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There simply isn’t enough time in the day to summarize a decade. Our families, both from islands, shared many of the same foods, beliefs, and traditions. I learned more with him than with any man that’s ever come and left because I helped build him. We are jointly well versed in the arts, both creatives.We somehow turned into the millennial version of Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. He and I came from different economic backgrounds yet I postured myself as his equal.On the other hand, no one ever tugged (or ripped, rather) at my heartstrings like my West Indian on-again/off-again boyfriend.The 10-year tragic magic that is a good girl and a wild boy.We rolled down the windows in her beat-up car and took in as much air as we could. Every black girl I knew was saying, “Get yourself a white man,” as though they were selling out quick.The only girl in my group of black girlfriends who had a boyfriend was dating a white boy who was white enough to have a family that hated black people. We would sit squished in a row behind them with all of our smirks perfectly even as they drove us home.I wore Black Lives Matter buttons, attended marches, sported hoodies, vowed to date only black men, and prepared myself to raise a son who might be faced with a death in the same vein as Trayvon, a name I had spoken so often that it felt like that of a brother.Our portrait was perfectly hung and constantly dusted for shine.

And no matter who dares to interfere, to know him is to know me. Cultural difference is real, but it ultimately comes down to whose demons are down to play with yours.My cousins can be split into two groups: Ones who grew up with weaves and skin lighteners and ones who needed sunscreen and haircuts.Our family is a classic case of women and the black men who left them versus the white men who stayed.He supported my work and called me Butterfly; our relationship was nauseatingly blissful. I posted photos of black love on every social media account and considered myself as part of a larger revolution.I had hushed conversations in the corners of cafés about how important it was to keep feeding the black community with positive affirmations and how it began with loving black men.

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