Guests of the Inner Sanctum

Author(s) Spotlight: A U.K. Punk Rocker and His African Queen

This couple reached out to me and I HAD to showcase them. This African woman found her rainbow husband 13 years ago across the pond.


One Love Two Colours: the unlikely marriage of a Punk Rocker & his African Queen, by Bobby Smith and Margaret Oshindele-Smith

Is love genuinely colour-blind, or are we blind to the concept of colour within love?

This was the starting point that made us write our book: One Love Two Colours, the true story of our 13-year marriage. To briefly explain, I am a working-class English punk rocker, who happens to be married to Margaret, a middle-class, Nigerian Methodist. We have two children, Joshua and Olivia, and live in a town on the outskirts of London, in England.

Fed up of having to constantly explain to people why we are together, we wanted to expose the mystique of ‘mixed’ marriages, to show how two individuals can come together, from vastly different backgrounds, to forge a strong union, based on love, respect and empathy. The result is our book.

One Love Two Colours covers all aspects of our marriage, be it parenthood, religion, sex, arguments and even food. Each chapter is split between the two of us as we debate/argue each subject. We do not shirk any issue, including the legacy of slavery and how it affects black women/white men relationships to this day. Apart from our own lives the book could be sub-titled: adventures travelling within a multicultural world, as we also look at topics such as segregation, identity, colour-grading, race and racism. However, despite the often serious nature of the book, we lighten the mood with stories from our past – a past full of embarrassing, yet amusing anecdotes.

In case anyone is interested, we wrote the book as we were tired of the stereotypes that accompany black women/white men relationships. White men, so the myth goes, seek out black women as they are consumed with a burning passion for ‘exotica’. Black women, who happen to end up with white men, do so as their credit rating is messed up, according to ‘comedian’ Chris Rock.

check these two out on this video:

But who decides upon these stereotypes? What have people, who innocently fall in love with each other, done to deserve such labelling? Perhaps more importantly, why do we allow such negativity to pass largely unchallenged?

Why is racial solidarity, especially, so important to black women? Margaret and I have lost count of the number of times black women have told us to our faces that race ‘mixing’ is wrong, and that black women should stay away from white men, due to slavery. In addition, Margaret, so I am told, has ‘abandoned’ her Yoruba Nigerian culture, purely by dint of her marriage to me.

These, then, are the attitudes that we have encountered, attitudes that make us determined to succeed with our marriage – to stick two fingers up at those who condemn, reject and ridicule couples like us.

Marriage between different races is an adventure, a merging of cultures, personalities and traditions. The end result is not a dilution of races but a stronger, more knowledgeable union, better able to confront the problems that our changing, challenging world brings.

After all, there can only ever be one love, no matter how many colours are involved.

Happy to discuss any issues:

Bobby & Margaret:

[email protected]

Stayed tuned! Excerpts of the book will be posted on Sunday.

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