Week #4: Interracial Blog Feature – Beyond The Colored Line with Andre Wells + Special Gifts!

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Since this is the final interview I will skip through the semantics and get straight to the point.

 

 

 

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. Not just between  whites and blacks but between all diverse relationships.

Today, we welcome a special guest in as our final interviewee. I didn’t know initially that both he and his wife wanted to be interviewed and being I did have an extra spot left you can imagine my excitement. Help me to welcome Andre Wells, husband to Allison Wells from last weeks segment, to the blogosphere.

EC: Well hello there Mr. Wells. As our first and only male guest I appreciate your boldness in letting me interview you! I was starting to think this was a woman thing LOL. So, you know the routine, can you give the racial background of you and your wife for the record and how long you’ve been together?

AW: Hello EC. My name is Andre Wells and I am African American and my wife is Hispanic and Caucasian. We’ve been together for about 12 years, Married almost 10.

EC: Excellent. 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 fathers of mixed children on how to deal with the stigmas that are often placed to them?

AW: Be honest with your children about who they are and the struggles they may have to face. Teach them how to respond to stigmas and challenges.

EC: I like that, “teach them how to respond to stigmas and challenges”. Speaking of challenges, what are some challenges that interracial couples deal with that couples of the same race may not have to deal with?

AW: Some people think I am over dominant over my wife or feel the woman must be the head of house because the black man must not be that responsible.

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EC: Interesting. There is a big controversy within the black community concerning role reversal or the topic of submission and authority in general.

Mr. Wells, 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 personal opinion, since you would know more than any of our guests! As a black man, and your experience with Interracial Relationships, what do you think attracts other ethnicities to black men?

AW: Black men are unique. Unique in our looks; unique in the way we carry ourselves; even the way we raise our families. In most cases white women want black men but don’t want the stigmas that come along with it.

EC: Wow. 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 wife ever had the misfortune of the title and why do you think this is?

AW: I’ve heard that term in reference to relationships such as mine. I think it stems from feeling betrayed, jealousy, misunderstanding and some just down right racism.

EC: 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 man married to a “bi-racial” woman, what are your thoughts on this?

AW: Black men / women who have to live in a world where success is often based on one’s professionalism and ability to communicate properly, some may face scrutiny when trying to present themselves as respectable individuals in society.

EC: Mr. Wells I am enjoying this interview I must say. 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 when you and your wife disagree with a subject that is race related? If so, how do you deal with that?

AW: For the most part we understand and agree concerning each others racial differences. We look to the bible to help us have knowledge of who we are and that generally relieves any confusion we may have.

EC: Speak brother speak! Hope I’m not offending anyone out there, yall know I’m silly hee hee. So loving this interview right now yaass LOL. Were almost done though. 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?

Photo Credit: Copyright© Andre and Allison Wells. Used with permission.

AW: I didn’t have knowledge of who I was when I met Allison. But even so, I didn’t even begin to discriminate or allow race to determine who or how I love someone. To me, those days demonstrated racism and racism restricts people from fulfilled lives.

EC: Indeed. Andre, 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: Know that not every “interracial relationship” is joined together because they deny their own or even prefer another race. Some are actually together; love enjoins them and friendship maintains them.

EC: Can I ask you that same question again? I need you to repeat your answer for the record lol. No, seriously, in closing, as someone who has been married for some time, name one thing that has kept your relationship going.

AW: A relationship together in spirit and in truth.

EC: Thank you Mr. Wells, it has truly been a pleasure.

AW: Anytime.

***

It is unusual for me not to put much thought into scheduling Mr. Well’s interview last, simply because I tend to plan everything (well, mostly everything). From the dates I choose to release my books to a subject as complex as this one, nothing I ever do hardly come without reason or significance. That said however, I didn’t put much thought into scheduling Mr. Wells interview last. But as I reflect on his answers, I am thankful for how this series has ended. His answers, in my opinion, summed everything up very nicely. I love how he brought in the bible and spoke concerning identity. What people must understand is that when I bring up these kinds of topics it is not about white or black. I am not trying to unite a color of people. It is not, then, about blacks or whites; it is about identity and nationhood.

Contrabands_at_Headquarters_of_General_Lafayette_by_Mathew_BradyIt’s been a long ride for our people here in the America’s; from slavery, to Jim Crow, to racism, imprisonment, police brutality, the list goes on. Black people are the only group of people whose nationality changes with the census. They are the only people who cannot trace their lineage back to their natural heritage. If there is any people on the face of the earth more discriminated against than they, more despised and more afflicted then they please, inform me. They are such; the African American is, because their problem is not physical. Being deeper than racism itself, their problem is spiritual. If African Americans can begin to search deeper into the question of “Who am I and what is my purpose?” Then race and the concept of black and white in general will eventually fade. As I have stated on this blog plenty of times and as I will continue to state, I use black and white as terms for understanding, but I do not consider it my nationality. Black is, after all, a color but it does not define nationhood.

I want to thank everyone so much who has taken the time to support this series, either as interviewees or as interactions. I know it touched someone somewhere and for that I am thankful.

As a token of my appreciation for those who have opted to share a piece of themselves with us, I have a special gift.

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Over the course of my writing career I have published a number of books and I have carefully chosen a few of them (the ones I think are the best lol) and placed them here. I want you (Interviewees) to each choose which book you would like to have and I will mail it to you at no cost. I am a hard-copy type person so your book will be a hard-copy. It is my way of saying thank you. Choose any one of these you like and email me your mailing address (Please visit the website to see what each book is about. I don’t want to list it here to preserve space on an already lengthy post. Just click on each book as if you were buying it and it shows what each is about):

Stella Book #2

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Stella Book #1

Stella front

Pearls Before Swine Vol #1 (a play)

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From Girlhood to Womanhood (poetry)

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In Case You Missed It:

The Interracial Blog Feature – Interviews Beyond The Colored Line:

Week #1
Week #2
Week #3
Week #4

Self-Publishing: Target Markets

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Though it’s a lot of work, one of the many reasons I chose to Self-Publish is the control. One thing that I did not want is to be categorized. If for whatever reason I chose to include biblical text or any spirituality in my writing I did not want my work labeled Christian Fiction or anything unrelated to the kinds of books I represent even if it did contain biblical insight. I use this as an example to show that what I wanted was to produce books according to how I was being led and to not be held back by society’s precepts or interpretations. This does not, however, exclude me from the discipline this field requires, one of which is identifying target markets.

What is a Target Market?

A target market is a specific group of consumers at which a product or service is aimed. This group of people would also be referred to as your target audience. They are the group of people who your work is specifically targeted to. In this way, you can position yourself to be around this group of people off and online more so than any other group because they are the people who are interested in the kinds of books you write or rather, the kind of service you provide.

An example of Target Markets, according to an example given by Google is: “Schools are a key target for apps.” Why is this so? Education and how children learn is evolving just as quickly as technology. The aged old chalkboard is really not as effective in my opinion as interactive whiteboard systems. That said computers and teaching go hand in hand. In this way, schools are one of the major institutions who could support many of the learning apps available to be used in the classrooms. So for app developers, schools are a key target market meaning this is a group that they strive to appeal to in their promotions as the most likely to purchase their product. But to go further, they can break schools down into what kind of schools they are targeting. Public? Private? Magnet? Charter?

The easiest way to break down a Target Market without the confusion is to think about the kinds of readers who are interested in the kinds of books you write and to break these groups down into their smallest group. You can start broad but try to get it down to the most specific group possible: For example:

Women readers between the ages of 18 – 45. To define this further, I may choose to target online fiction readers of African American ancestry who are interested in history and short stories. This market can be broken down into two-three niches: online short story readers, historical fiction readers, and African American women readers. This example can also be broken down even further but I suppose we pretty much get the point. This does not exclude men from having a target market does not leave out everyone else, but it helps you to closely market your books to a group who, more so than others, will support it.

Everyone

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Although technically speaking anyone who desires to make a profit is targeting everyone, everyone is not a Target Market. It is very unlikely, especially as a Self-Publisher, that everyone will buy your books. That said you have to break reader groups down into the most specified group possible and that’s basically what a Target Market is if you strip it of all the technical language. You are pointing to certain consumers and saying “I choose to market my product to you because we share the same interest.”

While I am still striving to understand the business side of publishing myself, I do know that Indie Authors must realize that their goals should be directly related to their purpose, but that this does not exempt any of us from basic business knowledge and implementation. Meaning that despite passion we still have to target a specific group of people because they are going to be the ones to support our work. We have to do this more so than anyone else because of the stigmas that, though fading, still exists for Self-Publishers. To determine your Target Market, ask yourself:

  • Who are my current customers?
  • Why do they buy from me?
  • Which ones bring in most business?
  • What characteristics and interest do they share?

Week #3: Beyond The Colored Line – Interracial Blog Feature with Allison Wells

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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?

Photo Credit: Copyright© Andre and Allison Wells. Used with permission.
Photo Credit: Copyright© Andre and Allison Wells. Used with permission.

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.

AW: Right.

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.

Photo Credit: Copyright© Andre and Allison Wells. Used with permission.
Photo Credit: Copyright© Andre and Allison Wells. Used with permission.

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.

AW: Anytime.

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.

file(7)Stay tuned for our final week of Interracial Marriages. We’ll be wrapping up our series with our final interviewee and a surprise gift from me to all of my guests! You don’t want to miss it.

Unfamiliar Faces – Lost to History

Have you ever wondered about those people who were part of history but who you never hear about? Sometimes people get lost to history. For whatever reason, their stories don’t make it to mainstream news, most of the time until years or even centuries later. Below is a list of four random people who were involved in major historical events in some way but whom we never hear much about. I will list a few every Thursday time permitting.

#1

Irene Morgan Kirkaldy in Hartford, Conn. Original Filename: A1.JPG ORG XMIT: ; 27

Irene Morgan – We have all heard of Rosa Parks, but there were at least three women who refused to give up their seats on the bus in the Jim Crow south over the course of history. Eleven years before Parks, Irene Morgan, later known as Irene Morgan Kirkaldy, an African-American woman, was arrested in Middlesex County, Virginia, in 1944 for refusing to give up her seat on an interstate bus according to a state law on segregation. The Irene Morgan Decision inspired the men and women of CORE to create a nationwide protest movement called “The Journey of Reconciliation” when groups of civil rights activists rode buses and trains across states in the South in 1947, a sort of precursor to The Freedom Rides of 1961.

The Irene Morgan v. Commonwealth of Virginia, handed down a landmark decision on June 3, 1946, when they agreed that segregation violated the Constitution’s protection of interstate commerce. Irene Morgan v. Commonwealth served as a catalyst for further court rulings and the Civil Rights movement. Eight years later, the Supreme Court decided in Brown v. Board of Education that segregation violated Equal Rights Protection.

Irene Morgan died on August 10, 2007.

#2

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Sarah Collins Rudolph – We’re all familiar with the story of the Four Little Girls who were killed in the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham Alabama. However, there were five little girls who were injured, four died but one remained. Sarah Collins Rudolph is the fifth little girl who was injured in the 1963 bombing. Her story touches my heart because she was blinded and there is nothing like losing your eyes. In 1963, the Ku Klux Klan bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Sarah Collins Rudolph survived the blast, but her sister Addie Mae and three other girls were killed. Today, Sarah still struggles with the aftermath of the bombing.

Update (2017)

Speaking of Addie, another lost to history fact (something that is just becoming known but that didn’t make news upon discovery) is concerning Addie’s missing body. Thirty years after the bombing, her sisters visited the grave. Seeing the condition, the neglected state it was in, they decided to move the body to a better-maintained area. However, when they dug up the grave, they discovered the corpse was gone but not only was the corpse gone but so was the casket itself. Addie Mae’s body was missing. The last reported update came in May of this year (2017) when an underground radar company searched and found what appears to be a child’s casket. Read More Here

#3

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Virgil Lamar Ware – Emmett Till wasn’t the only youngin who perished in that day. Virgil Lamar Ware is a name we don’t hear very often or probably never did. At 13, Virgil was riding on the handlebars of his brother’s bicycle on September 15, 1963 when he was fatally shot by white teenagers. The white youths had come from a segregationist rally held in the aftermath of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing. Talk about six degrees of separation (Six degrees of separation is the theory that any person on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries.)

#4

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Lamar Smith – We have all heard of Emmett Till who was murdered August 28 of 1955. What we don’t hear a lot about is the murder of Lamar Smith just two and a half weeks earlier of this same year. On August 13, 1955 in Brookhaven, Mississippi, a man named Lamar Smith was shot dead on the courthouse lawn by a white man in broad daylight while dozens of people watched. The killer was never indicted because no one would admit they saw a white man shoot a black man.