May 17, 2006

Black & White

I was in a long-term relationship with a smart, beautiful, brown-skinned Indian woman a few years ago when I picked up a then-popular book on the experiences of inter-racial marriages in the US, thinking it might have something interesting to say about our situation (which was entirely unremarkable for the Bay Area, and relatively untroubled in real life, but never mind). If you know me you'll know where this is heading: the book spent well over half of its dozen or so chapters discussing black (i.e. African-American) / white marriages or relationships, and gave scant attention to the sort of diversity you see in everyday life here in urban California.

There was literally nothing on relationships like ours, even though our relationship had its own cultural minefields, and was fairly typical by Bay Area standards: apparently, when mainstream Americans say "race" they so often mean "black" and "white"...

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