A Black Girl’s Guide to Dating White Men– Niki McElroy
I have a strong interest in sociology and human relationships (interracial relationships in America in particular), and I came across this book while browsing at the library. Since it is thin, I figured I would be able to finish it rather quickly. Fortunately, it didn’t take more than 1.5 hours to work my way through this “gem.” And honestly, I would be upset if I had spent any more time studying this guide on How to Be A Foolish Black Woman (ok, I might have taken some liberty with my rendition of the title).
But honestly, I think this book truly deserves a negative rating – it is horrendous. In addition to the stylistic and grammatical errors that run rampant, the actual content of the book is so stereotypical and prejudiced – it is hard not to call the book trash.
Truthfully, I don’t want to throw too much shade at Niki, but I was continually stunned by how ignorant the author sounds. While I commend her for encouraging black women to be more open to finding love outside of their race, the manner in which she does so is borderline appalling. She speaks about white men as if she is a hunter on safari looking for a white tiger, and she tries to rope the reader into her hunt by giving out tips and tricks for how to catch ‘em.
The cover display is two half-naked people feeling each other up and this pretty much sums up everything you need to know about this guide — it just is not to be taken seriously. After reading the first page, I honestly thought this was satire, but unfortunately, the author is beyond serious with her overplayed stereotypes of black and white people. She talks to black women as though they are all angry, culturally incompetent, and thirsty enough to use her tactics to find the all-revered white man. She speaks of white men as though they are all shy and intimidated when it comes to talking with black women and she has created three neat categories to place them into (the businessman, the jock, and the edgy guy/artist). The gross generalizations get old quickly.
I also took issue with the pictures she included. They were poor quality and of no relevance, whatsoever. I suppose she adds pictures of random white men and women who are supposed to be dating, because it is a guide and she does want readers to learn something from her book. So at the very least, you can walk away saying you know what a black woman and white man look like when they are sitting with each other. The pictures are also interesting because she seems to flaunt these couples as people you should know, but when you look at them and read the captions, you realize very quickly that you definitely do not know any of these “super successful white men” and random black ladies. I mean seriously, these people are not even halfway relevant. I mean who is Leonardo Attolini? I have never heard of him. I googled him and still couldn’t find anything.) Not to mention the fact that some of the white guys she features look like men that rolled straight off the Jersey Shore – I’m reading this book thinking to myself, “Niki, you can keep that.” But I guess it’s none of my business if women want to be with Pauly D….
I am sure there is a certain audience that would benefit from reading this book. (Isn’t there always something for everyone?) The only potential positive I see is that maybe some women will be encouraged to open their minds and hearts to finding love outside their race.
I could give you a much shorter summary of this guide in one phrase, “Girl, Bye!” I’m not kidding.
I sent excerpts to my boyfriend (who on a semi-related note is white), because I was literally tearing up from laughing so hard.
Here are some of the quotes I sent him along with my commentary:
- “White men don’t typically cook for themselves and would rather go out while still enjoying a lovely dinner with a desirable ambiance.” (Yeah, all those white men I see at the local Chinese takeout…. They really enjoy the lovely dinner and desirable ambiance.)
- “There are many different locations white men frequent. I find that they are creatures of habit, so if there is a place they enjoy, you can catch them there over and over again.” (She sounds like the Crocodile Hunter here….)
- “Or teach yourself to enjoy a little Coldplay, John Mayer, or James Blunt. It’s actually pretty good music and you may find yourself liking it better than this new wave of 21st century hip hop.” (Are we still on the whole black people music and white people music thing? This is just so so so played out. And James Blunt is terrible. But I did get that new Coldplay CD though!)
- “To not look ‘tacky’, unless it’s in combination with a more delectable dish, stay away from the California Roll. It’s very cliché for blacks to order the simple rolls, just as we do the sweet wines.” (I think Boo would be happier if I got simple rolls, it’d keep more dollars in his pocket! J)
There are a plethora of books that give the topic of interracial dating a much more thoughtful and enlightening treatment than this one. For starters, I recommend “Is Marriage for White People?” by Ralph Richard Banks and “Don’t Bring Home A White Boy” by Karyn Langhorne Folan.
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