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“You have three, four, five generations of African-American men who have served oversees in Asia, whose experience with Asian women has been pretty intense in a foreign land where they are treated not as subordinate people but as superior Americans.” Marlon Ross, professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Virginia, raised a methodological question about this theory.“I’m not sure that African-American men have been involved in sexual relationships with Asian women in that context any more than white men; it’s just that when African-American men are doing it, it gets noticed more,”said Ross.

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It also has a highly insightful advice column, “Ask Mike,” in which a bald, slim, goateed Black man will answer your romantic questions at great length for free.

The vast majority of questions were from people under 25 wanting to know how they could find, keep or correct their Black or Asian partner.

The representations tread the line between cultural authenticity, sometimes considered stereotype, and colorblindness.

The women exhibit some level of conflict with their cultures and are slightly neurotic: Ming Na dreaded telling her immigrant parents that she was having a baby out of wedlock; Nagra quit her job in a bout of rebellion against family expectation to work as a convenience store clerk. Phifer grew up without a father and has a temper; Gallant went off to serve in Iraq.

That doesn’t mean, however, that stereotypes don’t come into play.

“Our desires are fashioned by consumption, by the media and by commerce in very deep-seated ways that we may not even recognize.

I am familiar with our so-called seductress image.  My Asian girlfriends and I spent our college years snottily rejecting the few white men who came around as “rice lovers.” While I did experience an American man mentioning the Kama Sutra within five minutes of meeting me recently in New York, my adolescent self- image was much closer to nerd than slut.

To see all these Asian women who might also have been high-school nerds paired up with the most sexualized actors in American culture has been, I will admit it, a thrill.

The identity of Asian immigrants has shifted from mostly middle-class professionals to working-class economic refugees, and these people have moved into urban centers and suburbs simultaneously with upwardly mobile Black families.

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