Love Surviving & Thriving in the Midst of Hate
Love DOES see color BUT Love ALSO embraces color….
There has always been the side eye by some, both men and women, both black and white. There would be whispers of:
he is with her because…
she is with him because…
…Remarks that are not even worth repeating… Neither of us understood, nor do we understand now, why some thought we both betrayed “our people” because we fell in love and choose to love each other.
Then, when we looked back, we realized we didn’t need to look too far back….. interracial marriages only became legal in all states within the great United States of America in 1967. It has only been a mere 53 years. Yes, in the land of the free, the home of the brave. The nation that proudly proclaims that it is “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Yet, if Patrick and I had been born years earlier, we would not have been able to marry … and if we dared to do it, we would have committed a crime… which if you know me, I would, without reservations. He would too… …it is more than jungle fever.
It is 21 years of constant and dependable friendship. It is 20 committed full years together. It is 17 preserving years of marriage. It is fully raising one child and raising three more. It is experiencing and firmly standing against both covert and overt racism and prejudice.
I never grew up hearing I had to marry within my race. I grew up being told to marry a man who loves me. A man that would provide and care for me. A man that would work with me to build a life. A man that would support my individual dreams. I grew up being told to be the same for him: love him, provide with him, care for him, work with him to build a life and support his individual dreams. Those childhood seeds took root and helped to foster the woman I am, to love the way I do.
It was never about having “beautiful interracial babies.” A term both Patrick and I have heard too many times to count. As far as we are concerned, all babies are beautiful.. We realize that the term when used, is meant to be a compliment. Yet, for us, that was not a deciding factor in our relationship.
Although, we have been blessed with beautiful children, inside and out. When we look at our children, we see OUR love in tangible form.. living and breathing….
If only the entire world could see love in all its beauty…
There is much pain for me, for Patrick too. However, I suspect more disappointment for him, when we look at the condition of the world we live in today. The world we happily brought our children in. The world where here in the United States of America, a black man, a black woman, a black girl, a black boy, is treated vastly different, simply because of skin color.
A world where I keep thinking and asking, are the ugly realities of years earlier repeating?
A world where my beautiful interracial babies have been looked at by some in a despicable way, simply because they are interracial children. Thankfully, Patrick and I continue to raise them to love themselves and to love every part of them, the black and the white..
It is so much more than black and white. It is deeper. It is richer. It is fuller.
So in the midst of it all, the hate, the utter injustice that black people continue to endure. Our children will jump! They will free themselves of the burdens that held us all down over the course of several months. They will embrace the message that nature is sharing…. Autumn is telling of the process of shedding … Fall leaves go through a vibrant transformation, from green, to yellow, to brown….
…. and so we let go, we release because we refuse to allow the same hate to penetrate us. I sit back in the comforts of my husband’s lap and rest in his arms, as we both rest in God’s arms… no jungle fever could survive this… Yes, it is more than just jungle fever… It is looking hate dead in the eyes and smiling, knowing LOVE will win. It is overcoming the fear of worrying about whether or not our children will be ok….then deciding that fear must not win!
Our high school senior will be ok.
Our 8th grader will be ok.
Our 6th grader will be ok.
We will be ok.
Our marriage will survive this and continue to thrive… I would be lying if I said it has not affected it. My husband has been there and understands more than I personally think any other white person could. Yet, there are times when what bubbles up inside of me, is far more than even he can understand. Still, I can’t forget, he too has been mistreated, he too has been called names because he choose to love me. Some have heard me say before, he has been called, a half n*gga lover…. Yes, jungle fever could never withstand!.. Only LOVE.
..and so I ask my white sisters and brothers, see my color but do not treat me badly because of it. See my white husband but do not chastise him for marrying a black woman. See my multicultural, multiracial children. They are more than black and white, they are more than beautiful interracial babies. Please recognize and acknowledge that my family is just as precious as yours. See past what you believe, ask me what you don’t understand. Seek to inform yourself on matters you are unaware of and/or matters you have chosen to ignore.
I say to my black sisters and brothers, yes, I married a white man but I am still very much a black woman. The issues that affect our black community, affects me. I feel them, I speak up against them, I act against them. I did not diss my black brothas. I do not think less of any black man. My father is a black man, my brothers are black men, I have uncles and nephews who are black men and boys respectively. My attitude did not change, my language did not change. I love my natural skin and the natural hair God gave me. My sista is real! My children experience racism and prejudice, just like yours. In fact, I dare to say more because they get it from both sides. Our family gets it from both sides: black and white. .. sometimes it is hard to believe that we talk about racism and prejudice in the black community. Yet we too give it to each other.. Don’t let me even begin to talk about me being a little lighter, the shade I get for that…. That will need an entirely different blog post.
To you all, not all black women in interracial relationships, have self hate, neither do we all purposely seek out to have mixed children. We love our black, we find it beautiful. It so happens that who we end up loving and who love us back isn’t black …
Take a lesson from the season called Autumn, SHED!
Shed the hate. Shed the prejudice. Shed the racism. Shed the indifference. Shed the chosen ignorance. Shed the hypocrisy. Shed it all.
Some people miss real love because they are caught up on not venturing outside of their race. Don’t get me wrong the preservation of black families are important. I suppose, white families could say the same and have been, although for different reasons. I understand this…(again, another blog post for another time)… but what if your LOVE is outside of where you think it should be?
The preservation of humankind, all humankind, personally to me is most important. That means my black life matters and has to be elevated. Why? Well, for so many generations, black lives have not mattered and still seem not to matter to some….
… I must ask, if we seek equality but look down on a black woman for loving a white man and a white man for loving a black woman, what are we really seeking?…. When will we realize it is more than black and white?… …It is more than jungle fever. …
We must all recognize our own hate, prejudice, racism and all other isms, THEN…. you guessed it, SHED THEM!!!
We are The Linckes surviving and thriving!
Love is stronger always.