I can't pinpoint physical features or characteristics of black men because that's not only wrong, it's just not the entire case. Have I come across one that's caught my attention? I have strong Mexican men in my life, too—my father and my two brothers—that I hold close, respect, and admire.What I'm attracted to can be found in men of all races: strong arms (sense of protection), a great smile, nice build (healthy), ambitious, passionate, a sense of humor—a touch of sarcasm helps—and a kind heart. My brothers never seemed to have an opinion as to the type of men I dated, and were only concerned with how each guy treated me. My dad has always been a quiet man, and his only insertion in conversations about my dating life: "Are you happy, ?The curse is that those factors establish tradition.I've experienced my share of racism and have had racial slurs thrown in my direction. I've overheard conversations about me where people spewed hateful words because they didn't think I knew English.While I've dated other races, I'm mostly attracted to black men.My eyes and heart tend to steer me in that direction.
When it's more than one black guy I've had bad luck with, others—in this case my parents—see a pattern.And, really, it roots deeper than my parents, my grandparents, and their parents before them.Racial tension between Mexicans and blacks, especially on the west coast and in some parts of the south, is tied to an ugly history.I kept getting hurt by guys, a lot of which had to do with my belief in fairytale love. And although I've gone through bullshit in various relationships before, as many have, my hope is to find my own 'media naranja.' My mom knows about most of the men I've dated, but she's only met the guys that have changed my life significantly, which I can count with one hand.It's weird to mention, let alone, specify the physical features of the men I've dated when telling their stories, because the shitty experiences I've gone through weren't because of their color; it was because they weren't right for me.I've dated other races aside from black men—my first and only boyfriend of two years was Korean. "My parents, I should say, have never forbidden me from dating black men, or a man of any race, but their silence, more so my mother's, has been felt—it rendered each guy invisible.But I've never dated someone of my own ethnicity: Mexican. And I would say Colombian, but that courtship never blossomed into much after he came over my house and serenaded me with his acoustic guitar. Time and again, after being introduced to a black guy I was dating, my mother either let out heavy sighs or foretold my future under her breath. My dad used his seasonal, strictly temporary passport for work and came to Arizona to pick fruit.Then, when I was five-years old, they moved to Tracy, about an hour drive east of San Jose, where the population was, and remains, predominantly white.The majority of what my parents know about other races they've learned through media or second-hand stories.But it's not only about where and how it started; it may not even be right to think it started from any one place.There's a myriad of factors that are both onset by personal experience and exposure to what people see on television or read in the news.