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As much as I wanted to believe in sites that told me differently — that men across the pond were just waiting for my arrival — I felt like I also knew better.And while these sites say they intend to expose black women to a world of possibilities, the "possibilities" seem to predominantly feature black women with white men — a move that, intentionally or not, presents interracial dating as aspirational.At first glance, Black Girl Travel seems to be like any other American international travel club, just one that caters exclusively to black women.But buried toward the bottom of its About Us page is a fuzzy You Tube video that indicates a wider problem."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.

Throughout American history black women were either desexualized or hypersexualized according to the whims and anxieties of whites in control of their images.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.Kim Butler, a data editor from California who moved to Germany in 2011, pushed back on the argument that Europe is a solution to black female singlehood on her blog last year.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.

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