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Why Black Men Love White Women: Going Beyond Sexual Politics to the Heart of the Matter Paperback – March 3, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

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.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One


How come you motherfuckers don't bring no white bitches when you come up here? -- Richard Pryor, to a white man coming to a black whorehouse


Throughout American history, the white male and the black female have had an open sexual relationship. Not consensual, by any means. It was born out of rape, humility, and control. During slavery, whites "introduced the house slaves to white ways, minimal education and non-consensual sexual relations." It has long been held that even the father of the United States, George Washington, had sexual intercourse with his female slaves and it was this behavior that may have resulted in his death. He reportedly caught pneumonia because of his frequent visits to the slave quarters, which were less fit for human habitation.

The most perverse celebration of these associations was Thomas Jefferson's relationship with one of his slaves, Sally Hemings. Many have celebrated it as a romance of the forbidden fruit, but, as Randall Robinson asserts, "Jefferson was a slave holder, a racist, and -- if one accepts that consent cannot be given if it cannot be denied -- a rapist." Black people at this time had no rights and were considered the property of white men to do with as they pleased. Robert Newsome, a sixty-year-old slaver, "needed more than a hostess and a manager of household affairs; he required a sexual partner. Newsome seems to have deliberately chosen to purchase a young slave girl to fulfill this role...." It is certain that "from the moment he purchased Celia, Newsome regarded her as both his property and concubine." And "[o]n his return to Callaway County, Newsome raped Celia, and by that act, once established and defined the nature of the relationship between the master and his newly acquired slave." She was just fourteen years old and that was probably her first sexual experience. During this time, as well as much later on, "[f]ew black women reached the age of sixteen without having been molested by a white male."

Without any rights, legal recourse, or protection from local, state, or federal authorities, a black woman could make no decision concerning anything that affected her life. There were no battered women's shelters, NOW movement, rape crisis center, NAACP, Al Sharpton, or any support sympathetic to her discomforts. She was completely incapable of rejecting her master's wishes. Her choices were to do or die.

This was the beginning of the soiling of the black woman in America. It was especially devastating when seen through the spectacles of black men. The experience painted an unflattering picture of her that has remained in the mental albums of black men. She was reduced to a sexual brood mare to increase the slave population, which helped to create the enormous white wealth that further empowered the colonizers, as well as satisfy the slaver's salacious sickness, degenerating her to an ejaculatory dumping ground for the grotesque pleasures forced on the conquered. There is no denying "that the white man has had the chief hand in undermining the morals of the Negro women. He has been living in concubinage with them for over three hundred years!" In The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. DuBois said, "The red stain of bastardy, which two centuries of systemic legal defilement of Negro women had stamped upon [this] race, meant not only the loss of ancient African chastity, but also the hereditary weight of a mass of corruption from white adulterers, threatening almost the obliteration of the Negro home." One slave recalled:

My marster owned three plantations and three hundred slaves. He started out wid two 'oman slaves and raised three hundred slaves. One wuz called "Short Peggy" and the udder wuz called "Long Peggy." Long Peggy had twenty-five chilluns. Long Peggy, a black 'oman, wuz boss ob de plantation. Marster freed her atter she had twenty-five chilluns. Just think o' dat -- raisin' three hundred slaves wid two 'omans.

Harriet Jacobs in her slave narrative, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, recounted:

For years my master had done his utmost to pollute my mind with foul images and to destroy the pure images inculcated by my grandmother....

He tried his utmost to corrupt the pure principles my grandmother had instilled. He peopled my young mind with unclean images, such as only a vile monster could think of. I turned from him with disgust and hatred. But he was my master. I was compelled to live under the same roof with him -- where I saw a man forty years my senior daily violating the most sacred commandments of nature.

Dirt floors, barns, cotton fields, slave houses, back porches, bathrooms, outhouses, and any place one could imagine served as the theater for the slave master's pornographic exploits. Not only was the black woman brought down, but she was now dirty, used, abused, passed around, and been around.

The Contrived Goddess

On the other side, the white woman was held up as the pure, Christian, ideal example of womanhood and, more important, she was completely off limits to the black man. If the eyes of a black man were to land on a white woman, it could mean death. Black men were dehumanized through whipping, hanging, castration, decapitation, burning, drowning, dismembering, and various other forms of atrocious human behavior, simply to right the wrongs of a casual glance, a practice that is still in vogue in modern American society. In 1989, Yusuf Hawkins was shot to death in Brooklyn because he was mistaken for someone seeing a white girl. And in 2003, an eighteen-year-old Georgia high-school football player was sentenced to ten years in prison for having sex with a white girl who was two months from her seventeenth birthday. It was consensual, but when her father found out, he forced her to say it was rape.

Historically, "[c]hallenging the word of a white woman just wasn't done."

Consequently, the white woman eventually developed a cry of omnipotence. All that was needed was an accusation against a black person to trigger the wrath of her male protectors. Even if she cried wolf, there was guaranteed punishment for the accused. Charles Stuart tried this tactic after murdering his wife in Massachusetts and blaming it on a black man. He wanted insurance money to open a restaurant -- she was eight months pregnant when he shot her in the head. As a result, many black men were harassed and detained, and one was arrested who "confessed" to a crime Mr. Stuart was later found to have committed. Susan Smith used it to try to scatter the scent of suspicion after she drowned her children and blamed a black man for kidnapping them.

In the summer of 2002, Bryant Gumbel's son, Bradley, was arrested and held for twenty-four hours because a white woman said he looked like the man who attacked her. Not long after, the entire state of Florida was on lockdown as the world watched three Muslim men detained for seventeen hours because some white woman said she heard them talking suspiciously.

And the story of fourteen-year-old Emmett Till -- who was snatched from his bed in the middle of the night, tortured for days, and tossed into the Tallahatchie River in Mississippi with a seventy-five-pound cotton gin fan around his neck and a shotgun hole in his head for whistling at a white store clerk in the 1950s -- still remains a shameful part of American history.

"Dare I ask how does it feel to have a horrible crime committed in your name?" wrote Nikki Giovanni.

While the black woman could be violated at will, the white woman's comfort was protected with the ultimate price. In this case, the death penalty was not law but habit as the casual killing of black men became sport. This environment helped to greatly increase any interest the black man may have had in the white woman. If the black man had no innate interest in the white woman, he certainly would have developed some just out of curiosity. Anyone would be intrigued by what was being protected. A Ph.D. in human anatomy and genetics would find interest in a white woman if he was denied access to her. Just being denied the ability to even look at someone would create an interest, and over the years an obsession would develop -- a phenomenon that is still evident in many black men.

Sexual Distance

The more the black woman was soiled, the more the white woman was deified. On many occasions, even looking at a movie poster with a white woman on it was criminal, as was brushing past her, looking her in the eye, or being in the same room alone with her. As the physical and social distance between the white woman and the black man increased, the psychosexual distance between the two decreased, developing a mutual interest. One could view this as a psychological rubber band. Left alone, the opposing sides of the rubber band are not drawn together, but pull them apart and the slightest give sends the two rushing toward each other.

Additionally, the white man's relationship with the black woman and his protection of white women created an appetite of vengeful lust within many black men, as well as a deep interest by the white woman. Interactions between white men and black women were in your face and very difficult to ignore. It was not subtle, or on the down low; it was vile, repugnant, evil, and unforgiving. The experience coined the most used word in America when describing someone or even something that is despised -- motherfucker.

There was absolutely no respect for the emotional existence of the black family. Entering slave quarters, the white man would walk past the black man and his children and defile any black female at will. That female could even be a child and often was. He would also warn the black man that the experience had better be good; and oftentimes the black male would pledge that it would be good, as if to provide the rapist a sexual guarantee. On the way out, the rapist would arrogantly acknowledge that it was good and rub the black man's head. This event would destroy the dignity and self-resp... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books/Karen Hunter Publishing; Why Black Men Love White Women: Going Be edition (March 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416595422
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416595427
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #457,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Persaud is telling the "sistas" not only what they want to hear but using the book's supposed theme of addressing interracial dating between black men and white women a pretense to dispense with his racist, moronically tendentious philosophy.

I can't help but feel he's using this book as a means to gain better access with women himself and I bet he's a "playa."

There are kernels of truth in his writing, but they are far from being unobvious ones. His gross generalizations are so restrictive and proverbially black and white (quite literally) that no real human being can fit to any appreciable degree the characterizations he proffers. He claims he's exposing the white male's insecurity, the dark sexual past history of African-Americans, and the erroneous beliefs that some have in finding love with members of another race. Again, however, his arguments are based on such narrowly defined generalities that there are not just exceptions to the rule, as Persaud defines them; rather the rule itself proves the exception.

As a white male who grew up in a very diverse neighborhood in New York, attended public high school, and went to a diverse university, I have had numerous opportunity to date members of many races. I've dated white and Hispanic women that proved more "ghetto" than a ridiculous female black character on a lame UPN sitcom. And I've dated some young black women whose families was so damn refined I can honestly say I felt eerily out of their class. All the stereotypes were upside down. But walk literally five blocks north to the projects and it's a really sad different story, in which the stereotypes prove more true, replete with the project's Eminem wannabe.
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Format: Hardcover
Before you read this book, know that the author is a stand-up comic. He slyly presents his opinion as researched fact and draws conclusions based on these "facts." Rajen Persaud begins with a supposition--black men "love" white women--that may have been backed by some study that some sociologist has already conducted but is absent from this text; in the end, we just have to believe him. That's page one. Persaud continues the trend of faux-scholarship, trashing Phillis Wheatley's historical worth based on ONE POEM and painting Condoleezza Rice as a traitor to the African American community simply because she studied Russian. He calls Alan Keyes a "self-serving ingrate" for describing slavery (not the American history of slavery, but slavery in general) as "in violation of the fundamental premise of human dignity... not a racial issue." Valuing black lives over those of others is inherently racist, Rajen Persaud--shame on you. The author seems unsure whether this book is supposed to be a scholarly work or a work of humorous observation like that of Chris Rock or Richard Pryor, who are cited frequently. The biggest difference between Rock and Pryor and Persaud is two of them are funny, and the other one wrote this book. Unfortunately, "Why Black Men..." is either a sociological study that doesn't hold up to basic principles of proof and argument or a funny book that, frankly, is too pretentious (and un-funny) to be comedic. Rajen Persaud doesn't know which it is, and neither do I.

The title "Why Do Black Men Love White Women?" is only an attention grabber for a 264-page rant. Understand before going in that the author's opinion was the major source of fodder for this book--don't let the wealth of fancy quotations fool you.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a pile of hot garbage. THE BASIC MESSAGE OF THE BOOK IS: "Black men can't handle STRONG Black women and that's why they flock to WEAK White women; the only reason Black men are attracted to White women is because White women are WEAK; Black men who "love" White women are too WEAK to handle a STRONG Black woman, and dating White women is their easy way out."

Reading this book makes you wonder if the author has any self-hatred issues.
Plain old common sense says, if the author loved himself as a Black Ruler, embraced himself as a Black Builder of Nations and took pride in himself as a Black Warrior King, he would have reversed the title of the book: "Why White Women LOVE BLACK MEN", and then listed all the reasons why White women LOVE US. The fact that he didn't is crystal clear - he wrote this book to stroke the battered and bruised egos of Black women who make poor relationship decisions when it comes to choosing a good man. Reading this book makes you wonder if the author was rejected or dumped or turned down by a White woman or if blue-eyed Sally Sue broke his heart and told him no or chose another Black man instead of him. Maybe that's why he didn't entitle the book, "Why White Women LOVE BLACK MEN", because White women have NEVER LOVED HIM. It makes you wonder if the author is jealous of brothas who have blue-eyed Sally Sue on their arm. If a white woman chose another brother over him it makes perfect sense why he would hate on White women and the brothas who love them and then write a silly book about it... The old "If you can't have it, hate it" mentality. LMAO

That's the whole book in a nutshell. Don't waste your time and certainly not your money. The author is a hater.
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