Black and Brown Love is Revolutionary (Guest Post)

Black Love | Quirky, Brown Love
Written by Jelisa Jay Robinson of Black Girl, Latin World

There is something about Black and Brown love that makes moves me. Perhaps, it is because I was always told to watch out for "those" people growing up. In the 9th grade, when you are the only Morenita girl in the Mexicana group, you see the truth in your loved ones warnings first hand.  Back-handed racist comments from can run wild in that situation.  Harsh comments about your hair, skin and culture surface.  And the sentiments run both ways: I've heard some pretty prejudice stuff come out of the mouths of Black people about Brown people too.

Let me clarify what I mean by "Black".  I am fully aware that there are Black Latin@s but for the purpose of this narrative Black is "African American".   "Brown" refers to non-black Latin@s. Now, that we have that out of the way...back to the narattive.

 In my high school's lunchroom, the division between was evident.  Sure, Black folks and Brown folks inteacted a bit in the classroom, but the lunch room was a version of Mean Girls that Tina Fey did not write.  The Brown kids met up on the south side of the room and the Black people were on the north side. I, and a few others, disrupted all of that by hanging out with whatever group we wanted to. Our pioneering ways were met with resistance from our respective communities and sometimes the communities we were trying to be a part of.

Black and Brown love is a revoluntionary act because Black and Brown people are stratigically divided. That division is lurks in  the hidden histories of Afrolatinidad and silencings of the shared connections that we have throughout history. I've been on dates with Mexican American guys who have yet to learn about African roots in Mexico.  Accident?  I think not.

Being Black and Brown in love (or like) is beautiful. We get the chance to talk about movies we've seen, artists we love and expereinces that make us who we are. It's the candid conversations about strereotypes and misconceptions that give life! I've been on dates that have shifted from chats about our favorite sports teams to our family histories and it's all enlighting.  You start to see what getting to know someone is truly about: understanding and appreciating them. It's about him taking the time to learn how to twist my bantu knots and me learning how to cook his mom's recipe.  It's about getting to know the whole person (and that includes their culture).

While love is wonderful, I've experienced Black and Brown love mostly in friendships. A lover, at least in the beginning, can be a sort of fantasy.  A friend is a different type of soulmate.  A soulmate that you can be yourself with. My relationship with one of my best friends, Jorge, proves that you can have different upbringings, and still be able to connect on so many levels.  Our frienship transcends color, culture, and language and we just get each other.

Of course, we have intense discussions on White priviledge, the n-word and discrimination. We congregate under the term "people of color" like it's raining outside. And no, cross cultural relationships like ours aren't perfect but they are needed. They allow us to dialogue about the inter-cultural predjudice that occurs, be a support system to each other and of course, chat about celebrities. To be honest, most of the time Jorge and I don't even talk about race, ethnicity or culture but knowing we can go to each other when we need to helps a ton.

Black and Brown love is revolutionary.  Two communities who have been  marginalized throughout history.  Two communities who share more connections than the media, the entertainment industry or the history books will have you to believe.  Two communities full of love, life and awesomeness.  Black and Brown love is the revoluntion.  Let's dialogue, let's heal, let's love. We are stronger together.

Make sure to check out Jelisa's blog, Black Girl, Latin World.

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