Of course this is an insensitive reaction to the dissolution of a marriage – especially one between a seemingly happy, stable black couple. A few hours later though, when the Minka Kelly rumours started, I was no longer laughing. It’s uncomfortable and rarely talked about out loud because it often gets misconstrued as unfounded jealousy or bigotry towards interracial relationships. The issue here is not that Jesse Williams may be dating someone outside of his race; it’s that dating outside of your race, as a black man, has traditionally been viewed as a status booster and this seems to be exactly what Jesse may be perpetuating. It is an unconscious reflex steeped in a complicated history of oppression, white supremacy and the correlation between dating or marrying white women and success. If he had been with a white woman for the past 10 years and the trophy wife trope didn’t exist, I probably wouldn’t be writing this piece.According to Page Six, the “real reason” Williams split from Drake-Lee, his wife of 5 years and partner of 10, is because… In this specific story, however, it’s hard not to connect the dots from success and fame to whiteness.“A little wince.” In a piece for Essence in 2010, that’s how Jill Scott described her reaction when a black male friend told her he had married a white woman. All of my black girlfriends have also admitted to The Wince. And if it’s between a black woman and a black man with a white woman on his arm or vice versa, it’s something else entirely. To avoid repeating Scott’s fate, I should probably skip this admission but I’d be lying if I said I’ve never winced.One of the questions I asked myself when I was approaching this piece was, “Is it hypocritical that I have felt The Wince when I am in an interracial relationship myself?
This mentality that black women are worthless or lesser than our white counterparts has been propagated in our movies, our TV shows and our workplaces throughout history.’ The men I wanted to be with, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, dated predominantly white women. When Harry Belafonte picks me out of his bed in Philadelphia and said: ‘I don’t want you to take me seriously because no Black woman can do anything for me’.I could not help him to progress into where he was going to go.According to Harry Belafonte and so many black actors, athletes and rappers, the boxes to check on the road to success include mansions, nice cars and trading in your black girl for a shiny new white one.