Mike and Kim met while working in a research lab at the University of Pennsylvania. At the time, Mike was a senior, while Kim had recently finished her PhD and was working as a postdoctoral researcher while raising her 10-year-old son.
Mike is the son of Taiwanese immigrants, who grew up in an agricultural area of Maryland, while Kim hails from Southern New Jersey.
In this episode of the Loving Project, they discuss food, culture, stereotypes, and the serendipitous circumstances that brought them together.
On June 12th, 1967, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Loving v. Virginia. That decision rendered all state laws banning interracial marriage unconstitutional and made it legal for individuals of different races to marry all across the USA.
Instead of telling one couple's story, in this Loving Day special, we hear from eight different couples about their thoughts on the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision. The following couples are included in the episode:
Florence and Ed met in the 1960's in Nashville while they were in college - Ed at Vanderbilt and Florence at Fisk University.
They began dating after getting to know each other as co-facilitators for the Upward Bound program and got married in 1968, just over a year after the Loving v. Virginia decision. When they got engaged, they had no idea that interracial marriage was illegal in Florence's home state of North Carolina where they planned to get married.
Michelle and Melissa met in college and were together for 12 years before getting married in 2017. Although they are both Philadelphia natives, they hail from very different parts of the city.
Melissa, who is white, grew up in Bridesburg, a neighborhood with a reputation for racism, while Michelle, who is Black, hails from Mount Airy, an area well known for diversity and inclusion. The reactions of their families to their relationship mirrors those of their communities - Michelle's family welcomed Melissa with open arms but Melissa's relationships with some extended family members are strained due to their attitudes towards Michelle.
Lori and Manuel have been married since 1999. Manuel is white and grew up in Spain. Lori is black and grew up in Wisconsin. They met at university in Spain, where Lori was studying abroad; eventually Manuel joined her in the United States where they lived first in New York and then in Philadelphia.
In this episode of the Loving Project podcast, Lori and Manuel talk about what it's like to raise biracial, bilingual children who are equally at home both in the US and in Spain. They also share their own experiences coming to terms with being part of an interracial marriage.
The Loving Project commemorates the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia by featuring modern stories of interracial marriage.
Aarati and Jonathan got married in 2006. Jonathan is White and Jewish and Aarati is Indian-American. They met in Chicago, where Aarati was pursuing her PhD and Jonathan was working as a journalist. They later moved to Washington DC, and then Philadelphia.
Born and raised in New Hampshire, Jonathan was unfamiliar with the daily realities of racism in the United States before he met and married Aarati and became the parent to two biracial children. Whereas Aarati, who was born in India and grew up in mixed race communities in Delaware describes herself as a "race straddler". Currently, they both work in the arena of racial and social justice.
In this episode of the Loving Project podcast, they discuss the joys of sharing both their cultures with their children and of watching them develop their own racial identities.
Anastasia and Symeon met online while they were working at that same university. They married in 2011 and live in Philadelphia with their two young sons.
Symeon grew up in rural New York state, while Anastasia grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
In the episode, they discuss the things they have in common, such as a love of travel, close relationships with their families, and a history of being "the kid with the weird name". They also reflect on the ways their backgrounds sometimes lead them to view the world differently, how they find common ground, and what it's like to raise biracial children in a racialized world.
Donna and Craig have been married since 1988. Craig is White and grew up in Queens, New York. Donna is Black and was born in the United States, but lived in Belgium for about 10 years before returning to New York, where she and Craig first met.
The couple lived in New Jersey for a while before settling down in the suburbs of Philadelphia, where they raised two children who are now in their 20's.
In this episode, Craig and Donna discuss some of the realities of interracial dating in the '80s, the experience of raising biracial children in a mostly White community, and the couple's decision to become involved in racial justice activism in recent years.
Beth and Helaina are an interracial couple living in Philadelphia’s Mount Airy neighborhood. They got married in a wedding ceremony in Philadelphia in 2007, before gay marriage became legal nationwide.
They later had a legal ceremony in California while Helaina was carrying their first child. The couple now has four children, all biracial.
Shaina is a white Jewish woman from Texas. Brahim is a black, Muslim, Berber Arab from Morocco.
They met while Shaina was volunteering for an organization Brahim started in a small village in Morocco, and after Shaina returned to the United States, Brahim decided to start the immigration process so they could be together.
Now they live in West Philadelphia, where they're raising their son to understand that he comes from two very different cultural backgrounds.
Dave and Courtney have been married since 2010, and they're raising an 18 month old boy in West Philadelphia.
Courtney is African American, while Dave is white, and they're both navigating what it means to raise a biracial child in the era of Black Lives Matter.
Arun and Carrie got married in 2001; Arun is Indian and Carrie is white. Both grew up in Northeast Ohio, and they now live in Philadelphia with their two children.
Arun grew up in a close-knit Indian community where arranged marriages were the norm; theirs was the first interracial marriage to be openly accepted in that community.
The couple talks about the long road it took to get there and the changes in attitudes within that community over the past 15 years.
Olivia and John got married in 2015 and live in Philadelphia's Mount Airy neighborhood.
John is white, and Olivia is Filipino-American. Both of their families have been welcoming of their relationship, but as they think about starting their own family, they do think about the challenges their biracial child may face.
Chavis and Liz have been married since 2003. They have a 12 year-old son, and the family lives just outside of Philadelphia.
Liz is white and Chavis is African-American. However, his skin coloring and hair texture often lead others to classify him as White or as some race/ethnicity other than African-American, giving Chavis an unusual insight into race relations in modern America.
For this first episode of the Loving Project Podcast, Liz and Chavis invited us into their home to talk about race, love, and what it’s like to live in a family filled with diversity.