More than half of Black Brits have experienced ‘racism or racial bias’ on a date

Microaggressions, fetishisation and being made to feel unwelcome are common experiences. (Pictures: Bumble)

With the return to in-person dating, singles are heading back to their go-to spots for first dates, but the experience isn’t positive for everyone.

More than half (57%) of Black British people in the UK have experienced racism or racial bias on a date, according to new research.

These negative interactions are not coming from prospective partners, but are experienced in different date locations – from staff and other customers.

This prejudice or hostility, which manifests as everything from microaggressions to judgemental looks or comments, feelings of being unwelcome, or even fetishisation, causes one in three (36%) Black people to cancel a date because they are anxious about the venue.

The research, conducted by dating app Bumble, shows that racial bias is overwhelmingly happening at popular date spots. As a result of these experiences, almost two thirds (65%) of Black British people say that they actively choose to go on dates at Black-owned small businesses.

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While on a date, 39% of Black British people say they were made to feel unwelcome, 30% were completely ignored and 25% experienced direct racism. 

Almost half (48%) of Black British people say they feel more accepted at Black owned venues/spaces, with a third (33%) saying they feel safer in these venues. 

When planning a date, more than half (55%) of Black Brits will read online reviews before visiting. And more than one in three will Google the venue owners (37%).

Based on these findings, and in support of Black love stories, Bumble is launching a campaign celebrating Black-owned businesses. 

Reggie Yates: ‘ ‘Creating welcoming and safe spaces for Black British people, both online and offline, is so important.’ (Picture: Bumble)

The campaign, in partnership with Metallic Inc, and featuring Reggie Yates, Zeze Millz, and Stephanie Yeboah, will showcase Black-owned date spots and will include the launch of a grant programme to support small businesses that have been hard hit by the pandemic. 

The grant programme which will give £50,000 to small businesses, who are among the hardest hit by the Covid pandemic. Businesses can apply through the Bumble app and nominations can be made through Bumble’s Instagram. Businesses, both applying and nominated, need to be activities or venues that are popular date spots. 

Last year, Bumble launched their #MyLoveIsBlackLove campaign which addressed the lack of representation of Black British love in online spaces. The dating app has previously introduced policies to address fetishisation and body shaming and has a zero-tolerance policy for hate speech, slurs, racism, misogyny, or bullying.

‘Creating welcoming and safe spaces for Black British people, both online and offline, is so important,’ says director and broadcaster, Reggie Yates. ‘Black-owned businesses have had a tough year and I’m proud to partner with Bumble to celebrate businesses from across the UK, which give the community spaces that empower Black British singles and couples to date.’

The State of Racism

This series is an in-depth look at racism in the UK.

We aim to look at how, where and why individual and structural racism impacts people of colour from all walks of life.

It’s vital that we improve the language we have to talk about racism and continue the difficult conversations about inequality – even if they make you uncomfortable.

We want to hear from you – if you have a personal story or experience of racism that you would like to share get in touch:

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