WKU community discusses interracial, intercultural dating

Lexington senior Tabnie Dozier and Radcliff senior Rodney Webb said both his and her parents accept their relationship. But Webb has noticed people stare at them a lot. Once, he walked past a crowd of about 10 people, and at least seven of them were openly staring. “Staring at someone is just rude,” Webb said.

Zirconia Alleyne

Lebanon senior DaKara Hazelwood, a black female, recalled when she met her white boyfriend’s extended family for the first time.

She said his father told them to act like they were just friends.

“My boyfriend told his father we’re dating and that’s what we’re going to act like,” Hazelwood said.

Earlier this evening, Hazelwood, along with Harrisburg senior Trenton Dunn and Fort Mitchell sophomore Christy Culbreth, served on a panel of students who interracially date or have experienced interracial couples within their family.

The panel was part of Shades of Love, a forum sponsored by the Campus Activities Board about interracial and intercultural dating in Mass Media Auditorium.

More than 70 students of different shades and backgrounds met in the auditorium to talk about the issues and stereotypes that come along with stepping outside the race and culture box.

African American Studies professor Lloren Foster and Ricardo Nazario-Colon, director for the Office of Diversity Programs facilitated the discussion.

They began dialogue with this question: What is interracial dating?

Dunn said that dating could involve anything from talking, going on dates and hooking up.

“Interracial dating is when you decide to pursue or take steps to being in a relationship with a person of the opposite race,” he said.

After a definition for the issue was determined, the panel moved into deeper questions posed by the faculty and audience members.

Some arguments made against interracial dating included the inability to fully understand a mate of the opposite race, religion, family views and values, weakening of individual culture and having confused children.

“It all deals with what we have been taught and indoctrinated to believe,” Foster said. “The very person that may be for you may not look like you.”

Both Hazelwood and Culbreth said they have always dated interracially and will continue to no matter what anyone thinks.

Culbreth, who grew up with mainly white friends, said that she’s always been attracted to black men although she knew her dad wouldn’t accept her bringing home a black guy.

She is sticking with her preference, though.

So is Nashville sophomore Terone Shephard, who said that just because he dates white women, it doesn’t mean he can’t appreciate black women.

The forum concluded with the idea that there is no color of love.

“Who I date shouldn’t matter,” Hazelwood said. “If my family loves me, they should love who I choose to date.”