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Why An Interracial Marriage In The White House Matters To Black Women Like Me

Tineka Smith
·2-min read

For a long while, I felt the struggle for equality and social progress was being squashed under the weight of Trumpism. So I let out a sigh of relief once Joe Biden had reached 270 electoral votes and officially won November’s election.

But for Black American women like me, the real victory is Kamala Harris. What she has accomplished is no mean feat: the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, Harris is the first woman of colour to be elected vice president of the United States of America.

Not only that, but with her husband Doug Emhoff set to become the first ‘Second Gentleman’ in US history, Harris is also the first candidate in an interracial relationship to ever be elected to the White House.

This is an important milestone. Here’s why.

Over the last four years, my country has shown me racism isn’t being stamped out – instead it is only becoming more insidious. The rise of white supremacy and open racism under Trump has caused people in mixed-race relationships to re-evaluate the difficult racial dynamics of their relationships. And I say that from personal experience as an African American woman married to a white British man.

When America elected Obama, many heralded it the dawn of a new post-racist world – as if a Black man becoming president of a country with a brutal past of slavery proved humanity had moved beyond racism.

As the Black Lives Matter movement gained significant momentum this year and deeper conversations on race were sparked across the country and in my own relationship, I found myself becoming more of an advocate for racial equality. But while Biden and Kamala’s election win gives cause for optimism, I am cautious to embrace that times are changing for the better.

You see, when America first elected Barack Obama in 2008, many heralded it the dawn of a new post-racist world – as if a Black man becoming president of a country with a brutal past of slavery proved humanity had moved beyond racism. I admit I was one of those...

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