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Try as I might to suppress the reaction, I experience black men's choice of white women as a personal rejection of the group in which I am a part, of African American women as a whole, who have always been devalued in this society.

Certainly my reaction links back to a few bad apples in my own young dating years.

One of my male relatives brought home a date for Thanksgiving who could have been Barbie's twin sister.

She was blonde, thin, big-bosomed, and even had a Germanic name.

Race and the characteristics that have come to represent it -- like skin color, eye color, and hair texture -- would not be factors in matters of the heart.

The driving force is, instead, my awareness of all of the (straight) African American women -- beautiful, smart, good women, some of them my own family and friends -- who might not have a honey to bring home this Thanksgiving holiday because they cannot find a date, even as rising numbers of eligible African American men will be wooing white women. Individuals would choose each other for kindness, intelligence, perseverance, courage, and a host of other mysterious reasons that make attraction so magical.

I wish my male relatives luck and joy in their relationships, but I also feel a pinch when I watch them with their girlfriends.

It is the same sharp tug of disappointment that gets me every time I see a black man with a white woman on his arm.

While interracial marriage rates in this country have grown remarkably to 8.4 percent in 2010, Americans still marry within their own racial group the majority of the time.

And when people do venture across the color line to date, they do so in ways that continue to affirm a social hierarchy based on race in which whiteness is prized.

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