We were introduced to The McClure family through their adorable photos on their Instagram page and just had to feature them! Enjoy reading about this lovely family!
MEET THE McCLURE FAMILY
Black, born in Nigeria
Ava and Alexis, identical twins age 2.5
WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
West Orange, NJ
HOW DID THE TWO OF YOU MEET?
Ami (pronounced Ah-me, short for Aminat) was getting out of her car in Washington Heights, NYC and I saved her from some dude trying to hit on her. After she parallel parked this guy was “talking game” to her and I just walked up to her pretending to know her.
WERE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT OBSTACLES IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP CORRELATED TO YOUR BACKGROUNDS?
Not really. Her family is Muslim so there are some differences but no hindrances.
WHAT TRADITIONS DO YOU CELEBRATE IN YOUR HOME?
Hmm, we are not traditional AT ALL. Actually as Humanists, we are (especially from the head of the household- Justin) very much opposed to organized traditions, instead we try to embody and create traditions that mean something to us. If the tradition fits our family dynamics then we apply it to our household but overall we are very progressive socially and religiously. We are both Humanists, void of religious creed or dogma, and believe human beings can create a better world separate from any belief in supernatural beings.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CULTURAL FEATURE/TRADITION OF YOUR SPOUSE'S RACE?
We see things very differently (a good thing), because most people let the religion of a culture get in the way. I see her Muslim culture for what it is and leave the religious aspect. Her family makes great food and I appreciate their sense of community and loyalty!
IS THE COMMUNITY YOU LIVE IN DIVERSE?
Yes. We have muslims, jews, christians, and other free-thinking Humanists like ourselves.
DO YOU OR YOUR PARTNER SPEAK IN MORE THAN ONE LANGUAGE IN YOUR HOME?
Justin speaks Spanish fairly fluently and Ami speaks her native Nigerian tongue because she was born there. It’s important to the family for the girls to know Spanish so that will be incorporated as they grow.
ARE YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY SUPPORTIVE OF YOUR MULTIETHNIC RELATIONSHIP?
Yes except for a few people here and there but Ami and I are both very strong personalities and believe that nothing gets in the way of our happiness. If anyone in our families had a problem with our love...that is their problem and can excuse themeselves from our lives until they embrace our happiness:) we do not let anyone get in the way of our joy.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR PARTNER'S ETHNIC-CULTURAL BACKGROUND?
Probably the food and Ami enjoys my southern hillbilly upbringing because it makes me unique (she says). I have a bit of a southern accent and embrace much of growing up in the south.
DID YOU FIND BIG DIFFERENCES IN THE WAY YOU GREW UP VS. YOUR SPOUSE DUE TO DIFFERENCES IN RACE?
Sure, I grew up very very religious in the south (rural North Georgia) so that exposure made me naive and impotent towards realities of the world. Ami did not grow up embracing religion because her Mom is Christian and Dad Muslim so they didn’t even discuss spirituality.
Also growing up in the south we didn’t have many black people... as I grew and evolved I realized dating outside my race was more interesting than dating what I know.
WHAT IS THE MOST SURPRISING/UNEXPECTED THING YOU'VE LEARNED ABOUT EACH OTHER'S CULTURE?
Probably when I learned of her tribal marks. In Africa they give you tribal marks when you’re born (cuts with a knife). Probably for Ami was when she realized how country my family really is! I was born and raised in the same location where the movie Deliverance was filmed - we were very indigent and bucolic in upbringing.
ARE THERE ANY COMMENTS YOU ARE REALLY TIRED OF HEARING FROM PEOPLE IN REGARDS TO RACE/CULTURE?
We are tired of hearing…”Your girls are so gorgeous!” haha, kidding, we love hearing that. People always comment on the beauty of our family. This gives us gratitude because we know “being attractive” is simply luck. Nobody is in the womb of their mother asking for beautiful features..it just happens and has nothing to do with the quality or integrity of the person...so we are grateful for sure.
WHAT ACTIONS HAVE YOU TAKEN TO TEACH YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT EACH OF YOUR BACKGROUNDS?
Well they are 2.5 years old so still very young, but as they grow we’ll let them embrace both sides of their parents. We are very big on offering choices and not telling our kids how to think and feel.
HAVE YOUR CHILDREN ASKED ABOUT RACE?
Umm no, they can barely talk.
DO YOUR CHILDREN IDENTIFY AS MIXED OR SOMETHING ELSE?
Identical mixed twins.
HOW DO YOU RAISE YOUR CHILDREN TO HONOR DIVERSITY IN OTHERS?
We raise them to see everyone as equal.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM FOR YOUR CHILDREN'S FUTURE AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICA IN REGARDS TO RACE?
We just want them to be happy and to feel loved every moment of their life. We spend quality time with them and are present so they feel the attention and love. Race will not be talked about much in our house because it should never be an issue. Instead we will raise them to see outside of race and gender, instead focus on developing dignity of character and pursuing the passions in life they love and stand for.