His Love for an African-American Woman got him Disowned by Family

Growing up in an Indian family, I became accustomed to hearing the normal stereotypes used to describe African-Americans, Asians, and other ethnicities.


From a family perspective, there wasn’t any ill my parents had with these ethnicities; they were just sharing what they had learned. My parents grew up in India within a strict cultural and family environment. Both of my parents came from small villages on the outskirts of large cities and as such, had little access to information. The information they were presented with were the common stereotypes we use today [with regard to the different ethnic groups]. Unfortunately, even after being in the United States, the largest melting pot for immigrants, for 40 years, and having access and experiences with all different kinds of ethnicities​ ​they​ ​continued​ ​to​ ​hold​ ​their​ ​prior​ ​beliefs​ ​and​ ​chose​ ​not​ ​to​ ​evolve. 

When my brother decided to marry a Caucasian-American woman, my mom initially had a terrible time accepting it. She always wanted her two sons to marry Indian women and to continue our Indian culture here in America. When she finally did come around, she made me sign a sheet of paper stating that I would marry an Indian woman. In retrospect, I have no idea why I had a greed to do this, as this would be continuously brought up for the next several years. I think I may have felt sad for my mom. I mean, she did sacrifice so many things so that my brother and I could succeed and have the material​ ​things​ ​we​ ​desired.​ ​I​ ​felt​ ​like​ ​I​ ​owed​ ​it​ ​to​ ​her,​ ​to​ ​make​ ​her​ ​happy. 

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[bctt tweet=”My mother made me sign a sheet of paper stating that I would marry an Indian woman.” username=”ParentVoiceMag”]

[bctt tweet=”As beautiful and educated as my wife is, initially, my parents could just not get past the color of her skin.” username=”ParentVoiceMag”]

I knew that marrying a non-Indian wasn’t going to be an option for me, but you can’t help who or why you fall in love. I always thought that the way I was raised was to not judge a book by its cover. Look at the person, look at their family, look at their belief system, use that as a body of work for making a decision, not skin color or ethnicity. When I did fall in love, it was to my now beautiful African-American wife, although I knew I had to be serious about her before approaching my parents and letting them know.

My wife and I dated for several months before I became serious about telling my family. I used the context of my niece’s first birthday party as a way to casually introduce several work friends and my future wife to my parents. That ended up being a disaster. As beautiful and educated as my wife is, initially they could just not get past the color of her skin. It started several fights in our family which took months to resolve. 

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[perfectpullquote align=”left” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]It got so bad, that for a period of time, my mom told me, that if I wanted to stay with my wife, then girlfriend, that I would be kicked out of the family.[/perfectpullquote]

At the heart of the argument was the stereotypes they just couldn’t let go of even though in the modern age there is no validity to applying stereotypes to a group of people. It got so bad, that for a period of time, my mom told me, that if I wanted to stay with my wife, then girlfriend, that I would be kicked out of the family. To hear a mother say that to her son is completely devastating. She continued to tell me I broke her heart because of the document that I signed years ago. My arguments went unheard, my logic, my reasoning, and my historical research on Indians and color, all went unheard.

[bctt tweet=”My mom told me that if I wanted to stay with my wife, then girlfriend, that I would be kicked out of the family.” username=”ParentVoiceMag”]

I did the only thing I could and the hardest thing I have ever done. I took​ ​a​ ​break​ ​from​ ​my​ ​family,​ ​I​ ​accepted​ ​for​ ​the​ ​time​ ​being, that​ ​I​ ​was​ disowned. 

Love is love, and being a romantic at heart, I decided I would defend love. A love like my wife and I have now is worth defending, even at a young age, I realized that. I decided to fight. I always had a feeling and hoped that my parents would come around, we just needed time. Time for my parents to get to know her, understand her, meet her family, so they could realize how great she really is, and how much better she makes me. I didn’t speak to my parents for well over six months, which for me was very uncommon; I mean we spoke almost every day. It was a game of chicken that both sides ended up losing. I felt like I had lost my parents and they felt like they had lost a son.

[bctt tweet=”I always had a feeling and hoped that my parents would come around, we just needed time. ” username=”ParentVoiceMag”]

After about 6 months my dad reached out to me to have lunch and talk. He had come to grips that I was going to marry my girlfriend and now wife, Nikita. What he wanted was one more conversation to which I obliged. Things changed after this lunch conversation. My dad then met my girlfriend and I for dinner but my mom did not. As my dad got to know my girlfriend, he started to realize that may be the stereotypes didn’t apply to her, and that she actually was a really great individual. My mom was still on​ ​the​ ​fence, and ​it​ ​took​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​convincing​ ​from​ ​my​ ​dad​ ​to​ ​at​ ​least​ ​have​ ​dinner​ ​with​ ​us. 

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After the first dinner didn’t completely end in disaster, my mom also realized that she missed me. In the end, it was better to have me with her, than not have me at all. This at least got us down the pathway of being able to resurrect our family. The more and more contact my mom had with my girlfriend, the more I think she realized how much they were similar. In the end it took several months for my mom to fully overcome (maybe) her prejudice based on stereotypes and another several years of our marriage. I think when she finally saw how beautiful our daughter is, she ​gave​ ​in – ​although​ ​that​ ​took another ​five ​years​.


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