First I want to say, I was rather lucky finding a German man that was not so ignorant about Black women. These questions are from the other men I have met, not only in Germany, but also in my travels in Europe. Let’s face it, there are not so many Black women in Europe. Here is Germany, Black people are about 0.05% of the population. This means much of the information German men get about Black women comes from television, or the rare occurrence that they may have interacted with a Black person. Depending on where they grown up, and lived of course.
I realize that a blog post in English directed at German men probably will not be read, but I figured I would give it a try anyways to perhaps help the German men who may be interested in a woman who happens to be Black. I say it like this, because so many German and European men tend to focus on the Black part first, and the woman part second. Hopefully, with these tips, you can make less of an ass of yourself when you decide to you want to flirt/date a Black woman living in Europe.
1. Can I touch your hair?
Most times when I have been asked this question, the person is already reaching out to touch my hair, and I have to flinch to avoid someone’s dirty hands coming in contact with my gorgeous locs. This is very annoying to Black women. We understand that our hair texture may be something you do not see every day, but just do not ask. In time, if you really date us, believe me, you will learn all you need to know about our hair.
2. Is your hair real?
I wear my hair natural, 90% of the time. On those truly bad hair days, I might pop on a wig. This is not the case for many other women. However, even if it looks like a hair hat, do not ask. Most women really think they are pulling it off, and your comment might come off as insulting. I am often asked this even when I am not wearing a wig. While, I would love for all of us ladies to embrace and enjoy our natural hair, many of us still indulge in wearing fake hair. However, there are many other non-black women who wear weaves as well. I went to beauty school. I had to learn about weaving. I never did a weave on a black girl. All my clients where european-americans. Please do not assume we are the only ones wearing extensions, or weaves.
3. Where in Africa are you from?/ Where are you from?
Again, there are not many Black women here in Germany. I am asked this question by every ‘race’ here. Even when they hear my terrible Californian valley girl accent, I am still asked. Just on the off chance I might be German, or the lady might be German, just assume first that she is German. For example, when I meet ANYBODY here in Berlin, I just say: ‘Are you from Berlin?’ or ‘Are you from Germany.’ Unless it is super clear where they might be from, just be on the safe side. It reinforces to some people that Germans look a certain way, and since I am brown, I could not be from Germany.
The other part of this is not every Black woman knows where in Africa they might be from. There is this term called the diaspora. These are Black people being born and living in other countries outside of Africa. They could be from Brazil, USA, UK, Canada and so on. Not all of these people can name where there families in Africa could be from. My family has been in America for 500 years. If you can tell me where your family was 500 years ago, after there was a whole system in place to make sure you NEVER found this information, I would be surprised.
4. “I’m not usually attracted to black women but you’re different.”
What in the hell is that? If this was said to you.. how would you feel? ‘I am not normally attracted to white European men, but you are different.’ If you like the woman, you like her.
5. I only date Black women
Black women are not a type. This really is starting to piss me off when I hear this. I feel like I am some sort of fetish, as if I am not seen as a woman first. It does not make you cool for that fact either. Am I supposed to feel happy about this?
6. Black women are so much easier to get along with (sexually)
I really think this is projection here. I have to say my Black girlfriends are on average EXTREMELY conservative sexually. We rarely talk about sex, and some do not even use graphic terms when we have girl talk. I recently heard: ‘I s’d his d’ meaning she sucked his dick. I know my background, so I am rather out there, but most of my Black girlfriends are really not as wild and sexual as some may think. This is not a compliment.
7. Black women are so sexy
I know, this really sounds like a compliment, but again, it is not. We are not all one block of people. We are individuals. Do you really mean to say that every Black woman on this planet is sexy? I personally do not find Oprah to be sexy, do you? This goes back to generalizations. Even it is a nice one, I do not want to be lumped into one group.
8. Referring to her as chocolate
Again, I am a human, not a snack or dessert. This may be the color of my skin, but it is not a compliment. I usually retort, vanilla back to them until I learned vanilla is actually brown before they process it into ice cream. I have to come up with a new line for this one.
9. I consider myself colorblind
This may sound like a contradiction to what I am saying above, but what I am trying to say here is that unfortunately, the color of ones skin still carries issues with it. I am other, different, ‘exotic’, thought of something else. So, you saying that you ignore it, to me, that is just naive. Let us not ignore these issues of racism, or they will never go away.
10. Can you tan?
Yes, some dumbass asked me this question. It was a caramel colored TURKISH- German male. I just had to walk away with that question. I wondered, can you tan? What is that? I swear, some people.
11. The German said I should mention the question about smell. He says his friends ask him if Black girls smell differently. DO NOT ask a Black girl this. I think the Germans smell like pork personally, this is not a slight, I think it is just a diet thing. They eat soooo much pork products, I just started to notice it a bit. I think this different types of smells come from what people are eating. This was a weird one, but he insisted I mention this.
12. You are pretty, for a black girl/dark skinned girl
I mean really. Just think before you say something.. would I like it if someone said this to me?
Can anyone add more to this? Please let me know your thoughts