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Opinion: A mixed-race romance, a family rift
Despite her dad's objections, Elizabeth Mayo says she never considered breaking up with her future-husband, Alex Chancey.
April 5th, 2012
10:22 AM ET

Opinion: A mixed-race romance, a family rift

Editor's note: Elizabeth Mayo is a digital producer for CNN's "Early Start" and "Starting Point." All this week, "AC360°" airs its special series "Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture" at 8 and 10 p.m. ET on CNN. Thursday's installment will focus on interracial dating.

By Elizabeth Mayo, CNN

(CNN) - It all started on my second date with Alex. It was 1997 and on a whim we went into Manhattan to see the ball drop on New Year's Eve in Times Square. The closest we could get was 55th Street and Seventh Avenue. That's pretty far away, but we could still see the glittering ball touching the sky. He was 19, I was 17.

For him, I was his childhood dream girl: I'm tall, have curly brown hair and I play cello, so I was the real-life version of Sigourney Weaver's character in "Ghostbusters" (his favorite movie). To me, he was smart, doting and hilarious.

On what had to be the coldest night in the history of the ball drop, we shivered next to each other waiting patiently, with a few thousand spectators, to get one year closer to the millennium. At midnight, the ball dropped and the crowd erupted.

We looked at each other in anticipation and we kissed. Fireworks went off. Literally, behind us in Central Park fireworks set the sky ablaze to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the five boroughs constituting New York City. And when the heck did that saxophone player show up playing "Auld Lang Syne"? We took this only-in-the-movies moment as a sign from the universe that we were meant to be together.

There was one problem: Alex is half-black. I am white, half-Spanish in fact.

Read Mayo's full column

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Filed under: Black in America • Race • Relationships • What we think
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Sophie Allende-Richter

    Dear Elizabeth,
    I just read your story about how much it took your father to accept your husband Alex as "the soul of your life" to quote your own world... As much as I try to stay away of any racial discussion... After reading from your experience, I decided to share with you and other readers a little bit of my story...
    I am an educated African-European black woman married to a German man- a "real one" as I am sometimes being asked, with blond hair, blue eyes.. sometimes they would want me just to say white or caucasian to satisfy their curiosity... Together we have two wonderful children, bright, fluent in French German and English, they play musical instruments, are great athletes and have many friends... To me we are neither white, black or a biracial family, in fact we refer to our skin pigmentation difference by describing our selves as " caramel", "chocolate" or " vanilla " for my daughter who was born with sandy blond hair color and blue eyes... Our children so far have made many friends and are well integrated into our community, my dream for them is that they become citizens of the world open minded spirit and inspire many other people to live their lives without fear of any difference because that is what makes us culturally rich and beautiful...

    May 1, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |