African American Women: A Very Romantic Friendship
As already noted, far from being portrayed as hostile to same sex desire, yesterday's Afro American communities often quietly embraced it. So long as those men who love men and woman who love women were discreet and not threatening the collective image of a community trying to integrate itself into the larger "whiter" cultural mainstream, incidences of overt prejudices were low in some instances and non-existent in others.
Yet, acceptance was more favorable for men than women. Bell Hooks writes:
Black male homosexuals were often known, were talked about, were seen positively, had played important roles in community life, whereas lesbians were talked about solely in negative terms ......
Acceptance and tolerance within a tight-knit community or family dynamic could embrace same-gender affection among females so long as the relationship was assumed to be non-sexual, the female grew out of it or put it aside to marry and, of course, have children.