Though racial microaggressions are felt by every marginalized group within the dating realm, I am building upon my own personal experiences with heterosexual, cisgender white men to offer suggestions on how to ease racial tensions that may arise in a white man/black woman pairing.Once, I was at a bar with friends when two white men approached me.One was a guy who was interested in talking to me, and the other was acting as his wingman.

My friend likes black girls, but he doesn’t like them too dark!

” Against my better judgment, I assumed that the wingman just wasn’t very good at his job and started talking to his friend anyway.

We ended up hitting it off, but it wasn’t until our first date that I realized I had underestimated the wingman’s abilities.

The guy did, in fact, have some kind of black girl fetish.

He kept touching my hair without my consent, was legitimately disappointed that I could not twerk, and called me “sassy” whenever I voiced an opinion that was different from his.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the first or last awkward date I’ve had with a white man.

I wish I could say that I’m surprised and appalled by the ignorance that white men tend to show when they approach me, but I’ve come to expect it.

While white men are not the only group to hold racial biases and stereotypes against black women, they tend to be the least informed on the racialized and gendered issues that black women endure.

White men have the privilege of not having to actively think about their intersections of race and gender, which is starkly different from black women’s realities.