Black Panther, Black Men, & The Westward March

Ryan A. Jones
Jan 23, 2018 · 5 min read

It’s January 2nd, 2018.

Ashy black men everywhere are unwrapping the new packs of Lubriderm they got for Christmas, and putting them on the shelves with all of the other lotion they actively choose to neglect. In between cleaning their shoes, and actively searching for new ways to use the word “female,” (a past-time that bridges the racial-ash-divide) they hop onto Twitter.

And there it is.

Ashy black men rush to sound their sirens, anxious journalists pick up their pens, and the whole of the internet goes buck wild for 24 hours! They all scream to the heavens, “How can black women be so misguided?!” Only to discover after the dust settles and the noise stops: none of it was real. Ashy black man, ashy white men, and the internet alike, had all been duped by a troll account on instagram. Our ashen brethren sigh at the news, put their phones down, and live to attack black women another day.

If you’ve been anywhere on the internet this past month, you may have happened upon this story that was run by numerous gossip blogs, black news sites, and even the Atlanta Journal Constitution. And furthermore, if you had any common sense (or at least know black women in real life), you were scratching your head in disbelief. From the jump, the idea that a black woman would get angry simply over the fact that Michael B. Jordan (a man whom the black community has trusted since The Wire) is dating someone non-black is laughable. It really sounds like a siren call from a black man who believes that his own dating a non-black woman will throw black women into a frenzy.

While having a conversation about the “faux-cott” with a friend of mine, Christina Dana, I was reminded of the scores of black men who tout their relationships with white women (and other non-black women) in an attempt to denigrate, demean and disparage black women. And no, not purely because they believe white women are more beautiful than black women; rather, because they believe them to be both more controllable. Add that with the value of white femininity, and what you come out with is what many an ashy-ass-nigga believe to be an opportunity to further themselves socially.

I know of a few black menthat need their lives fixed.

By creating and perpetuating the narrative that black women are the largest antagonists to successful black men and romantic progress, black men are able to assume power and control over black women, and justify the cycle of misogynoir they’ve created. And while this “faux-cott” may seem like a misunderstanding of information, its role in the larger context of black men and social hierarchy plays more like a cog in the acquisition of 360 degree waves and moral high grounds.

Dude only got this wavy after 3 months of brushing, a silk du-rag, and several tweets about “the feminization of black men.” (Source: Pinterest)

A friend of mine and fellow writer, Zack Linly, sums it up pretty well in one of his most recent blog posts in one line:

“ Yes, this was our moment in the sun to take these pesky, self righteous and mostly right about everything black [women] down a peg…”

In taking black women down a peg and removing them from the narrative of progression, black men are able to convince others and themselves that they have reason to take control of their communities, of the movements that were created by black women, and of the narrative moving forward. By suggesting that black women are ultimately the enemy, they are able to justify their decisions to relegate black women to the margins of the spaces they occupy, and even go as far as to justify their apprehension in getting involved with them professionally, platonically, and romantically.

Enter “The Westward March.”

In the summer of 2014, I wrote a very terrible blog post bemoaning the marriage of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian where I described their love as a symptom of something I like to call “The Westward March.” Named after Kanye West, himself, the Westward March is a phrase that describes the phenomena of black men using white women/white femininity as a means to acquire and demonstrate social wealth. The idea stems from the fact that black men, whether it be intentionally or subconsciously, often treat white women (or other racially ambiguous women) as markers or trophies to denote their social status. Or as Kanye put it in his hit single, “Gold Digger,” from 2005, “and when he get on, he’ll leave your ass for a white girl…”

Kanye West’s dating history. (Source: Jezebel)

The Westward March isn’t a new occurrence by any stretch of the imagination. Follow the career path of many successful black men, and at the end, you’ll find a white woman waiting with open arms and a plate of no-boil mac ‘n cheese. What continues to make the theory relevant, though, are moments like the “faux-cott,” where journalists and members of other communities buy into these false narratives about black women, aiding the dusty nigga in his plight for control, and ultimately, perpetuating a cycle of misogynoir.

Now, I’m not saying that there aren’t any black men who genuinely fall in love with white and other non-black women, nor am I saying that is the goal of every black man to institute control over black women. Interracial relationships are a beautifully normal thing. Black love (both romantic and platonic) is real and is amazing. However, it’s very difficult to imagine a black man having genuine feelings for their non-black partner when they are quick to get defensive and attack black women over a rumor that took all of 30 seconds to disprove.

Let’s be clear here. Love who you want to love. Enjoy the company of those who make you happy. But if you really find it easy to believe that black women give that much of a damn about who you date, you should reexamine why you feel that way. And if you’re a white or non-black woman dating a black man, and he has to tear down black women in order to praise you… I’ve got two words for you:

Get out.