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Usain Bolt (pictured) is known as Jamaica’s premier World- and- Olympic-winning sprinter. A national hero, Bolt has recently gained a boatload of criticism, though, due to his recent relationship to White, Slovakian-born girlfriend Lubica Slovak.

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While Bolt has already been dating Slovak for a year, the ish literally hit the fan when the two were photographed kissing each other (pictured below right) in local newspaper the Jamaican Observer (pictured right). The photo ignited a firestorm of disapproval from Black Jamaicans, bemoaning Black men’s “White woman complex.”

A Winston Frazier wrote the following on March 16:

Dear Editor,

I note with interest Usain Bolt’s recent love interest. The Observer’s March 14 Page 2 picture of them kissing and the March 15 cartoon highlight it. Why is it that when most of these black men become famously rich they all gravitate to these Caucasian women?

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against any race (although some may take issue with me). I just find it strange because these same women would not look their way under normal circumstances. Two words of advice to Mr Bolt – Tiger Woods.

And Winston isn’t alone. Others chimed in:

‘Another one of our men snatched.’

‘Out of all the girls on this island you pick a snowbunny.’

‘These superstars will always disappoint if we depend on them to raise our racial identity.’

For many, Bolt’s embracing of “the White girl” was an immediate rejection of the local Black Jamaican girls Bolt grew up with. This concept was illustrated in a cartoon that ran with the original published photo (pictured below left).

Bolt’s girlfriend grew up in Canada, but then relocated to Jamaica after reportedly falling in love with the island. Slovak has enjoyed a successful career as a fashion designer on the island, co-owning clothing line Anuna and a Kingston, Jamaica, boutique.

Slovak’s business partner, Tami Chynn, was reportedly the one to introduce her to Bolt, and soon after Slovak interviewed him for a Slovakian newspaper, the two reportedly began dating.

While one could possibly look at the negative criticism of Bolt’s interracial relationship as an isolated incident, there is a long, drawn-out history of Black males dating and marrying White women due to slavery and racism.

Award-winning songstress Jill Scott eloquently described the history of Black men, Black women, and White women back in 2010:

When our people were enslaved, “Massa” placed his Caucasian woman on a pedestal. She was spoiled, revered and angelic, while the Black slave woman was overworked, beaten, raped and farmed out like cattle to be mated. She was nothing and neither was our Black man. As slavery died for the greater good of America, and the movement for equality sputtered to life, the White woman was on the cover of every American magazine.

She was the dazzling jewel on every movie screen, the glory of every commercial and television show. She was unequivocally the standard of beauty for this country, firmly unattainable to anyone not of her race. We daughters of the dust were seen as ugly, nappy mammies, good for day work and unwanted children, while our men were thought to be thieving, sex-hungry animals with limited brain capacity.

We reflect on this awful past and recall that if a Black man even looked at a White woman, he would have been lynched, beaten, jailed or shot to death

Scott went on to describe the flinch many Black women experience when they see Black men with White woman as “the wince.” While there is clearly an exception to every rule, to observe Bolt with his White partner without considering the historical backdrop of what happens when a particular race of women are placed on a pedestal. On the other hand, do we ever want to get to the point where interracial unions can exist unquestioned?
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