The question every Black person in an interracial relationship should ask themselves…

Close your eyes and imagine a perfect morning. You wake up in a comfortable bed, as the subtle smell of breakfast foods waft in. You stretch your arms overhead and look over to your right. The sun dances on your significant other’s skin, who is still fast asleep. Who is it nestled beside you under the layers of white bedding? Are you running your hands through dark brown curly hair? Is his skin alabaster white, or is it olive, or mahogany? What does your fantasy mate look like?

During my pre-adolescence in New York City, my first crushes were a…


With the holidays rapidly approaching, people are looking forward to having some time off from work. Typically, the last few weeks of the year are a time to rest, to reset and to reconnect with friends and loved ones. This year, however, for myriad reasons some people may feel uncomfortable requesting time off from work. Maybe they have been working from home, and their manager likens this to already being “off”. Others may fear that taking vacation will highlight that they are replaceable in their role or may be perceived as a lack of enthusiasm for their job.

It is…


Kamala Devi Harris: the first female vice president, is a woman of Jamaican and Indian heritage. She was born more than a half century ago to immigrant parents, in Oakland, California. Madame Vice President Harris, chose to attend an HBCU and to pledge a black sorority. She is as multifaceted in her abilities as she is in her cultural heritage. Yet, there are those who seem to be unable to rejoice in her accomplishment, and question if, “is she even Black”?

“Same boat. Different stops” is a common saying repeated throughout the African Diaspora. Yet, despite knowing that the African…


Pexels/nappy

In the spring of 2004, as I walked across the vast expanse of Duke University’s great lawn, I observed the undergraduates huddled together. Some were studying, while others lay on the grass tanning. As we moved across the campus, Lauren, my guide for the Black student weekend, pointed out important buildings and monuments. When it was time to attend an afternoon class, she left me in her dorm room, which was spacious and beautiful.

A few hours later, Lauren returned with a group of girls, all eager to tell me about the various facets of student life. As things typically…


In 2018, tennis star Serena Williams, while recovering in the hospital from delivering her child via C-section, began to experience shortness of breath. Due to her history of pulmonary embolism, she explained to the nurse that she needed a CT scan and possibly IV anticoagulant medication. The nurse dismissed her concerns, believing that the world class athlete’s pain medications were causing confusion. Serena did not yield, and hours later, a CT scan revealed small blood clots in her lung, which could have easily ended the new mother’s life.

My husband and I have been together for about 5 years and…


Courtesy of Pexels

How many lovers are too many for a woman over the course of her lifetime?

How many sexual partners label her promiscuous and a woman of ill-repute?

Who defines a harlot, a slut, a ho, a thot?

And why do most women spend years of their life avoiding these labels?

For centuries, around the world, women have been expected to abstain from sexual intercourse prior to marriage and to adhere to strict rules of chastity. Women have followed these rules either for their physical safety; to uphold their family’s social standing; or because of their religious convictions.

Although most women…


Several times when I have walked down the street with my husband, the visible ire of strangers becomes almost palpable, when they realize that we are a couple. Sometimes, a shadow clouds their faces or a sneer contorts their lips: all manifestations of the ugliness that only racial prejudice can conjure up. Or so I thought.

During the first two years of our relationship, I assumed I was living the universal experience for Black women, in interracial relationships in public spaces. …


So, what’s your type?

Everyone has a type or a preference in a mate. Some like tall and athletic, others prefer teddy bears. Some like very pale skin, whereas others are attracted to highly melanated skin. However, one must be mindful that these preferences don’t exist in a vacuum. The influence of parents, the community, as well as the media all contribute to what people perceive as ideal. What is often defined as physically attractive is very subjective, and a culmination of beliefs and external influences.

In light of the newest iteration of the Black Power movement, many facets of…


During my third year of residency, an attending said to me, “You only care about beauty because you’re beautiful.” She had at once complimented me and insulted me. I was seeking a mentor on the faculty to assist me in conducting research on the perceptions of beauty and skin color, in post-undergraduate Black women. However, she seemed to believe that my research topic “lacked relevance” — a phrase that I would frequently hear as I endeavored to explore this topic.

For months, I searched the psychiatric literature for previous works on skin color discrimination, perceptions of beauty and long standing…


My wedding day

About 9 months into my relationship with Tino, I was sitting with my mother on her couch, when she let out a series of prolonged sighs. I asked what was wrong, and looking me squarely in the eye, she exclaimed, “It’s my fault that you’re with a white man…I made you watch all those Turner Classic Movies with Cary Grant and Gregory Peck.” I doubled over with laughter and immediately questioned if she was serious. When I looked into her eyes, they confirmed the gravity of her statement.

Over the past month, I’ve wrestled with the age old question, can…

Aminata Cisse

A psychiatrist writing about mental health issues, through a black female lens. www.amtaarwellness.com

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