The Race Of Donald Glover’s Partner Doesn’t Negate His Blackness Or His Art
Black women want to be wanted, and we especially want to be wanted by black men.
We want to be lusted after, respected, protected, listened to, and honored. Black women want black men to be loud in their admiration for us; without trepidation or shame. We want black men to claim us as we walk hand-in-hand to the dollar store and then when you get poppin’, we want to walk with you to the Gucci store. We want you to be the first one to like our pictures on Instagram, send us flowers just because and deem making us smile as your top priority.
Black women want black men to have our backs and rub our backs. Black women want to be believed and not told to calm down or that we’re being too emotional. For lack of better wording, black women want black men to love us just as ferociously as we love them.
So when we see a black man who was raised in a predominantly black area by a black mama and daddy with black brothers and sisters grow up and romantically be with a non-black woman, I understand why that stings. It’s yet again, another reminder of why we’re not wanted, why we’re perceived as not good enough for love, and why even our best attributes always look best drenched in white skin.
If you’ve made it this far in my piece, thank you, but this isn’t where me and (some) black women will have our “yass” moment because my opinion on the matter begins to steer a little left.
Despite the bumpy relationship between black men and women, I’m not convinced Donald Glover’s thrust into the public conversation by way of his politically-charged music video, “This Is America,” isn’t as pure simply because the mother of his children isn’t black.
If anything the audience has finally accepted him for the skin he’s in, not so much for his artistic risk and genius, but because his creations check the “blackness boxes” approved of by the African-American community.
One’s blackness and a need to preserve it isn’t the responsibility of said person’s significant other.
Atlanta has proven to be a masterclass of life in “The A” and for many African-Americans, while “Redbone” whether intentionally created for this purpose or not, has solidified its place on the “You Don’t Know Nothin Bout This” cookout playlist. One’s blackness and a need to preserve it isn’t the responsibility of said person’s significant other. That duty falls on you and you alone and for years many of us wrote Glover off because he didn’t echo or reflect the type of blackness many of us were accustomed to, whether it be his innate quirkiness or even being raised in a family of Jehovah Witnesses. Everything about Glover was just off, and because many of us couldn’t digest him, we waved him off as well.
I understand the sting that some women feel, but I can also clearly see the hypocrisy when there are many black women who enjoy the products of a mixed-race union. J.Cole’s mother is white, so is actor Jesse Williams and former president Barack Obama. Many black women were hushed when they learned of their backgrounds. Is it because all three men, despite sharing an entire body with a white woman for nine months, forsook their mother and gave their last name to a black woman? Is it because all three men (some more than others) have been more vocal about the plight of African-Americans and minorities in this country? Or is it the silent victory that we may not want to admit feeling, knowing that there are still some black men who will choose us?
I don’t know, sis. That’s a conversation between you and the God you serve.
Eve hasn’t been considered “less black” for marrying a white man, nor has Serena Williams or Iman. In fact, many black women gave them a silent high-five with a “Yes b***h! I see you.” Why? Because a lot of us know the difficulty that can sometimes come from trying to be noticed and loved by black men.
I take no issue with who Glover wants to love. I especially take no issue with Glover’s longtime girlfriend and the mother of his children being a non-black woman because I have yet to hear Glover speak ill of black women. If Donald Glover starts to talk negatively about women who look like me, that’s when we can shoot the fair one. Until then, I’m quite alright with this black man, who creates powerful art, loving a non-black woman.
I understand the sting and I understand this is just another example of a successful black man choosing someone else, but Glover and his art aren’t the rightful targets for this angst.