Love is life’s driving force. True love cannot be conquered, and it transcends time and space. Unfortunately, while love cannot be fought, there are numerous love stories with a tragic end, and countless hearts broken because of others.
In 1967, interracial relationships were a taboo, which put the love of Howard Andrew Foster and Myra Clark to a test.
The two youngsters started dating in high school, but Howard is of African descent, while Myra is Caucasian. They continued to date for two years, but Howard faced racism on a daily basis.
The torture continued to grow even while in college at Columbus technical institute. He was the only black person who studied there and experienced many instances of racism.
Over time, he realized that their relationship was doomed at the time, and to protect her, Howard decided to end things.
“Society wasn’t going to let us be together and she be happy… She’d get tired of the stares; I just thought it was unfair to her. Her happiness was the most important thing.”
Although she was initially in a shock, Myra understood his reasons:
“I believed he’d think I would be happy (without him), though he didn’t know what I’m made of. And that’s okay.”
With tears in their eyes, they separated, Myra later explained that after they said their goodbyes, they walked in different directions but still turned and their eyes met.
She believed the wave meant: “I’ll see you later.”
Howard remembers crying in his car, as “ it was not an easy decision” and he truly loved Myra. Yet, he never forgot her, and often imagined his life is they stayed together.
Myra too remembers the problems they faced from society. After some time, the two started living their own lives.
However, almost five decades later, in 2013, a mutual friend reconnected them. While working at Mount Carmel Hospital, Myra met a nurse whose daughter was married to Howard’s son.
Next, Howard and Myra got in touch and decided to meet up on the Labor Day weekend of 2013 at Sharon Woods Metro Park.
And they felt like they never stopped loving each other!
With their love sparkling in their eyes, they sat at a picnic table and held hands.
“It was that dream you just never thought would come true… there she was. For me, the fact that I was sitting there holding her hands is something that I thought would never happen. And I was not letting her go.”
Yet, this time, things have been changed.
“I walked away once; I was not going to walk away again.”
The lovebirds tied the know on August 1, 2015, an claim they “really enjoy each other”.
And they both say they don’t have any regrets about how things worked out.
Since the legalization of interracial marriages in 1967, after the Supreme Court case ‘Loving vs. Virginia, ’ there has been a five-fold increase in these marriages.
Yet, interracial couples still have numerous challenges to cope with. Stereotypes still exist, and many even realize that their differences run deeper than they expected.
Moreover, people from a traditional family face disapproval and these couples often struggle with societal judgment and statements that have racist undertones.
Some people are even openly racist and discriminating, and turn to bullying of various kinds.
Yet, we should all change.
If you are in an interracial relationship, try to be open-minded and ready to withstand these challenges if you truly love your partner. Learn more about his culture, and be willing to make cultural adjustments and compromises.
Also, remember that what people say about you is actually a reflection of them, not you.
If you are not, remember to respect everyone and never offend anyone. Don’t allow stereotypes to change the nature of your behavior and cloud your judgment.
Love goes beyond skin color.