All of My Best Friends Are Black, And That’s Ok

by Demetria L. Lucas

I don’t like Girls. Revolutionary thought, right? I know. Since the HBO show’s premiere two weeks ago, I’ve read all types of moaning about the show, the story of four twenty-something brown-haired white women making a way and doing slightly better than Florida Evans in seemingly homogeneous Brooklyn. The prevailing complaint about the show has been about all those people of non-color living, mating, and getting by in America’s biggest melting pot of a city. How could it be, many, many (too many) people have wondered, that they couldn’t find any color in Brooklyn?! I mean, besides the homeless Black guy that yelled at “Hannah” to “smile!” (There are people of color in Girls’ world, they just, well, color the margins life for the people of non-color.)

In all the Girls talk, there’s emerged a prevailing ideas that New York City proper, with inhabitants that undoubtedly rep every country and city on Earth’s face, is this place where people of all cultures gather around the Empire State Building and do some sort of collective kumbaya chant where we express tolerance for every race, religion, and creed. Nightly.

I’m almost certain where this lure of the New York melting pot came from. It’s a bunch of people from everywhere, living in close quarters, and so in theory, they would all intermingle on more than public transportation and then find common human interests like, you know, surviving this city and become friends. Surely that can happen, but what’s been my experience in application is it doesn’t for a lot of people. Of course, there’s potential for New York to be a melting pot, if you prefer it that way. But it can also be as segregated as a Jim Crow Mississippi, complete with the crazed police brutality, but without the separate but equal signs.

The crowded streets of Times Square look like the figurative UN (all tourists, so you know) and by convenience and for time efficiency, you’ll see people of all colors, including the Mayor, smashed together on the subway come rush hour. But for, dare I say, many New Yorkers, sharing a knowing eye roll across an empty aisle to whomever from wherever when the inevitable kid enters the subway car to sell M&Ms and recite the scripted speech about hustling on the train–”Not for no basketball team, but to have money in my pocket so I won’t be robbing you”–can be as meaningful as your NYC encounter with another race gets.

I will have lived here ten years come late August, and I have just one non-Black friend. She’s Puerto Rican, from The Bronx. Unlike Zoe Saldana and LaLa Vasquez-Anthony, she doesn’t claim “Black” even if she could be mistaken for such. I rarely see her, maybe once a year, as she’s a workaholic and a mother. We met when her husband was still her boyfriend, and clicked. End of story. Everyone else who I could call at 2 AM in the midst of a crisis and actually expect to answer and care is Black.

  • TheBestAnonEver, Part 2

    Agreed. I have, and have had, acquaintances, work/school friends of all stripes, but those I would call my friends in any meaningful way are all black. I grew up in predominately white cities, went to predominately white schools, and currently live in an overwhelming, predominately white city, but my closest friends are still black. They understand me and how I perceive situations intuitively; understand me in a way an overwhelming majority of non-black people can’t. Once I was past 25 years old, I was too damn old for buddies, I needed friends.

    I don’t understand the gripe with the show. This is one particular woman’s story and possibly she doesn’t have any close non-white women in her life. Do we really want to encourage people to accumulate friends of other races as trophies?

  • Unknown

    I do relate to this! I’m not looking to only have black friends but I just do. I even have siblings married to mostly white women and I swear we are like strangers. I tried; I did but I’m past that age where I’m yearning for friends. I would not say no to a genuine friendship but I would not force one neither. My friends just happen to be black ( from different countries ). No racism here just it just happened that I connect the most with some people. Coming from a cultural background where we were very friendly in school ( west Africa) I was extremely chocked when I came to study here. People act as if you were the best of friends in some situations and the second you stop taking a class or working together they stop saying Hi. So I have adapted and now I considered most people ( for some reasons there are always non-black ) I associate with whether in school or @ work just as acquaintances, business partners… I learned the hardway. At least I could be charming and courteous at work while canceling everyone out when I leave the professional place…

  • QueenofNew

    Where I live its impossible to have black friends especially black girls friends. There are just so few here and the ones that are here are not in my age range. My BFF is Chinese. We clash about so many things but we are still friends. She gets me as a woman but she doesn’t get me as a black woman. I sometimes long for a black sister friend. There are just so many conversations that I want to have but I just can’t have them with anyone else besides another black woman. I think thats why I spend so much time on Clutch.

  • tisme

    I heard their adding a black girl to the show Girls.

    Here’s her description “23-26 years old. Adam’s best friend. A tough, tiny lesbian. RECURRING. Likes: biking without a helmet, making her own soap and preserves, bar fights, Brigitte Bardot. Hates: needy girls, most of Manhattan, the messages her mom leaves on her machine, when Adam lames out and stays home.”
    Courtesy of Jezebel.com

    I think black people should be careful and stop expecting white people to include us in everything.

    The black girl on this show likes to fight.Are any of the white girls on the show violent?
    I also think it’s interesting that she’s a lesbian.
    I wonder how many, if any, of the white girls on the show are lesbian?It would come as no surprise to me if none of them are.Though I am happy for lesbian black women to be portrayed on television in my opinion them adding a lesbian black girl is a way for them to hire a woman of color who will not be a threat or competition for these girls in regards to men.I believe it was probably done to protect white womanhood and maintain white women’s desirability among the male population.

    I wonder how masculine will they make the black woman character in relation to the other women?Not all lesbians are masculine.

    Any way I think the responses to the show introducing a black girl will be interesting.

  • tisme

    *they’re*

  • Kacey

    I’m so glad you wrote about NYC not being the melting pot people think it is. Yes there are people here from everywhere, but that doesn’t mean they mix and blend freely. Matter-of-fact, I explained to someone not too long ago that I’ve experienced more overt racism in NYC than I every did when I lived in the [very homogenous] midwest! And, guess what: most of those incidents were direct at me from other so-called minorities who, operating on the racial hierarchy that inevitably springs up in places of extreme diversity, tend to look down on blacks as being at the bottom.

  • Kacey

    “Though I am happy for lesbian black women to be portrayed on television in my opinion them adding a lesbian black girl is a way for them to hire a woman of color who will not be a threat or competition for these girls in regards to men.I believe it was probably done to protect white womanhood and maintain white women’s desirability among the male population.”

    BINGO!!

  • Kacey

    *ever

  • S.

    Am I mistaken or did the criticism for the lack of diversity in “Girls” come from WHITE viewers first?

  • tisme

    I think that you may be right.I think both white and black people were the first to complain about the issue.I know I heard some white feminists complain about it around the same time I heard a few black women complain about the lack of diversity.

    I kinda didn’t care either way because the show is called Girls.I think the name killed it for me before I even got the chance to watch the episode.Same with that movie The Women.

  • Mercedes

    OMG. Same here. The most racists comments I have heard have come out of the mouths of West Indians. As a Detroiter, everyone is just Black. But, in NYC there are levels of Blackness. I stopped telling people I was African American until after they met me so they wouldn’t judge me.

  • Mercedes

    Great article. I have lived in New York for 12 years. And purposely sought at non-Black friends. I joined a church that had multi-ethnic groups. Went out with my co-workers. As someone who grew up in the segregated Midwest I just refused to self segregate myself. But, it did take a lot of work to foster those relationships, but then again it takes work for most relationships.

  • http://www.itsoftenbeensaid.wordpress.com Sasha

    Hmm funny. Like @TheBestAnonEver, Part 2 I grew up around predominantly around White people however none of my close girlfriends are Black although my best friend is mixed (English and Guyanese). The only Black friends I have are men, it works out better that way for me. I’ve never been able to establish close lasting relationships with Black women, then again I’m only 25 so that may change with time.

  • http://museandwords.com NinaG

    “I think black people should be careful and stop expecting white people to include us in everything.”

    ITA. There is a downside to integration.

  • freebee33

    I grew up (partly in New York), from my experience it is not as racially blended as we would like to believe. When I was in kindergarten (1992) my older brother and I were bussed from our predominantly Black neighborhood to an almost all white elementary school in Howard Beach…where we were taunted because of the color of our skin (ie. asked to say what our parents did for a living, one white kid shouted out that my dad robbed banks at night…) Howard Beach is notorious for racial hate crimes apparently.

    My parents took us out of that school after a few months, and I went to a few other schools in New York that were all predominantly Black so all of my friends were Black. We moved to Florida, and oddly enough, I found the school down here to be a lot more diverse. I ended up being friends with a few of them and throughout middle school and high school my friends were a mixture, but my best friends were always White or Latino until I went to College then most of my friends were Black. The friends I’ve kept in touch with since graduation are a mixed group, ranging from Black, Afro-Latina, and Indian…I have no white friends.

  • http://itsoftenbeensaid.wordpress.com Sasha

    Random tangent: All of these women are beautiful however the two women in the middle- why do their breasts look like that? Is that “normal”…?

  • freebee33

    Lmao!

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    girlllll I was thinking the same damn thang! the one in the yellow is not wearing a bra, so I guess that the law of gravity is at work!

    I don’t have a problem with the other sistah, but the yellow girl….yeah…

  • apple

    maybe because i was a transplant but i had good friends of all races in new york and it wasn’t a problem..only back home did i have only black friends

  • kimkam

    OMG! you have basically described my life lol. I didn’t know people were such users until I got to grad school. You’re in a group with them and they can’t say hey when you see them outside of class SMH. I need to visit west africa again to get a feeling for where people are truly nice just because lol.

  • Cia

    Great piece! Unlike the author I totally LOVE Girls. The show is pretty funny and I can completely relate to the characters. I also dig that they aren’t super skinny! They remind me of the years after college/in law school when I lived with my close friends (in DC not NYC though). All of my close friends are black. Basically always been that way despite growing up in predominantly white area. Not sure why though, just happened that way I guess.

  • chanela

    wow!that is truly sad. as women we are so used to seeing fakeass breast implants constantly that we don’t even know what our own real breasts are supposed to look like. Smh with real boobs now wearing a bra will make them *GASP* not still be up to your damn chin.smh soo soo sad! too maNy fake skanks

  • chanela

    @Kayla it’s true though. if it was a white person who wrote this article then people would be all up in arms about it! this article IS about having friends of a certain damn color,not that they are good people and good friends….but about having and not having friends based on skin color. actually clutch makes a LOT of atricles that could easily be pulled down and considered racist and require apologies if a white person had wrote them. i’m black and i noticed this. if the person i’m replying to didn’t state their race you wouldn’t have said anything at all.

  • http://itsoftenbeensaid.wordpress.com Sasha

    Uhmmm @chanela are you daft? Their breats look weird what is sad about that? I don’t know anyone who has breat implants and and furthermore of the women I know, none of their breasts look like that. In fact, when I look down at mine when I’m topless they are fully inflated and pretty perky, both of their breasts are really saggy. Maybe it’s their age, who knows. And just for the record, I don’t think anyone’s breasts are “supposed” to look like that- their nipples look like they’re neighbors with their belly buttons. If breasts are “supposed” to look like that then no thank you, I’ll stick with mine.

  • http://www.harlemlovebirds.com Quiana

    I grew up in the Midwest as well and also sought out non-blacks when I moved to NYC 5 years ago. To me it’s boring to only have friends who look just like you/have exactly the same experiences as you (i.e. understanding what it’s like to be black). NYC has been a true melting pot for me but this article has helped me understand what used to confuse me – seeing people who only hang out with those who look like them. Not for me, but I can now see how that happens here.

  • Sherri Coleman

    It’s good to hear that black sister’s are maintaining close relationships with one another. Speaking from experience, I do not have one close female friend and when I try to pursue friendships with black or white females they turn out ugly. The black females are always trying trying to stab me in the back and the white females are always trying to get me to walk their walk and talk their talk. In other words: Control me…My two very own blood sister’s can’t stand me for what reason, I will never know. Praise God for the black sister who is able to have and maintain close and honest relationships with other black sisters.

  • Jaslene

    What is weird for me is that all my friends would be considered on the light-skinned spectrum while I would not. I never planned it that way but for my long term friends they are that. Is that weird?

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    @ chanela,

    SKANKS—————-> who you calling a skank. I do NOT do catty meow meow! If you were offended, by the comment, say so. Don’t resort to name calling. URRRRRGH!

    May the Spirit of the Lord come down Amen, May the Spirit of the Lord come doooooown!!!!

  • chanela

    @african mami i didn’t call you a skank my dear.

    @sasha you’d have to be real naive if you don’t know that women’s breast DO sag without a bra on.you know what though? we’ve all been so used to seeing women without a bra in the media (movies,porn,tv,magazines) and their boobs looks like basketballs on top of their chest, it seems odd to see real breasts doing what real breasts do…. sag.(without a bra) her breasts look perfectly normal. they don’t look like they’re neighbors with her nipples at all. in fact they all seem to be bending down a certain way in the picture so that could be why too.

    but i’m sure you’d be the first one running to the plastic surgery office once your breasts start to sag a little bit out of fear that something may be wrong with them. most women do because they don’t realize that sagging is normal.

    I used to think something was wrong with my breasts years ago, then i realized “oh 99% of the people who i see without a bra in backless/strapless clothes and have hoisted up boobs have implants”. i see this in real life too. it seems like half of california has fake breasts.

  • Jame

    Well I have been weird for a long time. My best friends are black, asian, white, and middle eastern. I know their parents. I have been in their weddings. And I have long given up hope that the mainstream media believes that people like me exist. I used to think I was fairly common in my generation. But I later learned, not really. Having non-same ethnic group best friends is pretty rare — especially if you are black. (More common for Asian and White people).

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    @ chanela

    but who was the fake skanks being directed to?! C’mon are we really really getting meow meow over some girls boobies?! I am all about love peace and boobie love!!

    I’m done!!!! Have a great afternoon girl!! :)

  • http://itsoftenbeensaid.wordpress.com Sasha

    LMAO @chanela. Uhm what, refer to your comment above when you said “too maNy fake skanks”. Come on they’re boobs, its not that serious. They look weird and unattractive. I personally do not have to worry about sagging, thank God, and in the event that I someday will HELL YES it is my right to run to a plastic surgeon and get them fixed. Anyways I’m with African Mami on this one, take your assumptions with you and have a nice day girlfrannn!

  • Candy 1

    I think its normal-looking. I think more women than you think look like that but since so many of them wear push ups and enhancers with their low cut tops, you can’t always tell. Mine look like that with no bra…I’m not ashamed, lol. Everybody just ain’t perky…

  • Sherri

    Jaslene,
    I don’t think that’s weird at all.

  • The Comment

    Same here. I live in SanFrancisco and yes it is diverse but we have liberal racism; we accept you if you u are in dire need of food, shelter or drug intervention. In otherwords you have to be a victim of some sort.

    But my best friends are not black.

  • Chrissy

    I agree with chanela on this one.

    Most women probably do not have ‘perfect’ breast. Some women do but a lot do not. Obviously unless you see every single woman naked without any clothes on you have no idea what their breast look like.

    I suppose women aren’t supposed to have acne, stretch marks, cellulite or anything else. Or we wont be perfect. ::GASP::

  • Chrissy

    I would like to know why would someone only having a certain race of friends be seen as bad or close minded?

    Having a white friend makes someone diverse?

  • CHE

    L.M.A.O.

    *Choking*

    R.O.T.F.

  • Alexandra

    Great! Thanks for sharing. I’m glad to see people examining their own social groups before criticizing the show. I’m sure there are many people who have all colors of the rainbow represented in their group of friends, but that does not apply to everyone and it shouldn’t determining factor if one is racist.

    I went to mostly White schools growing up and I did have friends who were White. Until I moved and transferred to a mixed school where I also made a lot of friends. Then my family and I moved again and my last year in middle school up to HS were at predominately Black (mostly Caribbean) schools. I didn’t get along with all types of Black kids and as a result most of my current Black friends aren’t just Black, but are foreign, or children of immigrants like myself (not always good)

    However, I was still able to make friends with non-Black women. I do have my best friend who is Jordanian, and one my other best friends is Italian-American, and my only actual White ‘friend’. If I were to write a show about my young life, most of the characters would be non-White; a White woman wouldn’t show up till final season. So I don’t fault Lena Dunham.

  • Alexandra

    Nope. Most of my friends are lighter than me too.

  • CurlySue

    Although I frequent the black blogosphere often and date a black man, all my closest female friends are white or white Latina. It was never a conscious choice. You click with who you click with. *Shrug* As long as you’re not actively rebuffing other races’ attempts to be friendly, I don’t see an issue with having a relatively homogeneous friend base. It would be disingenuous to have sort of racial quota with who you open yourself up to. If it happens, great. If it doesn’t, don’t beat yourself up about it.

  • somewhiteclutchfan

    Article makes a good point. What is bothering people, I think, is that this show is just Girls- what tisme said above. Why can’t there be a bunch of shows about groups of women who are all Black or all Latina or some mix of races what have you? That’s like real life, it would be good if TV could reflect it, but well, yeah, not happening right away unfortunately.

    While I’m a sucker for any “four close BFFs” shows, that isn’t a lot of people’s lives. I’m early 30s and have been trying to make new friends, meeting women of different races, and a lot of us in this age group have trouble– as in the 4 best friends meeting up all the time is hard to achieve in real life. Or maybe that’s just me and other socially awkward people I’ve met. Hopefully a lot of people do have that in real life, but in my experience easier said than done.

  • FreeBee88

    I laugh because my nickname is also “freebee”

    But I must say that I agree. I grew up in Florida (Miami) where it is truly a melting pot. I had friends from different ethnic backgrounds. So when I moved away it was shocking for me to see the true split between people. Going to College and joining the Military, I tend to find myself looking for someone that I can identify with. I look for my black sisters to hang out with. I have White aquaintances at work, but none that I hand with after I leave. And I feel as if we only associate because we work together. But all in all, my close friends and bestfriends are of Latino and Black background

    This is definitely a interesting read.

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    ”Not for no basketball team, but to have money in my pocket so I won’t be robbing you”

    What a indignant thing to say to someone you’re asking a favor. Saying stuff like that you people you don’t know will have someone pull a Bernhard Goetz on that azz in a heart beat.

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    QueenofNew & QCastle are the same person?

  • http://method2hermadness.blogspot.com girlformerlyknownasgrace

    You are ALL wrong for this. Have none of you seen the internet mem with the different types of boobs? Boobies come in all shapes, sizes and types of droopiness. Embrace it yall!

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    What I’ve been saying tisme. Who knows what we will wind up with since they don’t have a blk writer on staff. One of the staff writters(Arfin), seems pretty darn insensitive.

    NinaG, the photo in your gravie is stunning.

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    Sasha their nipples look like they’re neighbors with their belly buttons

    Train conductor says ” All aboard for the one way trip to hell”

    *Chic noir pushes Sasha onboard*

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    @African Mami-

    Well dear, I filled out the Clutch survey.

  • BlackWomen&GirlsNeedLoveToo

    SIGH. SMDH. Like I said before, let this show have an all-White MALE cast and the same people “confused” about all the “fuss” over this show and it’s all-White FEMALE cast would be talking about how “racist” it is.

    Once again, SMDH till the damn thing falls off.

  • Insight

    No, but have you ever met anyone that hasnt encountered (or made friends) with black people or any minority? T

  • BlackWomen&GirlsNeedLoveToo

    I have to say this though. The photo chosen for this article is gorgeous. Black female beauty at it’s finest. Made me smile. Thank you very much Demetria.

  • Insight

    No, but have you ever met anyone that has no friends that are minorities? They are usually very stuck in their own ways and are not open to new cultures (i.e. that guy/girl that says there’s “I dont like the curry smell” or “eewww sushi?”, or “I dont eat anything spicy becuase I love mayo on everything” kind of people.

    Sorry I used food as an example (I’m hungry and I want sushi and Indian food) :)

  • Insight

    I have had different best friends (I have moved a lot) through-out my life and I have had BFF’s that were Asian (jr. high), White (since kindergarden), Black (since high school), Native American (since college) and Spanish (since highschool).

    I would say one thing I have learned from all of them is how we are really not that different. All of my friends (with the exception of one) had strict parents and parents that were not orignally from this country. So we all bonded in some way (Like finding out a lot of Asian dishes use peanut butter, my favorite Ghanaian dish is omo tuo (rice balls and peanut butter soup). Or finding out Vietnamese people and Ghanaians both use tripe in their dishes.

    Again I came back to food because I am hungry and still working. :) lol

  • Dreaming

    Spanish or Hispanic?

  • Yeahright2011

    My old hood was nice and black, still is from what I hear. I didn’t and don’t need friends I don’t have most things in common with. Its okay for everyone else to stay to themselves but let black americans want to do the same, we are being anti-social. whatever, my besties are black, american, and women. i like the post.

  • TheBestAnonEver, Part 2

    I think it is common for Asians, but actually white people are the least likely to have friends of another race.

  • TheBestAnonEver, Part 2

    I do have to say, my non-black good friends are either of Asian or European descent. I just don’t do well with white Americans or Canadians. I find them weirdly false. I don’t get the same way with most Europeans, except the English. They can be a bit funny as well. Perhaps it is an Anglo-Saxon thing?

  • BlackWomen&GirlsNeedLoveToo

    Chrissy, that garbage is ONLY aimed at Black women & girls. Anytime, ANY DAMN TIME you have something that is all/mostly Black female or someone even talks about something that is all/mostly Black female will you get that bad/close-minded mess that you speak of.

    Let something be all White female or all Black male and nobody says nothing.

    Double-standard anti-Black female racist garbage, that is all that it is my freind.

  • BlackWomen&GirlsNeedLoveToo

    And I like YOUR post.

    Most of my friends my whole life have been and still are BLACK & FEMALE. And I am very proud to say so.

  • Freekwentlee

    Howard Beach?! Where did you grow up? I’m from Far Rockaway and while I wasn’t bussed, my mom used my aunts address because her zip code is considered Rockaway Beach and the schools were better on that end. They weren’t “white” schools but the programs I was in had pretty much ALL of the white kids in the school in them and they lived on “the white side of Rockaway”.

  • itsmejewel

    Why wouldnt they be? I dont understand whywe have to question ourselves about all of our NATURAL choices. I mean SEX in the CITY wherethe cast was all white, I am sick of expecting to be included in the minds of HOLLYWOOD tv. Whomever wrote the show is writing from there own perspective and its up to us to make shows from our individual persepectives.

  • cabugs

    So…I understand Sasha and Mami thinking that their breasts look somewhat abnormal because the girls look young and their boobs look saggy. I however, think (and know) that this is perfectly normal. There is so much pressure in our society to look perfect. Though I have perky boobs myself, I know that one day they will go south so I cherish them now, and I will cherish them later when they do. My best friend has saggy boobs and stretch marks. So freaking what? She is the the most beautiful woman I know and her boyfriends have always appreciated her beautiful body and accepted every part of it. It’s a body, and they are breasts – saggy or not, I think their breasts are beautiful! (because they are breasts! Who doesn’t love boobs??)

  • http://Itsoftenbeensaid.wordpress.com Sasha

    I guess I am just completely unknowledgable about breasts because when I look my chest they don’t look like the ones in the pic above…..I have seen some of my friend’s bare breasts and like mine they sit up (just for the record I’m 25 and a 36C, my friends are A’s, B’s and C’s like myself). I think these women are beautiful and I’ve learned something new today: perky breasts are not the norm. Thanks Clutch lol

    @grace: that meme is freaking hilarious!!

    @Chic: girl I’ve been waiting on that train forever, punched that ticket a long time ago!!

  • tight lipped mary

    i agree with your statement.

  • freebee33

    @ FreeBee88 lol @ our screen names being so similar. Yea, I too look for friends that I can identify with now, but I find that those are usually other black women or men.

    @ Freekwentlee, I was in Richmond Hill, but didn’t stay there long.

  • lauryn

    This is not meant to be an excuse for the show (or its lack of diverse casting), but I think one of the reasons why the cast is all-white is because that is their reality. Come on, this was the same problem on Friends and Sex and the City. I think there was an episode of Oprah where she asked the cast of Friends whether or not their characters had any black friends! I’ll admit, I watched those shows because I liked the storylines. But I won’t watch Girls for a number of reasons, the number one being that I don’t subscribe to HBO.

    I agree with itsmejewel that the writers are writing from their own perspectives, and let’s be real, in many white people’s perspectives, “we” (people of color) don’t exist. Yes, we may work in the same buildings, know some of the same people, yadda yadda yadda, but often times people of color are some of the most visibly invisible people in “mainstream” culture. Does Invisible Man ring a bell?

    What we need are more writers of color who are willing to write from their experiences. Let me write a show and I PROMISE you, white folks will be in the margins just like we are in theirs. Not because thats my intention, it’s simply my reality.

  • E.M.S.

    I grew up having a diverse group of friends: black, white, asian, hispanic, indian (when I say indian I mean from INDIA) etc. And I still have a diverse group of friends today, that’s how I like it.

    There’s nothing wrong with all your friends being the same ethnicity as you, but I think it’s more beneficial to make good friends with people of different races. You teach each other so much & that makes you all more worldly and understanding of each others’ cultures.

    Just be sure you’re not purposely segregating yourself from those who are of a different culture. Honestly, you’re missing out!

  • Belle

    i don’t choose my friends by race alone. in the article, i wrote that the people i call friends are the type that i could call in the middle of the night with a problem and they would answer and care. that is a good friend, in my definition, and that’s what i base my friendships on. it happens that people i’ve forged those bonds with are black folk.

    i believe there are people of all colors who are capable of being good, lasting friends to me. thus far, it has not happened. i would not rule anyone out because of their race. i would like to have friends of other colors, but i won’t go looking for token friends to fill a quota. it doesn’t serve them or me.

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    @ Chic Noir,

    kool beans, now let’s swim the Atlantic togeda!!

  • Melissa D

    I think the main compliant regarding race with Girls isn’t that her friends are all white but that the environment of the show appears to lack diversity. I’ve only half watched a couple of episodes so I can’t technically agree or disagree but that’s what I’ve been hearing.

  • Just Me

    So many commenters are speaking about ONLY having black friends because they can relate to you. But isn’t there so much more to being YOU than just being black? I’m a black woman who has a very diverse group of friends and found that, although they can’t completely relate to the racial aspects of “me”, we have SO much more in common than we do different.

    We may listen to different music, eat different food, have different religions, but our personalities click and we’ve become very close. All it takes is approaching a non-black person with an open mind. You might discover a new friend.

    I’ve actually grown to appreciate the diversity of my friend circle. I learn so much from them and feel at home with other open-minded individuals. I don’t knock people for their choice of friends, but I just don’t understand why anyone would want to limit themselves.

  • Sasa

    +1

    Being black is important to me, but there is so much more to me. I do not see anything wrong with having an all black group of friends, but I don’t like these comments that say OF COURSE we would stay with black people, it’s what we KNOW. Seems a bit limiting to me.

  • QueenOfCastle

    @ChicNoir

    Its the same person. I use different vairations of my screen name to get past moderation. Its a shame.

  • joeclyde

    I have no issue with all of the girls being White. That is just reality. Everybody doesn’t live in an Benetton Ad. I would have a problem if all of the extras were White. Now that isn’t reality.

    * Hey Yellow Girl

  • QueenOfCastle

    @BlackWomen&GirlsNeedLoveToo

    I dont remember any white or black views contesting the lack of diveristy of Living Single or Girlfriends. Whites and other non blacks are quite happy not to be on our shows.

    BTW, as a black woman, you are an embarassment. You make black women look paranoid and thirsty. Stop begging for love. Lastly there isnt a black man or white woman behind every bush trying to sabotage black women/girls.

  • QueenOfCastle

    @Just Me

    If you are talking about your childhood friends, you met then in your neighborhood or your school and everyone in your neighborhood kinda went to the same school and what little diversity existed people still clustered with their intra ethnic friends. THere really isnt anything wrong with that. Its incidental. No one is shunning non black friends. A blackness isnt the only thing that bonds us. Personally, I never bonded with East coast blacks as much as west coast blacks. I dont bond very well with Africans. I prefer West Indian blacks over any other blacks I have met. So it isnt just blackness. Its culture too. Its also class.

    As I said, I live in an area with few blacks and my BFF is Chinese. We have huge differences. huge!

  • That’s That

    Wow, I remember when I was changing elementary schools and I had to go to P.S 232, My father could have sworn the school was in Howard Beach and was not having it, until we reached the school and seen that it was in Lindenwood (Borderline Howard Beach/Brooklyn) but your story is unfortunate and the exact reason my dad wouldn’t have even thought twice about taking me elsewhere.

    Also I thought Richmond Hill was more diverse than being predominantly black, I lived in Ozone Park, kinda borderline Richmond Hill/Cypress Hills and I lived around a lot of Dominicians and Indians.

  • Dash

    Err dont you remember friends? Dont remember a fuss being made.

  • BM

    I very much respect the premise of this article but I have a problem with some of the comments. If some black people want to reserve the right to primarily have black friends, why can white people not do the same? I am black, with a mixed group of friends, and I question this premise because it strikes me as counter productive. I have been one of the ones to critique the show for its whiteness, but if the response is “well I want the right to have only black friends” then why bother to critique the show? Why not leave it as is? I personally don’t believe that and I think that its ridiculous in 2012 to have such a loudly proclaimed show with not a single person of colour in it. But when I try to explain to my white friends why its problematic, they can point to articles like this and say “but maybe white people just identify better with other white people” which sounds bigoted to me. Why doesn’t the same standard apply the other way around? I’m not saying we’re going to turn this world into a kumbaya multi cultural paradise, but why do we explicitly and implicitly continue this physical and media segregation?

  • http://www.facebook.com/EnriquesX Anita Volpato

    I am happy to say that I have friends of all races?, age and color. It’s kinda impossible for me to hang with just one group of people because I am so complex. I haven’t really ever met anyone that is “like me” maybe a few similarities. I do notice out of all the friends that I do have. I have a very limited number of black male friends. I really have never clicked with a lot of black men except for the few that I grew up with or met while in college. I do recall being jumped back in the early 90′s in a night club by a group of black women because I showed up with a few of my white girlfriends but there weren’t many black people in my classes (Biology Major, UK). They literally asked me “What are you doing here with these white girls” They were total strangers also.
    As I traveled the world and became older I realized that it’s not me it was them. A lot of the African American’s I have met have been so narrow minded and ignorant. NOT ALL but a lot. It’s quite embarrassing at times. Oh well there is my 2 cents….LOL

  • iQgraphics

    i don’t have any friends ;)

  • NSquare

    @Dash – you read my mind!

  • Hellifiknow

    40-something Black woman who grew up in NYC with a very diverse set of friends NONE of which translated into adult relationships. All of my best friends are Anerican-born Black women except for two white girlfriends. Both of the white girlfriends live extremely diverse lives up to and including their preference for Black men. I do socially interact with a number of Whites but it doesn’t seem to make for intimate relationships. Would be interested to know if this is different in the South or on the West Coast as this is the case for the vast majority of Black people that I know.

  • MommieDearest

    Cosign!

    Who gives a crap if a bunch of white women on a TV show (or in real life) don’t have any black friends? I sure don’t. I don’t feel the need to be included in everything that white people do. And I don’t feel the need to include them in everything I do.

    This is a great post.

  • So Over This Ish

    @ lauryn…I agree w/you!

  • So Over This Ish

    E.M.S…you make a valid point, too. I’m of mixed race and while I see nothing wrong with a Black person who prefers to have mostly Black friends, I think diversity can help make people more open-minded and accepting of other cultures or perspectives.

  • So Over This Ish

    @ Melissa D…you’re right. “Girls” is a good show, IMO, but it does seem to be missing diversity.

    But at least they aren’t showing some token person of color for the sake of being PC. I’m actually relieved by that. It would be somewhat condescending to have a token Black woman or Asian or Latina, almost like an afterthought.
    The truth is that for many people in America, segregation is still being practiced to some extent. I know white people who only have other white folks in their social circles and the same is true for some Black folks.

  • So Over This Ish

    @BM…I hear what you’re saying and I agree with you to some extent. But I believe that the difference is that with some Black people who prefer to have mostly Black friends, they tend to feel more of a connection with other Black people. Some Black people have experienced racism from whites and other minorities, so I can understand that they would probably feel more comfortable with other Black people. There are only a few instances where actual prejudice or hatred is involved in a Black person’s choice to exclude non-blacks from their circle of friends but this is generally not the case.

    Some whites might identify more with other whites and thus prefer the company of white people only, but this can be problematic because of America’s ugly past. Black people were excluded from many things for a long time, including friendships and romantic relationships with white people.

    So while I don’t necessarily agree with promoting division or segregation of any sort, I think some Black people feel more “at home” with other Blacks because they have a similar history and certain things in common.

    That is just my perspective on it, though.

  • So Over This Ish

    @ Unknown…I find your attitude very refreshing. I agree with you. That has been my experience, too.

    But it’s not something that only white folks do. I find that many people can be phony like that. They will be nice when they want something and when you have to work together, but they would never really be your friend otherwise.

  • So Over This Ish

    I agree with tisme and Kacey, re: the lesbian situation.

    There is nothing wrong with being a lesbian, IMO, but I will find it odd if they throw a token Black lesbian character into a show with heterosexual white females.

    Even the main character, Hannah, is considered relatively chubby and plain…yet she still gets plenty of play from guys. So why can’t they also portray a Black woman as being equally desirable to men, if they must include a Black woman at all?

  • So Over This Ish

    Same here in Miami. It is very sad. Hispanics are typically the racists in my neck of the woods.

    @ Mercedes…my mother is West Indian (Jamaican) and despite living in the US since the 1970s, she still has a certain mindset about most Black Americans. It hurts me to hear my otherwise kind, intelligent mother saying certain things.

    But I believe that it all comes down to internalized racism. I won’t lie…some Black Americans have treated me very poorly. But I still find so much beauty and positivity in Black American culture and in Black Americans themselves. I’ve never agreed with anyone, West Indian or otherwise, bashing Black Americans because it is pure ignorance.

  • So Over This Ish

    I grew up in Miami and I’ve experienced racism there, but I guess everyone’s experience is different.

    Howard Beach was once known for its racism, though…Michael Griffith, a young Black man from Trinidad, died in 1986 after being hit by a car in Howard Beach. He was beaten and chased by a group of white guys who were pissed that he was in their neighborhood. He was running away from them and he was struck by a car speeding down the street.

  • So Over This Ish

    @ Sasha…maybe you’re just lucky to have nice boobs, then. But I really don’t think hers look all that bad.

    Sure, they droop but they’re not that bad. Maybe she has breastfed children and her breasts have lost their perkiness/shape. It happens.

    And maybe to you, her boobs look “weird and unattractive” but to somebody else, they could be just fine.

    It’s all relative.

  • So Over This Ish

    Not weird at all! But I’m curious…what do you mean by the “light-skinned spectrum?” Do you mean white people or light-skinned/mixed people of color?

  • So Over This Ish

    You made some good points as well.

    I can only think of a few shows/films where friendships between women of color were showcased and NOT as tokens.

    “Waiting to Exhale” had its problems, but overall it showed a beautiful friendship between Black women.

    “Girlfriends” and “Living Single” were also pretty good. They showed classy, attractive Black women. But I agree, most BFF-type shows tend to be all about teh white wimmenz.

    I can’t relate to shows like “Friends” or “Sex and the City”. And I, too, am a socially awkward person…you’re not alone.

  • divagurl

    As an entertainment biz professional, the only problem I have with a show like “Girls” being all-white is that it doesn’t provide lucrative employment for any people of color. When I look at a TV show I see jobs, plain & simple. I know that the principal performers make real money and I always want to see black folks making real money. The extras are paid but not much. Are there people of color making money on this show off camera, I wonder? I hope so.

    As a reflection of reality, “Girls” represents a valid reality from what I’m told (haven’t seen it yet). Birds of a feather do flock together! It’s natural. I don’t think most people consciously limit themselves to their own group, it’s just what is most comfortable. I think we all need to be careful judging who people choose as their circle of friends. There are so very many factors that go into who your friends wind up being. I think it’s fabulous to suggest that everyone broaden their horizons to develop relationships with people outside of their traditional circle but some of the judgmental tone in this thread bothers me. Not having seen the show, I hope it does represent the multi-ethnic, multicultural, multi-national nature of Brooklyn when the borough is shown. If it doesn’t do that….epic fail.

    About those criticisms of the blacks whose friends are all black – if you read books like “Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” and “Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom”, you will see that it is healthy for blacks to gather in all black groups. I can’t give a comprehensive explanation of why in this forum – would be too long and it’s too important to give a half ass sound byte on. Check out the books.

  • Ms. Information

    +1

  • Ms. Information

    I have acquaintances of all races…my very close friends will ALWAYS be Black…Black people, Black men, Black women have a very different existence on this earth that other races don’t seem to have.

  • LemonnLime

    Seriously? What is funny is you are the same person who comes to this site everyday with something negative to say about black women. I can’t even remember you writing something nice and yet here you are talking about how you want a black female friend to talk to. If you plan on talking to your black female friend in the same way you do I the women on this site you will NEVER have any female friends whether you are living in the whitest town on earth or DC.

  • Brendaonlygirl

    Is every show on television duty bound to have a “person of colour” in it???? Why?????

  • http://beautyandthestreetmag.blogspot.com Amber

    I have to agree with Demitria, like seriously who cares if that cast is all white? I know people with just white friends or just indian friends or just black friends. I don’t see the big deal here lol. Enjoyed this article…oh and the kid selling candy quote….classic NY haha!

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