When we hear the word interracial, many people automatically assume black and white. However, interracial encompasses so much more. From Tex – Mex to the ainoko of Japan, we are surrounded by the beauty of cultural and ethnic fusions. These combinations can sometimes be the basis for various conflicts yet overwhelmingly, these mixes produce beautiful people, results and ideas. This week, we present to you a series of short interviews of people who are and/or have been engaged in interracial relationships.
Kristalace, a devout Jehovah’s Witness who was married to her husband from Nigeria for 6 years
Day, an African-American woman from New England who dated a Caucasian man.
Responses have been shortened for clarity.
1) How would you describe your relationship with your _________?
Kristalace: [my ex-husband] was very abusive. I was not able to communicate with his family/friends because they spoke another language. Their languages were Yoruba and Pigeon English. He did not want to teach me.
Day: [ex-boyfriend] No comment.
2) Was there any resistance about your relationship from your social/familial circles?
Kristalace: My family is extremely racist and did not know that I was married. I would get strange looks from African-American women within our community and Caucasian men as well.
Day: Yes, from his family.
3) Do you remember a time where your backgrounds clashed? If so – please provide details.
Day: No, our backgrounds didn’t clash.
Kristalace: His culture is very different from mine. The food he loved was so spicy that I could not enjoy it with him. He was very controlling and picked out what I wore every day. He was raised in a boarding school and advised me if we had children, they would be shipped to Nigeria to attend boarding school from the age of 2.
4) Do you feel your life has been enriched by this relationship?
Day: I learned quickly that the world was not all that great and that racism is still a big issue. However, it also taught me that two people from two different backgrounds could actually get along and love one another.
Kristalace: It opened up my eyes to different cultures.
5) Does your relationship make you more aware of the issues arising right now in your community around race?
Kristalace: No not really. I never viewed my relationship as different. It was never about race for me.
Day: Absolutely. As a person of color in America, I am already aware of racism but choosing to be with a white man made me see the racism from all sides.
6) What is one thing you wish people would stop asking you about your interracial relationship?
Kristalace: Did your husband speak English? Did you get married so he could obtain a green card?
Day: What made you choose him? I think if we were the same race that wouldn’t even be a question.
7) What are some things you would like people to know about interracial relationships?
Day: It happens and people can’t help who they are attracted to. Also, it really is not that much difference than dating your own race when you come down to basic needs in a relationship. Tt is the outsiders that can make it difficult.
Kristalace: They are different but they can work if both parties are committed to each other.
Have you ever dated outside of your ethnicity? Do you feel that interracial dating these days is easier?
Please leave your comments, questions and thoughts below.