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As recently as 2011, science (or, "science") has been used to claim that black women are decidedly unattractive.As black women in the United States, we're told not only that we likely won't get married, (based on oft-misconstrued statistics that apply only to women aged 25–29), but that trying via modern conventions like online dating are probably futile — after all, we're also the least likely to get messaged in online dating.Her presence, despite the poor video quality, commands the screen."And I kind of thought about, like, well why is that? The idea that we should travel abroad — particularly to Europe — to find love has a home in online discussion groups, travel websites, blogs, and Facebook pages, all of which earnestly and enthusiastically encourage us to "swirl," i.e., date non-black men (the term is designed to evoke a half-chocolate, half-vanilla soft-serve).And as I started talking to [women] it's like, they're only dating black guys. " she exclaims, pressing her hands to her chest, then throwing them out in a shrug. That's what's happening."She cites her research, 2008 census data that suggests that even if every black man chose to partner with a black woman, there would still be 1.5 million black women left mate-less."That's why I created Black Girl Though they vary in tone — some are celebratory, extolling the joys of finding "Swirling Success in Sweden" while others are bear hard-nosed messages like "The Dating Truth for Black Women: Go to Europe and Don't Look Back" — every site insists that black women in America are better off looking for love in another country."It's like what Alice Walker said: We're the mules. The slave trade turned black bodies into objects of toil and labor, and made black women's bodies desirable largely in the context of rape, which allowed slave masters to exert further control over them.Slapstick mammies made exultant, toothy-grinned claims on the screens of early 20th-century cinema, their large and lumbering figures merely vehicles for laughs.At first glance, Black Girl Travel seems to be like any other American international travel club, just one that caters exclusively to black women.

She told me she's noticed many of the pro-"swirl" websites seem to be pushing one message: "What is right is white." But Butler says there is more of a conversation to be had.

Malika Walker arrived in Rome two weeks ago as Weaver's new assistant.

Her boss said she "can't even keep up with" how many dates Walker has been asked on since arriving."I guess you could say my stock is up in Europe," Walker told me, with an exuberant laugh.

The women who, even if every black man chose to date a black woman, would still be left without a partner.

Because it assumes all black women are heterosexual, this figure can't accurately convey the number of single black women seeking a male partner.

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