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Williams may be rich, famous, and stratospherically accomplished, but for many black Americans her romantic decisions are not fully her own.
Like Williams, Obama cannot escape the optics of her new boyfriend’s whiteness.
On a community level, explained Stanford law professor Ralph Richard Banks in his book , black women often face a type of pressure to marry within the race that white simply women do not experience.
“There is still enormous social pressure on black women to only marry black men—to ‘sustain’ the race and build strong black families,” Banks told me in an interview in 2011.
“In short, no matter the personal cost,” Banks said, “black women are encouraged to marry ‘down’ before they marry ‘out.'” So far, Obama’s kiss is been met with relatively little backlash.
The guy—identified by enterprising journalists as 19-year-old Rory Farquharson—is a British-born Harvard sophomore.
Minhaj’s Homecoming King special treads similar territory, as he spends a good deal of time relaying how his desire for a white girl in high school didn’t live up to the romantic expectations in his head (alongside the story of his marriage to his wife, who is Indian).
All three comedians are adept at talking about race and their experience of being raised Muslim in this country, and can’t necessarily be expected to represent experiences — or desires — besides their own.
Marriage rates overall are in precipitous decline across America, but this is especially true for black Americans—only 30% of black American adults were married in 2015, Pew researchers found.
Black women—particularly those with the most education like Obama—are faced with a limited pool if they seek to date within their race.