by Latoya Peterson, originally published at Jezebel
Note: As I mentioned before, I’m not really interested in writing on racial issues for the Jezebel audience. However, my analysis always incorporates race, gender, and class, and I was interested enough to comment lightly on this story. I am in the process of writing a longer piece about race, dating, and the specifics of dating in DC, published for the Racialicious audience, probably for sometime next week. Oh, and one more thing – these pieces are intended to explore some of the broader societal issues that impact dating, including stereotypes and societal expectations. This is not a chance for people to jump on their soapboxes and dole out advice (unless someone in the comments specifically asks). Please focus on the issues, not what black women “need” to do. – LDP
“Helena Andrews is 29, single, living in D.C., and might be the star of a black “Sex and the City” — stylish, beautiful and a writer desperately in search of love in the city.” And so it begins.
The article revolves around Helena Andrews, an author who recently sold and optioned her memoir, which is described as a series of satirical essays about being an urban black woman in Chocolate City.
However, taking the long view of Andrew’s life – and what broader conclusions can be drawn around race, gender, and region – often forces the article to stumble. For example, this description of Andrew’s life works from the archetype of the sassy, single, chick-lit heroine mashed up with BAP overachiever stereotypes:
A journalist who has written for Politico and The Root, Andrews says her book attempts to reveal what’s behind the veneer. In a series of essays, Andrews documents the lives of so many young black women who appear to have everything: looks, charm, Ivy League degrees, great jobs. Closets packed full of fabulous clothes; fabulous condos in fabulous gentrified neighborhoods; fabulous vacations, fabulous friends. And yet they are lonely: Their lives are repetitive, desperate and empty. They are post-racial feminists who have come of age reaping the benefits of both the civil rights movement and the women’s movement, then asking quietly: What next?
Fabulous gentrified neighborhoods? (Is that before or after all your cool friends move out because no one can afford the rent?) How can your life be repetitive, desperate, and empty if you have fabulous vacations and fabulous friends?
And don’t get me started on the post-racial thing. Continue reading