We interviewed Michael and Alyson, the founders of the hugely popular “We Are the 15%” website that features multiracial and multicultural families, inspired after the blowback from bigots when Cheerios featured an interracial family on one of their commercials.
So how did these two meet? Like five percent of the population, they met online (eHarmony) and dated two years before they married. Michael relocated from San Francisco to Atlanta, where Alyson resided.
While they are clearly an interracial couple–Michael is English, Irish and German, and Alyson is African American–neither of them had a preference. “You shouldn’t be limited by geography, and race and religion shouldn’t limit you,” says Michael. Alyson didn’t want to be “the experiential black girl,” or date someone who only wanted to date a black woman.
We asked the couple about raising their children–Alexandra 3.5, and Jackson, 3 months–in Atlanta, which has a reputation of being racially stratified. They they both agree that it is, Michael said that San Francisco was even more racially segregated. “Atlanta is separated along race and class,” say Alyson. Ironically, San Francisco, a locale often credited for being socially liberal, was the location where the couple felt most out of place on one occasion in North Beach, when they were snubbed by restaurant staff. We asked them how they responded, and Alyson giggles. “I joke around and say to Michael, ‘don’t make this a moment of black history!”
Read the full story on Beyond Black & White Kids here.