on being different colors.

I was asked a couple of questions on my formspring regarding our interracial marriage and mixed family. I've been thinking of how to write about it for quite awhile and so I figured now is as good of time as any to answer your questions.

i'm in a relationship with someone from a different race, and i was just wondering if your families had anything negative to say about you guys being together?

What challenges have you and the hubs faced as an interracial couple up north/west coast? Are people as rude about it as they are here in the southeast? What annoys you the most about others' opinions?

Ok, there is so much I could say on this subject but I'm just going to tell you the facts and maybe a little advice for those in an interracial relationship of their own. 

First off, you can't please everyone. You can't change people's beliefs. Even family members. Yes, I've had some family members (only a couple, thank God) say some extremely rude, hurtful and closed minded things to me (not to Chikezie) about our relationship. And it was only at the beginning. Racism is based in fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of anything different. Now, they would never say they were racist or admit to it. And I'm not going to name names or point fingers. But no matter where you live, in some families and with some people, interracial dating is a huge taboo or no-no subject.

Sometimes we'd get extra long stares when we'd walk through the mall holding hands. Or, there was THIS lady who said something completely ignorant to me in Target earlier this year. This country has come so far, but if you think racism and ignorance is gone, it's not. We still have so far to go. 

What do we do to get past all of it? Keep on livin'. That's all you can do, right? I don't care what stupid people say. I'm going to do what makes me happy based on my own beliefs and if you don't like it, you don't have to be in my life. Why waste life worrying about things you can't control? 

The best thing I've ever heard (that has come from many of my best friends) has been that they've never seen Chikezie and I as black and white. We're just Chikezie and Mandey. That's how I feel about Chikezie, and the boys. 

Finally, and most importantly is what we do to raise our children to be open minded and accepting of who they are. We gave the boys two middle names (one Nigerian) because their Nigerian heritage is important to us. We want them to know who they are and where they come from...and be proud. We bought some books that I like to read to them about interracial families, having a mommy and daddy that are different colors and maybe not looking like all of the other kids. From a young age I want them to be comfortable with talking to us about it.

I've heard so many people in interracial relationships say they don't "see color". I hate that. We shouldn't ignore our differences. We are different. We come from different cultures. Our boys are a mix of that. When we have to check the box for what race they are on medical forms, we check both Caucasian and African American. We're all different colors up in this house. And we chose to embrace those differences, and sometimes joke about them. 

If you ever need advice or support, I'm always here to answer questions based on my experiences. There are also so many helpful websites and forums dedicated to those in interracial relationships.  

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