oh… but… jill…

I was pained by this headline, but upon reading the article wasn’t as offended as I’d prepared myself to be.  There’s a lot of history behind this pain, and I won’t ask anyone not to feel it or to ignore it.  That would be detrimental to our progress.  I’m glad Jill Scott has put this out there in this way.  I wonder, though, if her soul burns when she sees a not-so-successful black man with a white woman.  The history is the same and the choice sends the same message wealthy man or not, right?  Anyhow, I think we need to dialogue about this so that we’re clear on where these pains and hurts originate, so that eventually the love a person lives will speak to his soul’s credibility.  Not the color of the love a person lives.

Jill Scott ‘pained by mixed-race couples’

By Marcell Minaya

Jill Scott has reportedly said that her “soul burns” every time she see a “successful black man with a white woman”.

In an interview with Essence magazine, the R&B-soul singer-songwriter said that she wished that a male, African-American friend was married to a black, rather than a Caucasian, woman.

Scott wrote: “My new friend is handsome, African-American, intelligent and seemingly wealthy. He is an athlete, loves his momma, and is happily married to a white woman. I admit when I saw his wedding ring, I privately hoped. But something in me just knew he didn’t marry a sister. Although my guess hit the mark, when my friend told me his wife was indeed Caucasian, I felt my spirit wince. I didn’t immediately understand it. My face read happy for you. My body showed no reaction to my inner pinch, but the sting was there, quiet like a mosquito under a summer dress.”

She continued: “Was I jealous? Did the reality of his relationship somehow diminish his soul’s credibility? The answer is not simple. One could easily dispel the wince as racist or separatist, but that’s not how I was brought up. I was reared in a Jehovah’s Witness household. I was taught that every man should be judged by his deeds and not his colour and I firmly stand where my grandmother left me. African people worldwide are known to be welcoming and open-minded. We share our culture sometimes to our own peril and most of us love the very notion of love. My position is that for women of colour, this very common “wince” has solely to do with the African story in America.”

Scott added: “Our minds do understand that people of all races find genuine love in many places. We dig that the world is full of amazing options. But underneath, there is a bite, no matter the ointment, that has yet to stop burning. Some may find these thoughts to be hurtful. That is not my intent. I’m just sayin’.”


15 thoughts on “oh… but… jill…

  1. I am a product of one of those “unions.” My dad was an executive for Pillsbury where he married my mom, a beautiful German-American woman (she doesn’t look like Heidi Klum).

    My entire life people have stared, and some black women have glared.

    I think black masculinity is a great mystery, and something I probably will never understand even as a mixed woman with a black father.

    It’s no wonder black men often choose white women. Why? Our society tells us that white women are beautiful, classy, and good mothers. What does society tell us about black women? Well look at “Precious,” it’s not too good. Or even “Monster’s Ball,” again not good. I’m not saying this is okay, but what I would rather combat instead of marriages, is the media. I refuse to patronize shows/movies/magazines that defile the black woman. It’s my choice to do so.

    Also, while many black women are choosing black women, many black woman are looking for love, and finding it elsewhere, too. I have dated white men, and it’s just fine.

    Live and let live!

  2. “I wonder, though, if her soul burns when she sees a not-so-successful black man with a white woman.”

    When I read this I thought the same thing…wonderful blog by the way very glad I happened upon it! Thanks!

  3. I was really disappointed by that same article. I’ve always adored Jill Scott and felt she had a great earth-mother kind of presence. But I was so hurt by her take on mixed couples that I was compelled to write a letter to the editor. I feel that one’s going to incite a lot of opinions from both sides.

  4. I had to go and read the entire article…
    It’s not clear to me if she’s against mixed race couples or if she is just “offended” by the idea of a black man and a white woman together as a couple. Seems a little contradictive, but for someone such as Jill, who is apparently up on her Af/ Af. Am. history, it is a reminder of the stories that she has heard about–You know–the ones about white women being superior to black women. Not to say that I agree, but I understand her position and respect her honest opinion. Most black women feel as if it’s a slap in the face. The entire time they are overtly criticizing, they are covertly
    saying, “what’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with us?” This is pure slavery mentality at it’s finest, by the way. I do agree, however, with Creole Wisdom because while slavery is the blame for the origin of this mentality, the media should be blamed for perpetuating it. I would not miss out on the chance to be happy for the rest of my life due to what others may say/think/feel about me. When it comes to something like this, I could care less as long as they are happy. I really can just go on & on….there is so much to say. I can’t believe that we are discussing this. Still! It’s so old…date/marry who ever you feel is your soulmate. Or best friend. Or both. I mean…wth?! Excuse me. So much emotions..

  5. This isn’t the first time Scott has publicly commented on this topic. From a Boston Globe story 9 years ago: “When Scott launched into ‘Do You Remember’ she squeezed every ounce of emotion out of the words. But she had some clarifications to make about this song, too. No, it’s not about seeing some old flame and reminiscing about love lost. Scott called it a pointed condemnation of ‘brothers who have women and wives who look nothing like their mama.'” Similar to Tiffany’s “I wonder, though, if her soul burns when she sees a not-so-successful black man with a white woman,” I wonder if Scott would have applied this same logic to President Obama, had he married a woman who looked like his mother.

  6. I had no idea that was what that song was about! It is loud and clear now. So that’s what all of the “building sandcastles in Serengeti” and mentionings of the Nile River and “speaking K Swahili” was all about. I heard a live version of that song and she had the men singing the words back to the women, “do you remember me?” So she’s against black and white couples all together. Wow!

  7. I’m so sad every time I read or hear opinions like Jill’s ones. Every time MY soul burns. Mankind is still so far from wisdom. And United States are still so far from inner peace.

    I’m a white man. My beloved wife is black. And you know what? If one day I must describe her physically, I think I’ll forget to speak about the color of her skin. Because I don’t see her color, as I’ve never perceived mine. How is it possible? We live in Europe. In a country which has no colonization nor slavery history.

    I don’t say they aren’t racism problems in Europe (so many countries, so many political parties), but here you can find cities where NOBODY cares. Around us, we have black men married to white women, black women married to white men and, naturally, all the beautiful spectrum of mixed-race colors.

    Our daughter is mulatto. She’s “caramel”, as she herself says. One day girls and boys will say to her that she’s different. I’ve already prepared her for that. My daughter knows she’s different, but not because of her skin: because we are all physically and mentally different. I’m different from her. Her mother is different. Her mulatto cousins are also totally different. We are all different because Nature loves that.

    Poor Jill Scott. She should travel a little bit more. Learn new languages, new customs, new poetry, new music, and fall in love with a Swedish blond man, an Italian dark-haired man, or a French red-haired… woman. Jill Scott should simply grow mentally.

  8. Colorblind! This is an amazing quote with so much truth in it!
    “We are all different because Nature loves that.”
    If you don’t mind, I would like to steal it now. Thanks in advance 🙂

  9. James: thank you for your nice comment!

    Tami: Don’t hesitate to appropriate this sentence. Sharing is one of my fundamental principles 🙂 I’m happy enough to see that my poor English has been understood (as you can guess, it isn’t my mother tongue).

  10. You know, I am an African American woman married to a white man and raised by multiracial parents, but I can totaly understand where Jill is coming from. I too get a burning in my belly when I see a successful black man with a white woman. It really isn’t about me, it’s for my many single African American sisters struggling alone with their children that they were good enough to make with a brother, but not good enough to wed. Wake up brothers and love your beautiful black women!

  11. Not to be rude, Micki, but you contradicted yourself…isn’t your husband white?

    I agree with your sentiments, but it does sound a bit hypocritical to have that reaction to Black men with White women, since you are also in an interracial marriage. I’m sure he loves you and finds you beautiful, so why do you care about what other people do? We all deserve to be happy.

    I’m biracial. My husband is white. I don’t have a problem with ANYONE being in an interracial relationship as long as they are both in love and it is a healthy, happy situation. The only time I would object is if I could see that there is some kind of underlying issue.

    As a very fair-skinned biracial woman who has dated Black men in the past, I will say this…most of the people who had a problem with it were Black women. Sometimes non-blacks were racist, but most of the animosity came from Black women.

    I believe that some of them thought I was either white or Latina, so this explains the hostility.

    One ex-boyfriend, in particular, came from an African-American family where skin color and hair texture was a VERY big deal.

    His mother was openly nasty and downright evil to me because I had the nerve to be biracial with fair skin. She didn’t dislike me for any other reason. My only crime was being myself. She ALWAYS had something bitchy to say about my skin color. She would insinuate that I wasn’t pretty enough to be with her son. Why did she feel the need to put me down? Simply because I wasn’t dark-skinned or “full” Black?

    We would be out on dates or simply walking in public, and there would always be a bunch of Black women who went out of their way to make us feel uncomfortable. Sometimes it would be a bunch of young girls, sometimes it would be older women.

    I didn’t want to deal with that anymore. Besides, the tension with his family and friends was insane. I wanted to be in a healthy relationship free of drama.

    Funny…my White in-laws seem to accept me. They have never made me feel unwelcome or treated me with anything but kindness.

    My point is that interracial relationships can be difficult as it is. If you don’t know the couple personally, why be offended by it? It has nothing to do with you. MYOB…mind your own business!

    Jill Scott makes some valid points, but it also comes down to self-esteem. Black women are often overlooked when it comes to being recognized for their unique beauty. This is a shame, but at the same time, some Black women need to learn to love themselves. Black women are beautiful. They are not inferior to white women or any other woman, no matter what anyone says. You don’t have to be with a Black man….there are other types of men in the world who will love, respect, and adore you.

    *I’m using “you” in the general sense

  12. When I see a Black man with a White woman or whatever other combination mixed couples, it always makes me want to smile for some reason…
    I think its a beautiful thing! 🙂

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