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Interracial love is a topic that is explored in Americanah. Adichie doesn’t shy away from the brutal honesty that still plagues many interracial couples in present day—the idea that one should not date outside of their race and how both members of the relationship must cope with this idea. She isn’t afraid to call attention to specific ideas relating to interracial relationships—how only certain types of people are expected to be in them:

“It amused Ifemelu. She had seen that look before, on the faces of white women, strangers on the street, who would see her hand clasped in Curt’s and instantly cloud their faces with that look. The look of people confronting a great tribal loss. It was not merely because Curt was white, it was the kind of white he was, the untamed golden hair and handsome face, the athlete’s body, the sunny charm and the smell, around him, of money. If he were fat, older, poor, plain, eccentric, or dreadlocked, then it would be less remarkable, and the guardians of the tribe would be mollified. And it did not help that although she might be a pretty black girl, she was not the kind of black that they could, with an effort, imagine him with: she was not light-skinned, she was not biracial” (Adichie 362).

Adichie also acknowledges that, even if race isn’t an issue between the actual members of the relationship, the unwelcoming attitudes of outside parties still affect the relationship:

“When you are black in America and you fall in love with a white person, race doesn’t matter when you’re along together because it’s just you and your love. But the minute you step outside, race matters” (Adichie 359).

I like that Adichie chooses to explore both sides of the relationship. Ifemelu, who is already experiencing racism just on her own, now has to contend with an entirely new set of expectations and beliefs as a black woman in a relationship with a white man. Curt, who has never had to deal with such problems before, is now, as a wealthy and attractive white man in a relationship with a black immigrant woman, confronting these same expectations and beliefs alongside Ifemelu. As much as they would like their relationship to be a simple one, outside forces make this impossible, constantly sabotaging their relationship. Unapologetic, I think, is a good word to describe this portrayal; Adichie understands full well what being in a relationship means for interracial couples in present day. She does not minimize or romanticize the hardships faced by them; her main concern is to create an honest picture of present-day interracial love through the characters of Ifemelu and Curt.

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