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Jill: Jarrett was the first black guy I ever dated. We vibed on the fact that we both have really crazy work ethics. The daily struggle — sometimes when we would walk into the room, I would be the only Latina or I'd comment to Jarrett, "You're the only black guy here."Jarrett: We are definitely both successful in our fields and able to pay our rent on time. Jill: I was a little bit wary of how my family would be toward him.Any guy I'd ever brought home was a Spanish-speaker. It was like, "Oh, my gosh, how is he even going to talk to anybody? I would have been praised for dating a white man because my babies would have come out with green eyes and "good hair." I know my family isn't ignorant, but I didn't want them to think he was a thug." And with Dominicans, there has been so much hatred of ourselves. I wanted them to know that he is college-educated, has ambitions in life, and has his shit together. But this time, I decided to just remove myself from the situation.Dominicans have, almost, a trauma of being identified as black. This guy I'm dating is black, and get used to it."Jarrett: When I first met Jill's family, I made sure I was wearing a blazer and that I was buttoned-up. But the next couple of times, I made sure I was down. Jarrett: Yeah, but at the same time, if you brought home a stereotypical Clark Kent, Superman-type, what you probably would have been getting is, "He's not cool." The urban synergy is innate between African-Americans and Latinos. "He's sticking around and obviously trying to understand what we're saying, so let's give him a shot."Jarrett: Both of us proved to our families and friends that we are nothing like the stereotypes. I've realized how much more of an activist Jill is than I am.My plan is that this country continues to have multicultural babies until they're all a shade of brown. In the beginning his mom asked me, before we went out, "Oh, what about your hair? So I grew up with the mentality that we need more liberties. We're both the type who would leave a fancy, romantic restaurant to go get a slice of pizza.
Meeting people in bars is old school; in this day and age, online dating is the norm.
We all have those old-fashioned relatives who are not able to move past it. That said, one of the major challenges for me in dating a Latina is the language barrier. Jill: I feel like I have to fight twice, for the Latinos who came to this country, and for the black people like him who have been here for generations. It's not to say that I took any of the recent racial tragedies lightly, but she's been to a lot more rallies than I have.
It was a small fear of mine that some ignorant racist would try to pull some stupid shit on us, like insulting us or getting violent. Jill: People say, "If you guys are still together down the road, you need to start thinking about what your kids are going to look like." I just say, "What do you mean?
Are you having trouble finding a single black woman to start your romantic journey with?
Or are you just trying to find a new friend to share a desert with at a local ice cream shop tomorrow?