Ifemelu’s second boyfriend in America, Blaine, is a Black American professor at Princeton. Ifemelu describes him as having “a firm reed of goodness,” instead of a spine, that is, his morality is so strong as to almost be inhuman. He often chooses to do things that are uncomfortable, such as devote his already sparse free time to volunteering, just because he believes it to be right. However, his desire to be a good person can occasionally make him judgmental. He calls Ifemelu’s blog lazy because it’s not the kind of activism project he believes it should be. When his sister Shan comments that Ifemelu can only get away with her blog because she’s African and not a Black American, Blaine starts acting like Ifemulu has an unfair privilege that taints their relationship. Thus, their relationship crumbles when Ifemelu decides not to go to the protest Blaine organizes on behalf of Mr. White. To Blaine, Ifemelu ignoring this protest betrays the struggle of Black Americans. However, Ifemelu is not a Black American and does not feel the same outrage over the racial profiling of Mr. White. Ultimately, Ifemelu and Blaine’s relationship falls apart because Blaine never stops wanting her to change.