I have been happily married to my white husband for 10 years this December. Being married to him does not make me less black.
I love him because we have so many things in common, and we genuinely enjoy each other’s company. We share many of the same beliefs and life goals. I believe that we were created for each other.
He happens to be my white husband and I just happen to be his black wife.
I remember when some of my black associates and girlfriends found out that I was dating someone white. They were afraid to use the description of white person in front of me.
It was an awkward transition, trying to explain to them that I was the same person, and using a race related descriptor could still be used.
After we got married, it wasn’t so awkward anymore, I guess because our relationship status became permanent.
They also made assumptions about my hobbies and interests. That they would suddenly change because of my white husband.
If my hobbies and interests have changed, it’s because I have evolved as a person, not because of his whiteness.
And interests really can supersede race.
I am a believer that culture and experience can shape a person’s world much more than race can.
When I meet people for the first time and I am talking about my family, I don’t describe them in terms of race (white husband, biracial children). Because it often has nothing to do with who they are as people.
But when people see them for the first time, especially my black peers, sometimes I sense a change in how I am treated. I’ve been told that I don’t understand “the struggle” as much, or that I’m lucky that my children won’t face discrimination because they are light skinned.
Although I understand my husband’s privileged, it is not automatically transferred to me.
And my children are not lucky, because despite the discrimination that does come with brown skin, I don’t see brown skin as a curse.
We just have to work harder at explaining hard things to them, like the importance of Black History Month, Black Lives Matter & why people are upset about a black little mermaid.
And if we’re really being honest, shouldn’t these kinds of conversations be happening in every household, not just the multiracial ones??
When I was younger, opening the door to conversations about my family use to make me nervous. I hated when black people asked me what it was like being married to a white man, or when strangers asked what my kids were mixed with.
Now, I take these conversations with stride. If I feel like entertaining invasive questions with an answer, then I answers already prepared in my head. (If you need help coming up with some answers, check out what I say here.)
And If I don’t feel like answering them, then I don’t. I don’t owe anyone an explanation for my choices–and frankly, neither do you.
Even if the questions come from family members, acquaintances or church members.
So don’t get it twisted…..even though I have a white husband, I can promise you that I’m still black. I still love watching Coming to America and I’ll still rock an afro.