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To make matters worse, while I was struggling to find my place as a black woman in a pseudo-liberal city, Xavier was thriving in this "A White Man’s Paradise." My resentment manifested itself in various ways.
It ebbed and flowed, changing between tears and anger, and became a very rude awakening for the both of us.
Prior to moving, I thought I had mastered the art of navigating white spaces—being surrounded by white people didn't strike me as something I’d need to prepare for.
However, after I moved, I became more and more aware of strangers’ inherent biases against and irrational fear of black people. Xavier thought perhaps I was being too sensitive... People we met were never overtly racist, but they seemed to tense up once they saw me approaching them, and they’d relax once they realized I was with Xavier.
Of course, he failed to mention that the first years of his life had actually taken place in Salt Lake City, Utah, which isn't exactly a melting pot of diversity.
Luckily, he’d been exposed to a mélange of different people during his time in Chi-Town, and had gotten the chance to develop a more worldly view. But the second summer after we had moved in together, he went to visit a family member in Portland, Oregon.
Relationships don’t look like they used to (and that's a good thing).
But what does it honestly take to make a modern romance work?
When we met, he told me he was from Chicago, which I thought was sexy, because I imagined he had all kinds of wisdom from being raised in a city so full of culture.But for me, this lack of diversity came as a complete culture shock.Connecticut is practically as white as Portland, so on its face, the transition should have been simple.I figured that as long as I was able to abide by respectability politics and not be lumped together with those "other lazy Negroes," I could just be the token black girl.So I hid my natural hair under Brazilian bundles—not as a way to protect the beautiful kink that grew beneath it, but to assimilate more closely to European beauty standards.