On tonight’s episode of CBS’ The Neighborhood starring Cedric The Entertainer and Tichina Arnold, Calvin and Tina learn that Marty (Marcel Spears) has a new girlfriend, Chloe (Alexandra Chando). They insist he invites her over for dinner only to find out to their surprise that she’s white.
For what it’s worth, Marty tried to tell them the best he could but they weren’t really catching the hints he was dropping. Is interracial dating a bad thing? Absolutely not! But it can definitely be a shocker for your family if they aren’t fully aware. So, we’ve come up with a quick guide that will help you prep your black family when you’re dating someone who is white.
1. Be Patient And Understand That It’ll Take Time
The Neighborhood is a comedy about what happens when the friendliest guy in the Midwest moves his white family to a neighborhood in Los Angeles where not everyone looks like him (aka they’re black). Dave Johnson is a professional conflict negotiator. His wife, Gemma, is a school principal in L.A. The Johnson’s moved from Michigan with their young son, Grover, and live next door to a black family, Calvin Butler, his wife Tina and their sons Marty and Malcolm. The entire premise of the show is about fitting in and getting people to understand them. Dave realizes early on that fitting into their new community is more complex than he expected.
Interracial dating can be complicated and it can take time for everyone to warm up to it, so before you spring a new relationship on your family, find out their thoughts on the subject, educate them and be patient. Plan family gatherings at places where there’s a diverse population of people. Get them comfortable with groups of people that don’t look like them. Then, once you have a feel of their comfort level, let them know about your dating life.
2. The Sooner The Better
Don’t wait until you’re halfway down the wedding aisle to let your family know that your significant other is white. The quicker you can get it over with, the better. Just remember, don’t spring it on them as a surprise. That literally never works. Tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth as soon as you get an opportunity.
3. Pick The Right Kind Of White
If you’re going to date someone of another race, it’s important that they have nothing but respect for your culture and you of theirs. That means they have to understand what life as a black person in America is like. They have to be just as vocal as you are about social injustices and be ready to call out racism (even if it’s from their own family) whenever possible. If you two can’t get on the same accord, things will never work.
We’ve gotten you started but the rest is on you. Find out how Marty handles it when you check out The Neighborhood on CBS tonight at 8:00-8:30 PM, ET/PT.
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