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Don't Bring Home a White Boy: And Other Notions that Keep Black Women From Dating Out Hardcover – February 2, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A black lawyer with a white husband, Folan encourages other African-American women to consider dating or marrying outside their immediate circles with a sincere but matter-of-fact discussion of interracial relationships. Challenging readers to stop letting notions of difference keep them from happiness, the Harvard-educated attorney addresses the conscious, unconscious and often-unstated issues that contribute to the ongoing taboo: is a black woman who dates or marries interracially a traitor? Is a white husband an emblem of self-hatred? What factor does the U.S. history of sexual oppression play? Though she can sound flip ("I figured since I was doing so badly with the chocolate, I'd give the vanilla a try"), Folan addresses her touchy subject matter deliberately and thoroughly, including lengthy interviews with committed interracial couples who discuss how they met, the reactions of friends and family, and how they've managed over the years, letting their success stories illustrate her points. Though Folan's well-meaning text may not eliminate her readers' hesitation regarding this very loaded subject, it makes an excellent starting point. END

About the Author

Karen Hunter is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, a celebrated radio talk-show host, and coauthor of numerous New York Times bestsellers, including Confessions of a Video Vixen, On the Down Low, and Wendy’s Got the Heat. She is also an assistant professor in the Film & Media Department at Hunter College.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books/Karen Hunter Publishing (February 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439154759
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439154755
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #892,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Karyn Langhorne Folan graduated from Harvard Law School and after practicing and teaching law for several years, decided to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. She is the author of twenty-one books and counting, including three young adult titles for the popular Bluford High series, four romance novels, several works of nonfiction. She has also been the ghostwriter for personalities in the entertainment and music industries. She is married and has two daughters.

The idea for The Doomsday Kids was the result of a mash-up of influences and ideas in pop culture: the popularity of the TV show, Doomsday Preppers, the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012 and the fears many people had that the world would end then, and the ongoing "war against terror" were all influences. So were The Hunger Games and Divergent books. But a bigger influence to Ms. Folan were every day teens who enjoyed those books but felt unrepresented in the imagined worlds of the future where everyone was heroic, good-looking and usually, white.

"That's just not the world--or at least not where I live," Mrs. Folan says. "The communities around Washington, DC are very culturally diverse and my kids go to school with kids from every religion, every race and every nation in the world. Our own family is the United Nations: my husband is Irish American, I'm African American. My elder daughter's father is black and Pacific Islander, so she's part Asian! All of those influences make us who we are."
"I wanted to write a science fiction book series that featured stories that featured real diversity. I wanted to tell those stories from the points of view of all different kinds of kids," she continued. "I wanted black kids and white kids, Asian kids and Latino kids, fat kids and athletes, kids with physical limitations and kids with emotional ones. In short, I really wanted to take some of the real kids I know--my daughters' multicultural cast of friends-- and drop them into a survival situation. They don't have super powers. They're just kids, separated from their families by the ultimate tragedy, finding hope and family in each other."

The result was The Doomsday Kids book series.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

91 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Prosechild on March 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There is a moment in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye where I fell in love with the book. Not for its eloquence, its poetic prose or for any empathy toward the characters. The moment is one in which Pauline, Pecola's mother, is watching a movie starring Clark Gable and Jean Harlow. She is so absorbed in her movie fantasy that she styled her hair like Jean. As she watches and snacks on candy, her front tooth comes out. In that moment, she snaps back to reality - a reality where black women are not regarded as beauties, where the vulgarity of her life makes her mean and hateful, where she "settles down to just being ugly". That moment was profound for me because, at that time in my life, I felt that Morrison could see inside my soul and explain exactly what I felt like as a young black woman [please understand that I am not calling myself or any other black woman ugly]. That she understood me clearer in that exact moment, more than any other person could.

That is exactly what I felt from the very first chapter of reading "Don't Bring Home A White Boy" - that same moment where the author has the power to reach across the pages, grasp my hand, and understand exactly how I feel as a black woman.

Let me say that this book was not what I expected from its title. Whenever I sit down to digest a "let's explore this problem" type of book, I have to be in a scholarly, analytical frame of mind. Folan's voice is not that of a scholar, but of an acquaintance or friend who understands our frustrations, desires and experiences as educated black women and decides to dismantle 10 notions that mentally hold black women back from interracial dating. So I found this book to be an engaging, entertaining and thought-provoking read.
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Much has been written about African-American women being one of the demographic groups in the US who are least likely to be married. However, little of it has explored why so many African-American women are hesitant to increase their odds of finding a suitable husband by dating and marrying interracially. In her book, "Don't Bring Home A White Boy: And Other Notions That Keep Black Women From Dating Out," writer Karyn Langhorne Folan offers a penetrating look at the various misguided "notions" that prevent African-American women from expanding their dating and marriage pool to include quality White men as potential husbands.

In a book that is beautifully written and meticulously researched, Karyn Folan refutes each self-defeating taboo about interracial dating and marriage that serves to keep many African-American women unhappily single. Along the way, Ms. Folan paints unforgettable portraits of little-known persons and incidents from African-American history, including:

(1) The dark-skinned, 15-year old Black girl who refused to give up her seat to a White passenger on a Montgomery, Alabama city bus nine months before Rosa Parks did the same thing. This brave teenager was deemed "too dark," "too feisty," and too poor to be the representative plaintiff for the civil rights movement.

(2) The 1959 Tallahassee, Florida case where an all-White jury convicted four White men of gang-raping a young Black woman named Betty Jean Owens. This is especially significant when viewed in comparison to the current "stop snitching" culture among many African-Americans that allows sexual violence against Black women and girls to go unpunished.

(3) The esteemed 19th century White geologist who pretended to be a light-skinned Black man in order to marry a Black woman.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By D. Howard on March 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was yet another quick and interesting read by Karyn Folan. This book was written to get Black women to get over their issues of dating interracially (specifically, dating White guys) and to just open up their options.

Folan starts out well with using statistics and debunking myths about Black men who allegedly had Black women's interests in mind (for instance, she mentions how some Black male activists were raping Black women as "practice" for raping White women), but I think the book loses some of its steam from the middle to the end when she relies too heavily on excerpts from bloggers' blogs (such as Evia who runs "Black Female Interracial Marriage," a blog I've read in the past and think tends to border on the extremist side, for lack of a better term) and anecdotes from the same interracial couples (the issue of Greg's Cypriot parents disowning him for marrying Jacquetta, a Black woman, was repeated quite a few times) which started to come off as filler more than substance. Folan did interview experts for this book and in the Notes section at the end legitimate sources were cited, but I was disappointed to see that some of the sources were Wikipedia pages.

I did like reading the anecdotes of the couples used, though I think more people should've been interviewed to avoid the repetition noted above. Singles interested in dating interracially should've been interviewed to add to the diversity of the stories.

The reason why this book focused on the coupling of Black women and White men, as opposed to Black women and men of other races, is because there seems to be an animosity from Black women towards White men when asked to consider dating interracially.
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