Does love transcend colour? Interracial Marriages in focus

by Pele Odiase

In multiracial societies comprising peoples of different tribes, tongues, nations and continents, the probability of interracial marriages occurring is more likely. In the last three decades, surveys carried out in the US indicated an increase in the number of interracial marriages. You may be part of this statistics or know a family member, friend or relative who is. While interracial marriages may foster societal cohesion, racial tolerance and better understanding between cultures, it does require an individual who is enlightened to take this step into marital bliss. However, the question, “Does love transcends colour?” does arise. Perhaps you may have asked this question yourself in an attempt to go down this route.

I would like to establish the fact and make clear that the bible does not prohibit interracial marriages. It clearly endorses marriages between a man and a woman regardless of race or colour. This scriptural backing and the assurances of love that exist between both parties should be complemented by careful consideration and compromise to maximize the potentials of the marriage. Only a fool builds a house without counting the cost.

Although the challenges exist in every marriage, tribal, intertribal and interracial marriages alike, they are often expected to be more pronounced in interracial marriages due to the obvious differences in skin colour, accents and physical features. Whether the marriage stands the test of time largely depends on the motivating factors; the reasons behind the marriage. Though there must be clear reasons why a man and woman would decide to get married, the stakes are much higher in interracial marriages.

Some of the reasons that compel people into interracial marriages are highlighted below. A few of them I have considered myself in an attempt to go down the interracial route, some I have first hand information from the individuals involved while others I have read about.


Love does cover a multitude of sins. It should be the primary reason and prime mover for the relationship. As long as the man and woman truly love themselves and are willing to compromise, every other thing would fall into place. The love should be from the heart, of the heart and for the heart call it ‘heartocarcy’ if you wish. The marriage should not be based on just looks, status or transient physical features that would eventually head south with age. The love should be able to keep you together when the storms of life come which will definitely come.

Immigration Status

If you haven’t come across them, I have. There are individuals whose primary and only reason for interracial marriage is to obtain an immigration status that would guarantee residency in the foreign country. These status seeking individuals are usually from developing nations in search for better life in thriving economies. In such marriages, no love exists between both parties. The conceding bride or groom in this particular scenario is either:

· mislead to believe that true love exist

· a ‘reject’ in the society or has an urgent urge to merge

· aware of the intention and is in it for monetary gains or

· not bothered about love but seeks to have a child / children from the marriage while it last

Personal objectives

Other reason which may be considered selfish include

· Adventure – Driven by the mere fact thought of mating with a spouse from a different race or skin colour. For those that think this way, the fact that all flesh are the same whether black, white or Chinese seems too hard to comprehend.

· Boost self confidence – Some feel that marrying someone from a different race would increase their social status, eliminate inferiority complex and perhaps put a PIMP in their steps. How sad!

· Produce half caste kids – Offspring’s of interracial marriages are often said to have good skins colour and texture. Some people delve into this territory just because they want half caste kids.

Perceived traits & characteristic

People from certain races are tagged as sex maestros hence they are targeted. If you have this notion you may be in for a big surprise. The men are also considered to be well able to take care of women while others are targeted because they are thought to be more hardworking, zealous and intelligent.

Societal influence

It is widely accepted than developing nations are more in tune with religion. Armed with this fact, religious individuals from societies where religion belittled and trivialized seek spouses from these religious nations. Equipped with traditional values, developing nations have greater regards for family values, chastity and respect thus making them eligible spouses.

A handful of other reason not mentioned here may exist. You can make your contribution by leaving a comment or discussing it in our forum. As previously said, let true love be the motivating factor for any quest into marriage.

Some of the things you may need to carefully consider when taking this decision are highlighted below. Bear in mind that these shouldn’t be excuses for aborting marriage plans; they should be trail blazers to guide you in making decision or achieving a compromise.


Man is primarily a social being hence the need to communicate. Lack of effective communication is often the primary reason for failures in marriages even amongst spouses with like tongues. You may need to decide on a common language to communicate in and strive to improve your comprehension of that language except you want to communicate through a third party, just kidding. Learn or commit to learning the language.


I don’t know about you but I am a strong advocate of the saying ‘the route to a man’s heart is through his stomach’. A compromise needs to be made in situations where there isn’t any delicacy common to both parties. Either you decide to learn to cook each other’s favourite meals or resort to eating out. Apart from affecting the enzymes in your stomach it would have an impact on the feeding budget and may be a point of contention when the kids start arriving


Obviously marrying some with a different skin colour would be very obvious to people and attract attention. You should be prepared to deal with this especially in public. I make bold to say that there are people who abhor interracial marriages either because of the history of slave trade where Africans were sold as slaves to work in plantations in Europe and America or because of the colonisation when it was perceived that the Europeans plundered the wealth of African nations to build the western civilization which they are determined to deny immigrants.

While these may not be your notion, it would be wise to be aware of it and be prepared when you encounter people with these views. It might be worth mentioning that a man marrying an older woman raises eyebrows in certain sphere of our society. Unconsciously, it is relatively more accepted amongst enlightened Africans to marry an older white woman who is older compared to a black man marrying an older black woman. In some African traditions it is forbidden and considered a taboo. Stand your ground! Traditions sometimes make the word of God of no effect.

Cultural identity

What identity do you want your children to have? Most marriages require the wife to take up the identity of the husband, while the reverse is the case in a few other nations. From the bible the woman is joined with the man and hence takes up the name of the husband. However, the identity the children could be an issue. Questions like:

· What language should be the lingua fanca in the home?

· What culture should or should not be imbibed?

· What traditions should be passed down and

· What moral values must be taught and learnt?

So What Next?

It can be a lonely path when you’ve decided to take this route to marital bliss, you may lose some friends, fall out with family members while others would adopt a wait and see attitude in anticipation of the demise of the relationship. These attitudes are expected and they should not discourage you once you have considered the implications and made you decisions. The good news is that you are not the first and would not be the last. You can seek counsel and encouragements from those that have gone before you and that are happily married. They are the ones you should be close to and take suggestion from.

Marriage is team work, the man and the woman. Both of you must be convinced and committed to the relationship after considering all possible ramifications and the dynamics. A house divided against itself cannot stand. If you are not in agreement and speak with the one voice, your relationship would crack at the slightest provocation from within or from without.

In my opinion true love does transcend colour and it should be the motivating factor when going into any marriage be it ethnic, intertribal or interracial. The motives must always be pure and should be investigated and discerned by both parties. It doesn’t mean that an eye of suspicion should be raised each time someone from a different race asks you out; neither should you ask after his or her immigration status at first glance, trust me I know how that feels. Wisdom is the principal thing and in all you getting understands.

You may also like


kristin February 10, 2008 - 10:31 am

very good article i did alot of reading before i got married to my husband because i was concerned about us having trouble since i am white and he is black. that has not been an issue at all the greater issues have been culture and religion and not understanding each other you can only learn so much by reading … living together has been a great learning experience if i can give any advice for someone deciding to marry someone from another culture or country is to get couseling right away and work hardly on having great communication we had problems and almost divorced due to personal stresses in the marriage but we are commited to making it work because in the end we truely love each other but just love is not enough it is hard work and is challenging

Toyin February 8, 2008 - 1:16 am

Interesting article! My husband is white and I am black. My parents gave us hell but in the end accepted him. It’s not been easy but the love we both share has definitely grown through all the stress.

ibi February 2, 2008 - 3:03 pm

i came across this article right after chatting with my fiance. he proposed a while ago and i have been a little scared and confused since he is white and i’m black, you know, wondering how we’d deal with people around us. i’m really strengthened by this page. we love each other and i’m sure it will work for us.

Alice January 11, 2008 - 1:58 am

I am a product of an interracial/ intercountry marriage. If there is love, you can handle each day as it comes along. My parents have been married almost 28 years, and are still going strong. Their situation is one of love where for the most part they put each other first. As children living in Nigeria, we were taunted by some, worshipped by some, and just treated normally by the majority.

As a child in such a situation, you have a tendency to be a bit confused as to what is acceptable and what is not. My mothers mom was called Grandma, and my fathers mother was called mummy.

As you get older you appreciate the fact that you are what you are, a unique individual, and that fitting in is not exactly going to happen for you. the most you can be is yourself. nothing less nothing more.

Reply January 10, 2008 - 12:34 am

A Well thought out piece … but its 10 at night and I am thinking…”this dude thinks too much”


Leave a Comment