I remember being in university and one of my Black roommates from Tennessee giggled about "being down with the Swirl". I giggled too. Wait. What's the Swirl?
She explained. Black girls-White boys. And vice versa for that matter. But we were Black girls and only concerned about the topic that included ourselves. Thus we continued to talk about the Justin Timberlakes, the Kevin Richardsons, the Robert DeNiros, the Ted Dansons, the Johnny Depps, and others that we knew in our lives at the time that might be down with the Swirl as well.
And as we saw plenty of our male counterparts participating in the Swirl, like it "ain't no thang", We waited like observant hawks to see which White boy would dare to enter into the land of the Swirl.
I mean the White boys loved us, or so they said. They loved our humor, our sassiness, our passion, our comfort, our hips, our lips, our culture, our music, heck, some even loved Africa!
But nevertheless, in all my years at university, and amidst the variety of White male friends that we all had, no one took that leap into the land of the Swirl--well except for one that I can think of. But he was so embedded into African-American Hip Hop culture, we all thought of him as a "Light Skinned Black Man", and you know exactly the type of guy I'm talking about. And yes, he's married to a beautiful Black girl now.
Mind you, I'm from the old school, or shall I say, I like the old school ways. I want to be pursued. Most of my girls wanted to be pursued as well. So it wasn't about making something happen on our end. It was about seeing who would take a risk on 'their' end.
Well that was many, many years ago. My friend from Tennessee married a nice Black gentlemen. In fact, one of my other Black roommates from that era is also marrying a nice Black gentlemen in September.
So what ever happened to all this talk about the Swirl? We'll it's still a hot topic today, especially among Black women. I actually wanted to start directing a documentary on the topic this year, but I've been facing nothing but closed doors. Nonetheless, there are quite a few people documenting stories about this particular topic and exploring the other issues of identity and beauty that go along with it.
Earlier this year I was incredibly discouraged about my inability to get this particular project off the ground. But I've learned to trust the timing of God. I know what it's like to try and place a square peg into a circle. And I know what it's like to walk through the open doors that He creates for you. I'd rather go with the latter.
So I continue to wait with this topic of interest in my heart, ready to tell a story-- To go into topics of cultural reconciliation, redemption, identity, and beauty. So I steady wait. There are plenty of Swirl stories happening in my city and probably in yours. But who knows, maybe the story I'll document in regards to this topic might be my own...Because it's true. I am down with the Swirl.