The following Featured Post comes from TV Series Group 3, Thread 8.
1. Friendships between women of different races-your experience?
Mon, Sep 27, 1999 - 6:26 PM/EST
I wonder about friendships between women of
differing races. Whether others have experienced
those relationships as being limited by race,
economic status, education or lack of like
interests. I raise this because my daughter who is
biracial has strong relationships with white,
black and asian friends. Her best friends today
come from her elementary, high school and college
years. The majority of those friends are white.
I am black, but have always had a diverse group of
friends. However, there are times, when I find
some white women uncomfortable that I am an equal
with regard education, travel, lifestyle and my
general exposure to a level of social experience
that crosses racial boundaries. It occasionally
feels as though white women are more comfortable
with black women to whom they can be benevolent. what's your experience.
Mon, Sep 27, 1999 - 7:01 PM/EST
I am a white woman married to a Mexican American man. We both have always had friendships with people of all different races. I never have not made a friend based on race, religion, education. To me those things are not important. My biracial daughter has almost all hispanic friends, and she feels like you seem to about white women. She is also alot like Cicly, by that I mean she dealt with alot of the same issues,especially in junior high and high school.
For me,it seems my friendships are most likely to be made from neighbors, school friends, co-workers, and my husbands co-workers, church, and like interests. These relationships/friendships cross all racial bounderies, as well as the others you mentioned.
Tue, Sep 28, 1999 - 3:40 PM/EST
Growing up, I went to predominatly white schools, so many of my friends were white. As a black girl, I did notice the differences between myself and my white girlfriends. My hair did not blow in the breeze, I was not skinny, and when it came time to start dating, I went dateless. I developed insecurity and a pretty bad self-image because of this.
I think I may have been viewed differently than other Black folks because I was at private school, my parents are professionals, and I talked "properly". One incident that haunts me to this day took place in middle school at the house of a white girlfriend. She was having a tiff with a biracial girl at our school who I guess was identified as African-American. She told me that this girl was a "nigger". My heart dropped to the floor, and she could see the reaction in my face. She quickly said that of course I wasn't one, and that she did not mean it badly really, just that she thought this girl was awful. It still irks me that I lost my tongue.
It was not until college that I saw the difficulty in making friends with white women. A lot of it seemed to stem from gravitating towards people who would accept you unconditionally. I think some of the African-American women, and in some instances I would have to agree, felt like they had to act and even talk differently among white women. They were also irked at the tiresome questions about hair for example, like if the hair in their braids was their own. I think alot of the problems had to do with misunderstandings.
Another barrier I saw at college was the different ways of socializing. Whereas white students in general liked to drink, many of the African- American students enjoyed hanging out , talking and dancing. Any party that had a DJ would invitably have a lot of African-American students.
I think white women may be more comfortable with minority women who have had similar educational and lifestyle experiences to themselves.
Thu, Sep 30, 1999 - 8:59 PM/EST
My 2 closest friends are Jewish, as I am. However, I many close relationships with black women and never expereinced any hostility when I was married to a black man, or dating one. We are very honest with each other and talk about all this stuff that has been discussed in the postings. I feel very lucky to have the level of comfort and ease that exists between my black friends and I. There hasn't been a feeling of holding back, we laugh at the ridiculous, including ourselves, and share many common expereinces. Of course, there are experiences we can't relate to, but through my kids I have viewed some of what they speak about. We talk about men, all men, and our kids and responsibilities and hopes and dreams. I have friends who have the same education, and others who do not. We relate very much as women, and openly discuss the race issues. Perhaps it is because I am so out there with my kids and fighting for them, not really sure. One thing, my life is enriched by all my women friends, who have made a huge difference in my life, for the better of course. I have great women friends, some I have made in my travels abroad, and they hosted my daughter this past summer, now a young woman herself.
About the talking thing, we code switch all the time, talking all kinds of ways, and crack up together. It's great, lots of fun and caring. I feel very comfortable with my black friends, and they with me.
Read more featured posts here or continue reading thread 8 from TV Series Group 3.