It’s kind of hard to believe this today, but as recent as 1967, there was actually state laws that banned interracial marriage. These laws weren’t overturned until the Supreme Court case, Loving vs. Virginia in 1967. In that case, the Supreme Court found that it was unconstitutional for the state of Virginia to ban interracial marriage.
Although there are no longer any laws banning relationships, interracial dating remains a controversial subject for some people.
The Interracial Blog Feature was inspired by my new book, “Beyond The Colored Line”, and was created as a means to foster a better understanding of diverse relationships. Today, we welcome a good friend of mine Allison Wells.
EC: Hey Allison, I’m so excited to have you spending time with us today. Can you give the racial background of you and your husband for the record and how long you’ve been together?
AW: I am half Mexican and half white. We have been together 12, married almost 10.
EC: Awesome. Now, the character in my book, Stella May, is what the people of her era deem a mulatto, that is, she is of mixed ancestry. You have children who are biracial. What advice would you give to mothers of mixed children on how to deal with the stigmas that are often placed to them?
AW: Teach them to love all of who they are but don’t keep them in a bubble, prepare them for what others will say.
EC: That’s a good point. Preparation is so important. What are some challenges that interracial couples deal with that couples of the same race may not have to deal with?
AW: Well since we both grew up differently we had to learn to adjust to each others way of doing things… and food choices :). When it comes to parenting, you learn to compromise when necessary but you also learn to come up with your own ways of doing things. Neither one of us had very involved parents so we have been “learning as we go”.
EC: I get you. Sometimes that’s the best way to go too. OK, so, when African-Americans and Whites marry, there is more likely to be an African-American husband and a white wife. In fact, 73 percent of all African-American and White marriages have this setup. In your opinion and your experience with Interracial Relationships what do you think attracts other ethnicities to black men?
AW: Strength. Black men have a natural strength about them that is very attractive. When I say strength it’s both physical and mental. When dating, if I could walk all over you, it was an instant turn off.
EC: Whew! Now that’s some insight right there, yesss. SPEAK. OK I’m calm lol. So anyway, speaking of black men, I hear a lot of black people, women in particular, accusing other blacks of being “sell outs” when they date outside their race. Have you or your husband ever had the misfortune of the title and why do you think this is?
AW: Yes, I’ve defiantly heard the phrase “why couldn’t he get with a black girl? He’s weak.”
EC: Wow. Why do you think this is? How does it make you feel?
AW: Well I’ve also been on the flip-side of that comment, I’ve had people ask why I was dating someone white but the truth of the matter is people are never going to be happy with your decisions. Everyone has an opinion and some people love to criticize. So I don’t deal in other people’s opinions, it doesn’t affect me either way.
EC: I heard that. Speaking of opinions, a lot of people discern that blacks who speak with a professional tongue are trying to sound white. I speak from experience. My husband is not white but he’s very educated and he grew up in a diverse city as well where the majority of people in the town were white. Of the blacks present, he was teased by them a lot for his speech. They said that he sounded, “White”. As a biracial woman, what are your thoughts on this?
AW: That’s silly to me. I think when people say stuff like that it speaks to their own insecurities. There is nothing wrong with speaking correctly, or “properly.”
EC: True. As my husband would say, just be real about it. Speak how you speak regardless of the company and give everyone the same level of respect. Now, speaking of speech, I’ve always wondered about the conversations between interracial couples concerning the ongoing racial tensions surrounding blacks and whites. Are there any moments where you and your husband disagree with a subject that is race related? If so, how do you deal with that?
AW: I think that it helps us both get a fuller understanding of each side. We don’t disagree often but if we do then we explain our points.
EC: Hmm, so it fosters greater insight into both your perspectives.
EC: Any time before 1967 your relationship would technically be illegal. How does that make you feel today with the knowledge that you’ve chosen to be with someone outside of your race?
AW: If anything it makes me truly grateful to be born in this time.
EC: Yes indeed. Allison, I want to thank you again for being part of this series, it has truly been a pleasure. If there is one form of advice you would give to people still struggling to accept Interracial Relationships, what would it be?
AW: Love is a strong thing, it sees past color. If you are still struggling then maybe you need to check yourself on that.
EC: I just love how you keep it all the way real. In closing, as someone who has been married for some time, name one thing that has kept your relationship going.
AW: I think what has kept us together for this long is our respect for one another, our faith, and communication.
EC: Such a beautiful couple, thank you Allison for your time.
And that’s it family, Allison Wells on Interracial Marriages. As you can see from our Q&A, the purpose of this series is to shed light on the fact that mankind was made to be compatible with one another regardless of race. Thank you Mrs. Wells for joining me in this series. It was insightful and educational, I sure did learn a lot.