Posts tagged ‘swirling’

What’s The World Coming To????

A beautiful blended from the South East of England!
(Clockwise, l to r): Thomas, Faith, Zoe (in Faith’s arms), Miles, and Jaden.

I’m glad you asked!

The world is coming to increased diversity – and increasing numbers of interracial marriages! Reports from the United States Census Bureau (2012) documented increases in the occurrence of interracial marriage, or Swirling as we like to call it. Projections indicate these numbers will continue to rise at a steady pace in coming years.

My interest in topics relating to diversity stems originally from my experiences as an “Army brat” (my father was 23-year career military). I’ve lived all over the world and the United States and experienced exposure to different cultures and ethnicities as a result. Some schools I attended – particularly those on base – were extremely diverse. In other schools I attended my two brothers and me held the then-dubious distinction of being the first and the only Blacks who were enrolled. Even with this background I didn’t start taking interracial dating seriously until 2009, which was the year I entered into an interracial relationship.

I started The Swirl World Facebook page as an off shoot of a PhD residency assignment. The page has grown, and so has my purpose for creating it. It began as an assignment; my goal is now to raise awareness of current and historical events relating to diversity. On the page we explore interracial relationships and marriage, and also lift up biracial and multiracial interests. One of the ways The Swirl World shows our love for this demographic is by striving to be inclusive and welcoming of the biracial and multiracial offspring of these relationships and marriages – we post lots of baby and children’s pictures!

The Swirl World also aggressively pursues the advancement of the appreciation of ethnic and racial culture represented in individuals and nations from around the world. People of color, regardless of their nation of origin, are wonderful, brilliant, artistic, and accomplished, and they need and deserve to be featured in the spotlight. I firmly believe that, like it or not, we all live in The Swirl World because the world reflects a global society marked by diversity.

Resources we draw from for The Swirl World includes news stories, past and current events, pop culture, editorials, blogs, YouTube videos – just about anything reflecting these subjects. Diversity encompasses and influences every human being in one way or another, so in The Swirl World, no subject is taboo if it raises awareness and if it’s in good taste. We don’t do bawdy, tawdry, or disparaging pieces because we want to keep the page on a tasteful, classy level.

I strive to promote the empowerment of Black women, and desire that they expand their dating options by Swirling. I don’t bash or demonize Black men for doing so; interracial dating/marriage is their choice (and statistics show that Black men have been Swirling longer and in far greater numbers than Black women). Across ethnicities, Black women statistically reflect the lowest numbers of interracial marriage – they seem to be the last to “get the memo” to expand their dating and marriage options. The Swirl World seeks to raise a positive awareness of interracial love that will hopefully encourage Black women to make this important lifestyle change. 

Source: United States Census Bureau. (2012). Table 59. Households, families, subfamilies, and married couples: 1980 to 2010. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0059.pdf

This month I’m participating in NaBloPoMo, which means I’ll be posting everyday in the month of November. Thanks for joining me – and please do keep reading and commenting!

Copyright © 2012 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl™, All rights reserved.

Join in the Fray: Census data now reveals that births of brown babies surpass that of whites. How does that make you feel?

November 5, 2012 at 8:30 AM Leave a comment

Fried Alligator and Boudin Balls, Anyone???

This past weekend I had the distinct pleasure of attending the 76th International Rice Festival in Crowley, LA. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Louisiana culture, the state’s Department of Tourism reports that Louisiana holds over 400 festivals every year – and is “often called the Festival Capital of America.” The New Orleans Times Picayune  puts it this way:  “If you can eat it, drink it, play it, dance to it or ogle it, there’s a festival for it in south Louisiana. Probably this week.”

With that being said, the Rice Festival provided a delightful expression of diversity in two forms that really matter: People and food! These festivals seem to be the time that everyone pretty much put aside any race-centered or ethnic differences and instead become Louisianans who want to have a good time.

Yep, there was plenty of Swirling going on:

 

Where else in the world can large crowds of Blacks and Whites (with good sprinklings of Asians and Latinos mixed in) listen to and enjoy music like this:

And not only that, DANCE to it: 

AND, in addition to the fried alligator and spicy boudin balls, enjoy a good serving of pig feet or tripe?

This gentleman proudly told me I couldn’t take a photo unless he was in it!

(I purchased some wonderful homemade pralines. My cousin bought a bowl of pig feet – they were seasoned to perfection and delish! Yes, I eat pig feet – don’t judge me).

The truly adventuresome were able to help themselves to good ole helpings of squirrel, rabbit, or shark. Gotta try that shark next time . . . . .

 Join in the fray: What’s the most exotic food you’ve ever eaten? Would you be willing to try fried alligator, boudin balls, squirrel, or shark?

Copyright © 2012 Michelle Matthews Calloway, A Swirl Girl™, All rights reserved.

October 24, 2012 at 4:40 PM 6 comments

When Worlds Collide

“You heard them  . . . didn’t you?”

“Yes, I heard them.”

“They won’t have it. The world won’t come to an end; it can’t possibly collide with another world because—well, for one thing, it has never done such a thing before, and for another, they won’t have it. Not when you dwell upon the details. They won’t have it.”

 ~From When Worlds Collide by Phillip Wylie & Edwin Balmer

In a story I won’t dwell on or give space to, enemies  of the notion of Black women dating interracially recently made sure we “heard them” via a pseudo article that was simply a thinly veiled attempt to bash Christelyn Karazin, blogger extraordinaire and co-author of Swirling: How to Date, Mate, and Relate Mixing Race, Culture, and Creed. Just as the rogue planets in Wylie and Balmer’s 1933 classic were on a collision course with planet Earth, so the various rogues, trolls, and internet nomads roaming the web are doing everything in their power to detract from, obstruct, and even stamp out the “choose character over color” message of Karazin and other interracial relationship advocates.

No, “They won’t have it,” yet the message that Black women have options is getting through nonetheless through such notable women as:

 These and many other pro-interracial dating and marriage bloggers inhabit the other world, the world that is proudly marching on despite the repeated rumblings and threats posed by the wannabe colliders. This world – this brave, new world, if you please – will continue: Stalwart and unflinching; poised and ready to speak out concerning the gas lighting practices designed to keep Black women in a perpetual state of confusion and dismay, and to speak up regarding alternative choices and options Black women can take to attain the happiness and fulfillment they so richly deserve.

The main characters in When Worlds Collide managed to build a spaceship and escape the pending disaster. They left their doomed world and found a place of habitation on another planet. Thanks to the messages of hope and inspiration proclaimed by interracial dating and marriage advocates – and the living, breathing, successful examples that many of them demonstrate – Black women are embracing the fact that they have the opportunity to expand their options, make relationship choices that serve their personal best interests, and achieve their fullest potential. And that, my friend, is my world.      

 

Join in the Fray:

Which of the two worlds are you living in? Is anything “colliding” in your world?

 

Copyright © 2012 Michelle Matthews Calloway, All rights reserved.

 

 

August 24, 2012 at 7:00 AM 14 comments

Provin’ and Defendin’

It’s a scene that I won’t forget: Kim, one of my high school friends, was involved in a heated argument with her older sister Karen. They were going back-and-forth about an incident that occurred between Kim and a girl named Natalie, who was Karen’s best friend. Kim was vehemently denying Natalie’s version of the story and incensed that her sister was taking Natalie’s side rather than hers. I even tried to help Kim out by vouching for her statements. After listening to all the protests that went back and forth like a volley of tennis balls, Miss Mae Jessie (Kim and Karen’s 82-year old Grandmother) looked at Kim with vexation and finally spoke up.

“Awwww, SHADDUP, Gal!” she said irritably, making a shushing motion with her hand. We all jumped and instantly became silent.

Quit all that provin’ and defendin.’ Ain’t no use in you tryn’ ta convince that gal. She don’t believe you no way.”

Needless to say, at that point the argument was moot.

Not too long ago I had occasion to think about Miss Mae Jessie’s statement about “provin’ and defendin.’” I became embroiled in a Facebook “discussion” that started out weighing the merits of an article that appeared on www.theeconomist.com entitled “Sex and the Single Black Woman” (http://www.economist.com/node/15867956). I won’t go into all the points of the article (after all, Reading is Fundamental – if you care to you can read it for yourself. And yes, I love you, too).

Someone commented that swirling was an option, and (channeling my high school days of piping in and supporting) I made a comment about what statistics show about the rate that Black men inter marry, how they don’t seem to worry about making that choice, and how Black women are reluctant because when they intermarry they are accused of abandoning the race, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.  (Want stats? feel free to read a very long report here http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1616/american-marriage-interracial-interethnic. There are tons more reports I could provide links to; but hey!  I’ll do us all a favor and shout “E.L.M.O.!”).

[Sidebar: Um, for those of you who didn’t read last week’s blog, E.L.M.O. means:

Enough!

Let’s

Move

On!

You see, I tend to over-explain sometimes – hence this sidebar and hence the title of this post. If you continue to read this blog you will probably discover that I’ll have to call on E.L.M.O. at least once during most of the posts. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.]

Suffice it to say that the temperature of the discussion very quickly moved to the boiling point (for me) when one of the guys made the comment, “Remember Massa,” and then (in my estimation) tried to dominate the conversation and do exactly what I’d stated in the first place – make Black women feel guilty for choosing to go into interracial relationships.

We wound up going back and forth about Massa; why we should remember him (or not); be aware of our history and yet move on (or not), Ad infinitum, Ad nauseum.

And suddenly, in the midst of the bickering back and forth, the “provin’ and defendin’” on both sides, came the voice of reason. A very wise Sistah on the boards known for her no-nonsense, shoot-from-the-hip ability to get to the heart of the matter and tell it like it T – I is, made a couple of comments that made me wonder if she was somehow related to ole Miss Mae Jessie. Sistah-Girl stated that Sistahs need to make like the Brothers and just do it. In essence, she thought it was foolish to waste a lot of time (and keystrokes) trying to justify or explain who we loved, or why – just love your man and keep it moving.

In other words, “Quit all that provin’ and defendin.’ Ain’t no use in you trynna convince [them]. [They] don’t believe you no way.”

I had an epiphany, I tell you.

Guess what? Everybody doesn’t need “enlightening,” or an “explanation.” Not only do they not need it, they don’t want it – and sometimes, truth be told, they didn’t ask for it. Explain for what? Sure, there will be some who will have questions and genuinely want to know more – and the people in this category are grown enough to inquire. Those who want to live in the past, denigrate an entire race of people for things that happened before any of us were born, or choose to let the long, hurtful arm of the past reach over and taint their present and their future, will continue to do so. Others who elect to build on the foundation of the past, infused with – and inspired by – the resilience, strength and grace of their ancestors, and move forward embracing the joys of today and the promise of the future, will continue to do so. There’s no need for either side to engage in provin’ and defendin’.  At worst, we can shut each other down and shut each other out, and not believe each other no way. At best, we can live in peace and harmony, agree to disagree – and keep it moving.

January 28, 2011 at 8:06 AM 6 comments

Well, I Never!

The Urban Dictionary defines swirl as “two people of different ethnicities hookin up.” Now, after a wonderful time in undergrad at a prestigious HBCU (historically Black college/university), marriage to a Pentecostal pastor (who passed away after 10 years of marriage), and dates with various brothers. I find myself in the unlikely state of being “a SWIRL girl.”

Yes, me.

ME!

The daughter of an Army officer Father who lived and traveled all over the US and abroad with her Mother and two brothers.  The first (along with my brothers) to integrate the schools in the small town in Louisiana where my Mother grew up.  Soul-Sista, feminist –  ME! Power-to-the-people – ME! Angela-Davis I-love-your-fro-and-I’m-rockin’-natural-hair-right-now – ME!

All-of-that and more describes me, the girl who I can honestly say never seriously entertained the idea of an interracial relationship and was never really down with swirling. In high school a couple of  White guys (very hesitantly) approached me , and in college a Puerto Rican classmate (I’ll call him Darren) had a bona fide crush on me. I dismissively laughed off the high schoolers (and was even somewhat insulted!). I really liked Darren as a person, but just could never wrap my head around actually dating him. I certainly never thought I would be the ME that I am today, “a SWIRL girl.”

Yes!  I’m now  “a SWIRL girl” – all booed up with a White guy.

In a word, WOW.  Mama always said, “Never say never” – and I guess she was right.

And so the journey begins! Please join me here each Friday when I share my views on life, love, and culture as I traverse through “the SWIRL world.”

Feel free to “like” The Swirl World on Facebook and join the discussions there. Talk to ya Friday!

January 14, 2011 at 1:01 AM 6 comments


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