Sociology Mind
2012. Vol.2, No.4, 407-427
Published Online October 2012 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 407
Black Americans and Interracial Marriage:
A Focus on Black Women
Amadu Jacky Kaba
Department of Sociology, An thropology and Social Work, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ, USA
Received May 20th, 2012; re vised June 18th, 2012; accepted Jun e 27th, 2012
This paper claims that although there has been a significant increase in the number of scholarly publica-
tions on interracial marriages in the United States in recent decades, most of these publications tend to
focus on the small but visible increase in marriages, co-habitations and dating; how Whites or European
Gentile Americans are gradually becoming accepting of these relationships; the factors that are causing
non-Blacks to “reject” Blacks; and specifically factors that are causing White men and other non-Black
men to “reject” Black women. As a result, the paper attempts to contribute to this topic by focusing on an
important phenomenon—that it could actually be Black women who are turning down non-Black men.
The paper presents eight factors that may be causing Black women to turn down interracial romantic rela-
tionship requests from non-Black men.
Keywords: Black American Women; Interracial Marriage; Economics; Education Levels; History; Gender
and Race
There has been a significant increase in the number of schol-
arly publications on interracial marriages in the United States in
recent decades. These publications tend to focus on selected
areas. One such area is the relatively small but visible increase
in the number of interracial marriages, co-habitations, and dat-
ing in the post Civil Rights and Women’s Rights era. Another
area that has been examined is the gradual acceptance in recent
decades of these relationships by Whites or Gentile European
Americans, especially acceptance of Asians, Hispanics and
other non-Black human beings. A number of these studies have
also focused on the factors that are causing non-Blacks to reject
Blacks as potential marriage or dating partners, and specifically
factors that are causing White Gentile European American men,
certain Black men and other non-Black men to reject Black
women (Banks, 2011; Blau et al., 1988; Cready & Saenz, 1997;
Crowder & Tolnay, 2000; Huges, 2003a, 2003b; Kaba, 2011a;
Kalmijn, 1993, 1998; Mare, 1991; Model & Fisher, 2001; Por-
ter & Bronzaft, 1995; Tucker & Mitchell-Kernan, 1990; Qian,
1997; Walsh, 2012; Wong, 2003).
There has been very little or no attention paid to the fact that
Black women in the United States might actually be the ones
rejecting or turning down romantic relationship requests from
Whites or non-Black men. This is an important neglected phe-
nomenon that needs scholarly attention. As a result, this article
attempts to contribute to this topic by focusing on this impor-
tant phenomenon—that it is actually Black women who are
turning down non-Black men’s requests for interracial romantic
This article examines the factors that are causing Black
women to turn down interracial romantic relationship requests
from non-Black men, especially White Gentile European
American men. The article begins by presenting various statis-
tics illustrating the trends in interracial romantic relationships in
recent decades. Next, the article presents information focusing
on the opinions of non-Blacks as to why so few of them “pre-
fer” interracial romantic relationships such as marriage with
Black people, and also more specifically, the reasons that have
been presented as to why White Gentile European American
men, other non-Black men, such as Asians and Hispanics, and
Black men who prefer non-Black women, all do not get in-
volved in marriage with Black women in the United States.
Finally, the article makes the claim that it is actually Black
women who turn down or reject non-Black men’s request for
romantic relationships and goes on to present many factors
responsible for this phenomenon.
Numbers and Percentages of Black Men and
Black Women Involved in Interracial Romantic
In 1980, there were 167,000 married Black/White couples
and 34,000 marriages involving a Black person and another
race in the United States. Of the 167,000 Black/White-married
couples, 122,000 (73%) had a Black husband and a White wife,
and 45,000 (27%) had a White husband and a Black wife. In
1990, there were 211,000 Black/White married couples in the
United States and 33,000 married couples involving a Black
person and another race. Out of the 211,000 Black/White-mar-
ried couples, 150,000 (71%) had a Black husband and White
wife and 61,000 (29%) had a White husband and a Black wife
(US Census Bureau, 1999).
As of March 2000, there were 363,000 Black/White married
couples and 88,000 Black/White unmarried couples, adding up
to a total of 451,000 Black/White couples. During that same
time, there were 25,000 Black/Asian and Pacific Islander mar-
ried couples and 9000 Black/Asian and Pacific Islander (API)
unmarried couples (Fields & Casper, 2001: p. 15).
In March 2000, there were 268,000 Black/White married
couples with a Black husband and a White wife, and 95,000
married couples with a Black wife and a White husband. There
were 25,000 Black/Asian and Pacific Islander married couples
with a Black husband and an Asian and Pacific Islander (API)
wife. There were 12,000 Black/API married couples with a
Black husband and an American Indian and Alaskan Native
(AIAN) wife. There were 13,000 married couples with Ameri-
can Indian and Alaskan Native (AIAN) husbands and Black
wives (Fields and Casper, 2001).
In a further breakdown using different race and ethnic classi-
fications, as of March 2000, there were 41,000 marriages with
Hispanic husbands and Black wives. There were 72,000 mar-
riages with a Black husband and a Hispanic wife. There were
80,000 marriages with a White husband and a Black wife.
There were 227,000 marriages with a Black husband and a
White wife. There were 35,000 marriages with a Black husband
and a wife belonging to a group classified as other. There were
11,000 marriages with a husband classified as other and the
wife as Black (Fields and Casper, 2001).
In March 2000, there were 11,000 unmarried couples with a
White male and a Black female. There were 69,000 unmarried
couples with Black males and White females. There were
12,000 unmarried couples with Black males and Hispanic fe-
males. There were 5000 unmarried couples with Black males
and females classified as other. There were 3000 unmarried
couples with Hispanic males and Black females. There were
6000 unmarried couples with males classified as other and
Black females (Fields and Casper, 2001).
In 2010, there were 2,413,000 interracial married couples in
the United States. Of that total, 1,723,000 (71.4%) were be-
tween Whites and people in other racial groups. In 2010, there
were 558,000 Black-White married couples in the United States,
with 390,000 (69.9%) representing Black husbands and White
wives and 168,000 (30.1%) representing White husbands and
Black wives. In 2010, there were 132,000 marriages between
Blacks and people in another race who were not White1.
Pertaining to interracial dating, Ellis Cose cited an unpub-
lished report claiming that: “In a survey of residents of 21 cities,
Tucker & Co. found that 78 percent of black men (average age:
32) had dated interracially at least once, as had 53 percent of
black women (average age: 34)” (Cose, 2003: p. 46). It is re-
ported that the percentage of adult Blacks who have dated at
least one White American in their lifetime was 43%, and 17%
for Whites who have dated at least one Black in their lifetime
(High Beam Research, 2003).
The above statistics illustrate that the overall Black-White
and Black-Other races marriages or couples are not as large
relative to the total number of Black people in the United States,
which was 40 million in 2010, while the non-Hispanic White
population was almost 200 million. The statistics above also
show that although there are more marriage age Black women
than Black men in the United States, there are more Black men
involved in interracial romantic relationships.
Kaba (2011a) presents several factors that have been cited as
responsible for the visible increase in the number of interracial
marriages in general or co-habitations in the United States in
recent decades. Among the factors cited are: Increase in toler-
ance in the United States, Assimilation, Socioeconomic/Status
Exchange Theory and Education, Geographic Location, Mili-
tary, and Age (pp. 123-124). However, all of these factors apply
less to Blacks, especially Black women. Why then are so few
Blacks involved in these relationships? For example, Kaba
(2011a) cites the following factors that have contributed to very
few Blacks married to Whites in the United States: Family and
Racial Community Acceptance of Interracial Romantic Rela-
tionships, Group Size and Third Party Influence, Marginaliza-
tion and Stigma, the History of Forced Sexual Relations on
Blacks by Whites in the United States, Politics/Laws Prevent-
ing Blacks from Interracial Marriages, and Concern about the
Potential Transfer of Wealth in Interracial Marriages (pp.
Why Do So Few Whites and Non-Blacks Marry
Blacks in the United States?
Although the proportion of Whites who support interracial
marriages or unions has increased in the past several decades,
as the data above show the actual marriage numbers are very
small, especially with over 42 million Blacks and almost 200
million non-Hispanic Whites in the United States by 2011. A
1958 poll found that 96% of Whites disapproved of marriages
between Blacks and Whites. In 1997, 77% of them approved
(Kaba, 2011a: p. 124). By 2011, 84% of White Americans ap-
proved Black-White marriages (Kaba, 2011b: p. 168). However,
an increase in approval of Black-White romantic relationships
or marriages does not actually mean that substantial rates of
Whites and other non-Blacks are in such relationships with
Blacks. Moreover, dating is a lot different from being in a
committed relationship. What has remained constant in the past
400 years is that actual sexual relations between the two groups
have never stopped. In an article that reviews the book Thomas
Jefferson and Sally Hemmings; An American Controversy, by
Annette Gordon-Reed (1998), Camp (2000) writes that:
“Miscegenation in America is often a spectacular story,
even when neither participant is famous: black/white liai-
sons in the United States are imbued with the love and
hate, attraction and repulsion, desire and fear that exists
across the color line. At the same time, though, miscege-
nation is a commonplace. Black and white couples, fami-
lies, affairs, sexual predations share the banalities of all
sexual and intimate relations. Most important, they are far
from new and their status as scandal or surprise has not
been static” (p. 279).
Let us examine some examples of these contradictions.
In a study in which 60 individuals living in Southern Cali-
fornia and involved in Black-White marriages, Walsh (2012)
tells the story of a Black Husband-White wife: that when they
started dating her “... parents were thrilled when we started
seeing each other. In 1950s having your daughter going with a
Neeg-roe (pro-nounced deliberately in two emphatic syllables)
was like an endorsement for them, “Look everyone; we raised
her with the right values. It was a validation for them. Nawt
so-oo happy when we decided to get married” (p. 77).
McClintock’s (2010) study of interracial romantic relationships
among undergraduate students at Stanford University presents
this example of a Black male student: “A Black male who de-
scribed himself as having grown up in a poor minority
neighborhood felt that he was an object of sexual novelty for
White women. He said that the women he hooks up withtend
1“Table 59. Households, Families, Subfamilies, and Married Couples: 1980
to 2010,” 2 012. Statisti cal Abstract o f the United Stat es. United States Cen-
sus Bureau. Retrieved on March 22, 2012 from:
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
to be White... and upper-class. And theyre, theyreslum-
ming’... theyreslumming’! ... Theres a class divide here that
no one talks about, but it really comes out in dating, because,
like, girls who will really hook up with me would never date
me’” (p. 67).
According to a 2001 Washington Post survey, about 4 in 10
Americans reported to have dated someone of another race and
a companion survey found that more than two-thirds of those
relationships were “serious romantic relationships.” According
to the Washington Post survey, 70% of Asian men and 63% of
Asian women have dated someone of another race. Sixty-two
percent of Black men and 47% of Black women reported to
have dated someone of another race. Fifty-five percent of La-
tino men and 36% of Latina women reported to have dated
someone of another race. Forty-four percent of White men and
35% of White women reported to have dated someone of an-
other race (Fears & Deane, 2001).
In a poll of people in the United States in 2001, the follow-
ing question was asked: “Considering everything, do you think
its better for people to marry someone of their own race, better
to marry someone of a different race, or doesnt make any dif-
ference?” Seventy-seven percent of Blacks answered that it
does not make any difference. Twenty-one percent of Blacks
answered that they preferred for people to marry their own race.
Fifty-three percent of Whites answered that it makes no differ-
ence to marry another race and 46% answered that they pre-
ferred for people to marry within their own race. Sixty-eight
percent of Hispanics answered that it makes no difference to
marry another race and 29% answered that they preferred for
people to marry within their own race. Sixty-seven percent of
Asians answered that it makes no difference to marry another
race and 30% answered that they preferred for people to marry
within their own race (Fears & Deane, 2001).
Age seems to make a significant difference in the perception
of interracial dating and marriage, with younger Americans
showing less opposition to such relationships. Among those
who answered that it is “better to marry your own race,” 68%
were 65 years or over, 52% were 50 to 64 years, 34% were 30
to 49 years and 17% wer e 18 to 29 years (Fears & Dea ne, 2001).
Age has been cited for the increase in cross-cultural romantic
relationships. Younger individuals are said to be more open to
such relationships (Model & Fisher 2001; Joyner & Kao 2000;
Wilensky, 2002; McWhorter, 2003: pp. 70-71). According to
Model and Fisher (2001), “... younger people are expected to
exhibit higher rates because the passage of time is associated
with increasing tolerance for exogamy” (p. 179). Moreover,
America’s schools and colleges are more diverse than ever
before and the teachers and professors are teaching students not
to judge people based on their ethnic or racial backgrounds,
rather they should judge people based on their character. Joyner
and Kao (2000) point out that Black male students on average
tend to attend schools that are 44% Black, while White male
students attend schools that are 73% White. Joyner and Kao
add that “... 10% of white students, 20% of black, 40% of His-
panic and Asian students, and the vast majority of Native
American youth report an interracial friendship” (p. 813).
Due to increased interactions among youths of all races and
ethnicities, and the increase of television programs and Holly-
wood movies depicting interracial activities and relationships,
most young people today of any race tend to be tolerant of
members of other ethnic or racial groups. McWhorter (2003)
notes that, “... increasingly movies for teens depict a world
where, with no particular attention called to it, blacks and
whites coexist in easy harmony” (pp. 70-71). An investigation
of the “... the ratio of both-black marriages to mixed-black mar-
riages in 1990” shows that:
“For those over 65 years of age, the ratio is over 6:1, for
those under 35 years old it drops to 3:2, and for those un-
der 25 it approaches 1:1. In 1990, 84% of all married
black people over the age of 65 were in both-black mar-
riages, but only 53% of married blacks under 25 were.
Thus, a large part of the apparent education and income
disparity might be explained by accounting for the older
population, who married almost exclusively within their
race and, due to segregation and discrimination, were de-
nied many of the educational and income opportunities
that younger people have” (The Statistical Assessment
Service, 1997).
When the question “How do you think you would react if a
member of your family told you they were going to marry
[Black, White, Latino and Asian]...?” was asked, 86% of Black
respondents answered that it would be fine with them if a
member of their family married a White, 86% supported mar-
rying an Asian, and 85% supported marrying a Latino. For
Latino respondents, 86% answered that they would be fine if a
member of their family were to marry a White, 79% supported
marrying an Asian, and 74% supported marrying a Black per-
son. For Asian respondents, 77% answered that it would be fine
with them if a member of their family were to marry a White,
71% supported marrying a Latino, and 66% supported marrying
a Black person. For Whites respondents, 66% answered that it
would be fine with them if a member of their family were to
marry a Latino, 65% supported marrying an Asian, and 55%
supported marrying a Black person (Fears & Deane, 2001).
The figures above show that in addition to Whites, signifi-
cant proportions of Asians and Hispanics tend not to support
family members who marry Blacks, partly due to negative
views of Blacks in the society (Oliver & Wong, 2003: p. 569).
It is pointed out that: “blacks stand out uniquely among the
array of American ethnic and racial groups in the degree to
which marriage remains within the group” (Kennedy, 2002).
The late Black American scholar and Statesman W. E. B. Du-
Bois (1965) writes of his experience as a young boy pertaining
to how White Americans teach their children at very young
ages to hate people of Black African descent during that era:
“It is in the early days of rollicking boyhood that the
revelation first bursts upon one, all in a day, as it were. I
remember well when the shadow swept across me. I was a
little thing, away up in the hills of New England, where
the dark Housatonic winds between Hoosac and Tagh-
kanic to the sea. In a wee wooden schoolhouse, something
put it into the boys’ and girls’ heads to buy gorgeous vis-
iting-cards-ten cents a packageand exchange. The ex-
change was merry, till one girl, a tall newcomer, refused
my cardrefused it peremptorily, with a glance. Then it
dawned upon me with a certain suddenness that I was dif-
ferent from the others; or like, mayhap, in heart and life
and longing, but shut out from their world by a vast veil. I
had thereafter no desire to tear down that veil, to creep
through; I held all beyond it in common contempt, and
lived above it in a region of blue sky and great wandering
shadows. That sky wa s bluest when I c ould beat my mates
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 409
at examination-time, or beat them at a foot-race, or even
beat their stringy heads. Alas, with the years all this fine
contempt began to fade; for the worlds I longed for, and
all their dazzling opportunities, were theirs, not mine. But
they should not keep these prizes, I said; some, all, I
would wrest from them” (p. 214; also see Granger, 2002).
In a study by Robnett and Feliciano (2011) of heterosexual
individuals in the United States who are seeking romantic part-
ners on the internet by posting their profiles, 96.69% of White
men (444 sample size), 81.5% of Latino men (400 sample size),
and 94.56% of Asian men (423 sample size) excluded Black
women from their search for partners; 91.62% of White women
(489 sample size); 76.4% of Latina women (504 sample size);
and 94.44% of Asian women (468 sample size) also excluded
Black men from their search for partners. Also, 29.23% of
White men, 15.5% of Latino men, 20.8% of Asian men,
65.44% of White women, 16.5% of Latina women, 6% of
Asian women said they prefer their own race (p. 815). Robnett
and Feliciano (2011) add that:
“While limited research has focused on the primary
structural assimilation of Middle Easterners or East
Indians, recent studies argue that similar to the inclusion
of European immigrant groups, the boundaries of
‘whiteness’ are extending to include Latinos and Asians,
but remain closed to blacks... Evidence for this thesis is
found in both the greater acceptance by whites of Latinos
and Asians than blacks, and also the greater acceptance of
whites than blacks by Latinos and Asians. For example,
whites are more accepting of their children marrying
Asians and Latinos than blacks... and, in turn, intermarriage
between whites and Latinos or Asians is much more
common than black-white intermarriage... Moreover,
Asians and Latinos rate whites and one another more
favorably than blacks... and both groups prefer to live
with whites over blacks...” (p. 809).
According to Perry and Sutton (2008): “Although most in-
ter-ethnic marriages include a white person, white people are
the least likely to be married to someone outside their ethnic
grouponly 1 percent of white men or women had done so
(Quoted in the Introduction section of article).
Authors and scholars have pointed out that Black Americans
are more accepting of interracial romantic relationships. Leslie
(1996) points to observations that White American families
were less accepting of interracial romantic relationships than
Black American families. The reason for this was that Black
mothers play a primary role within their families and that they
tend to be more open and to relate to Whites than White men,
who play a key role within their families, but tend to be less
likely to accept people from outside racial groups. Leslie (1996)
also adds that African American families tend to accept White
in-laws because of an Africentric heritage, which normally “...
emphasize the inclusion of blood grandchildren... close blood
ties among African American families are related more to this
Africentric concept on immortality and strong family tradi-
tions than to clannishness” (pp. 530-531). Kalmijn (1993) notes
that among the reasons why White women marry Black men is
that “... white women are generally more tolerant towards
blacks than white men are” (p. 140), but also points to a 1990
US Census survey that shows a lower proportion of White men
than White women who support laws banning Black-White
marriages: “... 24% of white women favored these laws, while
only 17.4% of white men did so (N754). When we just focus on
high school graduates, the difference is of a similar magnitude,
21.5% for women and 16.2% for men” (p. 140).
The persistent unnecessary negative image of Black Ameri-
cans in the society in the past centuries is a big part of this
phenomenon. For example, Sivanarayanan (2005) points to
research that claims that: “... the long history of photographic
representations of black women into three broad groups: the
naked female of the National Geographic or theJezebel
aesthetic” (the one I was most familiar with), the sexless
“mammy’ aesthetic,” and the dignified figure of the black
female that is part of the “noble savage’ aesthetic” (p. 1109).
There is the perception in the society of Black Americans,
especially Black women that they are angry, thereby causing
non-Blacks not to desire them for romantic relationships, in-
cluding marriage. According to Carter et al. (2008):
“The experience and expression of anger in Black popula-
tions has been widely documented... and some scholars
discuss anger and its manifestations as a response to ra-
cism-related experiences... Although some scholars have
recognized the centrality of anger and the racialcultural
double-edged nature of its expression for Black Ameri-
cans, these scholars have argued that the stereotypical so-
cial view of Blacks as being an angry people may also
contribute to counselors’ and mental health professionals’
tendency to overpathologize them...” (p. 102).
Morgan and Bennett (2006) challenge the claim of a scholar
with “... the stereotypes about Black women as angry and bitter,
which have been embedded in contemporary discourses about
Black male/White female relationships.” and explain “... the
stereotype of theAngry Black Womanas cultural ideology
rather than social or psychological reality, an ideology that
serves to silence and dehumanize Black women by blaming
them for experiences of racist sexism that affect them in per-
sonal and political ways” (p. 486; also see Harris-Perry, 2011;
Toldson & Marks, 2011).
In an article published in Psychology Today entitled “Why
are Black Women Rated Physically Less Attractive Than Other
Women, But Black Men are Rated Better Looking Than Other
Men”, Kanazawa (2011) used data of a survey of adolescents
on the attractiveness of females in the United States: 3.716 for
White females; 3.567 for Black females; 3.675 for Asian fe-
males; and 3.657 for Native American females, and used that
very tiny difference to claim that Black females are unattractive
and that is the reason why non-Black men do not seek roman-
tic relationships with them: “The only thing I can think of that
might potentially explain the lower average level of physical
attractiveness among black women is testosterone. Africans on
average have higher levels of testosterone than other races...
women with higher levels of testosterone have more masculine
features and are therefore less physically attractive.”2 Simmons
(2003) writes that: “Ongoing sexual stigmatization made it very
risky for African American women to claim sexual freedom or
pleasure” (p. 170).
2Kanazawa, Satoshi. 2011, May 15. “Why are black women rated physically
less attractive than other women, but black men are rated better lookin
than other men,” Psychology Today. Republished in Loveys, K., and Fer-
nandez, C. 2011, May 18. “Black women are less attractive than others”:
Controversial LSE psychologist sparks backlash with his “scientific”
findings,” Daily Mail. Retrieved on May 5, 2012 from:
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
One can present a strong argument that among all of the
racial and cultural groups and sub-groups in the United States,
Black American women or Black females are actually the
group that is least angry. For example, although Black females
in the United States are almost 22 million, Kaba (2008a) points
out that in June 2006 there were only 68,800 Black females in
jails and prisons in the United States (p. 330). If one were to
just stop and think about this: no other group has suffered as
Black females in the history of the United States. This means
that they have all of the excuses to commit crimes and yet only
68,800 of them were in jails and prisons in June 2006. Only
people without anger and with a lot of discipline, calm
temperament and deep faith can be so extraordinary. Is it not
anger against Black females that is causing so many
unnecessary deaths of Black baby girls, the exclusion of Black
women from top leadership positions in the country, even
though they and European American women are the most
native to the United States apart from Native Americans, or the
ongoing gender and racial prejudices targeted at them? (Kaba,
2012a, 2011c; Philpot & Walton Jr., 2007; Washington, 2006).
It takes deep anger to exhibit prejudice and racism against
others. Let us now examine literature on Black men who do not
date or marry Black women in the United States.
Black Men Who Do Not Date or
Marry Black Women
Pertaining to the group of Black males who only date or
marry White females or other non-Black females, Jeter (1982)
points to a study of 40 Black-White couples in four states dur-
ing the period from 1970 to 1974, in which the couples had
dated for an average of 16 months before they got married. The
couples entered their marriages at the average age of 24, and
they had been married for five years after the study (an in-depth
taped interviews with the couples) was conducted. According to
the study, for 28 Black male-White female couples, and three
White male-Black female couples, love and compatibility were
cited as motive for their union. Three other Black male-White
female couples cited “... love and compatibility and added that
the white female was less domineering, pregnant, or perceived
as a status symbol.” For two Black male-White female couples
in the study, they did not cite love and compatibility, but for
one of the couples, “... the husband wanted a less domineering
white women and to rebel against tradition. His wife was at-
tracted to black men.” Finally, for the second couple, “... the
husband felt he increased his social status. His spouse per-
ceived herself as an outcast with white people” (p. 105).
Walsh’s (2012) study presents this account of a Black Hus-
band-White wife on this claim:
Marilyn Waters, 38, divorced her black husband after 18
years”. Marilyn not only relies on an image of “nice white
girls” to explain her lack of assertiveness, she implicates
me in her circle of white femininity with use of “us” and
“we” to describe the hyper-politeness associated with
“rarified southern white la-dies”... She uses her innocence
associated with whiteness and femininity to excuse her
inability to take a stand. Then, Marilyn engages in essen-
tialist discourse while noting, “they hear everything, they
see everything”. While it is unclear whether she attribute-
ing this extra sensory perception only to black men or to
all blacks, it is clear that she draws upon essential think-
ing about both gender and race in her description of her
ex-husband’s alleged omnipotence. When she invokes the
metaphor of “being eaten up alive”, Marilyn relies on a
familiar cultural representation, with a long history, which
portrays black men, in general, and black sexuality, spe-
cifically, as predatory and all-consuming” (p. 78).
According to Morgan and Bennett (2006):
“The reversal of the discourse about interracial relation-
ships from the historical construct in which White men
sexually dominated Black women to the contemporary
one in which Black men sexually commune with White
women has significant consequences for constructions of
all the racial groups involved. In asserting their gendered
authority to place White women on a pedestal of femin-
ineity, Black men in interracial relationships with White
women are also asserting their right to embody a norma-
tive masculinity from which they have been historically
excluded. Thus Fanon’s prescient explanation of how
Black men can grasp White civilization and dignity by
grasping the White breasts remains valid in the twenty-
first century. Through partnering with White women,
Black men escape the traps of degraded masculinity and
offer the possibility of fancying themselves as privileged
gentlemen, White knights to their, literally, fair ladies...”
(p. 495).
Hughes (2003b) provides more reasons that Black males
cited for courting and marrying women outside of their race.
Hughes (2003b) cited a writer as saying that some Black men
seek physical qualities such as “... long hair, light eyes, pale or
caramel skin tone-describe women of Asian, Hispanic or mul-
tiracial descent...” (p. 70; Jones & Shorter-Gooden 2003, pp.
117 and 178). Another writer is cited as saying that other rea-
sons: “... include allegations that the Black woman is attitude-
nal, selfish, lazy and sexually uptight...” (Hughes, 2003b: p. 74).
Hughes (2003b) adds that some Black women also appear to
support Black men who date outside of their race, instead of
condemning them. Also in other cases, Hughes (2003b) cited a
writer as saying that Black women also influence Black men to
marry outside of their race “... by unwittingly spreading nega-
tive ideas about other Black women in front of their male chil-
dren” (Hughes, 2003b: p. 74).
On the topic of Black men choosing White women over
Black women because they are “nice”, Morgan and Bennett
(2006) write: “Thus we often hear that Black men are choosing
White women because they arenice, gent le, know how to treat
their men, etc.,’ in short, because they conform to standards of
femininity from more than a century in the past” (p. 495). Ac-
cording to Rogers (1944):
“A black man of social standing rarely, if ever, marries a
woman of his own complexion. In the West Indies one
who does so would be charged with having done nothing
to elevate his race... The black man desires the white
woman not for what she is, but rather for what she repre-
sents, that is, better social and economic opportunity,
while the white man desires the black woman not for what
she represents but for what she is. The urge of the former
is sociologic; of the latter biologic. The black as a rule,
seeks gain or prestige; the white sensual, or sensuous,
love...” (pp. 69,93).
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 411
Calls for Black American Women to Date or
Marry Whites and Other Non-Black Men
As a result of all of the examples presented above, there are
calls from the media, academia and some Black women who
are already in interracial marriages for Black women in general
in the United States, especially native-born, to start dating and
marrying White men and other non-Black men. In a review of
the book Is Marriage for White People? (2011) by Ralph Banks,
Banard (2011) writes:
“What to do about the black family is a dilemma that has
preoccupied sociologists, psychologists, journalists, scre-
enwriters, novelists, and ordinary people for decades. Few
have unreservedly advocated the refreshing solution
Banks offers: interracial marriage. While black men have
long felt free to choose white mates, he notes, black
women are ‘more segregated in the intimate marketplace
than any group in American society’” (p. 90).
It has been noted that interracial marriages including Blacks
last longer than Black-Black marriages. According to the study
of Jones (2010): “In this sample, there are a lower number of
interracial marriages that end in divorce compared to
White-only and Black-only marriages. Specifically 25.1% of
interracial marriages ended in divorce, compared to 30.9% of
White-only marriages and 37.2% of Black-only marriages” (p.
247). According to the study of Wong (2003), Black Ameri-
can men who i nte r marry , ha d less dif fic ulty in staying ma rried
than their counterparts who intramarried: the mean duration is
8.667 years for intermarried Black men and 8.357 years for
their intramarried cohorts. Wong (2003) adds that the per-
centage of “... the interrupted marriage spell for the intramar-
ried families exceeded that for the intermarried by 16.2%” (p.
In addition, due to their increasing gains in higher education
and entrance into high-paying professions, Black American
women also find it difficult to marry Black men of similar so-
cial status (Crowder & Tolnay, 2000; Fenyo, 2001; Kalmijn,
1993; Lichter et al., 1991: pp. 844-845; McClain, 2004; Mills et
al., 1999; Porter & Bronzaft, 1995; Qian, 1997; Wilson, 1987;
Wong, 2003). Also, up to one million Black males are in prison
or under the control of the criminal justice system (Lichter et al.,
1991: p. 846; Williams, 2003), and in the military overseas,
where they tend to meet non-Black women. Williams (2003)
points out that in 2000, there were 791,600 Black males (almost
half of those incarcerated) incarcerated in American jails and
prisons (p. 30). As of 2000, there were 272,818 (20.1% of total)
African Americans in uniform in the US military, with males
accounting for over 200,000 (The New York Times Almanac,
2004: p. 153).
Crowder and Tolnay (2000) point out that from 1970 to 1990,
the proportion of African American women age 18 and over,
who were married declined from 62% to 43%. In 1990, 35% of
African American women under age 35 had never been married.
In 1970, that figure was 49% (p. 792). As of March 2000, there
were 562,000 non-Hispanic Black men and 498,000 non-His-
panic Black women who were unmarried partners. There were
4,294,000 Black men and 4,097,000 Black women who were
married spouses (Fields & Casper, 2001: p. 7).
Porter and Bronzaft (1995) assert “... that as Black single
women seek good educations and high-paying jobs, they find it
more difficult to locate suitable marriage partners of any race
and that many of those educated black women “will accept
nothing less than a mate of similar educational level” (p. 163).
They claim that the higher the level of education a Black
woman has, the higher her chances of divorce. They point to
claims that the sometimes aggressive and violent behavior of
Black men towards Black women are due to “... their attempts
to adopt White mens role...” and that Black men’s inability to
fully participate as men, like that enjoyed by White men in the
society, “... exacerbates Black male/female tension” (p. 163).
In the United States where Blacks, Whites, Asians, Hispanics
and other races will live together for the rest of time. Kennedy
(2002) provides an account of Harvard University Sociologist,
Orlando Patterson’s suggestion that Black women should at-
tempt to meet other men of different races and ethnic back-
grounds. According to Kennedy, Patterson suggests removing
the racial barriers within the marriage market will benefit Black
women, “because large numbers of white men are and will
increasingly become open to marrying black women, if given a
chance.” Patterson also notes that if only one out of every five
non-Black men “were to court black women, the pool of poten-
tial spouses available to those women would immediately dou-
ble.” According to Kennedy, Patterson claims that: “... this
would be good not only because it would make marriage more
accessible to black women but also because larger numbers of
white (and other) suitors might well fortify black women in
their dealings with black men. As Patterson sees it, by for-
swearing nonblack suitors, many black women have senselessly
put themselves at the mercy of black men, who have declined to
be as accommodating as they might be in the face of greater
competition” (Kennedy, 2002).
Hughes (2003a) quoted a 24-year-old Black woman who is a
native of Memphis, Tennessee, as saying that: “Your soul mate
may not be what you expect. He may not be this tall, bald,
chocolate-covered Brother; he may be this beautiful, blond-
haired, blue-eyed man, or this beautiful yellow man. He can be
Asian, Spanish, Arabian, anything, you never know who youre
going to fall in love with, or who is going to love you the way
you need to be loved. So why wait on a Black man?” (p. 56).
Hughes (2003a) also cited a writer as saying: “If Black
women are going to have partners theyre going to have to look
at Italian men, Latino men, men of other ethnic groups... Black
women have to open doors. They have to give themselves more
options” (p. 56).
It is useful to point out that with all of the suggestions above
for Black American women to date and marry White men in
particular, the most recent numbers actually show a very sub-
stantial decline in marriages between Black women and White
men in the United States from 2009 to 2010. For example,
while the number of Black husband and White wife married
couples increased from 354,000 to 390,000 (36,000 increase)
from 2009 to 2010; from 128,000 to 132,000 (4000 increase)
for Blacks married to people of another race that were not
White; the figure for White husbands and Black wives declined
from 196,000 in 2009 to 168,000 in 2010 (a decline of 28,000)
3“Table 59. Households, Families, Subfamilies, and Married Couples: 1980
to 2010 ,” 2012. Stati stical Abst ract of the Un ited States . United Stat es Cen-
sus Bureau. Retrieved on March 22, 2012 from:
This brings us to the question: With all of these factors, why
then is the vast majority of Black American women not marry-
ing outside of their race as has been suggested above?
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Why Do Black American Women Turn down
Courtship Requests from Non-Black Men?
An interesting observation of the tiny fraction of Black
women who marry White men in the United States is that a
significant number of those Black women actually marry for-
eign-born White European men and Jewish men. Also, a sig-
nificant number of foreign-born Black women tend to marry
White men in the United States. Black men, however, tend to
marry native-born White American women, when compared
with Black women. For example, according to research by
Cready and Saenz (1997), 67% of Black husbands who marry
outside their race married “an Anglo”, compared with 51% of
Black wives (p. 343). Research findings by Model and Fisher
(2001) show that more West Indian Black females who arrived
in the United States as children, and native-born (in United
States) West Indian females, are more likely than African
American females to be in a romantic relationship with White
males (p. 182).
Kalmijn (1993) points out that marriages involving Black
women and foreign-born White men comprised a significant
proportion of interracial marriages involving Blacks. In 1986,
such marriages represented 28 percent (p. 140). Within the
Black population in the United States, Cready and Saenz (1997)
note that “only 1. 5 percent and 2.4 percent of native-born Afri-
can American husbands and wives, respectively, married a
foreign-born Black” (p. 343). Also, research by Romano (2006:
pp. 123-124), Kaba (2011a: pp. 168-169), and Brettschneider
(2010) all provide examples of visible or significant interracial
romantic relationships, including marriages between Blacks and
Jews in the United States.
Banard (2011) writes of Black women that: “They view
interracial relationships as too complicated and see partnering
with black men as an expression of a larger commitment to the
race itself; often, black women arent as attracted to men of
other races as they are to black men” (p. 90). Kitwana (2002)
presents an account of a professional Black woman writing
about her difficulty in meeting the right Black man. According
to the account, this professional Black woman claims to have
achieved a lot in her life, including attaining a very good col-
lege education and getting a very good job. One of her difficult-
ties, however, says this woman is of “... the sense that my
choices are fewer, chances dimmer, comes mainly because I am
a black woman trying to love a black man” (p. 110).
According to the study of Robnett and Feliciano (2011) on
the preferences of various racial and cultural groups in the
United States on their selection of potential mates on an internet
dating website, 76.5% of Black women (567 sample size) ex-
clude White men, 92.24% exclude Asian men, 63.14% exclude
Latino men. Also 45% of Black women said they prefer their
own race. For Black men (401 sample size), 11.5% exclude
their own race and 23% prefer their own race; 71.32% exclude
White women; 71% exclude Asian women, and 39.15% ex-
clude Latina women (p. 815). The fact that up to 4 out of every
5 Black women excluded White men as a potential partner is
very significant. This is partly due to the fact that while Black
Americans are reported to be at least 21.68% White or Euro-
pean (Jin et al., 2011: p. 2), there are a lot more Black females
who look almost White in complexion or have very light skin
than Black men. According to Rogers (1952), one important
proof of the number of Black males who crossed the line to live
as Whites was that “... very fair Negro women are much more
in evidence than very fair Negro males” (p. 200). Kaba’s
(2012b) study of 100 prominent Black Americans from all
walks of life aged 25 to 45 shows that 47% of them are light
skinned, but of the 34 women in the study, 53% are light
skinned; and of the 66 men, 44% are light skinned (p. 14). In-
terestingly, light skinned Black American women, it is ob-
served, tend to prefer not just Black males, but dark or brown
skinned Black males. Or that these dark and brown skinned
males tend to prefer them. Rogers (1944) points out that:
“... in the United States where intermarriage is unpopular
light girls will marry dark men. As was said, whiteness is
a standard of social value, and certain black men, feeling
greatly the handicap of color, desire to identify them-
selves with white, and failing that, as near to white as
possible. Besides, to be seen with such a woman makes
them the envy of certain Negroes... Black men, in short,
win ‘light’ women for the same reason that plain men are
usually more successful suitors than handsome ones. The
former, in endeavoring to atone for what they consider a
defect, are less proud and more considerate. I have this
statement direct from the lips of many of these ‘light’
women themselves. One of them told me that there is
hardly anything black men will not do for her. Another
who ‘passed for white’ told me that she was prompted to
accept her husband not because she really loved him but
because he was so very attentive.” “Kindness,” she said,
“goes a long way toward winning a woman.” (pp. 71-74).
In this section of this article, I will present the following
eight interrelated factors that have contributed to Black Ameri-
can women resisting interracial romantic relationship requests
or courtship, including marriage from White men and other
non-Black men in the United States: 1) History of Slavery and
Rape/Forced Relationships; 2) Concubinage/Politics/Laws Pre-
venting Blacks from Interracial Marriages; 3) Harsh and Cruel
Punishment of Black Males and Females; 4) Maintaining Ra-
cial Cultural Heritage and Communities; 5) Fear of Perception
of Being a Prostitute; 6) Physical Appearance or Attraction/
Body Hair; 7) Education and Financial Success and Concern
about Transfer of Wealth; and(8) Religion/Religiosity. These
eight factors combined have at least three important character-
istics: 1) Importance of history; 2) Economics; and 3) The im-
portance of gender as a variable, meaning that there are many
important instances when gender becomes a stronger or more
important variable than race or ethnicity.
History of Slavery and Rape/Forced
By the second decade of the twenty-first century, the diagno-
sis of Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome has been established to
explain the painful experience and legacy of slavery going on at
this moment. According to Degloma (2009): “Advancing a
collective experience framework, proponents of Post-Traumatic
Slave Syndrome claim that the psychological impact of
American slavery spreads beyond those who directly
experienced those events to reach present generations of
African Americans” (p. 111; also see Green and Darity Jr.,
2010). One of the most disturbing aspects of slavery and Jim
Crow is the rape and forced sexual relationships that Black
people, especially Black females, experienced in the United
States. This tragedy is so hurtful that it is one of the most im-
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 413
portant factors causing the vast majority of Black females not to
get involved in interracial romantic relationships with Gentile
European American men and other non-Black men. Black
women want to show that unlike previous times they now have
control over their bodies.
Yarbrough (2005) points out that: “In the eyes of many
ex-slaves, relationships between whites and blacks were usually
matters of forced sex between the powerful and the powerless:
‘[I]mmoral white men have, by force, injected their blood into
our veins...’” (p. 560). Yarbrough (2005) adds that:
“The dynamics and differentials of power between mas-
ters and slaves complicate the notions of consent and
choice. The subtext for interaction of this sort is the threat
of violence: both slaves and masters recognized that mas-
ters could force their will upon slaves by means of physic-
cal punishment. The prospect of violent reprisal im-
pinged on decisions by slaves to comply with or resist the
sexual demands of masters... Ellen Sinclair recounted the
incestuous tangle of relationships on the plantation where
she grew up: ‘Ol’ man Anderson he hab a daughter by one
of he slaves and he son hab a chile by dat daughter [his
half-sister]. Dey mek de wimmen do what dey want and
cose, dey slaves and coultn’ help deyself” (p. 565; also
see Belknap, 2010: pp. 1089-1090).
According to Millward (2010): “White men could legally
marry white women and at the same time force their sexual
desires upon enslaved women. While the laws of slaveholding
supported violations by slave owners against enslaved women,
legislation also erased evidence of bondwomens intimate rela-
tionships with enslaved men. As human property, enslaved
women and men were legallyincapable of civil marriage...’”
(p. 22). Millward (2010) adds that:
“Early laws of colonial America reveal planter depend-
ence on the natural reproduction of the enslaved popula-
tion. In 1662 the Virginia state legislature determined that
racial chattel slavery would be a permanent, inheritable
condition by asserting that the status of the child follows
that of the mother. If the mother was enslaved, so too
would be the children, regardless of the status of the chil-
dren’s father... This law ensured that children of free
black men and enslaved women also faced a lifetime of
enslavement and that children descended from white men
could not lay claim to their fathers’ free or Christian status.
The laws of this era privileged white male authority:
whereas the 1662 law upheld the power of a slaveholder
to engage in relations with enslaved women, a 1664 law
of Maryland criminalized relationships between white
women and black men... A white woman who married a
black man was declared a ‘slave’ for the duration of the
life of her spouse. Any children born to these women be-
came slaves. As these early laws of slavery reveal, inter-
racial relationships often held legal consequences for
those who were not part of the power structure” (p. 24).
Firmin and Firebaugh (2008) also note that: “Caucasian and
African American Romantic relationships are not new and evi-
dence suggests their occurrence from before the time of slavery.
During slave times opposition between these two races was
exacerbated by some slave owners raping African American
women. Evidence also suggests that some Caucasian women
used African American slaves as concubines” (p. 782). Hughes
(2003a) cites a scholar by writing that: “There was a time when
Black women considered interracial dating, dating White men
in particular, as something no respectable woman would do
because of the widespread belief that men of other races are
only interested in Black women for sexual reasons... And the
other [deterring] factor is the legacy of slavery. Black women
did not have control of their sexuality during slavery, so during
the post-slavery period they took control. And part of what
evolved from that [newfound control] was an avoidance of men
other than Black men” (p. 56). Cose (2003) writes that: “For
years, there has been a general assumption that while black men
were comfortable dating white women, black women (for many
reasons, some having to do with exploitation dating back to the
time of slavery) generally steered clear of white men”(p. 46).
Concubinage/Politics/Laws Preventing Blacks
from Interracial Marriages
A very important factor contributing to Black American
women turning down romantic relationship requests from
White Americans and other non-Black men is the centu-
ries-long belief by these White men in the country in treating
Black women as concubines instead of standing up and taking
responsibility and accountability and engage in committed rela-
tionships. This behavior, which has been either due to the indi-
vidual White mal e himse lf or it is due to politics and law (Fryer
Jr., 2007: p. 74; Strub, 2007)—making it illegal to marry Black
women, but will have children with these Black women and
abandon their own children and let the Black women and their
families raise the children. Scanlon (1998) writes about Black
women in the Caribbean and their experience and the issue of
illegitimate births: “... the rate of illegitimate births to be 75
percent... the common problems of widespread concubinage
and paternal desertion... ‘The only fulfilled woman is the one
who uses her reproductive organs’... pointing to the problem of
single mothers’ abandoning children” (p. 63; also see Oakley,
2007: p. 108; Peterson, 20124).
In other instances, these men enslaved their own children.
For example, the late abolitionist, Frederick Douglas, writes
that his own White slave master was said to be his father: “If
the lineal descendants of Ham are alone to be scriptually en-
slaved, it is certain that slavery at the south must soon become
unscriptural; for thousands are ushered into the world, annu-
ally, who, like myself, owe their existence to white fathers, and
those fathers most frequently their own masters” (Douglas,
2002: p. 28).
Although Black women and White men have had far more
mating than Black men and White women in the history of the
United States, most White men involved in such relationships
have done so by treating the Black woman as a concubine,
while Black men and White women carried their relationships
“as equal” partners. Scanlon (1998) cites a line in a poem per-
taining to the use of Black women as concubines: “I am not
your concubine by night. Transformed by memory by day” (p.
59; also see Drake, 1997: p. 104; O’Brien, 2006; Morgan &
Bennett, 2006: pp. 499-501; Rogers, 1944: pp. 28-29, 156 and
202). Sowell (1978) adds that: “An estimated 1 to 2 percent of
the children born to plantation slave women were fathered by
4Peterson, James B. 2012, June 17. “The Original Deadbeat Dads,” Domin-
ion of New o f Yo r k. Retrieved on June 19, 2012 from:
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
white men whereas in the Southern cities this proportion ap-
proached 50 percent. Since only about 6 percent of all slaves
were in the cities, while 60 percent were on cotton plantations
alone...” (p. 28).
Jeter (1982) cites: “... accounts about Benjamin Franklin and
George Washington engaging in sexual affairs with black
women and Alexander Hamilton being mulatto and bearing two
black sons. [and]... the notorious story of a Thomas Jefferson/
Sally Hemings relationship” (Quoted in “Marriages between
Blacks and Whites” section of article). Camp (2000) writes that:
Jefferson was perhaps the most striking and articulate exam-
ple of the fusion of American slavery with American freedom.
That he had an ongoing sexual relationship with an enslaved
woman only deepens Jeffersons embodiment of the contradic-
tions that constitute both this nation and the South.” (p. 275).
Camp (2000) continues:
“Sally Hemings bore Thomas Jefferson six children, four
of whom lived beyond childhood. Jefferson’s appeal for
Hemings may have been the relative privileges he could
and did offer to her and her children. It may be, too, that
Hemings more or less assumed she would have a white
paramour: her father was white, as were both her grand-
fathers; for two generations before her, black women in
her family had engaged in sexual relations with powerful
white men. Hemings’s possible attractions for Jefferson
include her renowned beauty, their shared lives in Paris
and at Monticello, as well as the fact that he could never
marry her, which allowed him to remain true to the pledge
he made to his dying wife that he would never marry an-
other”(p. 276; also see Washington-Williams & Stadiem,
Writing about Black women in the Caribbean during slavery,
Soomer (2000) points to a study by a scholar:
“Bush points to a variety of connections made between
the robust nature of African women and animals. These
women were perceived to have no problems bearing
children and were expected to serve as wet nurses for their
more fragile counterparts. She adds that, ‘despite the
unflattering picture painted by white men, in practice the
physical appearance of black women failed to repel them
sexually.’... This would account for the increasing number
of people of mixed ancestry found in the Caribbean,
especially in the French colonies and Jamaica. It would
also explain the expected concubinage and prostitution of
black and colored women. These facts, according to Bush,
point to the hypocrisy of white males during slavery. For
example, in San Domingue (Haiti) at the time of the
revolution in 1789, there were approximately 400,000
slaves, 30,000 free coloreds and 20,000 whites” (p. 4).
According to Millward (2010): “The placage system and the
facility of manumission within Spanish and French colonial
laws produced a large free black class prior to and after the
Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Some Louisiana planters appear
to have delighted in attending social functions with their black
mistresses while their white wives pretended to be oblivious.
Others participated in buying and selling bondwomen in the
fancy girltrade, where slaveholders purchased women for
their sexual gratification” (p. 22). According to W. E. B. Du-
Bois: “... having finally gotten myself born, with a flood of Ne-
gro blood, a strain of French, a bit of Dutch, but thank God!
NoAnglo-Saxon,’ I come to the days of my childhood” (Lewis,
1993: p. 26).
According to Millward (2010): “Given the complexities of
sexual relationships in which it was impossible for a woman to
withhold consent, and human emotions being as fraught as they
are, it is not surprising that dialogues about enslaved womens
sexuality and their experiences with white men, in particular,
remain contentious. Was an enslaved woman a mistress, a con-
cubine, a forced breeder, or an unwilling victim of the slave-
holder?” (p. 23). According to Jacobs (2002):
“In general, interracial relationships between white men
of the colonizing, dominant group and nonwhite women
of colonized, conquered, and/or enslaved groups have
been tolerated. Although laws in many colonies and states
forbid interracial marriage between white men and black
women, for example, many white slave owners commonly
engaged in forced sex, concubinage, and informal rela-
tionships with their female slaves without social oppro-
brium... As we shall see, relationships between white men
and Indian women were similarly tolerated within
American society. Liaisons between white men and non-
white women did not violate the hierarchical order that
developed between European Americans, African Ameri-
cans, and American Indians. Rather, they represented ex-
tensions and reinforcements of colonialism, conquest, and
domination” (p. 31; also see Malherbe, 2006; Mitchell,
2001: pp. 65-66).
In an article about the following Black women: Harriet Ja-
cobs, Billie Holiday and Sister Souljah, Pittman (2007) presents
this quote: “[B]lack women writers responded to the myth of the
black womans sexual licentiousness by insisting fiercely on her
chastity. Fighting to overcome their heritage of rape and
concubinage,... they stripped the characters they created of all
sexual desire, imprinting instead thepurity,’ the sexual
morality of the Victorian bourgeoisie” (p. 49; also see Fisher &
Wiebe, 2003).
Writing about the plight of Black women in Louisiana from
the 1700s Brattain (2005) points out that: “Spanish colonial
officials, who took control of the territory in 1769, found it
equally difficult to prevent interracial sex, even though
prohibitions on marriage and on public sexual affairs outside
of marriage-known legally asconcubinage’—remained in
place. Indeed interracial unions occurred often enough that the
French and the Spanish legal systems recognized three distinct
populations: Europeans, free people of color, and slaves” (pp.
628-629). During the the first few decades of the 1900s,
Brattain (2005) points out that: “‘Various kinds of disguises
have been utilized by parties to conceal the relation of
concubinage-housekeeper, storekeeper, cook, maid, nurse,
niece, sister-in-law, etc.’... The first five categories were
particularly meaningful for black women and white men, as
black women more often held such jobs in white households
(pp. 639-641).
Today, most Black American females, including those in
college or even high school, would only consider White
American males or other non-Black males courting them if they
are willing to be in a committed relationship, where they can be
seen in public by everyone and would accept no concubinage
activities. McClintock’s (2010) study of interracial romantic
relationships among undergraduate students at Stanford Uni-
versity quoted one of her subjects, a White male as saying:
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 415
“This sense of novelty in having an interracial partner was also
expressed by a White male, who comment ed: “Least Ive gotten
some different ethnicity. I havent gone out with a Black girl yet.
I feel like thats something I ought to do” (p. 67).
As a result, McClintock’s (2010) study finds that Black fe-
males were least likely to be involved in “Hookups”having
sex with someone without any commitment or relationship. Of
the 1368 students in her study, McClintock (2010) finds that:
“For example, Asian women and Black men are over-
represented in hookups, compared to Asian men and
Black women (96 Asian women to 54 Asian men and 61
Black men to 39 Black women)... White and Black men
and Asian women participate in significantly more inter-
racial hookups than their same-race other-gender peers,
and White men and Asian women also participate in sig-
nificantly more interracial dates... Although the differ-
ences in rates of interracial partnering are not always sig-
nificant, White women display a higher homophily bias
than White men in all relationship forms, and Asian
women display a lower homophily bias than Asian men in
all relationship forms. The gender difference among
Blacks is not consistent: In hookups, the homophily bias
is stronger among Black women, in dates there is little
gender difference, and in long-term relationships the ho-
mophily bias is stronger among Black men. Hispanic stu-
dents generally have a low homophily bias and display
less gender difference in homophily bias compared to the
other groups... Black women are somewhat overrepre-
sented in dates, compared to their representation in hook-
ups and relationships...” (pp. 56-66).
Harsh and Cruel Punishment of Black Males
and Females
One must never underestimate the continuous severe pun-
ishment of Black people by people of European descent in the
United States, the New World and the Old World (Africa, Asia
and Europe) in the past five centuries as a contributing factor as
to why Black American women refuse to date and marry
Whites and other non-Blacks. From severe punishment of
Black girls (including handcuffing a six-year old Black girl and
taking her to a police station due to a claim that she was disrup-
tive in school in the state of Georgia by government officials)
and women (Strauss, 20125; Smith, 20126; Salomon, 20117).
According to a March 12, 2012 study released by the United
States Department of Education, among boys in school, 20% of
Black males and 7% of White males were suspended out of
school and among girls, 11% of Black girls and 3% of White
girls were suspended out of school (US Department of Educa-
tion, 2012: p. 3); false charges against Black males and severe
beatings and killings of Black boys and men by White Ameri-
cans and others to this day (Burton, 20128); the extremely high
incarceration rates of Black boys and men in the United States
(Alexander, 2010; Bobo, 2009; Bobo & Thompson, 2006; Kaba,
2010); and the constant public humiliation of Black people in
the United States, including the first Black President, Barack
Obama, Black legislators and other prominent and not so
prominent Blacks, who have suffered all kinds of abuse and
humiliation from Whites. But President Barack Obama and
other Black leaders always show calm temperament and never
attempt to fight back or take revenge for their humiliation, and
quick to publically forgive those people. As Kaba (2011c)
points out in an article entitled: “Race, Conquest and Revenge:
Why Do Black People Resist Racial Revenge?” Black people
world-wide are the one group who have refused to take revenge
against people of European descent and also against those of
other racial groups for all of the humiliation and terrorization
they have suffered under them. However, Black women might
use these experiences and decide not to get involved with peo-
ple who treat them and their male children, husbands and rela-
tives in this manner. Might it be that, because of the almost one
million Black males in prisons in the United States where they
are “... paid 4 cents to 20 cents an hour” to work in White
communities (Kaba, 2010: p. 118; also see Blackmon, 2009;
Taslitz, 2009: pp. 393-394) a reason why most Black women
do not want to get involved in romantic relationships with
White men and other non-Black men? In June 2006, of the
2,042,100 males in local jails, State or Federal prisons,
non-Hispanic Whites males accounted for 718,100 (35.2%),
Black males accounted for 836,800 (41%) and Hispanic males
accounted for 426,900 (21%) (Kaba, 2008a: p. 330).
The late Black American abolitionist Frederick Douglass
wrote about his disapproval of the way Black women were
beaten by White men during his time. For example, Millward
(2010) points out that, “Frederick Douglass depicted the violent
whipping of his aunt Hester” (p. 23). W. E. B. DuBois notes
that: “I shall forgive the white South much in its final judgment
day: I shall forgive its slavery, for slavery is a world-old habit;
I shall forgive its fighting for a well-lost cause... I shall forgive
its so-calledpride of race,’... but one thing I shall never for-
give, neither in this world nor the world to come: its wanton
and continued and persistent insulting of black womanhood
(Morgan & Bennett, 2006: p. 486). Writing about Black women
in the Caribbean during slavery, Soomer (2000) points out that:
There was no difference in the punishment of men and women
on the plantations. Women were often subjected to whipping by
male slave drivers or overseers. The slave owner was usually
the one to inflict corporal punishment. In the post 1820 period
there were attempts to improve these conditions and in 1823
floggings of women became illegal. Before this period however,
all women even if pregnant were stripped and beaten publicly
(p. 7). Perry and Sutton (2008) examine:
5Strauss, Valerie, 2012, May 17. “6-year-old handcuffed for throwing tan-
trum in school,” Washington Post. Retrieved on May 9, 2012 from: -year-old-handcu
6Smith, Mychal Denzel, 2012, April 24. “Too Young: Six-Year-Old Girl
Arrested for a Temper Tantrum,” Ebony. Retrieved on May 9, 2012 from:
7Salomon, Sheryl Huggins, 2011, November 7. “An Outrage: NC Black
Women Were Sterilized,” The Root Magazine. Retrieved on May 9, 2012
8Burton, Nsenga K. 2012, February 1. “White Women and ‘Blame a Black
Man’ Syndrome,” The Root Magazine. Retrieve d on May 9, 2012 from:
... the broad public prejudices and hostilities against in-
terracial relationships, and more concretely, how these
negative reactions to sexed and raced border crossings
might condition violence against those in such relation-
ships. They provide the context and pretext in which per-
petrators engage in a particular form of hate crime. We
argue here that the ‘ethnosexual imaginings and ideolo-
gies’ noted above often manifest themselves in violent
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
behaviour intended to police the colour line, by meting
out punishment to transgressors. We open with considera-
tion of the legal and cultural discourses that provide such
a hostile environment for intimate inter-racial relation-
ships. We then turn to how this context facilitates violence
directed at those involved in such relationships” (p. 240).
According to Millward (2010), during slavery: “Enslaved
women in the American South lived in constant fear of sexual
exploitation by both white and black men. Bondpeople re-
counted thé violence inflicted upon enslaved women in printed
biographies and oral interviews” (p. 23). In discussing some
Black Americans’ reasons for leaving the United States and go
into exile, Mitchell (2006) writes: “... whether the future of
black Americans lay within or outside the United States.
Potential migrants expressed their dissatisfaction in terms of
black manhood denied and assaults on black women that
threatened the purity of the race. In explaining their desire to
leave for Liberia in 1891, for instance, one group from
Arkansas cited disfranchisement and the fact that black men
were murdered at the hands of mobs, leaving their women
vulnerable to rape by white men” (p. 689).
Porter and Bronzaft (1995) point to the claim that the realize-
tion that educated and professional black women find it dis-
turbing that black men cannot serve as protectors of their fe-
male counterparts in the society: “Slavery and racial oppress-
sion have led to distrust, envy, and disloyalty between Black
men and Black women” (p. 163). Wickham (2002) writes of a
“... 1951 case in which matt ingram, a black sharecropper, was
jailed in North Carolina on a charge ofrape by leerfor star-
ing at a white woman from a distance of seventy-five feet. In-
gram spent two and a half years in jail for thisreckless eye-
ballingoffense” (Wickham, 2002: p. 7; also see Blackmon,
2009). It is noted that: “In the history of the United States, the
fraudulent rape charge stands out as one of the most formida-
ble artifices invented by racism. The myth of the Black rapist
has been methodically conjured up whenever recurrent waves
of violence and terror against the Black community have re-
quired convincing justification” (Morgan & Bennett, 2006: p.
It is also important to point out that the extremely high in-
carceration rate of Black males has not only contributed to
Black females deciding not to date or marry Whites and other
non-Blacks because some might see it as a conspiracy to re-
move as many Black males as possible out of the general soci-
ety, which might pressure Black females to accept concubinage
relationships from White men, but it has also cause the almost
stagnation of the Black population in the United States and
causing problems with family formation. This is causing a se-
rious threat to the economic, social and political gains that
Blacks have made in the post World War II period. The average
Black woman is now going for years at a time not having the
required 2.1 children needed to sustain the Black population
(On the other hand immigration of Black people into the United
States is the most restricted among all racial/cultural groups
accepted into the country. According to Kaba (2010), in 2002,
2003 and 2004, the total fertility rate (children born per woman)
in the United States was lower for Black females than for White
females. In 2003, the fertility rate for Black females in the
United States was 1.999 children born per women, but the rate
for White females was 2.061 children born per woman. From
2000 to 2007, the Black American population increased by only
9.8%, but it increased by 26.3% for Asians and 28.9% for His-
panics (pp. 111-112,115-120). This has implications for Black
females because the study of Kaba (2008b) entitled “Sex Ratio
at Birth and Racial Differences: Why Do Black Women Give
Birth to More Females Than Non-Black Women?” shows that
regardless of geographic location, compared with females in
other racial groups, females of sub-Saharan Black African de-
scent tend to give birth to more girls (sex ratio at birth)—1.03
Black baby boys born for every 100 Black baby girls born ver-
sus 1.06 baby boys born for every 100 baby girls born in the
world (pp. 141-142).
Maintaining Racial/Cultura l Heritag e and
One of the most important reasons that not only Blacks and
Whites but other racial and cultural groups have presented in
opposing interracial marriage or romantic relationships is to
maintain their racial or cultural heritage (Kalmijn, 1993; Ken-
nedy, 2003; Leslie, 1996; Storrs, 1997; Yancey & Yancey,
2002). Storrs (1997) notes that: “Racial communities also dis-
approved of interracial relationships which provoked challenges
to both black and white identity. For African Americans, mar-
rying outside of one’s race was often perceived as a sign of
disloyalty. Despite this ostracism, African Americans articu-
lated strong black identities” (p. 326). According to Morgan
and Bennett (2006):
In actuality, for African Americans of both genders, interra-
cial relationships are not simply about individuals in a multi-
colored bubble looking fortrue lovebeneath a romantic
rainbow. Choosing to intermarry or not to intermarry involves
love, commitment, promises, memories, and culture- and com-
munity-building that reinforce cultural knowledge... Intermar-
riage in the United States will not dismantle the nations of
China, Japan, Korea, etc. Because African Americans are a
minority community without a clear nation of origin, interracial
marriage raises practical concerns regarding the endurance,
independence, and uniqueness of Black communities and
whether their cultural practices are in jeopardy. These are con-
cerns raised when any minority community, in any national
context, assesses the impact of romantic, sexual, and marital
relationships with members of a majority community. Yet,
Black women are dismissed as angry when they express these
concerns” (pp. 4 8 7 -4 8 8 ) .
Maillard (2012) points out that: “People date and marry with
friends and family in mind. Community reprisal could be a big
factor, as blacks and whites may fear reactions from their home
communities about their choice of partner. Their personal deci-
sion is not so individualit becomes something larger.”9
Mitchell (2006) writes: “Such concerns would persist, with
Marcus Garvey arguing in 1922 that black men needed to
strike back on white men trying to get too close to black
women.” It was important, in his view, to protect “the purity of
the black race not only down South, but all through the world...
Writers and activists exhorted black women to shun the
attentions of white men, believing thatrape, concubinage, and
miscegenation compromised racial reproduction’... This think-
ing was seconded by Marcus Garveys Universal Negro
9Maillard, Kevin Noble. 2012, May 1. “Do barriers to Interracial marriage
still exist?” The Grio. Retrieved on May 1, 2012 from : -barriers-to-in terracial-marriage-still-exist.
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 417
Improvement Association, which actively promotedracial
purity’...” (p. 689).
According to Williams (2009), when the late Black Ameri-
can movie and entertainment star Lena Horne married a White
man in the late 1940s, she was so worried about the reactions of
both the Black and White populations that they kept it secret for
years: “In 1947 Horne secretly married MGM musical director
Lennie Hayton, a white conductor, arranger, and pianist, in
Paris. Fearing negative reactions from both white and African
American fans, the couple dated secretly for three years prior
to their marriage and decided to continue their clandestine
relationship until publicly announcing their union in 1950...
Overall, the reasons for Hornes secrecy concerning her rela-
tionship with Hayton and the responses it garnered once publi-
cized reflect African Americanscontempt of, ambivalence
about, and support for interracial marriage during the 1940s
and 1950s” (p. 130).
In May 2003, the CBS television program “60 Minutes” re-
played some of its old programs to celebrate its 35th year on the
air. Among some of the stories was that of Lena Horne’s mar-
riage to a White/Jewish man. Here is a short transcript of the
“Ed Bradley also talked to Lena Horne about her second
husband, Lennie Hayton, a musical arranger who was also
white and Jewish. For three years, Horne kept her mar-
riage a secret.
‘He had more entree than the black men,’ says Horne. But
did she love him?
‘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
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
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 : -barriers-to-in terracial-marriage-still-exist.
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 419
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.
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 ‘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
ht tp :/ /e te xt .v ir gi ni cbin/to ccer-new2?i d=JefVirg .sgm&images=i mag
13James, Susan Donaldson. 2009, December 10. “Manscapers Mow More
Hair, Even Down There,” Retrieved on March 16, 2012 from:
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
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.
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”
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:
15Evans, Katie. 2010, October 25. “America’s Richest Women,” Forbes.
Retrieved on May 9, 2012 from:
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: 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:
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:
19Kobe Bryant divorce: Wife Vanessa gets $18.8 million in property,” 2012,
January 21. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on M ay 16, 2012 from:
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:
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 423
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 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-
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 Retrieved on March 14, 2012 from:
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
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.
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-
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men engage in romantic relationships, including marriage with
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United States who are turning down the courtship requests of
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