Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The Journal of Steffanie Rivers: He Married Becky, But ….

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*He asked me why I don’t have a Netflix account. I hold him “I don’t care how cheap (they say) it is; if it ain’t free, it’s not cheap enough.” That’s when he started tell me how the variety of programming choices made the price worth it.

He loves the ‘strong black woman’ lead characters in Chewing Gum and Dear White People, two of his favorite programs. He said there’s just one issue he has with the story lines: The black women on those two show are dating white men. He said it’s a trend he sees in a lot of programs that lead him to believe there’s a conscious campaign (aka conspiracy) to make black men invisible – disposable even – in meaningful relationships.

“It’s as if the people making these programs want black women to think black men are either all gay or all criminals and not worth loving. So they should consider relationships with white guys instead,” he said.

It’s understandable that a heterosexual black man with no criminal record would feel some kind of way about it. But this black man was married to a white woman for ten years. They’re divorced now. They’re son is almost 25 years old.

I asked him had he ever considered how his marriage to Becky made black women feel – you know the stereotypes – too mean, not pretty enough and generally un-lovable? He said when he told his black ex-girlfriend he was going to marry a white woman, that was the only time he considered his actions might have emotional repercussions for someone else. It never occurred to him his mother or his sister might have felt the same way, let alone countless other women of color.

Although everyone has their relationship preferences, experience has taught me that love comes wrapped in different packages. If you restrict how the package looks on the outside you might find yourself missing what you could have gained from what’s on the inside.

Maybe those people who are willing to venture beyond their race or nationality to seek love have a better chance at finding love. YouTube philosophers have condemned well-known black woman (Serena Williams, Tika Sumpter and Halle Berry to name a few) for their choice in non black men as romantic partners. Maybe those who hold up the one-race, one-love banner are the winners. Nothing is promised. It’s all a toss-up.

He said his (then future) mother-in-law was the person who suggested he date her daughter. He decided to marry Becky because she seemed “different and there was something more alluring about her” than the other (read: black) women he had dated before her. He said by the time the marriage was over he felt as if he had been the chosen one for a number of reasons, none of which, from his perspective, were flattering. But you live and you learn. And as my mother likes to add; then you die and forget it all!

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Steffanie Rivers is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas, Texas metroplex. Email her at for comments, questions or speaking inquiries.




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