Black Athletes, White Lovers… Do You Care?
Venus Williams & Hank Kuehne… raised in Compton, CA she is now one of the most famous athletes in the world… where is her King?
Update 5.19.09 – I must say that the responses to this post have been powerful… thank you all for your opinion and your passion. I came across a couple interesting posts regarding Russell Simmons (Hip Hop Mogul) and his friend Julie Henderson (Model). Give it a read and share you thoughts… here is the post about Uncle Russ & Julie. Then there is something written by Uncle Russ’ ex-Katie Ross.
On November 4, 2008, America elected a Black Man as the President-Elect of the United States of America. This historic event has caused many Americans (especially w/in the Black Community) to examine many issues surrounding “race” that have been either taboo or only talked about honestly when one is in the midst of their own ethnic group. We felt that we should be no different at Urban Sports Talk & Entertainment… so we are asking you to give your thoughts about “race” as it relates to Black Athletes involved in interracial relationships.
I decided to pen this post mainly because of a conversation I had with my cousin recently. Given my background as a former football player, he wanted my perspective on Black (Male) Athletes dating White Women. He just cannot understand how these athletes are raised in Black neighborhoods, attend Black (k – 12) Schools, worship in Black Churches then go off and leave Black Women behind. His challenge to me was to defend that reality for those athletes.
I didn’t care to provide an excuse because I don’t believe a person’s decision to date someone of another ethnicity is shameful. What I did talk about is how a Black Athlete’s circumstances can lead him (them) to make certain choices. Many of which were never available prior to him/her being highlighted for athletic prowess.
For instance, the vast majority of Black Athletes are removed from Black areas when they are given scholarships to attend White Colleges. This is the initial step towards assimilating into the Majority Society. For many Black Athletes, this will be their first time attending a class as the minority student. He/she will be living around tens of thousands of non-Blacks for the coming years as they are being trained to play sports at a high level. His/her world view is being shaped during this time as he/she is experiencing independence from parents, family and their community. It is during this time when they are frequently socializing with many diverse groups of people which they will ultimately be influenced by for the years to come.
My cousin wasn’t impressed and didn’t want to hear that lame excuse as he called it. What are your thoughts? Are we passed this issue or should Black Athletes be challenged for their decisions to date outside of their race?