Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Attitudes towards Interracial marriage have changed dramatically, in just the last generation. In the United States it was just 43 years ago when interracial marriage was made fully legal in all 50 states. Today, in many countries, interracial marriage is commonplace and most don’t even give it a second thought. However, as we all know, it wasn’t always this way in the past. This list includes individuals who didn’t let the prejudice of society make their decisions in life, and also paved the way for interracial couples in the future.

Note: Interracial marriage can convey a relationship between a Black and an Asian, a White and an Asian, a Hispanic and an Asian, a White and a Hispanic, etc. In this particular list I have included only black and white relationships.

5 Jack Johnson and Wives (Married in 1911,1912 & 1925)

Interesting Fact: At Johnson’s funeral, Johnson’s third wife Irene Pineau was asked by a reporter what she had loved about her husband. “I loved him because of his courage, he faced the world unafraid. There wasn’t anybody or anything he feared.” The photo above shows Johnson with his first wife, Etta Terry Duryea. Jack Johnson had no children.

4 Frederick Douglass and Helen Pitts (Married in 1884)

Interesting Fact: During Fredrick Douglass’s first marriage he had a 26 year affair with German feminist Ottilie Assing. In 1884, when she read in the newspapers that Douglass was to marry Helen Pitts, who was 20 years-younger, she committed suicide in a public park in Paris. The letters Douglass wrote to her were burned, and she left all her money to Douglass.

3 Joseph Philippe Laroche and Juliette Lafargue (Married in 1908)

Interesting fact: When Juliette returned to Paris with her daughters she gave birth to a son, Joseph Lemercier Laroche. The White Star Line, the company that owned the Titanic, was later forced to issue a public apology for the derogatory statements made by the crew. When Louise Laroche died on January 28, 1998, at the age of 87 it left only seven remaining survivors of the Titanic.

2 Sir Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams (Married in 1948)

Interesting Fact: Botswana was among the world’s poorest countries but during Seretse Khama’s tenure as president, Botswana had the fastest growing economy in the world. Khama instituted strong measures against corruption and reinvested money into infrastructure, health and education. In 2009, Seretse and Ruth’s fist son, Ian, won a landslide victory and became the fourth President of Botswana. Their younger son, Tshekedi , was elected as a parliamentarian.

1 Barack Obama, Sr. and Ann Dunham (Married in 1961)

Interesting Fact: Following Ann Dunham’s memorial service at the University of Hawaii, Obama and his half sister Maya spread their mother’s ashes in the Pacific Ocean at Lanai Lookout on the south side of Oahu. Obama scattered the ashes of his grandmother (Madelyn Dunham) who died November 2, 2008, in the same spot weeks after his election to the presidency.

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