Foreword Reviews

Love's Not Color Blind

Race and Representation in Polyamorous and Other Alternative Communities

Love’s Not Color Blind is an incredible, intimate study of how white privilege, racism, and prejudice influence relationships.

People of color are members of all kinds of communities, from kink to polyamory to gaming and tech, yet theoretically compassionate groups are still composed of people who are members of a racist society. White people with the best of intentions can still end up fetishizing, discriminating against, and harming people of color in those shared spaces, Patterson shows: “If you aren’t being inclusive, you are being passively exclusionary.” His book unpacks the idea that communities formed by common interests are still subject to the same problems as society as a whole.

Patterson has practiced ethical nonmonogamy for fifteen years, and as a black man and a leader in his community, his viewpoint is valuable and instructive. Patterson’s voice is passionate, wise, and contemporary. He is knowledgeable and witty, fun to read, and provocative.

Love’s Not Color Blind centers Patterson’s voice. He makes it clear that this book is not a beginner’s guide to polyamory: it’s a lecture for beginners about what polyamory looks like for underrepresented polyamorists.

The stories, anecdotes, and observations that Patterson presents are not sugarcoated. His reasoning is easy to follow, and although he doesn’t spoon-feed his opinions to the audience, they are presented clearly and with compassion. Although there’s no clear step-by-step guide for dismantling systemic racism, the book’s chapters break down simple lessons in how to improve group and individual dynamics, how white people can recognize their part in perpetuating racism, and how to date ethically instead of just “collecting” partners.

Love’s Not Color Blind belongs on the shelf next to The Ethical Slut. For both people of color and their allies, this is a powerful offering that dismantles myths about polyamory and builds a bridge to better understanding.

Reviewed by Claire Foster

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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