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Monday, February 9, 2015

Is Black on Black love old-fashioned?

Aunt Betty and Uncle Russell marriage in West Virginia
Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s in Alabama, a state known for segregation AND miscegenation, it never crossed my mind that blacks and whites could "love" each other, much less marry each other.

But going to a blues dive last Saturday night, I saw more interracial couples than ever and wondered if my being married to a black man for 34 years is old-fashioned.

"People hook up for all kinds of reasons, but sometimes love is not the main one," a white marriage counselor I interviewed once told me. "The only problem interracial couples face is the societal impact on the children from such relationships and their confusion with identity," so this divorced woman said...

My grandparents were married over 60 years.
Marriage in my community, a modest subdivision of black professionals, seldom saw divorce (only one couple) and no interracial marriages that I knew. The former condition was outlawed by the church, and the latter was outlawed by the government.  Sociologically and politically, love relationships involving interracial partners seemed to mean one didn't love himself/herself or the other partner was just trying to buck the system. At any rate, interracial relationships were frowned upon.

History and Literature are replete with negative tales of black/white relationships. Hagar caught all kinds of hell and was exiled after having a son with Abraham. Shakespeare wrote about the tragedy of interracial love in Othello, which proved that it was taboo, right? Frederick Douglass, an abolitionist, married his white secretary after his black wife died. Jack Johnson's corralling with white women landed him in jail. Kofi Annan and Clarence Thomas both married white women which raised eyebrows.

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Black on Black love outweighs Black on Black crime, but they are not reported equally.
Black love is seen through a positive lens. MLK and Coretta were happy even though he allegedly slept with other women. Mandela always had black wives. Obama lives with Michele in a White House. One wonders whether these couples would have been as successful if their relationships were cross racial.

What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. Earnest said: Amazing photo!
    Very strong and thought provoking article.
    Are the older couple the same couple sitting in the center of earlier taken photo?


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