For something that was illegal in America, up until it was formally declared legal in 1967 and will even now, still cause a lot of tongues to wag and heads to shake in our various African societies, interracial marriages are certainly becoming more commonplace.
They are basically a marriage between two spouses of different races and that explanation makes it easier to understand why it most often causes such emotional upheaval or shock when it is even merely considered or discussed.
Should Race Matter When Love Is Involved?
Well no, race shouldn’t matter because it doesn’t make any difference as far as love goes. “Race” is only a concept or term used in describing people according to their physical characteristics like genetics, although the term can be given a stronger meaning by people who hate to accommodate others.
Thus, different races would mean different traditions and cultures. Interracial marriage may mean a determination to uproot one life from one place to another. So while internet connectivity, social media and dating apps are making it easy to meet and date people from anywhere around the world, some relatives who are still not receptive of these marriages, need to know that the parties involved already go through tough challenges before coming up with the decision to marry inter-racially.
What do interracial marriages mean for Africa though? This kind of marriage certainly shows that we are more open-minded and getting less concerned about the boundaries of age-old traditions, but is this a good thing? One of the strongest reasons that still exists for an African getting into the institution of marriage is the chance to procreate and raise children in a conducive home atmosphere.
With interracial marriages, however, it is harder to stir a child in one cultural direction. What occurs, however, is a mixture of beliefs and traditions that may leave the child adrift in the world, unsure of where to actually call home. Also, childhood in a multi-racial home seems to be more complicated when compared to homes with the same race children. And where parents are separated, children get a bad picture of one race or the other because if one former spouse is horrific the entire race is bad. As true as all of these may be, it is also needful to note that there do exist children born in homes with parents who are not only from the same race but also the same tribe and yet they get worse experiences with no clue about anything related to the customs and traditions of the tribe.
That would go to show that if in any way interracial marriages take anything from our culture or home, it is not the fault of the institution but blame can rather more accurately be placed or allocated to the carelessness of not teaching the child accordingly. It is up to us, no matter the circumstance to pass down the culture of our people and our values to our children. This can be done in simple ways like; speaking our mother tongue more frequently to our wards, buying books that paint a flattering and fair picture of African culture and appreciating our history ourselves.
Interracial marriages are hardly killing our culture if anything they provide us with a unique opportunity of covering the world with our culture and showing forth the best parts of Africa.
Biracial marriage has also been blamed for making children feel odd in the mist of their age grades; probably the subtle signals from some people that consistently remind such children that they look different from the rest. This shouldn’t kill the dreams of a prospective multi-racial couple because it is also our duty to teach our children that their appearance doesn’t make them any different from the next person. When they know this, they will be comfortable with any person no matter their look or race without feeling inferior or under the yoke.
If you are in love with someone from another race and you are considering settling with the person, you may want to discuss the following with your mate:
How to help your offspring deal with prejudice
How the both of you can stand up to the pressures that might come from your family or community.
How to deal with random questions from racists.
Once the two of you can tackle these questions, and you have a family that is receptive to your relationship you are surely good to go.