Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
American Love Stories . Featured Posts | PBS


American Love Stories

Featured Posts
DialoguesStoriesTV SeriesDig Deeper


Visit the Dialogue Archives at Web Lab




The following Featured Post comes from Relationship Group 3, Thread 29.

1. advice from interracial families
Fri, Sep 24, 1999 - 7:21 PM/EST
angie

One thing that made me interested in joining this project is the hope that I could get some more insight into the lives of interracial families. I have been dating a black man (and am a white woman) for about 4 years, and, as with all couples, we are starting to enter the phase where we are going to have to start making serious choices, like whether we will marry and start a family. He has always felt that the interracial individuals he has met have had a hard time of it. Unfortunately, watching the documentary did not dispel this conception, as Cicily struggled with her identity.

I think that to some degree having children is a selfish act, but would having interracial children be an even greater act of selfishness? Please don't misconstrue this as saying that I think people shouldn't have interracial children -- quite the opposite -- I want to start a family with this man I love. But I would like to be a little bit more educated about what the real-life consequences would be of our choice. I would love to hear from people in interracial families about how they have dealt with these issues.

2. Angie...
Fri, Sep 24, 1999 - 8:06 PM/EST
bethanie

When is having children in this day and age not a selfish choice. Have you looked at the world population numbers lately?

But that is hardly the point. I certainly understand you wanting some advice, and understanding of the situation before you sink yourself in too deep. First I would ask where you live. To me that's been the most important factor in our relationship. We've lived in three different states since we married, and so far, I've felt the most acceptance, and the least feeling of isolation here where we are living. So I'd ask first where you are living, or plan to live together, as that can sometimes be a deciding factor in the struggles you will face as a couple.

But otherwise really. I love my husband. We are best friends--that was the basis for our relationship in the first place, since when I first met him I had no intention of marrying him, or even of ever dating him. At the time, I had kind of had enough of men. Anyway, that was where our relationship began, as friends. We are still best friends. I love him, I think he's the best man I've ever met of ANY color. And we always wanted to have a child/children. I think in order to make the relationship a successful and happy one, you can't get bogged down in the issue of race too much. Let me explain. If I got angry over every stare or sneer, over every ignorant comment and look, I'd be angry all the time. Angry people do not generally make good life partners. And I think this is a big part of the reason interracial marriages sometimes fail. It is a big leap of faith, that's for sure, but what relationship isn't these days.

cotd.

3. cotd...
Fri, Sep 24, 1999 - 8:08 PM/EST
bethanie

If you love him and he loves you, and if you look at him and can imagine the two of you still together in thirty years time. I'd say don't agonize over it too much more than that. I have never felt as blessed in my life, as since I met my husband Chad. I have never felt as loved by anyone, and I have never been as happy. So you see? That's my interracial experience that I can share with you. Trust your love and your commitment to one another to get you through the hard times.

Bethanie

4. Great Subject
Fri, Sep 24, 1999 - 8:09 PM/EST
smoothtap

I think this is an excellent question and I am dying to know how other people have dealt with these issues. I think the hardest thing for me to get over was worrying about what other people think. If you let it, it can consume you and affect your marriage. Once you get married you will spend so much time just getting to know each other that racism will become a minimal problem in your life.

Keep in mind most people donít show you their true selves until your married. Putting the lid down on the toilet, closing the loaf of bread, snoring, leaving my junk around the house were bigger issues then what other people thought of our relationship. Yes people had their opinion about our mix marriage, but they had that before they met us. Once people see you and the way you treat each other you then become their new measurement for interracial marriages. My FIL disapproved of our marriage in the beginning and after he saw how good I was to his daughter heís told other people that Iím the best SIL heís ever had. I never thought in a million years he would be in my corner.

5. insight
Sun, Sep 26, 1999 - 5:40 PM/EST
mistacia

As with any marriage it is a serious commitment. As far as interacial marriage you have to be prepared that racism is out there. That's the reality and at least one time or another your going to be faced with it.You need to be strong enough to overcome these barriers that life throws at you. As far as children it is a slow process of enriching your child of who they are in this world. We make it a goal to live in areas that are rich in ethnicitity (don't think i spelled that right :)It can clearly cause identity problems for children who grow up in one race communities who are bi-racial or multicultural.

We have instlled in our children the richness of there nationalities.You hear of children who are faced with choosing a specific race etc. I have not seen this and i have friends who's children are adults now. Our children would definetly have a issue with that, they have friends of all nationalities. That would be a pretty tough choice to have to make even within their own nationalities with them being multicultural themselves. One of the issues that I feel as far as marriage you need to be sure that you can deal with is the as i would call it the humorous side of society.I say that because really it is humorous that you can walk down the street and have so many people admiring you and you haven't even made your first movie yet.

You can go to church and be welcomed every week because they naturally assume black folks live in Detroit they must be visitors. You are reminded of your daughters future modeling career, due to everyone asking can they touch their hair.I will say these experiences only occured in the white community we lived in. Not to say things like this do not happen everywhere. But i'll share that with you next time. Best wishes and really look at what's important to you in life then go from there.

6. angie
Mon, Sep 27, 1999 - 8:30 AM/EST
susanv

I struggled with the same questions when I first met my future husband. I wish I had this group then to help me through my decisions.

Just loving someone may not be enough to keep you together when you are married. But I think that is true of any marriage. Lots of divorced people really loved the person they had married. But does race play a big part in the marriage? I would have to say no. At least not any bigger part than economics, where you live, what jobs you have, relationship with inlaws etc.

Your experiences will be different than mine were. I have two friends that are in a biracial marriage, they have one child. Neither one has noticed any racist feelings or opinions with anyone they encounter. Another couple, who live in the same area, have experienced several racist incidents. How can two separate couples, who live in the same area, have such different experiences? Maybe the first couple just isn't paying much attention, and maybe the second couple is paying too much attention to it.

If you decide to commit to marriage and family, base it on what you feel in your heart. I guess what I am saying is that there are no guarantees. You just try to make it work, and hope for the best.

Read more featured posts here or continue reading thread 29 from Relationship Group 3.





Partners   Produced by Web Lab

Copyright © 1999 by Zohe Film Productions and Web Lab