a close-up photo of a nameless black woman
who was wearing a white mask. There is a well-dressed
young black man standing with her. Interestingly, the
photograph is titled: ‘In the Background: The Pimp’... As
the authors note, there is nothing to indicate that the man
standing in the back is a pimp. The photographer presents
the viewer with a singular mode of reading the
photograph that is transparent and uncomplicated, and
Willis and Williams note, ‘the couple’s color dissuades
most viewers from questioning the title’... The association
of the black female with sexual labor is extended in other
ways too. The New Orleans police department, in the
years 1912-1918, passed around “mug shots”-the standard,
front-facing police photographs-of dull-eyed black wo-
men who were labeled prostitutes, even though the crime
they were accused of committing was not prostitution but
robbery” (p. 1111).
Foster (2005) points out that: “In 1897 New Orleans mayor
Sidney Story issued an order creating a vice district, which
came to bear his name. Established in an area of the city that
had long been a location for what at the time were termed
Negro dives,’ Storyville became home to concert saloons,
other forms of entertainment, an d, most famously, houses of
prostitution” (p. 220). Writing about Black women in the Car-
ibbean during slavery, Soomer (2000) points out that:
“In the urban setting, women usually were employed as
domestics and often were paid wages. Many slave owners
in the towns hired their slaves out as day workers and kept
some of the wages while giving the slave the remainder. It
was also in this setting that prostitution was rife. Many
taverns, usually owned by white women or the colored
mistresses of white men, served as brothe ls. Here, African
women were bought and sold for the sexual pleasure of
planters or visitors to the islands. Barbados is especially
known for ‘whore’ houses because it was the headquarters
for the British garrison and a primary shipping port.
Planters in the rural setting also exploited African women
in this manner. Female slaves were expected to provide
sexual comfort for male visitors to the plantations” (p. 7).
According to Goss (1997):
“In Ar’n’t I a Woman? Deborah Gray white describes the
‘Fancy Trade,’ the sale of light-skinned black women for
the exclusive purpose of prostitution and concubinage as a
fairly common occurrence in New Orleans. Charleston, St.
Louis, Lexington and even Virginia. The belief that
African women were promiscuous (no doubt founded as a
result of seeing semi-clad black women on the auction
block) generated a widely held belief that black women
were immoral and naturally promiscuous. These lighter-
skinned sisters, thus, were the perfect outlet for the sexual
fantasies of owners whose wives often kept their chastity
under lock and key” (Quoted from the “third page of a
non-pdf” article).
Physical Appearance or Attraction/Body Hair
In earlier sections above of this article, there was the debate
as to which racial groups among women are beautiful and the
types of physical characteristics among women that men might
consider attractive or beautiful. The truth, however, is that all
women from the racial/geographic groups in the Old World
(Africa, Asia and Europe) are beautiful! The reason why many
prominent magazines have used White women on their cover in
recent decades is primarily money—people of European de-
scent have accumulated more wealth (and many might claim at
the expense of people of Asian and African descent, see Kaba,
2011c, 2011d) and may demand to see people who look like
them on the covers of magazines or else they would not pur-
chase those magazines and the items advertised in them. And
like Blacks, Chinese and South Asians, Europeans have over a
billion members. For example, there is an estimated 1.2 billion
people of Black African descent on the planet, third only to
people of South Asian descent (Colonial India today over 1.535
billion as of July 2011: India, 1,189,172,906; Pakistan,
187,342,721; and Bangladesh, 158,570,535), and people of
Chinese descent (over 1.337 billion), and ahead of people of
European descent (1.1 billion as of 2003) (Kaba, 2011c: p. 97).
As a result, magazine editors tend to seek their business.
11Maillard, Kevin Noble. 2012, May 1. “Do barriers to Interracial marriage
still exist?” The Grio. Retrieved on May 1, 2012 from :
http://www.thegrio.com/news/do -barriers-to-in terracial-marriage-still-exist.
php
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 419
A. J. KABA
Yet, it has been very common in recent decades to see beau-
tiful Black women or non-European women on the cover of
those same magazines. Humans’ urge for competition, which
can occur within families, between neighborhoods, and be-
tween ethnic, cultural and racial groups is part of the reason for
many individuals’ claims of which racial or ethnic group is
beautiful. Jones and Shorter-Gooden (2003) note this point: “In
a society where the standard of beauty remains European,
where beauty still too often defines womans worth, many black
women struggle to feel attractive and thus secure and valued.
The pressure to look like someone other than themselves, to
look more European and less African, is enormous” (p. 117).
Also, both scholarly literature and popular media across the
world claim or portray Blacks and Whites to be among the most
beautiful or attractive people in the world (Groves, 1989;
Zernike, 2004). This is largely due to the fact that a large pro-
portion of Blacks and Europeans tend to possess the physical
characteristics, shapes or features (tall, naturally muscular or
toned body, etc.) that most societies associate with beauty or
attractiveness. For example, in the United States, the mean or
average height of females 20 years and over from 1999 to 2002
was 63.8 inches or almost 5'4'' tall. When broken down ac-
cording to race/cultural background both non-Hispanic Whites
and non-Hispanic Blacks are taller than the national average
(64.2 inches each for those 20 years and over) and they are also
both at 64.6 inches tall for those 20 - 39 years old. For males 20
years and over in the United States during that same period,
their average height was 69.2 inches, but 69.7 inches for
non-Hispanic White males and 69.5 inches for non-Hispanic
Black males. As for their average weight, in the general US
population, from 1999 to 2002 the mean or average weight of
females 20 years and over was 162.9 pounds. For non-Hispanic
White females, it was 161.7 pounds, and 182.4 pounds for
non-Hispanic Black females during that same period. For those
aged 20 - 39 years, it was 158.4 pounds for non-Hispanic White
females, and 179.2 pounds for non-His panic Black females.
For males 20 years and over in the US during that same period,
their average weight was 189.8 pounds; 193.1 pounds for
non-Hispanic White males; and 189.2 pounds for non-Hispanic
Black males (Kaba, 2012c: pp. 97-98). Zernike (2004) reported
on a large survey called SizeUSA, conducted “... by clothing
and textile companies, the Army, Navy and several universi-
ties”, in which the physical shape of 10,000 Americans in 13
cities nationwide were measured. According to Zernike: “...
Black women are larger than other women, but they are also
most likely to have the classic hourglass figure. Sixty-four per-
cent of women are pear-shaped, and 30 percent arestraight,’
meaning they had little perceptible waist... median height re-
mained the same (5 feet 4 inches for women, 5 feet 9 inches for
men)... Twenty percent of Hispanic women hadfull waists
compared with 10 percent of white women, and 15 percent of
black” (p. A1).
Yancey and Yancey (1997) claim in their study of Blacks
and Whites who romantically court one another through adver-
tisements, that White individuals tend to be significantly more
likely to seek or offer physical attraction, and that they are also
less likely to offer financial security, than Whites who court
intraracially. They also note that Blacks who seek Whites
through advertisements also desire physical attraction. Yancey
and Yancey (1997) also note that love and physical attraction
have been cited as reasons for interracial romantic unions. Vic-
tor Hugo (1802-1885), “Novelist, poet, and dramatist, the most
important of French Romantic writers” was quoted as saying of
the “mulatto” in his novel Bug-Jargal in which he was said to
have made the Black hero say to the White heroine: “Thou art
white and I am black but day must join with night in order to
bring forth the dawn and the twilight which are more beautiful
than they” (Rogers, 1944: p. 123).
Rogers (1944) writes that: “David Livingtone, great mis-
sionary, when he saw in Africa black men all about him and he,
the lone white: ‘One feels ashamed of the white skin; it seems
unnatural like blanched celery or white mice’” (pp. 122-123). It
has also been written that throughout history, there have been
White males and White females who prefer to date or marry
Blacks. According to Rogers (1944): “Peter Nielsen, a white
ethnologist, who lived many years among the blacks of South
Africa, says similarly: ‘I have often heard white men who have
kept native women say that they found the black or deep brown
colour of the native woman far more beautiful... and I have also
heard white women of culture and refinement admit that the
black or dark-brown torso and tints of the African man have
seem to them a more pleasing sight...’” Rogers adds, “I have
met Frenchmen, and Belgians, and even Englishmen, who pre-
fer the blackest Congolese to the whitest German” (pp. 115-
116). Another famous White explorer in Africa, Richard F.
Burton adds in describing the beauty of the Blacks he encoun-
tered on the continent: “Their well-made limbs and athletic
frames... were displayed to advantage... and were set off by
opal-coloured eyeballs, teeth like pearls, and a profusion of
broad massive rings of snowy ivory round their arms, and
conical ornaments like dwarf marling-spikes of hippopotamus
tooth suspended from their necks” (Ondaatje, 1998: p. 354).
Even during the most racist period in South Africa’s history,
Maurice Evans (1901-1989), “A grand, robust, highly theatri-
cal British classical actor,” was reported to have said of the
Black South African male: “When thoroughly washed and duly
anointed there is a peculiar richness about his color...” (Rogers,
1944: p. 117).
This now brings us to an important factor that might be con-
tributing to Black women turning down courtship requests from
White men in particular in the United States-Body Hair. While
White men may have an advantage because they are relatively
taller and women or females in general like or prefer tall men,
by the beginning of the twenty-first century, a high number of
females or women from all racial groups in the United States
tend to make it known that they do not seek to be in a romantic
relationship with men who have a lot of hair on their body or
men who are very hairy. Moreover, research has shown that
men of European descent tend to be more hairy than Black men
or men from other racial groups. Or that Black men are less
hairy than men of European descent. According to Thomas
Jefferson (published 1781-1782), the third president of the
United States: “Negroes have notoriously less hair than the
whites... Besides those of colour, figure, and hair, there are
other physical distinctions proving a difference of race. They
have less hair on the face and body.”12 Hama (2010) writes of
the Africans of Ethiopia and Somalia having “Scantiness of
body hair, save for on the scalp” (p. 176). According to Tobin
(2006): “There also appears to be some variations in HF [Hair
Follicle] density between humans of different ethnicities; Afri-
cans and Asians have less densely haired skin than Cauca-
sians” (p. 418).
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
420
A. J. KABA
This issue is so important for men in the United States that
increasing numbers of men in general and White men in par-
ticular are finding ways to remove their body hair so that they
can stand a chance to win the heart of a woman they are roman-
tically courting. For example, Boroughs and Thompson (2002)
write that: “Removing body hair is not new in western cultures.
However, historically this behavior has been culturally sanc-
tioned primarily for females” (p. 247). Saint Louis (2001, July
9) points out that:
“AMERICAN women didn’t shave t heir armpits en ma sse
until the 1920s, after a perfect storm of sleeveless dresses
and a barrage of advertisements by depilatory makers
characterized underarm hair as ugly. Next came the tar-
nishing of women’s leg hair. By the 1930s, beauty writers
scolded women with forests under their silk stockings.
Decades later, what began as a fad had solidified into
custom. Girls coming of age no longer needed to be told
their leg hair was unsightly. They got rid of it. Can the
same thing happen with men? These days, the hair on
men’s chests, backs, armpits and even ‘down there’ has
become suspect” (p. E3).
According to Heep (1995): “In the United States, women are
required to shave their armpits and their legs-many also shave
above the knee. Men, in denial of their masculinity, have to
have short hair. Facial hair in high ranking, conservative posi-
tions is a taboo. Consequently, many men shave their carefully
constructed bodies as well. Should hairy men opt not to wax,
electrolyte or shave, they are advised to wear an undershirt in
order to hide their excessive body hair” (p. 261). Newman
(2010, June 15) writes:
“MARK BRYCE, the operations manager at a semi-trailer
dealership in Grand Rapids, Mich., has lost most of the
hair on his head, but he is ‘really good at growing it eve-
rywhere else,’ particularly on his back, said his wife,
Anna, a publicist for Amway. ‘My husband is blond, so
he doesn’t look like a big hairy ape, but he does look like
a golden retriever,’ she said. For years, before the couple
packed for the beach or a cruise, Ms. Bryce shaved her
husband’s back with a razor in the shower. Then one of
her colleagues took a job with Remington, the shaver
maker, and Ms. Bryce noticed on the company’s Web site
a new shaver with a telescoping handle for unaided trim-
ming of back hair. She joked with her former colleague
that her husband could use one. Two months ago, it ar-
rived in the mail. ‘It works really well,’ Ms. Bryce said.
‘He doesn’t need my help with that anymore, which is
nice because I have a lot of other stuff to do besides shave
my husband’s back.’ As hairless torsos have become the
norm for male models and actors, below-the-neck hair
removal has gone mainstream” (p. E6).
According to James (2009, December 10):
“Ben, a 6-foot 4-inch, dark-haired, blue-eyed New Yorker,
is not a bodybuilder, model or porn star. But the 33-
year-old never misses his monthly appointment at Man-
hattan’s Townhouse Spa for groomingnot just a mani-
cure and a shave, but a $150 back waxing. ‘It doesn’t hurt
that much and the girls appreciate it,’ said Ben, who
makes infomericals for a living and was shy about going
public with his last name. Nowadays, trimming or elimi-
nating unsightly body hair is as ‘important to guys’ as
women, he told ABCNews.com. ‘It’s like when you’re in
a bar and you see a girl with terrible nails and cuticles,’
said Ben. ‘It’s a turn off. And, I’m sure the girls feel the
same way, especially in the summer at the Hamptons
when I walk around with my shirt off. I don’t need to
have that back hair on display.’ Ben is one of many
American men who have embraced manscapin-shaving or
waxing the heavily forested parts of their bodies. He
won’t go near the ‘nether regions,’ but many men do. Hair
anywhere except on the head seems to be verboten these
days, and the modern male will take the razor where few
man have ever gone before.”13
According to McCreary et al. (2007): “Mens fitness goals
are influenced by the lens through which they view their bodies,
which is different from the way women view their bodies. Their
increased focus on a muscular, hairless body means that they
exercise to enhance their physical bulk and are more likely to
engage in depilatory behaviors” (p. 307). Boroughs and
Thompson (2002): “... conducted 20 structured interviews with
males to investigate several facets of a relatively new
phenomenon: the removal and reduction of body hair by men.
Seventeen of the 20 participants were Caucasian, two were
Hispanic, and one was African American. All participants
reported using both cardiovascular and resistance training
strategies, and all that were asked to participate in this pilot
study did affirm they engaged in the hair removal behaviors
and agreed to participate” (quoted in Methods section of
article). According to Boroughs et al. (2005): “Of the 118 par-
ticipants in the study, 75 (63.6%) answered affirmatively to the
questionDo you or have you recently shaved or trimmed any
body hair below the neck?’” (p. 639; also see Boroughs et al.,
2010: pp. 726-727).
Education, Financial Success and Concern about
Transfer of Wealth
Although there is the perception that interracial marriages,
especially involving Blacks occur among working class or the
poor with low levels of education, research actually shows the
opposite. According to Walsh (2012): “Drawing on the conven-
tional wisdom circulating as commonsense in 1930, W. E. B.
DuBois refutes the assertion that intermarriage is highest
among the class with least prestige and property using empiri-
cal data on a sample of 9000 to show interracial marriage at
that time was most likely among those who had the most con-
tact. Nonetheless, his frame of the issue reflects long held and
enduring notions about the types of individuals who inter-
marry” (p. 76).
12Jefferson, Thomas. 1781-1782. Notes on the State of Virginia. Electronic
Text Center, University of Virginia Library. Retrieved on April 28, 2012
from:
ht tp :/ /e te xt .v ir gi ni a.edu/et cbin/to ccer-new2?i d=JefVirg .sgm&images=i mag
es/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=all
13James, Susan Donaldson. 2009, December 10. “Manscapers Mow More
Hair, Even Down There,” abcnews.com. Retrieved on March 16, 2012 from:
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/GadgetGuide/manscaping-men-shave-wax-b
odies/story?id=9293977
Research has shown that people who interracially marry are
usually highly educated (Fenyo, 2001: p. 334), and in the case
of Black-White marriages or couples, the Black husband is
usually more educated than the White wife (hypergamy) and
the Black wife is also said to be more educated than the White
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 421
A. J. KABA
husband (Tucker & Mitchell-Kernan, 1990: p. 213; Qian, 1997).
An article by the Statistical Assessment Service entitled, “Can
Intermarriage Make You Smarter and Richer?” reports of a
study that supports this claim. According to the article, “In
1990, there were over twice as many married couples in which
both of the partners were black than there were couples where
only one partner was black. This ratio held constant when a
number of factors (employment status, number of children in
the household, etc.) were introduced.” However, according to
the article, when education and income were factored in, it did
not remain constant. The article points out that, at lower eco-
nomic levels, the ratio of both-Black marriages to mixed race
marriages leans disproportionately to both-Black couples. The
article also points out, however, that, as the income of a Black
person increases, the chances of being in a mixed marriage
increases “... until at the highest income level ($100,000 and
above) they are nearly even, with 86,443 both-black couples
and 75,410 mixed race couples.” A similar scenario also occurs
when educational attainment is factored in. Blacks without a
high school diploma are more likely to be in both-Black mar-
riages. According to the article: “At thenon high school
graduatelevel, there are more than four times as many
both-Black couples as mixed race couples, but with each step of
educational attainment, the figures get closer. At thegraduate
or professional degreelevel they were again almost even, with
160,367 both-black couples and 146,763 mixed race couples
The study then suggests that: “... the data appear to indicate
that the more educated you are (or the more economically suc-
cessful you are), the more likely you are to be in an interracial
marriage” (The Statistical Assessment Service, 1997).
According to Qian (1997), in 1980, White wives were 109%
more likely to marry Black men. For African American women:
In 1980, and 1990, respectively, they were 19% and 2% less
likely to marry White men who were higher in education, and
also they were 10% and 17% less likely to marry Hispanic men
who had higher levels of education. In 1980, and 1990, accord-
ing to Qian (1997), Black women were 1% and 5% less likely
to marry Black men higher in education (p. 271). Model and
Fisher (2001) note that African American-White unions tend to
be slightly more hypergamous than African American-African
American unions, 33.8% vs 26.2% (p. 183). According to
Wong (2003), from 1968-1997, the mean family incomes
($35828.44) for intermarried Black men in the United States
were 6.3% higher than their intramarried cohorts ($33693.25).
African American men who out married had 0.4 years more (or
3% higher) education than intramarried cohorts (12.81 years to
12.41 years) (p. 812). In the study of 40 Black-White couples in
four states during the period from 1970 to 1974, in which the
couples had dated for an average of 16 months before they got
married that Jeter (1982) points to, for four White male-Black
female couples “... the black women involved were admired for
their independence and self-sufficiency, were pregnant, or de-
sired to marry a man of comparable education and occupa-
tional status” (p. 105).
Walsh (2012) tells the story of a Black Husband-White wife
with a focus on the high society status of the Black husband:
“But it wasn’t about the color line. It was that we were
getting too (long pause) too middle-class. That was the
worst insult my parents could ever say, ‘middle-class’.
Jeanne Jamison, age 72 at interview, married a black at-
torney in 1954. Jeanne Jamison gave many examples of
using her husband’s prominence and their social class
status to ‘rise above’ criticism. Over the years she used a
defiance of convention along with the safe security of so-
cial class position as shields strategically employed to de-
flect criticism, social ostracism and negative comments
from others. She gave examples from ‘uppity’ neighbors
in her North east urban neighborhood to school officials
who were chagrined to discover ‘who we were’” (p. 77).
This brings us to the very important issue of the potential
transfer of wealth in interracial marriages, especially those
between Blacks and Whites in the United States. Kaba (2011a)
points out that the concern about the transfer of wealth through
inheritance as a result of death (pp. 124-127) and also through
divorce is one of the primary reasons why European American
leaders have opposed interracial marriages, because they fear
that the White husband might transfer his wealth to his Black
wife, because United States law allows the surviving spouse to
inherit their estate.
According to Rogers (1944) White Americans “... generally
insist on concubinage as the refusal to marry has as its motive
the maintaining of social prestige, which is largely economic
(Rogers, 1944: pp. 69,93). According to O’Brien (2003): “St.
Clair believes that Hagars black blood precludes her status as
legitimate wife and instead suits her to become an enslaved
prostitute” (“Sexual Slavery and Social Purity in an Ante-
bellum Context,” Section of article). Brattain (2005) presents
this important account on this issue of the transfer of wealth in
interracial marriages:
“The relationship between J. W. Jones, white, and his
‘cook’ Amanda Kyle, Negro, seems to have been such a
case. Kyle lived in Jones’s house from 1904 until 1907 or
1908 and, after that, in a house he built for her on his
property. Kyle cooked and kept house for Jones and
waited on customers at his store. They did not have
children, but, according to the neighbors, ‘general talk’
was that Jones was ‘keeping’ Kyle. One acquaintance
even claimed to have found them in bed together.
Apparently no one ever reported their activity as criminal.
The relationship might have never appeared in the record
had Jones not left all of his considerable estate, worth
approximately $40,000 in 1926, to Kyle, provoking a
challenge from Jones’s nieces and nephews. In court, the
nieces and nephews attacked the relationship and charged
that Kyle and Jones had lived together in a state of illegal
‘open concubinage.’ As defined by Louisiana law, ‘open
concubinage’ was more morally repugnant and damaging
to community morals than secret concubinage and was
therefore punished by limiting the surviving partner’s
right to inherit from the other’s estate... Kyle denied that
she was any more to Jones than his cook, and at least a
dozen witnesses so testified on her behalf. Interestingly
the legal issue was not the relationship per se, but whether
it was open or secret, which had a direct bearing on her
right to inherit. The court concluded that KyIe and Jones
had been a couple, citing among other evidence her access
to Jones’s cash drawer and their living together, but the
court disagreed with Jones’s nieces and nephews,
concluding that the relationship was secret. Jones hid his
relationship while keeping ‘her in his employ ostensibly
as cook and housekeeper and assistant in his store ...’ In
fact, by folding the document so that only the signature
lines were exposed, he had even kept the contents of his
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
422
A. J. KABA
will a secret from the witnesses who signed it. Therefore
Kyle was allowed to inherit Jones’s estate” (pp. 639-641;
also see Foster, 2005: p. 220).
As a result, it is unlikely that there has been a case in United
States history where a Black wife inherits $50 million or more
of her White husband’s wealth or inherits that same amount of
money from di vorce.
The study of Edlund and Kopczuk (2009) on wealth inheri-
tance by women in the United States using estate tax returns
from 1925 to 2000 showed that a significant number of women
inherited their wealth from their husbands or family members.
Edlund and Kopczuk (2009) identified 422 female millionaires
in the United States in 1892 and 348 (83.4%) inherited their
wealth. Of 2783 male millionaires, 417 (15%) inherited their
wealth (p. 164). Carlyle (2012) reports for Forbes magazine
that in 2012, “The 21 richest women in the world (two women
tied at 20th place) have a combined total net worth of $248.6
billion, or an average of $11.84 billion each... The richest, for
the seventh year in a row, is Christy Walton, who inherited her
fortune—now worth $25.3 billion—from husband John Walton
after he died in a plane crash.”14 Evans (2010) also reported for
Forbes magazine that in 2010: “... only four of the 42 women,
or 1% of all Forbes 400 members, are self-made including
Gaps Doris Fisher and ABC Supplys Diane Hendricks, who
each cofounded a company with her late husband... The other
38 women inherited all or part of their fortunes from their hus-
bands or fathers including three who ranked among Americas
top 20.”15 It is widely reported in 2011 and 2012 that the wife
(a White American woman) of the late Apple Corporation CEO,
Steve Jobs inherited at least part of their $8 billion estate.
Kaba (2011a) points out that: “This transfer of wealth actu-
ally impacts the Black community more severely, because pro-
portionally, there are fewer wealthy Blacks than Whites and the
life expectancy of Blacks is lower than that for Whites. For
example, in 2006, out of 94,029,000 White alone males,
6,018,000 (6.4%) earned $100, 000 or more; 299,000 (2.35%)
out of 12,716,000 Black alone males; 2,606,000 (2.7%) out of
97,550,000 White alone females; and 213,000 (1.4%) out of
15,413,000 Black alone females” (p. 127). As for the gender
and racial differences in life expectancy, in 2010, the life ex-
pectancy of White females was projected at 81.3 years; 77.2
years for Black females; 76.5 years for White males; and 70.2
years for Black males16.
There are examples of wealthy Blacks in the United States
whose White wives have inherited or received tens of millions
of dollars or more in divorce settlement. For example, Sie-
maszko (2010, October 18) reported in the NewYork Daily
News that the White wife of Black Golfer Tiger Woods: “Newly
divorced from Tiger Woods, Elin Nordegren is cutting back on
the help—even though she got a reported $110 million [divorce]
settlement from17 her husband. Also, Dwyer (2012, January 20)
reports for Yahoo News of the divorce of Black professional
basketball player Kobe Bryant from his White wife: “Did you
know that Kobe Bryant owns three mansions in Newport Beach,
alone? No? Let that swirl around for a second, and now learn
that Kobe Bryant does not own three mansions in Newport
Beach anymore. Those houses, and a princely $75 million sum,
have been sent to Kobes ex-wife Vanessa in the couples di-
vorce settlement.”18 (also see “Kobe Bryant Divorce,” 2012).19
It has also been widely reported that the legal White wives or
Common Law wives of the following late prominent Black
entertainers benefited or will potentially benefit from their es-
tates: James Brown, Gary Coleman, and Donald Cortez “Don”
Cornelius.
By the beginning of the second decade of the twenty first
century, a substantial number of Black American females have
accumulated substantial wealth through gains in colleges
degrees, entertainment and athletics, business, etc. As already
noted above there were 213,000 Black women in the United
States in 2006 with incomes of $100,000 or more. In 2009,
there were 566,000 households with Black females with
incomes of $75,000 or more in the United States. In that same
year, there were 12.913 million households with White alone
males, 557,000 households with Asian males, and 2.887 million
households with Hispanic males with incomes of $29,999 or
less.20 According to Kaba (2012a), there were 3.437 million
Blacks aged 18 and over with at least a bachelor’s degree, with
2.028 million (59%) comprising Black women and 1.409
million (41%) Black men. Of the 1.275 million with master’s
degrees, 808,000 (63.4%) were women and 467,000 (36.6%)
were men. Of the 189,000 with professional degrees (such as
Juris Doctorates and Medical Doctorates), 119,000 (63%) were
women and 70,000 (37%) were men. And of the 181,000 with
doctorate degrees, 79,000 (43.6%) were women and 102,000
(56.4%) were men (p. 138).
Cocchiara and Bell (2006) point out that at least 30% of
Black women and 21% of Black men, respectively, work in
management and professional positions, the top job category in
the United States (p. 277).
It is then possible that many of these financially successful
Black women might be using the same concept of these White
men by refusing to marry them to avoid any potential transfer
of their wealth to these White men or non-Black men either
through inheritance from death or from divorce. Also, Black
women once had the experience of having children with White
men who then left those children to the Black women to be
14Carlyle, Erin. 2012, March 7. “The World’s Richest Women,” Forbes.
Retrieved on May 9, 2012 from: Retrieved on May 1, 2012 from:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/erincarlyle/2012/03/07/the-worlds-richest-wom
en/print/
15Evans, Katie. 2010, October 25. “America’s Richest Women,” Forbes.
Retrieved on May 9, 2012 from:
http://www.forbes.com/2010/10/25/america-richest-women-oprah-walton-w
almart-whitman-wealth_print.html
16“Table 104. Expectation of Life at Birth, 1970 to 2008, and Projections,
2010 to 2 020,” 2012. St atistical Ab stract of th e United Stat es. United S tates
Census Bure au. Retrieved on February 23, 2012 from:
http://www.census.gov/ compendia/ statab/2012/tables/12s0105.pdf
17Siemaszko, Corky. 2010, October 18. “Tiger Woods divorce settlement:
Elin Nordegren received $110M payout—report,” New York Daily News.
Retrieved on May 9, 2012 from:
http://articles.nydailynews.com/2010-10-18/gossip/27078581_1_elin-nordeg
ren-tiger-woods-million-settlement
18Dwyer, Kelly. 2012. January 20. “Kobe Bryant loses all three (!)of his
mansions, $75 million, in divorce settlement,” Yahoo News. Retrieved on
May 1, 2012 from:
http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/kobe-bryant-loses-three-man
sions-75-million-divorce-184818486.html
19Kobe Bryant divorce: Wife Vanessa gets $18.8 million in property,” 2012,
January 21. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on M ay 16, 2012 from:
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/01/kobe-bryant-divorce-wife-va
nessa-gets-188-million-in-property.html
20“Table 705. Money Income of People-Number by Income Level and by
Sex, Race and Hispanics origin: 2009,” 2011. Statistical Abstract of the
United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on May 9, 2012 from:
http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0705.pdf
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 423
A. J. KABA
raised by themselvesFool me once, shame on you. Fool me
twice, shame on me!” According to Jordan-Zachery (2007):
Evolutionary psychologists suggest that human mating strate-
gies have evolved over the years, with women concentrating on
men who are willing to and able to invest in their children. Men
who fit this description are marriageable...” (pp. 85-86). Ac-
cording to Kaba (2008a), there were 73,523,000 children under
18 years old in the United States in 2005, with 67.4% of them
living with both parents; 23.4% of them living with their
mother only; 4.7% living with their father only and 4.5% living
with neither parent. For 10.1% of those living with their mother
only, the mother as never married. For Black Americans, there
were 11,295,000 under 18 years old, with 35.1% of them living
with both parents; 50.1% living with their mother only; 4.9%
living with their father only; and 9.8% living with neither par-
ent. For 32% of those living with their mother only, the mother
has never married (p. 315).
Religion/Religiosity
Religion and Religiosity must not be ruled out as important
factors as to why Black women turn down the romantic court-
ship requests from White men and other non-Black men in the
United States. The high level of religiosity of Black females in
the United States could also be a factor that leads some Black
men not to seek romantic relationships with Black women be-
cause they are less religious than their female counterparts. In
the United States, for Blacks and Whites, Religion is directly
connected to politics, which in turn connects to residential seg-
regation. Religion also is responsible for Black women in gen-
eral to be different from all other groups including Black males
when it comes to any number of human behaviors. Let us ex-
amine a number of examples to substantiate some of these
claims. Most Black American females are very religious, at-
tending religious services and religious activities more than any
other groups or sub-group including Black males. In a January
30, 2009 report released by The Pew Forum, at least 87% of
Black American women and 78% of Black American men in
the United States were affiliated with Christian churches and
that “African-American women also stand out for their high
level of religious commitment. More than eight-in-ten black
women (84%) say religion is very important to them, and
roughly six-in-ten (59%) say they attend religious services at
least once a week. No group of men or women from any other
racial or ethnic background exhibits comparably high levels of
religious observance” (Kaba, 2010: p. 114). For any man,
Black, White or any other color who wants to be in a romantic
relationship with a Black American woman, he must be ready
to show some form of religiosity. For example, such a man
must be willing to attend religious services regularly, contribute
10% of his earnings to a religious organization, and consume
less or no alcohol or drugs since Black women in particular
consume less or no alcohol or drugs compared with all other
groups and sub-groups. For example, writing about women in
prison in the United States, Belknap (2010) points out that the
Black women were “... less likely to suffer from alcoholism...”
(p. 1079). The Black American female mathematician, Iris
Mack (2010) writes “... I was raised as a Christian Scientist
and dont drink alcohol...”21 (also see Kaba, 2008a: pp. 327-
330).
Although the majority of Black Americans and Gentile
European White Americans are not only Christians but more
specifically Protestants, they tend to be divided politically. As a
result, they worship separately on Sundays and other religious
days, which leads them to live separate lives by residing in
areas in very high proportions among themselves. This causes
them not to have the opportunity to get to know one another
and discuss issues that affect them all as human beings and
Americans (Kaba, 2011e; Nealy, 2009). Kaba (2011e) points
out that “Black Americans, including Black females are not
only over 80% Christian, but the majority of them are also
Protestant... The religion (Christianity) that Black and White
Americans share, which was supposed to be the third major
force to unite them has paradoxically turned out to divide
them” (p. 189). According to Kosmin and Keysar (2009), in
2008, among non-Hispanic Whites in the United States, 21%
were Catholic, 15% Baptists, 17% Mainline Christians, 15%
Christian Generic, 3% Pentecostal/Charismatic, 3% Protestant
Denominations and 16% said they belong to no religion. For
non-Hispanic Blacks, 6% were Catholics, 45% Baptists, 7%
Mainline Christians, 15% Christian Generic, 7% Pentecos-
tal/Charismatic, 6% Protestant Denominations, and 11% said
they belong to no religion (p. 14).
According to Roland (1982): “The saying holds true that the
hour from 11 to 12 on Sunday morning is the most segregated
time of the week in the South” (pp. 10-11). According to Ha-
daway et al. (1984), the Church in general in the United States
has been criticized for its lack of racial integration, especially
that between Blacks and Whites and that “So much so, in fact,
that 11 oclock on Sunday morning has been calledthe most
segregated hour in the United States’” (p. 204). Lawson (2007)
presents many examples of Black Americans in the 1960s at-
tempting to desegregate White churches in the South using a
tactic known as “Kneel-Ins,” where they would kneel in front
of the churches. Among the cities in the South where these
“Kneel Ins” protests took place are: Atlanta, Georgia, Bir-
mingham, Alabama, Jackson, Mississippi, and Memphis, Ten-
nessee. Roland (1982) explains this exclusion of Blacks from
White churches by pointing out that: “If the southern white
churches have sustained a sense of sectional independence,
both they and the black churches have sustained a sense of
racial independence. A British observer in the South during
Reconstruction described the withdrawal of the blacks then
occurring from the white churches as an extension of emanci-
pation. It has remained thus to this day. The great majority of
southern congregations are still completely black or white, or
almost so, apparently by mutual consent” (p. 10).
Pertaining to residential segregation between Blacks and
Whites in the United States, according to Charles (2003):
Blacks in 16 metropolitan areas were hyper-segregated from
whites in 1980, exhibiting extreme isolation on at least four of
five standard measures of residential distribution... In 29 US
metropolitan areascontaining 40% of the total black popula-
tionblacks experiencedextreme , multidimensional, and cu-
mulative residential segregation’” (pp. 170-171).
In terms of political affiliation and voting in national elec-
tions, while Blacks in general, and Black females in particular
support or vote for the Democratic Party 90% of the time or
more, the majority of European White Americans support or
vote for the Republican Party. So during their Party Conven-
21Mack, Iris. 2010, April 29. “Bob Rubin Just Wants to Be Cuddled,” The
H
uffingtonpost.com. Retrieved on March 14, 2012 from:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/iris-mack/bob-rubin-just-wants-to-b_b_557
621.html?page=2)
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
424
A. J. KABA
tions, almost all Blacks are at the Democratic Party Convention,
while very few to no Blacks, but a vast majority of European
White Americans are at the Republican Party Convention
(Kaba, 2011e). One can then deduce that for Black and White
Americans, political differences lead to weak or lack of roman-
tic relationships and marriage, or lack of romantic relationships
and marriage lead to political divide.
In the United States, If European White American men be-
come Democrats, they are more likely to be accepted by Black
American women as romantic or marriage partners, just as
Jewish American men have been accepted as romantic or mar-
riage partners by Black women because they are Democrats
(Kaba, 2008c: pp. 119-121). Religiously, Black American
women and Jewish American men are connected or related
through the Old Testament Bible and they are the center of
attention in the stories of that part of the Holy Bible. So it is
very common for each to visit the other’s religious services,
where they get to meet and know each other. This is in addition
to also meeting regularly at thousands of Democratic Party
meetings and conferences in states all across the vast United
States all through the year to discuss the well-being of the party
and the country before they meet again for the big Convention
just before a presidential election.
For other non-Black men such as Asians, religion is also a
factor as to why they may not be successful in their courtship of
Black American women. This is because while the vast major-
ity of Black American women are Christians, Asians in the
United States may tend to be Buddhist, Hindu or Muslim.
Conclusion
This article began by presenting useful data illustrating that
interracial romantic relationships, including marriage have
increased substantially in the post 1960s era. The data illustrate
that such relationships are a lot more common between Whites
and Asians and Whites and Hispanics than between Whites and
Blacks. This is especially the case with Black American women.
The article then goes on to present as many examples as possi-
ble as to why so few White American men and other non-Black
men engage in romantic relationships, including marriage with
Black women in particular. Finally, the article attempts to pre-
sent a counter argument that it is actually Black women in the
United States who are turning down the courtship requests of
White men and other non-Black men. Numerous examples are
then presented to substantiate this claim, with any of those ex-
amples connected one way or the other to history, economics
and the importance of gender as a variable.
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