Thursday, June 16, 2011

Black & White & Turning Red

Jada Pinkett Smith & Marc Anthony in a scene from "Hawthorne" (Photo Source)

I finished an article on The Root about Jada Pinkett Smith's "Hawthorne" character feeling irritated. The writer questioned when Christina Hawthorne would finally date a Black man:

"Let's retrace the relationship arc of Hawthorne: Her ex-husband and the father of her daughter is white. Cool. Her own on-again, off-again Dr. McDreamy is white. Pattern established -- but what the hell, it's 2011. Then, late last season, a new love interest emerged. His name (in real life) is Marc Anthony. Yep, that one. Granted, he's Puerto Rican, and that does swing the racial pendulum a bit, but we're not quite there yet.

As the show enters its third season, still missing in action is a black man to play Hawthorne's romantic opposite. Where is he? The only black man harder to find, as of late, is LeBron James in the fourth quarter. Then again, if Hawthorne were to fancy a player from the 2011 NBA Finals, she would be more likely to catch German fever and go for Dallas Mavericks' star Dirk Nowitzki than James. As NBA analyst Mark Jackson might say, "Mama, there goes that white man!" So, what gives? Or, in the parlance of Hollywood, what's her motivation?

Allow me to invoke James yet again, at his expense. Maybe she set a personal goal to date "not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven," but as many nonblack men as possible in her quest to become champion of black women disgruntled with black men."

Beep, beep, beep... wait, hold up, back up, reverse. So Hawthorne is on a "quest to become champion of black women disgruntled with black men" because she has a couple of white ex's and is now interested in a Puerto Rican man? Huh?

Although the writer points out that there have been a number of Black male characters who have dated outside their race on the big and small screen- Will Smith, Isaiah Washington and Taye Diggs to name a few- Hawthorne seems to be catching a whole lot of scrutiny for doing the same thing.

In all honesty, I have only seen a few episodes of the show. Personally, I'm all hospital show'ed- out. I once watched "ER", "Grey's Anatomy", "House" and even "Scrubs" for a laugh. What caught my attention about the story was not the show but the subtle distaste for Black women being in relationships with men of other races.

 The Lovings (Photo Source)

Especially since this week is the anniversary of the landmark "Loving" case ruling which broke down ridiculous and discriminatory laws against interracial marriages. And for those of you unfamiliar with their story, Mrs. Loving was Black, while her hubby was White.

While movies like "Something New" proclaim this type of coupling as something, well, new, it obviously isn't. The Lovings married back in the 1950's. My mother, born a few years before their wedding, is the product of a Latin father and a Black/White mother.

And today, a great deal of my friends are either of mixed race ancestry or are themselves in relationships with men of other races. One friend has a Black mother and a Puerto Rican father, while another is Black and married to a Puerto Rican man. My sister's husband is Portuguese.

My sister, her husband and their kids Sophia and Justin on Easter 2010.

Before meeting K, I went out with Black guys... and Latinos and White guys and an Asian guy. Most of the guys who approached me weren't African American (on a side note, while K is Black, he isn't African American, but a native of Trinidad & Tobago). I didn't date those guys because I was disgruntled with Black men. Instead, they happened to be the guys I would meet up with most at work, school, church and cafes and bookstores. They also happened to have many of the things I was looking for- a relationship with God, a great work ethic and a respectful and caring attitude. That's not to say Black guys don't, just that there are plenty of men of other races who do, too.

Maybe that's what the fictional Christina has realized, too- that good (and bad) men come in every shade.

And I'm sure it doesn't hurt if a dude can sing like Marc Anthony, either.


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