CityBeat’s Living Out Loud – Cincinnati Blog

{January 31, 2007}   Is Love Black or White?


I don’t know much about love. I don’t know much about it at all. I was raped a few years ago in The Hood and that’s the only reason why I’m not a virgin.

There’s a man who comes into the diner where I work and I like him. I may love him but I don’t know. We have gone out a few times. Once, he took me uptown and we ate at a fancy restaurant and afterwards we walked around a little bit downtown and he held my hand and I liked it. He is always nice to me, always gentle and kind.

Most of the time, we don’t have enough money to do anything, so we mostly just talk about stuff going on in The Hood and our desire to get out of it. We listen to music. We talk about books we like. We do this at my apartment or his.

He says he wants to make love to me. I can’t. The man I like is white and I’m black. Yes, white men do live in Over-the-Rhine.

My aunts and my sister don’t approve of him. They say there is no future with a white man. They say sooner or later he’ll wake up and see that he’s going out with a nigger. I don’t want to believe them.

Maybe love has to be black or white, but I don’t want to see the colors.

Karen @ The Hood

(Photo by tyleroot)


Tammy says:

The color of one’s skin has nothing to do with love. If you keep that in mind, you’re make the right choice.

Jim Stanton says:

Loving somebody takes time, Karen, but the color of skin has nothing to do with it.

Teri says:

The easy thing to say is that love knows no colors when it comes to skin. But you live in Over-the-Rhine where there is racial tension. You can’t pretend it’s not there. Thinking how your neighbors are going to look at this is a very real problem.

KRISTY says:

When it comes to feelings, you think with your heart. That’s all you need to know.

Nancy says:

If you don’t want to see the colors, then don’t see the colors. You have to make your own life and develope your own relationships. Tell your aunts and sister you’re own enough to make your own decisions.

Matt says:

What difference does it make? If you like this guy, let him know it!

hard as nails says:

i’m a little hurt you don’t dig me, but go for your man.

Theresa says:

I like to think that the races have come a long ways and that white vs. black or whatever is a thing of the past. I would say go for it, but I don’t really know how OTR is.

Heather says:

Your family loves you, and they’re trying to keep you from getting hurt.

But they’re basing their advice on racism.

I know we can’t pretend racism isn’t there, because it is, but that doesn’t mean it’s right. (Most of the interracial couple I know admit to throwing racial slurs at each other when they get angry.)

Look, if you two stay together for the long haul, you will reach a point where the initial romance fades and it takes work to live together, but he will never wake up one day and suddenly realize that you’re black (let alone the ugly word your family used.

Your family will eventually accept him if you stay together long enough. Hell, my hillbilly family accepted my aunt marrying a black man, and that was in the early 70’s.

Chuck says:

Heather is right. Make a strong commitment to each other. Know what you’re getting into.

Jacob says:

This is a liberal blog. I respect that, but this couple needs to know that a lot of this world is still ractist. It’s all right to follow your heart but don’t forget reality. Some people are going to look at the two of you together and not like it.

Heather says:

Like I said, just because there IS racism doesn’t make it right, and we’re never going to end the mean-hearted ignorance if we keep caring what the mean-hearted ignorant people think!

Karen, when your old how do want to look back on your life? Do you want to count all the times you missed out on being happy because you were too afraid to follow your heart?

People can give you dirty looks and think whatever they want about you, but you are the one incharge of living your life, and you are the one who will have to live with the choices you make. Do what is right for YOU.

Marilyn says:

Karen, I hate it that life is what it is… Sometimes, absolutely nothing makes sense.

However, ‘love’ is highly overrated. Just spend time with people that you enjoy being around. Let feelings evolve and if it is supposed to be, then it will happen. Nothing ‘real’ can be forced.

Heather, I’m really dissapointed to hear that you know of interracial couples who “admit to throwing racial slurs at each other when they get angry”. Wow, this really hits me in the gut, ya know? I’d like to think this wouldn’t happen.

I’m rambling this morning. How I’m writing is how I feel — very disjointed.

Babble On says:

Love conquers all. Jump his bones if you want to.

Brian the 1st says:

Like alot of others here, I say just listen to the little voice inside. Love really is blind and finds its own way through a person’s emotions.

Sometimes its deaf and dumb too. Just enjoy the ride while it lasts, and to hell with what other people think.

Biscuit says:

This is such a great opportunity for everyone to quote popular love songs.

Marilyn says:

I wonder if, as people age, some folks become less racist?

I worked in OTR for two years. I’d smoke outside (back then we could at least do that).

It seemed to me that the young people of a race different from my own did not want to speak, whereas people of my own age of a different race were eager to exchange pleasantries. Just my own observation. Hope this does not step on any toes…

Jim says:

Throw caution to the wind.

Kelly says:

There are a lot of regrets in life, Karen. Don’t make this one of them. Listen to your heart.

hard as nails says:

what would lol girl do? oh, we know the answer to that one.

Deana says:

I think you need to be AWARE of the colors and the difference between you and your boyfriend. Others here are right, and this is a very racist town. If you start this relationship, go into with your eyes wide open.

jackula says:

show your family and yourself that the color of skin doesn’t matter. if you like the young man, take it from there.

Darlene says:

I just think you should take things slow and get to know one another really well, you know? This is Cincinnati, It ain’t California and we’re conservative here. People are going to look at the two of you when you walk down the sidewalk holding hands. I’m not saying its right, but know that.

Jim Stanton says:

Just wanted you to know you are my favorite writer here. I hope to meet you someday.

Karen @ the hood says:

Thanks to all for the comments, especially to you Marilyn. You make me stronger and braver in a way. I do want to meet you sometime when I’m more of the person I want to me and I think I’m getting there. This blog site helps me figure things out despite all the silly stuff here!

Marilyn says:

Karen @ the hood, I can think of no bigger compliment than you saying I give you a measure of strength and bravery. I’m humbled.

I also have had a couple of people in my life who have given me the same things.

The main thing to remember is that we are all muddling through with much the same feelings. I’m learning from YOU everytime you post.

{{{Big hugs}}}

David Gallaher says:

Life is not black and white. It is complex. Pat yourself on the back for putting out one of the most thought-provoking articles of late–because of its complexities.

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