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Malika Walker arrived in Rome two weeks ago as Weaver's new assistant.

Her boss said she "can't even keep up with" how many dates Walker has been asked on since arriving."I guess you could say my stock is up in Europe," Walker told me, with an exuberant laugh.

"Are we going to start talking about some of the issues going on in America, why there's not so many black female couplings ... We'll just go to Europe and find a white guy.'" "That's not what we're saying," Weaver told me via Skype from Rome.

She's a former Los Angeles socialite who ran a once-popular site for affluent African-American Angelenos:

"We say, ' Date all men.'" And her statement was more or less repeated by nearly every one of the women I interviewed who advocate that black women date interracially and internationally.

Several added that they tell women to "choose character over color." But it's difficult to scroll through picture after picture of beaming-black-woman-with-smiling-white-man and not feel that interracial relationships are being idealized, rather than simply celebrated, an experience discomfiting enough that it has at times made me question my own relationship with a white man.

Her presence, despite the poor video quality, commands the screen."And I kind of thought about, like, well why is that? The idea that we should travel abroad — particularly to Europe — to find love has a home in online discussion groups, travel websites, blogs, and Facebook pages, all of which earnestly and enthusiastically encourage us to "swirl," i.e., date non-black men (the term is designed to evoke a half-chocolate, half-vanilla soft-serve).

Slapstick mammies made exultant, toothy-grinned claims on the screens of early 20th-century cinema, their large and lumbering figures merely vehicles for laughs.

The company, which was originally named Bella Italia before expanding to other countries, arranges tours for groups ranging from fewer than 10 to over 70.

She could readily name all the women she's taken to Italy who are currently in relationships with, or married to, Italian men.

As recently as 2011, science (or, "science") has been used to claim that black women are decidedly unattractive.

As black women in the United States, we're told not only that we likely won't get married, (based on oft-misconstrued statistics that apply only to women aged 25–29), but that trying via modern conventions like online dating are probably futile — after all, we're also the least likely to get messaged in online dating.

Kim Butler, a data editor from California who moved to Germany in 2011, pushed back on the argument that Europe is a solution to black female singlehood on her blog last year.

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