Just like Caucasian men and Asian women can't get enough of each other, and Gentile guys and Jewish chicks go gaga over one another(or Jewish guys and Gentile chicks), so do black men and white women. According to media, anyway.
Though it's no big deal in most of the world, there are still some parts - e.g. South Africa, France, The USA - where black-white ethnic relations are troubled and this trope actually comes into play. In Real Life, black man/white woman couples are pretty common and there are a variety of views on what this kind of relationship should or does entail. White man/black woman pairs don't get as much attention (positive or negative) perhaps because they are less common, at least in America, though the gap appears to be narrowing. South Africa and The USA have had a serious Double Standard when it comes to this gender divide, as a direct consquence of Apartheid and the USA's Jim Crow laws (and slavery before that): many white men had black slave-mistresses, and this practice was generally accepted or at least tolerated. The reverse-gendered version, of a free woman loving a male slave, could result in death for the (African) slave and the public shaming (and possible death) of the free woman. When slavery gave way to Jim Crow and Apartheid, this bias remained - the chief difference being that before Apartheid, a white-woman-black-man couple would be lynched by the authorities whereas during apartheid they would instead be lynched by family/friends/neighbors whom the authorities couldn't be bothered to prosecute for murder.
Nobody lynches anyone anymore for interracial sexual relationships, obviously. Yet many of The USA's black women have to contend with the puzzling stereotype that they are all angry, unattractive man-haters - to the point that the news media actually run stories about why unmarried black women are unmarried.
Please note that just like this trope's white/Asian counterpart, not every black/white romance falls under this trope. If the lovers just happen to be interracial and nobody makes a big deal out of it, then it is simply a mundane relationship. Only when it is seen as a controversial mixed marriage and/or one of the lovers expresses an extra attraction to their partner's skin tone is the trope in effect.
The Trope Namer comes from Blazing Saddles. It's also worth noting that the affection isn't one-sided in the least. There are plenty of white women on the prowl, wondering if what they've heard is true. This trope was commonly nicknamed Jungle Fever, until Spike Lee made a film deconstructing the term.
Contrast Like Goes With Like. The gender inverted version of this trope is Black Gal on White Guy Drama. Also, any discussion of this trope is likely to bring up Black Is Bigger in Bed. Also tends to be used in Dating What Daddy Hates.
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Some controversy was aimed at a recent Cheerios ad that featured the cute daughter of an interracial couple. Sigh.
In series of ads for Arnott's "Tim-Tams" chocolate biscuits, a guy and girl stumble upon a magic lamp, releasing a genie who grants them Three Wishes. When Arnott's brought out Tim-Tams in dark chocolate, the genie took the form of a handsome black man who eyes the girl suggestively after the first two wishes lead to her boyfriend disappearing with a hot blonde. He's rather disappointed when she wishes for a pack of never-ending Tim-Tams instead.
Played with in Quantum and Woody, with Eric's (who's black) longtime unrequited love for Amy Fishbein. His best friend Woody repeatedly warns him that her white suburban Jewish family would strongly oppose such a relationship.
In the original Boondocks strip, Huey's friend Cesar answers the question "What is the secret to happiness?" with "White women?"
Said strip also features an interracial couple that struggle with this issue.
Averted in Archie Comics with a dash of Unfortunate Implications; writer Matt Wayne tried to introduce a black love interest for Betty so that she could also have her own love triangle. Since he was portrayed as The Ace, the editor vetoed it and had him changed to be a white character. In another instance, writers got to vote on a new love interest for Cheryl Blossom. The black character won out, but when the "results comic" was finally released, the character had much paler skin than he was originally designed with.
Remember the Titans: When segregation is lifted and the black students arrive at a previously all-white high school, one of the black male characters eyes his new white female classmates and comments that "They sure do have pretty women around here."
A deleted scene in American History X features an interracial couple being harassed by two of the bad guys. The black guy manages to keep his cool and delivers insults that actually sting the villains.
The 1967 film Guess Who's Coming to Dinner starring Katharine Hepburn and Sidney Poitier, about a young white woman surprising her family and friends by becoming engaged to a black man. The movie was one of the first films to touch on the subject of interracial marriage seriously. All anti-interracial marriage laws were deemed unconstitutional only six months to the day that this movie came out.
In a surprise bit of Values Dissonance, there's another reason to object to the marriage: Poitier's character is at least fifteen years older than Hepburn's daughter, plus they've only met several weeks earlier. The writers intentionally made Poitier's character as perfect as possible so that there would be no reason for anyone to object to the marriage other than the racial difference, as well as the other two mentioned.
Another Poitier film, A Patch Of Blue, has his character befriending and then falling in love with a blind white teenager.
Spike Lee's Jungle Fever. The main couple in the film, a black man and a white woman, face discrimination and resentment from almost everyone, especially family members. Unfortunate Implications also come into play, since the man was already married and cheated on his wife.
Also covered extensively in his biopic of Malcolm X. Malcolm is required to give up white women as a stipulation of his religion; before his conversion, he'd dated several.
One of the better chick flicks Save the Last Dance is about a young white girl moving to the inner city and falling in love with a black youth with a bright future. A black female character criticizes her for this and says she hates how white girls always snatch up the good black men, leaving black girls with the black men that are criminals and gang members.
Dance Flick parodies Save The Lance Dance, including the interracial romance subplot. But, it's also Deconstructed and the movie declares this a Discredited Trope. The female lead, Megan White, at one point believes her black boyfriend, Thomas, is cheating on her. Thomas's stereotypically-ghetto sister says that she isn't surprised, because white women are out of style with Black men these days and other ethnicities such as Hispanic, Asian, and Arabian women, have appeared as competition.
Ordell and Melanie from Jackie Brown. Ordell even admits that this is her main appeal, despite being a pain in the ass. In fact, Quentin Tarantino is probably one of the only mainstream filmmakers that frequently feature interracial couples. For examples of this particular trope:
Mr. White mentions a previous relationship with a younger black girl.
Marcellus & Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction appear to be happily married.
Jimmy's wife, Bonnie (despite only being seen for a matter of seconds) is African American.
The above-mentioned Ordelle & Melanie.
What about the aforementioned Jackie Brown and Max (though nothing actually happens) ?
This is played for laughs in Undercover Brother. Sistah Girl informs the team that the Undercover Brother has slept with Penelope Snow, AKA White She-Devil, aka Black Man's Kryptonite. Conspiracy Brother asks "Was it everything I dreamed of?" and "She had pink nipples, didn't she?" and Da Chief asks "Carpet match the drapes?" However, having sex with him eventually turns her over to their side, since she rather enjoyed the encounter. Lance (the only white guy there) was doing it, too.
The Black drug dealer in Requiem for a Dream talks Jennifer Connelly into paying for her drugs with sexual favors, and admits he has a thing for white women. Then again, it isJennifer Connelly.
Surprisingly, not one of the many jokes in Blazing Saddles. The Trope Name comes from a line dropped in a shenanigan Sheriff Bart and the Waco Kid pull to get the attention of a kouple of Klan members.
Well, there is the romance between Bart and Lili von Schtupp, but that was arranged by Big Bad Hedy (THAT'SHEDLEY!!!) Lamarr, as Schtupp would serve as a Honey Trap - only for Bart to give her a Sex Face Turn, probably making it an example of this trope anyway.
While not the Ur Example, one of the earliest trope codifiers for films of this trope is The Birth of a Nation (aka The Clansman), a controversial but influential 1915 film in which the Ku Klux Klan is founded in large part because the white men need to defend the honor of their women, who are being taken away to be raped by Always Chaotic Evilblack men. The controversy and influence are due to two different things: the controversy due to the extremely vile racism and the influence due to the style of the movie, which set a few trends in motion.
The Blind Side: A drug dealer makes sexual comments suggesting he thinks this way about Leigh Anne and Collins, setting off Michael's Berserk Button. Also, Leigh Anne's snobbish salad luncheon friends warn Leigh Anne of this.
Exaggerated in the romantic comedy The Brothers. Bill Bellamy's character only dates white women after a nasty turn with a black ex, since he sees them as timid and docile. It doesn't help that the black women in his subplot (his mother and ex) are both racist, ball-busting shrews. The white girl comes across as ironically sensible; she defends herself against his ex, and calls Bellamy out on his bullshit when he chides her for being "no different" after the two ladies fight.
In Don't Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood, one of the characters appears to be making a play at an attractive black woman, who seems receptive to his advances. However it turns out he's actually talking to a white woman behind her, who is... rather unattractive. He defends himself to his friend by implying that it's revenge on white people for centuries of slavery and injustice.
And then, during the climax of the film, various characters are dodging bullets during a drive-by shooting and one of the protagonists notices that a black woman is directly in the line of fire. He jumps, apparently in an effort to save her - but then we see that he actually jumped to save a blonde white woman who showed up out of nowhere for no other reason than Rule of Funny. He shoves the white girl to the ground, saving her from being shot, after which she gratefully calls him her "chocolate warrior."
The infamous 1975 Blaxploitation movie Mandingo, which is about a horny slaveowner's wife (named Blanche, FFS) seducing a Scary Black Man on the plantation. It ends with a black baby being born and the white owner murdering both his wife and his slave in revenge.
Mitch Mullany's "The Breaks" includes a scene reminiscent of I'm Gonna Git You Sucka when the main character, Derrick, attends a spoken word performance. After a dreadlocked black man recites an angry Afrocentric poem, the hostess says, "Thank you very much, Stokely Ungawa, and your lovely wife, Betsy..." at which point the camera cuts to the same poet, embracing a very WASPy looking blonde.
The 1968 British-French film The Girl on a Motorcycle (AKA NakedUnder Leather). At the French/German border a smiling black customs officer makes a point of taking the title character aside and patting her down in an intimate fashion. When she has to go through the same customs station later on in the movie she comments, "That black man had better not try touching me up again" only to be disappointed when she sees the customs officer is an elderly white guy.
An early example is Harry Belafonte and Joan Fontaine in the 1957 film Island in the Sun. Unsurprising for the time, they don't end up together
Deliberately averted in Hitch. Originally, Cameron Diaz was supposed to play Hitch's love interest. However, when Will Smith got the role, they decided that this trope might come out to play. However, they also didn't want to cast a black actress for fear that people would assume that it was an African-American movie like Tyler Perry's films. They finally decided on Cuban-American Eva Mendes (who has been cast because of this racial gray-area more than once.)
"Party at Cindy's house! Drunk white women for everybody!"
Purposefully averted in The Deal, where the studio vetoes love scenes between the characters played by Fiona and Bobby because it still makes some people in the audience uncomfortable.
Holes. The relationship between Sam, a black man, and Kate, a white woman, causes another man after Kate to kill Sam, provoking Kate into becoming the notorious bandit Kissin' Kate Barlow.
John Updike's Brazil is about an affair between a rich white girl and poor black man who later run away together. Later they switch colours by mystic means (it's a long story). It does not end well.
Perry Moore's Hero is about a team of misfit superheroes. Precog and Cool Old Lady Ruth recounts to main character Thom her black boyfriend from her younger days. Her rich father is not pleased with this, and has her boyfriend savagely attacked. However, she had no idea about this and was told he left her. She just so happens to see him again some time later, working as a stock boy, visibly disabled and uncoordinated from the beating he suffered. Ruth was so horrified that she couldn't face him, and said they would talk after his shift. He said he would wait. At that point, she drove away and her rage prompted her decades-long crime spree before she decided to become a superhero to repent her crimes. When she was dying after being attacked by the Big Bad, her last words were, "He did wait for me..." A definite tear-jerker.
In The Poisonwood Bible, Leah (a white girl who came to the Congo with her missionary family) ends up marrying Anatole (a black citizen of the Congo). There are a lot of awkward moments, to say the least, over Leah's skin color, as she is the minority in the country where she lives, and because her race defines her as a citizen of an imperialist country.
Older Than Print: The Framing Device of 1001 Arabian Nights includes this with Persian women (Persians were considered white at the time), namely the queens of the brother kings. Said queens are found lying with black slaves. The trope is then repeated multiple times within the tales.
To Kill a Mockingbird: "White trash" Mayella Ewell comes on to Tom Robinson, a black man, in 1930s Alabama. As he tries to get away, her father comes in, witnesses this, beats the shit out of her, and then forces her to claim Robinson raped her.
In the short story Spawn of Satan by Charles Birkin, a black man and his white wife move to a town ruled by neo-Nazi street gangs. He is horribly and gruesomely lynched by the gangs in revenge for his wife accidentally killing a white child when she had a heart attack while driving.
In Model Minority a half-white half-Japanese teenager is beaten by her (white) mother for daring to date an adorkable black guy she met at art class. Mom seems to have fewer problems with her daughter's next black suitor, mainly because he's an associate of her drug dealer.
Weeds manages to use this one andMighty Whitey and Mellow Yellow with Dean and Celia Hodes - Dean cheats on Celia with an Asian woman, and Celia gets back at him by sleeping with Conrad and bragging to Dean that she slept with a black man. Conrad also has a relationship with Nancy before being Put on a Bus.
My Name Is Earl: Joy was afraid of her father's reaction to her marrying Darnell, since he'd objected to her dating a black guy in high school. In reality, he knew that the unfortunate youth was actually his illegitimate son.
Played with in Community in the episode "Early 21st Century Romanticism" where Dirty Old Man (but very white) Leonerd uses the trope almost word for word:
Leonard: "Where are all the white women at?" Jeff: No Leonard! There are no white women here!"
Subverted in season 4 with Troy and Britta. Although there has been a few subtle jokes about their race, the focus has been more on their actually personalities than race.
Since their groundbreaking roles in 1992's soap Por estas Calles, Venezuelan actors Gledys Ibarra and Franklin Virguez tends to end in roles with this kind of relationship, given that they are two of the most prominent black actors in a country where most of the acting pool is fair-skinned (and Ms. Ibarra herself has lighter skin and green eyes). They are helped by the fact that Venezuela is more accepting of interracial couples.
Dep. Jones on Reno 911! is obsessed with white Dep. Clementine Johnson, even though black Dep. Williams won't stop throwing herself at him.
For that matter, Lt. Dangle (white gay man) is obsessed with Dep. Jones as well.
Oz. Kareem Said's attraction to a white woman gets him ousted as leader of the Muslims. In an earlier episode he briefly encounters his former fiancé, who's also white — a fact that caused a rift with his own sister, who accused Kareem of "trying to be something he's not." (i.e. white)
In Charles S Dutton's sitcom Roc, a long lost relative gets engaged, and carefully breaks it to Roc's racist black father that his fiancé is white, though forgets to mention that it's a man.
Everton and Renee on Chef!. The only outside opposition they got (not counting Renee being a bit of a Rich Bitch) was the Chef himself, who didn't think they should date because they were colleagues.
Dr. Elizabeth Corday and Dr. Peter Benton on ER, until the actor playing Benton got upset with the situation and the producers broke them up and set him up with a new, black character.
704 Hauser, a belated Spin-Off of All in the Family, showed a black family living in the Bunkers' former home. The son was in a relationship with a Jewish girl, which the father tolerated about as much as Archie tolerated Meathead (or perhaps a little less).
In The 4400, Richard Tyler was abducted from 1951 during the Korean War, where his secret relationship with a white woman had gotten him beaten up by his fellow officers. In the present, his relationship with fellow abductee Lily, the Identical Granddaughter of that woman, is seen as mundane... well, apart from their superpowered Fetus Terrible.
Subverted and lampshaded on an episode of The Golden Girls in which Sophia strikes up a friendship with an elderly black man named Alvin.
Sophia: There's nothing romantic about it — I've never even thought of him that way. Which is surprising, because I've always wondered about that particular myth.
Sophia: You know... about black men... in the bedroom?
Rose: Oh... is that a Greek myth?
MADtv had a skit called "Inside Looking Out" hosted by a black man and his white (and very racist) wife.
An episode of Law & Order featured a white girl killing her black boyfriend, and claimed he tried to rape her when she was arrested. It later came out that her father was a racist, and had previously broken her arm for going out with a black guy in high school.
On an episode of WKRP in Cincinnati African-American DJ Venus Flytrap dates station manager Andy's younger sister. It causes a brief rift in their friendship but they patch it up just before a bar brawl starts when a redneck objects to Venus and the sister dancing.
An episode of Promised Land had a white girl and black boy pretending to be a couple to gauge people's reactions. It was for a class project and both were reluctant to participate, due to mutual dislike unrelated to race. Responses from the public ranged from matter-of-fact to disapproval to outright rage from people of both races. Despite this, the two came to genuinely like each other, but the white girl nixes the relationship before it can even begin, fearing the disapproval of her family.
Played with in The Kids in the Hall - Susan, a white girl (Dave Foley) brings her black boyfriend Tony (Scott Thompson) to meet her parents, warning him about their attitudes. His race isn't an issue to them at all, and in fact they like him immediately - but she reacts to every friendly conversational line of theirs as if it were an indictment against him.
Dad: Gosh, Tony. I've got to tell you... you're a pleasant change from the usual riff-raff Susan usually brings home.
Susan: (furiously) Dad! He's not armed!
Played for Drama in Hell on Wheels. For striking up a relationship with Eva, a white prostitute, Elam is nearly hanged in the highly racist 1860s.
Introducing the "Racial Draft" sketch on Chappelle's Show, Dave Chappelle said of Tiger Woods (who is a quarter black, a quarter white, and half Asian [specifically a quarter Thai and a quarter Chinese]) "he's been discriminated against all his life, he's received death threats and he dates a white woman... he sounds black to me."
In the British TV and Music segment of the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony a white woman, her black husband, their interracial kidsnote The NBC announcers implied the daughter was cast first followed by the rest of the family, and various in-laws are presented as an average British family.
"KKK Bitch" by Ice-T's band Body Count. Also, on the album, a skit before the song states that "the real issue isn't the lyrics on the record, but the risk of the white kid identifying with a black artist, or a white girl, falling in love with a black man".
Also, "Momma's Gotta Die Tonight", where the protagonist kills his racist mother after she negatively reacts to his white girlfriend.
And they gone keep calling and trying / But you stay right girl / But when you get on he leave your ass for a white girl.
The video for "Touch the Sky" has a scene in which his black ex-girlfriend yells at him for dating a white girl. When said girlfriend (played by Pamela Anderson) runs out and kisses him, the ex-girlfriend and her friend are seen looking annoyed and shocked.
In late 2010 Kanye began to embrace this trope.
"Champagne Wishes, thirty white bitches..." from "So Appalled"
"Had a few white girls..." from "HAM"
Madness - Embarrassment, which was a real life story about a sister of one of the band. Happily, it ended well.
Public Enemy's "Pollywanacraka" on "Fear of A Black Planet" delves into this trope.
Some of Ice Cube's songs from his "AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted" to his "The Predator" albums also reference this trope.
The song I Believe by Blessid Union Of Souls is about the hope for love in the world and everyone being seen as people, not different colors
I've been seeing Lisa now for a little over a year She said she's never been so happy, but Lisa lives in fear That one day daddy's gonna find out she's in love With a nigger from the streets Oh, how he would lose it then, but She's still here with me
Religion and Mythology
Baron Samedi, the Voodoo loa of death, is usually depicted as a horny black man who is married to one of the few white deities, Maman Brigitte.
Othello: Italian Desdemona falls for the "moor" Othello. It has been argued that in Shakespeare's time "moor" didn't mean Black necessarily, and through history he was often played as Arabic.
The argument that Othello is Semitic rather than African more political than textual, given that the villain Iago refers to him as "thick lips" and "a black ram", which aren't terribly ambiguous...
"Even now, now, very now, an old black ram / Is tuppingyour white ewe!"
The play Harlem Duet by Djanet Sears is a updating of the love story from Othello. During one scene, the male character, who has recently left his wife for a white woman, both exemplifies and deconstructs this trope.
One of Portia's wealthy suitors is the Prince of Morocco, who begs her to "mislike me not for my complexion". When he loses the Engagement Challenge, she is quite glad: "Let all of his complexion choose me so."
Later on, Lorenzo mentions that Launcelot had a fling with a black moor and that she is now "with child". It's never mentioned again, but it is used as a setup for an Incredibly Lame Pun on "moor" and "more".
1960s hippy musical Hair invokes both the Black Man/White Woman and Black Woman/White Man version of this trope with the song "Black Boys/White Boys". The movie adaptation takes it farther, adding a Ho Yay component with the Army induction examiners.
This makes an appearance in The Magic Flute, where the Moor Monostatos (see above) is irresistibly attracted to Pamina, accompanied by a heapin' helpin' of Unfortunate Implications (implications, nothing; unfortunate text.)
Und ich soll die Liebe meiden,/weil ein Schwarzer hässlich ist!/[...] Eine Weisse nahm mich ein;/Weiss ist schön, ich muss sie küssen!
And I must forgo love, because a black man is ugly![...] A white woman has captivated me; white is beautiful, I must kiss her!
Nina Crowley from Treading Ground is a white girl who only dates black men. At one point another character refers to her as a Negrophile.
Cracked discusses this trope in #5 of this article. It mostly talks about how movies rarely portray this trope when the movie isn't all about race.
In the comics, they've had many discussions about the baggage that comes with being such a couple. Sara was upset when she found out Tom had only dated white women before ("I'm your little Barbie doll, an embodiment of the European standards of beauty!" "Oh but what I really love you for is your sense of modesty, miss 'embodiment of the European standards of beauty!'"), until he points out that all HER boyfriends in the past have been black. He even quotes the trope title jokingly which does not amuse Sara.
The comics also lampshades the trope by having them dress as Othello and Desdemona, which turns out to be the only disguise they ever put on for Halloween.
There is also a deleted scene on the Season One DVD, where Granddad imagines the worst case scenario at the Wuncler party, Huey calling the host a "Cracker Devil", and Riley asking "Where all the white bitches at?"
Several episodes of the series imply that black men with power or money will naturally try to score white women. Several episodes also imply that the whitest of women can't get enough of their Nubian Romeos (Ann Coulter for one).
Uncle Ruckus enjoys white women as well. It's the main reason he tolerates the DuBois].
Chef really loves the white meat. They do love his chocolate balls too though.
Chris' talking pimple forces him to rub grease on himself to make more pimples. One of them says "Where the white heads at?"
In "Brian the Bachelor", Cleveland goes on the prowl at a local bar. He asks a potential mate "Hey baby, how'd you like to go black and then make the difficult decision on whether to go back? " she replies "I already went Burnt Sienna and never went back." The Burnt Sienna crayon she is dating starts to threaten Cleveland.
Peter worries that Jerome will steal Lois from him in "Jerome is the New Black", as they used to date. Jerome says he would never do such a thing but admits that he did have lots of sex with Meg. Peter is not concerned about that.
From The Simpsons, The Simpson kids themselves are 1/64 African American—and Homer 1/32—due to their white ancestor Mabel Simpson marrying a black man named Virgil. (She did so in Canada, which was part of the British Empire at the time.)
Malory on Archer loves black men. Such as when she pulls strings to get Conway Stern into ISIS ("He just appeared... like a foundling, carved out of onyx") and routs any attempt to get a background check pulled on him, or when she gets a chance to "fact check" a Hollywood script and writes herself in as a sexy fifty-something in love with a handsome black agent.
On Robot Chicken, a black scientist programs his Afrobot to say this.
Chris Rock did a load of stuff on this topic, going as far as saying that even a plain-looking white woman like Rosie O'Donnell could have a plethora of black men to choose from. And she doesn't even like men.
O.J. Simpson would not be worth mentioning that he happened to have been accused of murdering his ex-wife, who was white... except for the fact that his attorneys removed pictures of white women from the walls of his house for a visit by the jury. THAT invokes this trope.
Like many things, this trope is a very common theme in pornography. Examples too numerous to mention, although a disturbing number of them carry some racist connotations. And of course Bigger Is Better in Bed, playing on that stereotype.
If nothing else, we might as well bring up the Interracial system of Literotica, which is on this trope like white on rice (or black on white.)
There was a race-bait ad for the '06 Tennessee Senator race between Republican Bob Corker and Black Democrat Harold Ford. So what happens? Air an ad with a white airhead saying "I met Ford at the Playboy mansion!" then ending with her saying "Call me," referencing how Ford had a white girlfriend and would sometimes visit the Playboy mansion. This ad does nothing but feed off interracial relationships towards backwoods Tennesseans. The kicker? The state party who put on the ad was unapologetic, while the national RNC as well as Corker, the actual candidate, begged them to ditch the ad.
According to some bozos, Tiger Woods. You've gotta love how the article sees nothing at all screwed up about his actual infidelity. And since Woods is a quarter black, a quarter white, and half Asian [specifically a quarter Thai and a quarter Chinese], someone is going to be offended no matter who he has sex with.
Historically, white (or at least "pale") women have been considered the most attractive almost universally, because if your skin was pale it meant you were rich enough that you could afford to stay indoors all day, instead of being out working in the sun. Since this put you in a distinct minority, lighter skin tones were considered alluring and exotic. Even today, with changing standards of skin beauty, there is still an expectation that women be fairer of feature than their Tall, Dark and Handsome men.
Older Than Feudalism: Referenced in the Bible, no less: The first chapter of Song of Songs contains the phrase "Do not stare at me because I am dark" (the next part "because I am darkened by the sun" clarifies that this is basically a tan we're talking about here; the speaker has been forced to work outside and is apparently a little self-conscious about it).
And she's Jewish, so most of the people threatening them probably hate her anyway.
One can only imagine how horribly people treated (or wanted to treat) African-American boxer Jack Johnson, as he apparently exclusively dated and married white women during the Aughties — the Ninteen-Aughties.
Eleanor Roosevelt visited Britain during World War II, and spent some time talking to American troops. One consistent complaint she heard from white American Southern soldiers was that British women didn't treat black American soldiers like untouchable potential rapists. (I.e., how any "virtuous Southern woman" of the 1940s was supposed to treat a black man.) The British women were instead being just as nice to the black soldiers as to the white soldiers. Oh, horror, imagine that!
In some parts of Britain during World War II, locals believed all Americans were black. Mass Observation records people saying things like "We like the Americans but don't care for these white chaps they've brought with them."
Beyond just the romantic possibilities, this happened in both world wars: African-American troops in Europe found conditions far less harsh than at home. Less racism, less cruelty, less government-sanctioned segregation—in WWI many African-American soldiers deserted to stay in France after the war. After WWII, Germany had the best reputation among black soldiers.
It's been noted by some that European countries weren't quite the colorblind paradise that they initially appeared to be and that in some cases the lack of discrimination laws was because the hidden racism was so ingrained that it wasn't considered necessary to legally mandate it.
Speaking of Germany, guesswho used this trope? That's right. After the end of WWI until the rise of Nazi Germany, the French had occupied the Ruhr area with dark soldiers from their colonies. They took a liking to the local women, and some of these couples had kids. The Nazis hated the idea of race-mixing and invoked this trope. In fact, the French colonial soldiers were mostly North African Arabs or West African, but that didn't stop the Nazis from spreading fear propaganda about "savage African blacks raping our German women".
The Nazis also used the trope in propaganda encouraging men from occupied countries to enlist in the German Army, threatening them with a flood of amorous African-American soldiers unless they helped defend Western Europe.
Actually, in the instance of the occupation of the Ruhr by colonial troops, it wasn't just the Nazis - a fair chunk of the German press ran cartoons like◊ these◊ ones◊.
Francis Barber, Dr Johnson's black manservant and assistant. Johnson's white friends, including his biographer Boswell, were OK with Johnson treating Barber kindly but appalled when Barber married a white woman - and regarded his wife as no better than a prostitute. Then Johnson left Barber the residue of his estate - £70 a year - and his papers. This was widely reported in the press as a scandalous eccentricity of Johnson's.
There is a stereotype (at least in the black community) that white girls are easy and will do anything a black man tells them to do as well as put up with ill treatment (infidelity, abuse), whereas black girls are demanding and won't do anything men want them to do. Obviously this is not true, but it is a common stereotype.
There's also a common stereotype that white women date black men because they are easier to control than white men.
Sammy Davis, Jr. with Kim Novak (the mob got involved) Well, the mob involvment has been the story for many years ... even giving rise to Davis' losing an eye due to a mob beating. Not quite. The injury that caused Davis to lose an eye was an auto accident that proceeded his dating Kim Novak - the Mob would not have, and did not have any interest in Davis' love life for these reasons: Davis, like many top performers of his day worked in Mob controlled places - and he made a LOT of money for them, due to his considerable talent. That scene in 'Goodfellas' where a woman expresses admiration for him was typical of the views people had of him: Davis basically took over the act he started in and put on legendary shows, night after night. The Mob does NOT mess with something that makes money for them. The other reason is that Novak was a Polish girl from Chicago; even if the Mob cared who Davis dated, they probably would only have objected if she had been Italian - the objection to Davis' dating Novak came from Harry Cohn, then head of Columbia Pictures, who'd put a lot of money into Novak's development as a starlet, and didn't want to see that all sabotaged by public objection to interracial relationships. Cohn attempted to get the Mob to shake Davis up, but they refused - for the previously mentioned reasons. And later with May Britt (just your typical death threats). Miscegenation was illegal in 31 states until 1967, so one supposes it's a little like Sammy Davis, Jr. against the world.
Alexandre Dumas, despite being from the mid-1800s, wouldn't take any guff from people who had problems with his family, saying "My father was a mulatto, my grandfather was a Negro, and my great-grandfather a monkey. You see, Sir, my family starts where yours ends."
In 1955, Emmett Till, a fourteen-year-old black boy, dared to whistle at an older white woman in Mississippi, and ended up getting lynched for it. His body was eventually recovered weeks later from the bottom of a river. Despite the body's advanced state of decomposition, Till's mother insisted on an open casket ceremony so that the world can see what Southern racism did to her son. The gruesome pictures of Till's body lying in state that appeared in Time magazine was credited with helping to kick off the Civil Rights Movement.
Paranoia in the Deep South about black men raping white women led to a lot of notorious incidents. Among the most notorious:
The 1931 Scottsboro case, in which nine black teenagers were falsely accused of raping two white women. They were put through a fifteen-year ordeal in which they were subjected to frame-ups, all-white juries, several rushed trials, and an attempted lynching. All but one lived long enough to be officially pardoned... in 1976.
The 1923 Rosewood massacre, in which a white posse — spurred by the alleged rape of a white woman in a neighboring town — descended on the all-black town of Rosewood, Florida and burned it to the ground, massacring six residents.
After becoming famous with the TV show Pawn Stars, Gold & Silver Pawn Shop owner Rick Harrison wrote his autobiography, My Life At The Gold And Silver Pawn Shop. The book is full of anecdotes about some of the customers who come into his shop to pawn valuables, including pimps who pawn their bling jewelry. Rick recounts how one black pimp came in with a group of white women in tow. The pimp explained to Rick that many of his black customers couldn't resist the "forbidden fruit" appeal of white women, so they would pay huge sums to make it with his white girls.