But the real reason I think I can no longer date white women isn’t any of that. It’s because in today’s hashtag-woke society, there is mad pressure to be hashtag-woke. To be aware of the implications of whom you’re attracted to and why. Which means that in the eyes of others, the color of the women I date is a big deal. Like I’m the problem. Like I’m betraying my people if I date white women.

But I was taught that we were all one people!

I see people watching me with a stink eye, noses turned up, as if they think black and brown people would somehow be better off if I dumped my white girlfriend. It’s a lot of pressure. Along with each watchful eye, the whispers of, “Pick a side, Chris, pick a side,” fill my already noisy mind.

I started reading James Baldwin, Ta-Nehisi Coates and other black and brown authors looking for guidance, a road map, help on what it means to be a brown man in the world. Like: Yes, our bodies have been colonized. Yes, I am a child of blackness. Yes, the black body has done more for society than it has gotten in return. Yes, society seems to want to embrace a lot of things associated with blackness without actually being black.