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But she insisted that Black Girl Travel's purpose isn't to convince black women that Europe is the solution to their singlehood."I'm not saying it is the promised land; I'm just saying you have more options," Weaver said.Weaver is speaking to what she calls "the 1.5 million": the number of black women in America who outnumbered black men in 2008 (now 2.5 million according to current census data).The company, which was originally named Bella Italia before expanding to other countries, arranges tours for groups ranging from fewer than 10 to over 70.She could readily name all the women she's taken to Italy who are currently in relationships with, or married to, Italian men.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."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.

"I have done a lot of research and talked to a lot of women in this country, and what I'm hearing is: You can't find dates, you can't find mates, you can't find husbands."Weaver, a statuesque black woman flanked by two chic employees on either side, is all long lithe limbs and wavy hair. "What you gotta do is open your mind." Weaver's not alone in her exhortation to black American women.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.In America, with the exceptions of nearly exclusively light-skinned celebrities, to desire a black woman is to reach your hand into the bottom of the beauty standard barrel.It's why the adoration following Lupita has been so refreshing, and complicated.

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