Interracial Couple Finally Weds - Jet Magazine, June 19, 1952
Originally uploaded by vieilles_annonces
Sadly, this is not an unusual situation. Growing up as an interracial child in the south, I have become pretty accustomed to looks of curiosity and anger. My physical features were a banner for the changing tide of race and love, and many people did not like change.
I grew to embrace the combined cultures that made up my ethnic identity. The wild stares and random glares went by unnoticed by me. However, about a month ago they were brought to my attention once again. These looks are now for a different reason.
Apparently, its one thing to be the result of a mixed race relationship, but to make the conscious decision to become involved in a relationship of this sort, is a whole different story. There have been many people who have no problem with the fact that I am multi-racial and that I refuse to be boxed into just one ethnic group. Yet, when these same people found out that I was dating someone of a race different from any in my make up their shock was apparent. Thankfully, I can say I do not consider any of these people as my close friends. Those who express disdain towards my relationship obviously do not know me very well. Otherwise, how can they be shocked? Anyone who knows me understands my view on race & ethnicity. My college years were dedicated to the work of multiculturalism, not only educating and exposing others to various cultures, traditions, and ideologies, but also in learning about those different from myself. I believe that as one who expects others to accept me for who I am, that I should also be knowledgeable and accepting of others as well.
Some will say that we are in the year 2008, and that racism and the expectations of racial purity are antiquated and outdated at best. However, they are obviously very wrong. While it is true that it has been 56 years since Robert and Grace McAllister were married, and 52 years since the Lovings were found guilty of violating the Racial Integrity Act that forbade the marriage of whites to non-whites, it has only been 8 years since Alabama officially removed its laws banning inter-racial marriages. Facts and statistics aside the disapproving glances and comments speaks volumes to racial expectation in our country. These expectations are something that no law written or implied could ever correct. There is no time limit to when the tide will change, but I do have hope that someday it will.
My relationship is now another manifestation of the banner of change my physical features once mirrored. I am proud to be a woman who is half Black and half Filipina, and I am not ashamed of my Latino boyfriend. Love is not constrained by race and ethnicity and I refuse to let the opinions of the narrow-minded dictate how I identify myself and who I choose to date. If I did, then not only would I be one truly confused individual, but I would be missing out on an incredible relationship.