I often forget that for many Black women dating and loving across racial lines does not come easy, then again for the last 21 years I have been involved with white men. Husband number one, while the marriage was short lived, did create a child who is now a 20 year old man and husband number 2 who I’ve spent 17 years with. So getting that out the way, one might think I was a perfect fit to review Swirling: How to Date, Mate, and Relate Mixing Race, Culture and Creed a new release by blogger and writer Christelyn D. Karazin and co-author Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn.
I admit I had been curious about what this book would be and when I received an offer for a review copy, I jumped at it. After all there are few books that really talk openly about dating across racial and cultural lines written from the perspective of a Black woman.
For starters, Christelyn and Janice have a way with words, reading this book at times reminded me of a talk with girlfriends on a Friday night. In the early chapters, they give some good advice, that to enter cross racial and cultural dating world; you will need to clean your slate about some assumptions you may hold against men of different backgrounds.
Swirling is funny and provides some good food for thought if one is just starting to consider dating across color lines, though I am not sure referring to men as rainbeaus is a great idea. I say that because in reading this book, I read parts out loud to my own partner (a white guy) who thought rainbeaus while meant to sound cutesy actually seemed like it was fetishizing non-Black men. The personal vignettes were a great touch especially Christelyn’s own meeting with her future in-laws, she’s a champ!
This book is heavy on providing great tidbits and laughs for how to swirl; this book is light on reality and data. Divorce rates are actually higher for mixed race couples especially Black-White pairings and the author’s suggestions about getting around the real issues that any mixed race couple in America faces especially Black-White pairings don’t seem rooted at times in reality. To be frank I would have liked to have seen more research and not just tidbits collected from Christelyn’s blog Beyond Black & White as evidenced by the fact that I am quoted on page 191 of this book and other blogs judging from the resource list at the back of the book.
All in all, it’s not a bad read and again for a Black woman seriously thinking of crossing racial/ethnic lines when it comes to dating, there is useful information to be gleaned. I think though that it falls short in the mating and relating long term section, then again it may be a chance for the authors to write a sequel.
Disclosure: In keeping with FTC rules, while I was not paid for this post, I did receive a review copy of Swirling.