*nodding at Cindie's post* All of that.
Thank you for that post, Free.
I have broached the topic with my married, black friends, and they have all said they could not do poly or swinging, but they always respected me and what I chose to do. The thing is my single black friends practise some variation of solo poly but do not call it poly. My male friends say they are "doing them" or "just having fun." My female friends say they are "exploring and keeping their options open." They are doing it honestly and not deceiving anyone involved, and feelings have never been off limit. I would say that is pretty ethical and constitutes solo poly. Would they ever seek support from a forum or chat within a group? Free pretty much covered the reasons why they elect not to.
This reminds me of a conversation my BIL started over my birthday weekend. He flat out asked where are the "brothers" and "sisters" who practise this?" Like I told him, the only openly black poly person I know is my friend's girlfriend. She has said that it feels like a struggle because she is not only a female working in a male dominated field, but she is poly, a lesbian, and black. She works in a place with at-will termination, so they could very well get away with firing her for any of those reasons and legally get away with it. That is a hell of a burden to bear.
Despite what we appear to be, we are an interracial couple. The catch-22 is DH's appearance and what he self-identifies as does not correlate. He quickly corrects people when they assume he is adopted or simply white. He appears to just be "white," but he has two mulatto parents, who ID as Afro-Caribbean. DH has never tried to pass for white like his ancestors, but it throws people for a loop when he reveals what he is. In his parents' respective countries, he is called a chabin. The mystery of the chabin and chabine (female form) is that they often get the recessive traits and any traits that skipped a generation like the fairness of his skin and texture/colour of his hair.
I have no doubt poly exists in black communities (not within my in-laws'), but elsewhere? Absolutely. It probably stays behind closed doors and goes under a nameless entity. Sometimes they just do not call it poly but actually practise it. It seems to be different for every culture. My in-laws are devoutly Catholic and religious, so picture me the polyamorist being part of a family like that and "flaunting" (not hiding) my extramarital relationship. It did not mesh well, as things like poly and breaking vows are frowned upon, by them and their beliefs.
Some of DH's relatives are self-hating. They despise the white blood that is in their veins. They hate the fairness of their skin because they cannot properly pass for black and are perceived to be white. The worst one of all was DH's uncle. He hates like most white people, but his own father is white and his brand new DIL is, too. I offered to help him pick his face up off the floor.
For people like them, no reparations will ever be enough. They would not accept it because they would view whatever was given as tainted and tinged with the blood of their ancestors. I would love for them to forgive and learn to trust, but the odds of that happening are minimal. They feel empathy for the black ancestors and shame for the white ones.
Ry - Me. Panromantic demisexual with a history of polyamorist tendencies. Married to...
Matt (Hubby) - The once distant stranger that I complement beautifully. DH of 12 years and father of our (3.5) children.