The Question Sisters Ask About Gen. Brooks

According to George Curry who got an exclusive interview Army Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks last month in Qatar, the top question from most black women is whether or not the General is married to a sister (black woman). No surprise there. Things got a little heated here on my site when someone left a comment (which I subsequently deleted as it was a false rumor) indicating that his wife was white. I personally don’t care, but I know a lot of other black women get upset when successful black men date and marry outside their race. Not wanting to let the false rumor just hang out there, two family members actually came forward and confirmed to me that Mrs. Brooks was indeed black. But I see the question still rages on. Obviously these folks have not been to my site.
[5:56pm]: Btw, here is why I wouldn’t care if Gen. Brooks wife were white: His wife’s race has nothing to do with the superb job he was doing in Operation Iraq Freedom. I don’t care if someone dates or marries outside their race, as in this crazy world, finding someone to love who will truly love you back in the way you want and deserve is tough enough. So if you happen to find it with someone outside your race, go for it. I myself would like to marry a black man, but if someone of another race steps forward and is treating me the way I want to be treated in a romantic relationship and it gets to the proposal stage, I’m not going to turn down the proposal because they are of a different race. Sure it will difficult…but I truly believe “love conquers all.”

The Question Sisters Ask About Gen. Brooks
by George E. Curry
Tuesday, May 06, 2003
Since I returned from Doha, Qatar, there is one question that every African-American woman inquiring about my trip asks. No, it’s not whether Army Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks’ private persona is the same as is public demeanor. It’s not about his height. And it’s not about his intelligence. Come on, you know the question: Is he married to a sister?
It’s another twist on a problem Brooks has faced throughout life. Because of his success, some African-Americans are quick to question his blackness. They ask: Is he a “real” brother? Unfortunately, it’s a case of being presumed guilty until proven innocent, not vice versa.
“When some of our men gain success, the first thing they do is marry a White woman,” one sister complained.
And there are plenty examples of Black men and women marrying outside of the race: James Earl Jones, Diana Ross, Charles Barkley, Quincy Jones, Julian Bond, Rep. Major Owens, Cuba Gooding Jr., Barry Bonds, Iman, Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, Berry Gordy, Gregory Hines, Clarence Thomas, Shelby Steele, Ward Connerly, John Edgar Wideman, Kobe Bryant, Michael K. Powell, Montgomery County (Md.) Police Chief Charles Moose and Harvard professors Henry Louis Gates, Jr., William Julius Wilson and Orlando Patterson.
Julia Hare, a San Francisco-based expert on male-female relationships, says interracial marriages, even those involving high-profiled Blacks, are rare.
“The majority of successful Black men are not married to White women,” Hare states. “Colin Powell didn’t marry one, Andy Young didn’t, Minister Louis Farrakhan didn’t, Jesse Jackson didn’t, Al Sharpton didn’t. That’s a myth.
“The media elevates those interracial marriages because they want to advance the myth that all Black men want to rape, live with or marry a White woman, and that’s not true.”
According to the Census Bureau, interracial couples represent about 4 percent of all U.S. marriages. Black-White unions represent only 20 percent of interracial marriages.
Hare says she knows why Black women seem preoccupied with knowing whether Brooks married across the color line.
“We’ve been conditioned to believe that if someone reaches that position, a White woman must be the reason for that person’s success,” she explains. “That’s an insult to the Black woman who brought these Black men into the world and the other Black women who have supported them.”
But suppose Brooks is married to a White woman. How does that diminish his contributions?
And if we’re going to go down that path, are we also ready to disassociate ourselves from Frederick Douglass and Paul Robeson? Does that mean that Julian Bond, chairman of the NAACP Board of Directors, is less valuable to us because of his choice in mates? Is Marian Wright Edelman less a champion of children’s rights because her husband is White? Is W. E. B. DuBois biographer David Levering Lewis unqualified to be an expert on DuBois because his wife is White?
When pressed, most African-Americans would answer no to these questions. But that still doesn’t prevent them from raising questions about “race men” marrying outside of the race.
Another Black female friend of mine confided that some single sisters secretly want Brooks to be married to a White woman because that feeds into the concern over the paucity of eligible Black males. Between 1950 and 2000, the percentage of never married African-American women doubled from 20.7 percent to 42.4 percent, according to the Census Bureau.
“If Brooks has a Black wife, it’s hard to explain why Brooks picked a Black woman and that Black woman wasn’t you,” my friend says.
Julia Hare sees a double standard. She notes that no one ever asks whether a high-profile Black woman is married to a White man.
And when Black women, such as presidential candidate Carol Moseley-Braun, marry across racial lines, they are never viewed as race traitors.
“When a Black woman marries a White man, they say, ‘He must have money.’ He could have been in the trash bin and she cleaned him up. Yet, we say, ‘You go, girl. You know how to work the system.’”
Hare continues, “We give Miss Ann—that’s what I call her—too much credit,” she says. And that extends to crediting her with the success of her Black husband, who might have reached the top with or without her support.
It’s interesting that we are still having this kind of debate today, 36 years after the U.S. Supreme Court, in “Loving v. Virginia,” sanctioned the marriage of a White man to a Black woman.
As this debate continues to rage, don’t cast a suspicious eye toward Gen. Brooks.
Someone who socializes with Brooks describes his wife as “an extremely attractive, 100 percent sister” who is “similarly intelligent and articulate.”
George E. Curry is editor-in-chief of the NNPA News Service and BlackPressUSA.com.

10 Comments
  1. I went to West Point with Vince Brooks and I can tell you that he was extremely successful well before he was married (West Point cadets must be unmarried while at the Academy). Cadet Brooks was named “First Captain” – the highest rank attainable as leader of the 4000+ corps of cadets. Consequently, we knew he was destined for continued greatness whether he had a mate or not. Trying to prove/disprove a theory that black men marry white women to help achieve success; or, a theory that black men who become successful wind- up marrying white women is pointless when Gen. Brooks is used as a test subject.

  2. I think black men find white women very sexy like cats and that is why they are attracted to them and love and marry them. A white man does not feel similarly about black women. It is the call of nature.

  3. Whoever brotherman is i resent that remark that white men don’t feel as equally attracted to black women as black men are.I’am a black women and i have a friend who is a white police officer how has a crush on me.He is a always flirting with me and he tells me that he thinks that i’am vey pretty and he think’s that i’am very pretty.He say’s that he has had his eye on me for a year and i keep brushing him off.The reason why i keep brushing him off is because he is married.His wife is a white women.He told me that alot of white men are attracted to black women,its just that they don’t know how to approach them because they know that black women are “so strong” and they fear that they might be rejected by them(the black women).Most white men are not as aggressive as black men ao alot of times they are very afraid to approach them.My friend also told me that they also admire black women’s curvey body’s.I always notice them looking.As for what you said about white women being like sexy cat’s and black men falling in love with them and marrying them,well that’s your own personal opinion but what my personal experience is with white women is that they to also want to be like us.I get white girls telling me all the time that they think that i have a pretty complexion and nice sized breast and a cute shape.Because you see they really do want to be like us more than you know.If not they wouldn’t keep getting plastic surgurey and breast implants,Lip injections to make their lips fuller,sun tans and butt implants to make them more curvey.That is my personal experience and opinion!

  4. send me more infor about white/black and you cam send info to my home at 1574 Hardin ave #B
    College Park, Ga 30337
    i dated some white woman, it’s a hard road for the black man but most are to blind to see it and
    it gave me a great love for sisters with all there short commings plus some more, i mean whatever,sister they are for me, although i love white too, blacks are the one for me.

  5. brotherman is an idiot but anyway i dont care about ww dating bm b/c there are plenty and will be many many more black with white men and i dont care on a personal level b/c i only date white guys myself and to brotherman white men find black women extremely attractive

  6. My father, a black man, married my mother, a white woman, after his divorce from his first wife, a black woman. For him – the leader of the Black Student Union and a very involved Civil Rights activist – choosing to date and falling in love with a white colleague was difficult at times, and every so often in my childhood he would criticize my mother for not knowing how to take care of my curly hair “the right way” or understand and teach me and my brother about other deeper rooted psychological aspects of being black (though he didn’t step up to do it himself either) but overall, he picked the woman he was most happy with and who raised his children better than any other mother this world over. My brother and I, who genetically are the unquestionable mix of our parents – 50/50 – also enjoy the mix on the social level – i.e. having the right to take part in BOTH of the two worlds that continue to be so harshly separate in American culture. And I in turn have dated both blacks and whites and am now engaged to a white man, who makes me profoundly and completely happy in a way that no man has before him, and who truly seems like he was made to match me. So the bottom line – in my father’s case and in my own – is that individuals, despite their race, end up dating and getting to know other individuals and then choose one based on the way that they are treated by that person. If they don’t, they are seriously limiting their chances at finding happiness. My father’s first wife made him extremely unhappy, while in my mother he found a wonderful wife and mother. My previous boyfriends, black and white could never hold a flame to my current fiancé. And while race is very important in determining who you are, it is not important in determining who you can love and who can love you. If my father chose to never give a white woman a chance due to some narrow-minded, unjustifiable guilt-trip from the black community to marry within the race, he would have missed out on those years of happiness with my mom and with my brother and I. And had I chosen to date only MIXED men in an attempt to stay within my “breed” I would have only a small fraction of men to choose from, and one that might not include any man I could actually be happy with and certainly not include the man that I have already found happiness with at this very moment. So the ignorant people who are in a frenzy over who Gen. Brooks is married to need to get their heads out of their behinds and focus on real race issues like helping educate and support their black brothers and sisters who are still struggling to better themselves, and help put some more successful men and women like Gen. Brooks out in the world. They need to stop having the same mentality of racist separatist whites and do their part to make an America full of just plain Americans, not Americans subdivided by color, just like whites are expected to do their part to equalize society. And “Brother Man” who claims that black men want white women and that apparently NO ONE wants black women needs to just look around at how many black women are wanted and adored by all races of men – of which an undeniable example can be found on the seedier level in how many all-black pornographic websites, magazines, and movies are sought by all shades of men alike. Me and Donna and Tany just gave you three living examples out of thousands of women of color who have white men drooling over their curves and complexion. And that is your “call to nature” – men like women period and “nature” never includes that kind of absolutes – offer almost any heterosexual man a beautiful woman from any race, and he’ll go for it. Racial hang-ups on the contrary are NOT natural and inherent and any black man who finds only white women attractive is working from a social influence that has infected his ability to think for himself, just like the black man who finds only black women attractive. You people need to just use your common sense. Wake up, and use all this energy on something real and worthwhile instead.

  7. Brotherman, make sure you get your white woman some anti wrinkle skin care on HSN and a jet tanner to go with it. I’m sure she’ll be pleased to get a lip injection and some cheek implants to go with the package.

  8. i am 13 and i think that most white women are very very cute. i am a black male

  9. Reply to the posting by Tanya. You are truly and example of what makes many of us ashamed to be black. News Flash and a dose of reality for you!
    Wake up people. With the exception of one or two postings, I never knew such ignorance existed.
    (Fact) White women get butt implants because they want what the black woman has and because black men love big butts-Plain fact.
    Check you plastic surgery statistics on butt implants. Got news for you people, blacks women nor men certainly don’t need this kind of surgery.
    (Fact) White women get lip implants because once again they want what black women have always been known to have and somethng black men like which is full lips.
    (Fact) White women get breast implants because once again they want what black women have, black women are naturally endowed in the breast area. Its in their genetics, black women don’t need, yet alone are able to afford breast implants.
    (Fact) White women and men, once again, spend millions of dollars a year sitting in sun tanning salons, risking cancer sitting in the sun for hours on end, using fake tanning lotion etc.etc, well lo and behold, take an elementary guess as to why!!!
    (Fact) White women spend millions of dollars a year using anti wrinkle and anti aging products trying to look like black women.
    Its quite frightening really, its become a billion industry. Unfortunately, what black women were blessed with naturally in their genetics and the melanin in their skin which is what keeps them from aging as whites do. The skin of black women will remain naturally beautiful and resilent long after white women have begun to sag and age. One fact those of you who are observant might have noticed is that even with botox and plastic surgery, you can always tell a white women’s age by looking at the wrinkles in her hands and many have that scrawny chicken neck appearance when they age.
    (Fact) As for the posting about intelligence. Wake up from your brainless hypocrisy people. Lord knows its about time.
    Who do you think invented many of the very luxuries you so take for granted today. Let me see, duh! Over 250 food and non-food products from the “Peanut” that which you eat and use daily right down to the furniture polish you dust your furniture.
    (Fact) White women get butt implants because they want what the black woman has and because black men love big butts-Plain fact.
    Check you plastic surgery statistics on butt implants. Got news for you people, blacks women nor men certainly don’t need this kind of surgery.
    (Fact) White women get lip implants because once again they want what black women have always been known to have and somethng black men like which is full lips.
    (Fact) White women get breast implants because once again they want what black women have, black women are naturally endowed in the breast area. Its in their genetics, black women don’t need, yet alone are able to afford breast implants.
    (Fact) White women and men, once again, spend millions of dollars a year sitting in sun tanning salons, risking cancer sitting in the sun for hours on end, using fake tanning lotion etc.etc, well lo and behold, take an elementary guess as to why!!!
    (Fact) White women spend millions of dollars a year using anti wrinkle and anti aging products trying to look like black women.
    Its quite frightening really, its become a billion industry.
    Unfortunately, what black women were blessed with naturally in their genetics and the melanin in their skin which is what keeps them from aging as whites do. The skin of black women will remain naturally beautiful and resilent long after white women have begun to sag and age.
    (Fact) As for the posting about intelligence. Wake up from your brainless hypocrisy people. Lord knows its about time.
    Who do you think invented many of the very luxuries you so take for granted today. Let me see, duh! Over 250 food and non-food products from the “Peanut” that which you eat and use daily right down to the furniture polish you dust your furniture.
    (Fact) Oh, lets not forget less you continue to exist in your cesspool of hypocrisy thinking all blacks are still ignorant of their superior knowledge, skills, talent and of their black history today, lets not forget the other 100 products on the market made from the “Yam” which you consume and use daily.
    Let us not stop here folks, less your hypocrisy continues into the future, lets not forget the many pyramids that your brainless scientist to this day still have not figured out
    how, a black race of people from of all places “Africa” were able to build such magnificent pyramids unmatched to this very day without your tools of modern technology.
    (Fact) News Flash! Folks, there is more, more than I sure many of you would care to hear or find out. As much as some of us would like to enlighten you, unfortuantely, space and time doesn’t permit!
    Heaven forbid that any of you would come outside of your false superior history and take the time to learn the real history of blacks less the world see you for who you really are finally exposed from under your cloaks of hypocrisy.
    Tanya, sadly its you have not at such a late age taken advantage of the common sense that you report others don’t have or have failed to use.
    (NO! we are not all meant to be the same, or one big unified race! Your ignorance amazes me. Its sad that so many blacks are still so ignorant of not only their black history, but of their biblical history.
    ‘We are made in God’s image’
    ‘Out of Rebecca’s belly came two nations of people’ Use your logic, if we were all meant to be one, we would have been made one nation of people.
    ‘Go NOT unto these people” Give NOT your sons or daughters unto these people” Have you ever used the common sense you were reported to be born with to study your history and figure out who these people are that we are not give our sons and our daughters unto!
    ‘Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated’
    ‘The other nations are as spittle unto me’
    ‘I have come for none other than the lost sheep of Israel’
    ‘For continuing to disobey my laws’
    ‘You shall become a byword’
    ‘You sons and daughters shall rot away behind bars
    ‘You and your children shall be sold for kegs of wine’
    ‘You shall be sold into bondage with a yoke around your neck’
    ‘They will be the head and you will be the tail’
    LO AND BEHOLD!!!!!
    ‘When I come Again, all the other nations shall know that I have loved thee’
    ‘You are the apple of my eye’
    ‘I will make your enemies your footstool’
    ‘You shall be as a peculiar treasure unto me’
    ‘You shall be restored to the nation of holy priest that you were, you shall be the leaders and they shall be the followers’
    ‘For all the world shall know that I have loved thee’
    Even my small nephew has already figured out the pieces to this puzzle.
    Wake up Tanya – For Goodness sake. Its later than you think.

  10. Reply to the posting by Ryan.
    (Fact) All European women do not have flat butts and all African American women do not have big butts. In fact some African American women get butt implants because they can’t live up to the stereotypes
    (Fact) European women get lip enhancements because it has been a beauty norm AMONG EUROPEANS for a long time. Plenty of European populations with juicy lips.
    (Fact) Fact, on average European populations have just as much if not more big breasts than Africa. In fact, many African populations have small breasts and perky but small butts as well.
    (Fact) Tanning developed in populations that lived in highly variable seasonal weather where they needed to be darker in hte summer and lighter in the winter to compensate for lack of sunlight and vitamin D. It has been a part of the European look for ever and is not an attempt to immitate other populations. It has fluctuated in popularity because it used to be considered that only the lower class field workers sported tans while the rich lounged in the houses. But when traveling and adventure became a part of the rich travelers lifestyle, tanning became popular as a representation of outdoor life and fun. COntrast it with the farmer’s tan.
    (Fact) Lighter skinned European skin does get wrinkles quicker. But they are not trying to look Black by using antti wrinkle creams. Just extend their own skin elasticity. African skin has problems of its own. A much higher level of moles and much higher rate of mortality on the onset of skin cancer. In other words, Eurodescent people get skin cancer more often, but Afrodescent people die at a much higher rate when they get it.
    (Fact) Many African Americans did invent many things. But Peanut Butter was not one of them.
    (Fact) The earliest Pyramids were built in Mesopotamia and possibly China. Pyramids have been built by many civilizations around the world independent of Egypt.

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