Young black men have long been expected to submit to being exoticised by white women – and when they don’t, they are often punished. One writer calls for an honest discussion

I’m going to talk about something that, until now, I have largely kept to myself. It’s odd, as I consider myself a writer of extreme honesty, and I try to carry that over into real life. And yet, even now, I’m hesitating, and I realise to some degree I have procrastinated even more than usual about the thinking, and writing, of this. The committing of a hidden life event to the written word. That’s always a scary act.

I used to wonder if my reluctance was driven by shame, or simply my incredulity at what took place all those years ago. Now, I think that it is those things mostly, but also a hell of a lot more. Over the last few years, particularly in the recent crosswinds of our racial and cultural political climate, this life event bubbled to the surface of my memory, never quite boiling over. I’ve talked about it to a few of my close male friends, but that’s it. I almost never mention it to women.

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