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Our family is a classic case of women and the black men who left them versus the white men who stayed.I remember being 6 and slapping my white uncle in the face to figure out why his face turned bloodred.Half of my mother’s four sisters are married to white men.

We were open with each other; he had been warned to stay away from black girls, and I was advised to not date men of color.The only girl in my group of black girlfriends who had a boyfriend was dating a white boy who was white enough to have a family that hated black people. We would sit squished in a row behind them with all of our smirks perfectly even as they drove us home.The year before I graduated college, black boys started dying on TV: Trayvon Martin, then Eric Garner, then Michael Brown, then Tamir Rice.There was something about watching a black boy murdered from the comfort of my home that made me want to go out and love a black man as hard as I could, as though somehow it could resurrect the child in him.I started dating my first official black boyfriend, a neuroscientist, shortly after.

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