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While "in a perfect world love would be blind," she wrote, in the United States — and its polarized racial landscape in which black is essentially bad and white is essentially good — our romantic decisions are also political ones, whether we'd like them to be or not.

The practical, not the political, was certainly the driving force for Weaver when she founded Black Girl Travel.

"Once those images are posted and once they're permeating society, then a certain kind of picture is presented and reinforced about who black women should be with," Tiya Miles told me over the phone.

Last year Miles, the chair of African-American studies at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor and a former Mac Arthur fellow, wrote about the issues facing black women and interracial dating for the Huffington Post.

But black men are more than twice as likely than black women to marry outside their race, perhaps because stereotypes about black men and sexuality increase their desirability — while comparable parallels aren't often available to black women. ' I love my black kings, I'm holding it down!

According to some advocates of interracial dating, unlike black men, black women face a unique pressure to date within their race."Black women are the community," said Christelyn Karazin, founder of Beyond Black White.com, author of Swirling, and creator of a new interracial dating show Swirlr, told me via Skype. ' Meanwhile, so many of us are so miserable and unhappy and think that we don't even deserve to be happy — that it's about being black first and a woman never." Karazin, who also spearheaded a controversial movement advocating against single motherhood in the black communtiy, describes tangled and knotted long-standing ideas about black desirability and femininity — or, the supposed lack thereof.

Her presence, despite the poor video quality, commands the screen."And I kind of thought about, like, well why is that? The idea that we should travel abroad — particularly to Europe — to find love has a home in online discussion groups, travel websites, blogs, and Facebook pages, all of which earnestly and enthusiastically encourage us to "swirl," i.e., date non-black men (the term is designed to evoke a half-chocolate, half-vanilla soft-serve).

She could readily name all the women she's taken to Italy who are currently in relationships with, or married to, Italian men.

As recently as 2011, science (or, "science") has been used to claim that black women are decidedly unattractive.

As black women in the United States, we're told not only that we likely won't get married, (based on oft-misconstrued statistics that apply only to women aged 25–29), but that trying via modern conventions like online dating are probably futile — after all, we're also the least likely to get messaged in online dating.

"We say, ' Date all men.'" And her statement was more or less repeated by nearly every one of the women I interviewed who advocate that black women date interracially and internationally.

Several added that they tell women to "choose character over color." But it's difficult to scroll through picture after picture of beaming-black-woman-with-smiling-white-man and not feel that interracial relationships are being idealized, rather than simply celebrated, an experience discomfiting enough that it has at times made me question my own relationship with a white man.

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