These interracial stories are part of a broader mainstreaming of Black women’s beauty and cultural women are romantically involved with white men in works as varied as Broadway’s “Slave Play” and “American Son”; the movie “Sonic the Hedgehog”; the lighthearted sitcoms “Bob Hearts Abishola” and “Mixed-ish”; the legal thriller “How to Get Away With Murder”; and the Netflix reality show “Love Is Blind.”
“Sonic the Hedgehog” and“Bob Hearts Abishola” do not strongly center on race, choosing to let the mere pairing of a Black woman and a white man do its symbolic work.
When I was growing up, Tom and Helen Willis on “The Jeffersons” were my onscreen introduction to an interracial couple with a Black woman and a white man.
After noting that historically, the mere hint of the inverse–a Black man with a white woman–could once lead to his lynching, Washington said, “I do think the ways that we are thinking about interracial relationships now, it’s about two consenting individuals’ choosing.”
On the Netflix reality show “Love Is Blind,” a new couple–Lauren, who is Black, and Cameron, who is white–wrestle with this racial history right before our eyes as they move from 10 days of speed-dating–in which they never see each other–to engagement and a wedding ceremony.