Ponderings: The history of interracial couples

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By Alagra Bass

During the spring and summer months, interracial marriages came up quite a bit in various news articles and writings. Another one surfaced on Sunday and Monday (Sept. 19 and 20) in a two-part news article about an interracial couple who had a bit of a predicament when the Supreme Court decided Loving v. Virginia (1967). In this case, the Supreme Court struck down a Virginia state law banning interracial marriages.

The first part of the article describes how Joann and James Gaines began dating as high school students. In high school, they snuck out to see one another and hung out with another young girl from the neighborhood.

Despite not being able to go out together because of  a  culture  of discrimination against African Americans and disapproval of interracial marriages, the couple  found ways to steal precious moments together.

Joann became pregnant at the age of 17. Just four months into her pregnancy, she ran away from home after telling her parents she was going over to a friend’s house for the weekend. Instead, she went to live with James’ sister Janis in Washington, D.C.

Joann’s family did not speak to her after the birth of her baby. She was informed multiple times that the Ku Klux Klan was looking for her. This is a brief synopsis of the first half, but if you want to know the rest of her story, search “Once Forbidden Love” on newsleader.com.

Just last week on the 16th, there was also talk about Korean women being frowned upon in interracial relationships. Korean men feel like Korean women are “theirs” and should not be with men of other races. This idea is shrouded in much controversy  and it is an idea that some women even share. The article explains that  disapproval of interracial marriages stems from an inability to correctly examine interacial relationships; a person cannot understand a relationship on a personal level if he or she is blinded by bias.

This kind of conversation is not one that should be avoided here on campus. There are members of our community that either are or have been in a relationship with someone of a different race. ALAS, the African and Latino Alliance of Students, has taken particular interest in interracial relationships.

The group will host a viewing and discussion  of the movie Our Family Wedding from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sept. 28th. In the movie, Lucia, a Hispanic-American woman, brings home her African-American fiancé Marcus to announce big wedding plans. The ensuing feud is quite comical. Watch the movie, discuss it with ALAS, and take time to ponder the mistakes of the past.

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