But this collection of happily ever after stories does not mean that love is blind.

Romantic attraction is subject to the larger social forces of racial prestige and stigma that swirl all around us, and in this environment, black women are losing out.

These relationships are caring and genuine, and surely bring happiness to the individuals involved in them.

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I wish my male relatives luck and joy in their relationships, but I also feel a pinch when I watch them with their girlfriends.

It is the same sharp tug of disappointment that gets me every time I see a black man with a white woman on his arm.

Try as I might to suppress the reaction, I experience black men's choice of white women as a personal rejection of the group in which I am a part, of African American women as a whole, who have always been devalued in this society.

Certainly my reaction links back to a few bad apples in my own young dating years.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I cannot help but dwell on who might be coming to dinner.

Last holiday season gave me plenty of food for thought on this all too familiar and often uncomfortable racially-tinged question.Once I overheard my black boyfriend telling his buddies how he preferred white women; on another occasion (with a different black boyfriend) a guy told me he didn't care that I was breaking up with him because he could go out and get a white woman, which was what he really wanted anyway.For both these men (and to be fair, they were not much older than 20 at the time and thus had plenty of maturing to do), white women were the pinnacle of womanhood -- the prize that they secretly coveted, the emotional weapon that they knew they could wield.One of my male relatives brought home a date for Thanksgiving who could have been Barbie's twin sister.She was blonde, thin, big-bosomed, and even had a Germanic name.She was probably very nice; but I cannot say for sure.