Do Non-Black Men Prefer Black Women of Certain Cultures/Colors?

Recently, on an interracial forum, a black woman who is American and looks to be medium to medium-dark in skin tone said many of the white men she is interested in seem to have a preference for either African or […]

Recently, on an interracial forum, a black woman who is American and looks to be medium to medium-dark in skin tone said many of the white men she is interested in seem to have a preference for either African or Caribbean women. She related that aAgbani Darego from Nigeria Miss World 2001 Norwegian man she’d been talking to online passed her up for someone she describes as being a dark-skinned African woman. She now believes that most white men prefer African or Caribbean women, and speculates that it may be because they prefer darker skin tones or African or Caribbean cultures.

First, let’s get the misconceptions out of the way. There is greater diversity between one African culture and the next than between the cultures on any other continent due to the terrain of the land creating much physical separation, and Caribbean cultures also vary greatly. Not all Caribbean or African women are dark-skinned: Rihanna is Caribbean (Barbadian); Andella Matthews is African (Zambia). People from all over the world have settled on the Caribbean islands, and they’ve created “Creole” cultures. Not only have the cultures blended, but so have the peoples that inhabit these lands. Many islands of the Caribbean are a tribute to the beauty of multiculturalism. As for Africa, there are several ethnic groups (or “tribes”) in which the members are predominantly light-skinned (for example, Miss Cayman Islands 2009 Nicosia Lawsonthe Igbo tribe of Nigeria).

Onto the interesting part. Some men may take a liking to style of dress, speaking or mannerisms; however, it’s rare for a man to want to date women of a single culture other than his to the exclusion of the women of all others. Some men may be fascinated with a certain culture and want to make it a part of their daily lives by uniting with women of that cultural group – but, again, these men are exceptions. Just think of the men you know, of any background. There is no great mystery. Non-black men are men. Men like women. Men have a tendency to judge women on an individual basis. If a man is physically attracted to a woman, and she has a nice personality and carries herself with class, it’s a rare man who will pass her up because she’s not from the “right” culture. Just remember that, once upon a time, while women stayed closed to home, men roamed the earth – region to region, country to country or tribe to tribe – taking foreign brides. Men have never had internal inhibitions against Yordanos Teshager Bitew - Miss World Ethiopia 2004 runner upmarrying women from this culture or that. Even in cultures or religious groups that forbid marrying outside the group, you’ll find that the men often, though not always, make exceptions for themselves (i.e. Muslim men can marry non-Muslim women, but it’s not so easily the case the other way around). In case you’re wondering, I discussed this with some non-black men in interracial relationships, and all verified this to be so…the charms of the individual woman trump culture.

I briefly touched on skin tone two entries prior to this one (and again in the comment section). It’s true that most non-black men who either prefer black women or who dated white women prior but are very interested in dating black women tend to favor the black women who are darker skinned. Actually, most of the average (non-celebrity) black women I see with non-black (usually white) men tend to be darker than me (I’m within a few shades of Gabrielle Union’s skin tone…round slightly up or down). I’ve discussed this with many white guys of various ages over the years, and very few said they would pass up a lighter skinned black woman if she is attractive and they liked her. A few did say they would pass on very light-skinned black women, because they “might as well just date a white woman” in that case – but these men were rare. Some men, when going for something other than what they are used to, want something that is well…different. Some of the men love the contrast between their skin tone and that of a dark-skinned woman, particularly during Miss Antigua/Barbuda Ann Mary Brown physical intimacy (I mean sex). Again, these men were more the exception to the rule than anything. It all goes back to the men like women thing.

You’ll find that there are millions of men out there who think WOMEN are beautiful and will go for any woman who meets their standards, regardless of her race/skin colour. ~LeLuneBrune

Some men out there have their strong preferences – and many others don’t. It’s fine for a man to have or not have preferences. It is what it is. There’s nothing to be gained by trying to make him feel guilty about it. As I said in a previous post, if you come across a man who isn’t interested in you for whatever the reason, all you can and should do is move on. Why focus on and get discouraged over a few men who prefer someone you’re not for whatever reason, and ignore all the ones out there who would be into you?

I’m somewhere between light skinned and medium brown, a shade or tw
o lighter than medium. I’ve actually been passed up TWICE for darker skinned black women. … Oh well…Life must go on.
~ A reader

That quote was from a friend who dates exclusively interracially. Exactly two times, she encountered men who strongly preferred women with a feature she didn’t possess. She didn’t dwell on it, feel discouraged, complain or  develop animosity for the men or for the women they preferred. She simply moved on with her life – and encountered an abundance of interested white men (that’s her preference).

Some may wonder: if all of what I said is true, why exactly is it that the black women most white men are dating or marrying are African or Caribbean women?

Black American women are KNOWN for turning on the red light to white men, while African/Caribbean women have it on green. ~ sky

That is obviously not to say that all Caribbean or all African women are open to interracial dating – but simply that, on average, those who are raised in African countries or on Caribbean islands or who were raised primarily amongst people from these groups (i.e. I was born and raised in the U.S. around people from various Caribbean countries) tend to be no more or less open to “interracial” relationships than women from any other group.

On the other hand, there are a number of black women who were born and raised in the U.S. – particularly those who have been here for several generations and/or were raised in all-black areas – who were and are very vocal in various forms of media (i.e. talk shows, the internet) about their unwillingness to consider interracial relationships (I’m putting it mildly). Miss USA 1993 - Kenya MooreThey made, and some continue to make, these public declarations a badge of honor. Since it’s not routine for people to go around making those types of remarks, non-black men take notice and assume that the very vocal ones speak for all. This has made it more difficult for the women who are interested in interracial relationships. Still, if a black woman moves easily among a variety of people, keeps a diverse group of friends and acquaintances, and shows interest in various cultures and a range of events, it’s highly unlikely that most non-black men will view her in that light. Non-black men who are observing will see that she is open-minded, and white men won’t assume she has “He’s My Slavemaster” syndrome. Secondly, black women raised in the U.S., particularly those who reside in predominantly black neighborhoods, have many of the internal inhibitions I debunk on this blog. They absorb ideas from the “black community,” mainstream media, and the black media about their desirability, options, what non-black men think and how they behave, and whether they should even be considering interracial relationships at all. If someone is hesitant or close-minded, it will be evident in their interactions with others (i.e. their body language). Others will view their nonverbal cues as disinterest or dislike and will probably not approach them at all. Third – and I’m being deliberately vague and brief – it’s a poor idea for some to hinge their newfound interest on the availability of certain men or on what certain men have or haven’t done. I’m sure this plays a major role. Most men will skip onto women who don’t have that baggage. Women who have an attraction to other men should just state that without trying to justify it (I’m not too sure what to say for those who don’t have any attraction, except that I don’t know how much interest this blog will hold for them).

To be clear, I don’t write my blog for any particular group of black women. I write from my unique perspective as an American woman of Caribbean heritage, and I write for any individual black woman who is in or has an interest in interracial relationships and can get something out of what I have to share.

About Velour

I am a young woman who's Caribbean by heritage and American by birth. I'm married to a white man, whom I met during my teens. We've been together for nearly a decade. I have some female relatives and friends who are also married interracially. I share my experiences and thoughts in order to encourage and support other black women who are in interracial relationships or considering the possibility, and men who are interested in or in interracial relationships with black women.