If you don’t already read the blog, “Shades of Black and White,” I strongly encourage you to do so. The writer is really good and she is so honest and unflinching in what she shares. This particular posting, which I link below, is incredible. As you will see it is about what she has experienced and dealt with since her parents have shunned her and her family, including their own grandchild, because she dared to marry a black man.
I have recounted before here how my wife and I share a somewhat similar experience, though not quite as drastic. My wife grew up with a Mom who regularly used the “N word” and who made it clear that blacks were considered less than Mexicans (or Mexican-Americans), which she is. Somehow my wife was able to grow up with that and still find a way to fall in love with whomever she chose, which happened to be me, a black man. I totally tip my hat to her and anyone who can overcome that kind of upbringing to make this kind of choice. What strength.
I was a bit luckier. I grew up mostly around only blacks, but my family did not openly exhibit any racism. I don’t recall ever hearing anything that was negatively directed at whites or others. And frankly, thinking back, now I think how strange and wonderful that was of my parents, particularly considering I grew up in a small town in Southeast Texas in the 60’s and 70’s. So I was very lucky. And to this day, no one in my family has ever said anything about my choice nor have they treated Dianna any differently than anyone else from what I can see.
Now I don’t say this to say my family was better, only to make the point that I am really amazed at people like Shirl and my wife, Dianna, who can deal with what they did growing up and be so amazing as adults in going against their parents. I wonder if I could be so strong were I to have that kind of situation as a child. Most people simply accept and become their parents when they grow up. It is just the way the world is.
So kudos to these two particular women, and anybody else who stands up to their families and racism. I am in total awe and truly do thank you for having that kind of courage.
Here is the link to Shirl’s posting.