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February 12, 2013 / admin

Honestly, You asked! – Black Women White Men Advice Column

Reader Alyssa writes:

I’m Alyssa and I’m currently a freshman in high school (15 yrs old). Recently I’ve found myself interested in white boys. I’m the type of girl next door type. I come from a conservative, high-middle class family. I’ve always been told I’m white(even though I’m black, lol) even by my family. I don’t really take that much offense to it since its happened for so long. Everyone I know (my family included) says I’ll end up with a white guy but my family’s actions show otherwise. My grandmother loathes republicans and talks bad about white people sometimes but a majority of her friends are white. My grandfather just loves to rant about “the man” and that his grandchildren need to go to a HBC because white schools just wont do it. My dad even cracks a racist joke or two sometimes.

I need your advice on how to deal with this. I know I’m young but I do know what I like. I get nervous to even mention to my family that I’m interested in a white guy who also likes me back. How am I supposed to deal with this situation when my family’s actions speak louder than their words ? How would you deal with this ?

– Alyssa A.


Dear Alyssa,

You sound like a smart, well adjusted young woman with a bright future ahead of you. The best advice I can give you is to ignore your family’s comments – don’t let it affect you. If there’s a White guy you like, you don’t need to mention him to your family for now… save that for if/when you guys are a little more serious and decide to become boyfriend and girlfriend. For now, you can try to discourage your family’s racist tendencies by not laughing at their racist remarks or saying something like “you know that’s racist right?” when they say something offensive about White people.

Three more years and you’ll be off to college and free to date whomever you like without worrying about your boyfriend having to come into contact with your family often. Also, chances are if you do find someone you are really interested in and decide to bring him home, your family will at least be respectful around him and you won’t have a reenactment of the “Guess Who” dinner table scene.

Until that time, stick to your guns and don’t cave under your pressure of your family. I mean, right now you are kind of putting the cart before the horse and worrying without cause. They haven’t actually acted out yet – because you haven’t tried telling them that there’s a White guy you’re interested in nor started dating the guy who you think likes you back. If you are extra concerned about their actions when that time comes, you could always have a heart to heart before they meet him and ask them to be on their best behavior. Or you could do like I did and just spring the fact that my boyfriend was White when my parents met him. I didn’t treat it like a big deal and in turn, they didn’t!

Now, I’ll throw this to the readers out in cyberspace. DO YOU AGREE OR DiSAGREE? HAVE ANYTHING TO ADD TO MY ADVICE? 




Leave a Comment
  1. Barry / Feb 13 2013 7:15 am

    Alyssa … i think the important thing to remember is that you are not your Grandmother, Grandfather or Father … i know that Family and the institiution thereof is important to us as Social Creatures, but you really want to live your life according to your own ideas, principles and values… im sure your family has taught you good values, so keep the good, but ignore the “bad” … in my ecperience i have often found that people that are too overlly concerned with issues of Race and Race Relations are themselves harbouring some deeper seeded fear or shortcoming … somebody who is totally at ease in his/her own colour is a confident person who seldom judges other people, yet alone take them at colour value … so yes, continue to date whoever you want, but also remember that you find good and bad in every racegroup, and dont fall into the trap of prejudging a whole racegroup because of the shortcomings of one or two individuals of that racegroup … it takes a lot of courage to life completelly free, free of the negetivity that others add onto your “karma” free to follow you own path in life without having to feel that you need a sacntion or a “its okay” from anybody … but if you do follow your own way i can asure you that you will lead a very full and satisfying life …

  2. Rochelle / Apr 15 2013 8:18 pm

    No matter how you think your family feels about white people (those feelings can be very complicated for older black people), know that they love you and want the best for you. As long as you end up with someone who cares for you and is respectful, they will eventually come around. I agree that I would first focus on actually beginning a relationship with the person first, then introducing them to the family.
    I also would not get myself locked into liking one race over another, especially at your age. You can find the same characteristics and dispositions in two men of different races. Keep your mind as open as you want your family to be.

    • Darren / May 22 2013 7:46 pm

      You need to be your own person and do what makes you happy. And just maybe you will be the one to open the minds of the more stubborn members of your family.

  3. Average Guy / May 27 2013 2:03 am

    When my wife and I got married, I found that her parents, aunts and uncles had all grown up in the south during the civil rights movement. I dealt with some racism from them until they got to know me. Eventually I was just another member of the family. I love them and they love me. Just do what feels right and let others deal with their own prejudices and issues. Look for the person who treats you well and makes you happy.

  4. Mark / Jun 18 2013 3:37 pm

    Hi Alyssa,
    I hope you’re not fretting over this too much. We all had to listen to our parents opinion/advice on various subjects while we were growing up. I would use my own logical ‘sieve’ to catch the good or pertinent things they said that could be useful, and then ignore the rest. After all, they were not living in my generation, I was. You should do what is as comfortable as possible for you to handle. Also, as a ‘white’ guy I don’t blame your father for his jokes…he’s probably earned it. Hopefully white society is treating you better than your father was treated when he was your age. If this boy likes you and respects you it could be a fun experience. But just remember that young boys at that age have raging hormones. The first thing on their mind is sex….the second thing on their mind is sex…and take a wild guess what the third thing on their mind is????????? Hope you work it out in your favor!

  5. Amia / Jul 27 2013 5:11 pm

    Alyssa I’m also 15 and in that exact same postion. My dad and older sistera will say racist things about whites all the time. What I would do/ what I did do, was just first start a relationship uo with the guy then talk to your dad about it. Tell him that you really like the guy and he makes you happy blah blah blah and that the color of his skin really doesn’t matter. What matters is how you feel, it’s your realtionship anyway not your dads.
    Good luck btw I know it might be hard especially at our age but your dad and grandparents are just gonna have to deal with it.

  6. janelle1216 / Jun 12 2014 4:01 pm

    So Alyssa-can I first say the comment about people saying you are white/act white that is the WORST. My response to that always is explain to me how. I am a educated and successful woman who was married first to a white man and second to a black man….for me i don’t like to make it all about race. if i am into someone i am into them, i dont like to start off with the color being the dominant reason i am attracted to them. at 15 your dating adventures are JUST beginning so take your time, explore a little, don’t limit yourself, look at the person-not their race, whether white, black, asian, indian. Find the guy that respects you and most of all makes you laugh!!
    At 15 you are and aren’t your own person but eventually you will be able to make your own decisions and family just wants what best for you, but like i tell my mother, I want my happy more than anyone else”
    So my advice-don’t actively look for someone based on the color of their skin-just wait til you meet the right guy who makes you smile like none other!

    PS- I went to Hampton University for 1.5 and did my last 1.5 from a school in Michigan a non HBCU!
    Parents can be tough -but if you are genuinely happy they will fall in line!!

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