Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Author Carolyn Vines Believes Single Black Women Must Learn To Travel Beyond The Identity Society Imposes Upon Them

A recent Washington Post article brought to light the fact that public awareness regarding the one-dimensional portrayal of black women is growing. In her soon to be released book, Black and (A)broad, author Carolyn Vines encourages single black women to reject those blindly accepted societal limitations

Carolyn Vines, author of Black and (A)broad, encourages black women searching for meaningful relationships to reject the limitations and identities imposed upon them by society. She offers inspiration to all black women regardless of age.

"Limitations on black female sexuality," stated Ms. Vines, "arguably the most intimate marker of identity, are subliminal and blatant. The media and entertainment industry are examples of the former. They have told us that we're either too matronly or too loud and sassy to be in a legitimate relationship. The black community at large has threatened aggression (stares, comments, violence) or ostracism if our sexuality is disloyal to black men and we choose to date outside the race."

"To protect their daughters," she continued, "our mothers have blatantly warned us never to depend on a man for anything. Too many of our fathers have not been present to teach us how to be intimate with a man, regardless of race. We black women must challenge these limitations on our identity and potential."

Helena Andrews, another author who speaks to the same subject, was recently profiled in the Washington Post. Movie rights to Andrews' book were picked up before the book was finished. The soon to be produced movie demonstrates that public awareness regarding the one-dimensional portrayal of black women is growing. But Ms.Vines believes the problems run even deeper. She believes that much of the problem is the result of black women buying into racism and sexism.

"Americans," stated Ms. Vines, "regardless of race, gender and ethnicity, have bought into racism and sexism. Sadly, this legacy of internalized racism and sexism continues to be embedded in our collective identity despite electing our first black president, Barack Obama. How bleak will the results future be for black female identity, which has historically born the burden of internalized racism and sexism?"

Black And Abroad describes how after moving from New Orleans Carolyn finds herself in the land of windmills, wooden shoes and endless gray skies. As she moves away from the remnants of her tragic childhood and America’s obsession with race, she is plunged into the depths of homesickness and depression. She travels through motherhood and a career change, and her determination is put to the test. On the way to self-discovery, she ends up finding love, soul sisters and is inspired to travel beyond the limits imposed upon her by race. In this mid-life memoir, Carolyn writes candidly about how being mistaken for a prostitute in Austria, losing her passport in Cuba and dealing with Dutch people on their bikes (among other quirky adventures) have changed her ideas about being a black woman in the world. Black and (A)broad is to be released in August 2010.

Ms. Vines is available for interview and can be reached using the information below or by email More information on her forthcoming book is available at her website at


Carolyn Vines hails from Indianapolis, USA. Her passion for language has led her to teach Spanish, English and literature at universities in America and The Netherlands. It has also led her into a career as an author, editor and translator. Her work has been published in local Dutch English language papers and The Telegraph. She speaks Spanish and Dutch and last year translated a novel by a critically-acclaimed Curaçaoan author. As the result of her life experiences, she believes it is possible to travel beyond identity and offers inspiration to travel beyond limitations.

Ms. Vines’s website was the 2009 Black Weblog Award Winner for Best International Blog. She is currently writing her first book about her twenty years’ experience living and traveling abroad. Look for Black And (A)broad early in August of 2010.


Carolyn Vines