What shade defines love? Black. White. Brown. Red. Pink. Blue. Green. Are pigmentations the blueprint for what one’s heart should feel? If you suddenly became attracted to the unfamiliar, would you invite or deny the emotions to lead you into what could possibly be the greatest relationship you have ever had? The taboo of dating outside of one’s race has slowly dissipated, but has those negative connotations gone with it? In 1912, dating outside of one’s race would be unheard.
“One day he asked me will you be my girlfriend and I said sure whatever,” said 33 year-old Zora Moore. Not taking into consideration the sincerity of his request, Moore found herself in her first serious interracial relationship. After knowing each other for a year and dating for six months, Moore and her part Italian and Greek mate quickly became exclusive. “When I first met his mom she was a very touchy person and I had to tell her I didn’t like people to touch me,” Moore said.
Family gatherings were intimate and inviting, except from one sister and her husband.“Let me put it like this, we would be in the same room, but we would not be in the conversation,” Moore shared.
Coming from a home where the younger generation was more accustomed to dating outside of the race, Moore’s biggest adjustment was to his dogs more than his skin color. She mentions that the 3 dogs had access to the bedroom, swimming pool, and even went to work with him.
“I remember we were having dinner at his house and he sat his plate down. The dog came and ate off his plate and I thought that was so nasty, but he still ate his food as if nothing was wrong.”
Despite the pet peeves, Moore noted that this relationship was “the best relationship” she ever had. Though she enjoyed the relationship, Moore,who now lives in Omaha, Nebraska, admits that if she still lived in Jackson, MS the chances of her dating outside of her race would be slim. “The pool to choose from in Jackson is greater than it is in Omaha and I believe that’s why interracial dating is so accepted here.” Although the couple is no longer together, they have remained friends. Moore enjoyed her experience dating a person from another ethnicity, but expresses that she probably will continue to date inside her own race. “The grass isn’t greener on the other side; it’s greener wherever you water it.”
“We shared a mutual weirdness called love”, said 23-year-old Lakiesha Herman. Herman’s mother is white and from England and her dad is black and Jamaican. Dating outside of her race never posed a problem inside of her household. Encountering her first serious interracial relationship with an African American in college, Herman and her mate had a strike against them before color even came into play.
“If anything it was the fact that we were gay that affected our relationship, not our skin colors,” said the Fort Lauderdale, Florida native.
[pullquote_right]“I use to worry about who was watching and criticizing us, but she taught me to not care about anyone thought and I got to the point where all I saw was her.”[/pullquote_right]
“Depending on what you want to get out of it, an interracial relationship really broadens your prospective,” said Herman. “It’s not about color, gender or anything,it’s about what you think about their heart and don’t let something like race, age, or gender stop you, just allow yourself to be loved.”
The first couple months of Corey Davis’s relationship with his Caucasian girlfriend were kept secret from her parents.“The first thing her parents told her before she left for college was not to bring home a black baby or black man,” said 22 year-old Davis.
Although this was not Davis’s first interracial relationship, he sympathized with his girlfriend’s need to keep their relationship a secret.
“My family preferred that I date inside my race and at one point my father tried to encourage me to do so, but once they saw I was serious about this relationship they were perfectly fine with it.”
While interracial dating isn’t as taboo as it once was, Davis has experienced the disapproval of others. “I have had people drive pass me and yell obscenities such as ‘get your own’ and (I) have even been called the “N” word for dating outside of my race.”
The greatest struggle for the Davis and his love wasn’t with outsiders, but began when the couple decided to meet her parents. “I was shocked to find that her grandparents treated me better than her mother. I expected them (grandparents) to have a closed mind due to the era they came from.”
Over time, Davis realized that respect for his relationships had to be greater than the dislike of his skin color.
“I can say she has had more opportunities than me, but I don’t feel blind in the world with her because she adds on to me by teaching me things and vice versa,” Davis says of his girlfriend of 13 months.“You will have to love the person to endure the racist feedback because the world doesn’t accept anything that is different from what it already is. The best thing to do is listen to your heart and be happy with your decision.”
Written by Monica Atkins
It seems like this should be a non-issue in 2012, but I think it will take a few more generations before people completely stop seeing interracial relationships as “taboo.” I was called all sorts of names for dating outside my race in high school. Then I married outside my race, and I decided that I don’t have to be around people who have a problem with me and my husband. If someone wants to let ignorance keep them from being able to behave appropriately around my family, then those people are not welcome in my life.