Love is the driving force in life and anyone who has felt it knows this for sure. But, sometimes love cannot be fulfilled if there are differences in religion, race or culture. In the case of Howard Andrew Foster and Myra Clark the race was the issue that prevented their love.
The first interracial marriage was legally executed in 1967, when the Supreme Court case Loving vs. Virginia made interracial marriage legal. It was allowed after the interracial couple sued Virginia for its issuing laws for prohibiting marriages like theirs.
In that same year, a new interracial love occurred, the one between Howard Andrew Foster and Myra Clark. They were high school sweethearts, but due to their difference in skin color they have experienced great issues from the surrounding society. Even though interracial marriages have become legal, such relationships were not considered a normal thing and every time a couple with different races occurred they were severely judged.
These two youngsters managed to stay together for 2 years resisting all those odd stares, but the young Foster fully understood what the consequences of their love would have been later in their lives. They were already at college and Foster was the only black person attending Columbus Technical Institute, now Columbus State Community College. He struggled with racism every day and not only from his peers but as well as from the professors of this college. Facing the cruel reality he understood that their relationship could not withstand all that disapproval and judgment, moreover he did not want his sweetheart to suffer as a result of that. Therefore, he decided to end the relationship in order to protect Myra from all the unpleasant stares and comments all her life. He wanted her to be happy and not always fighting with the prejudice of the other people. It just seemed unfair to do that to her. Foster told Myra that they should end up their relationship as society will never allow their happiness. It wasn’t a malicious break up, but they just hugged for the last time and each one went its own way, but while separating they both turned back at the same time to wave goodbye to each other, as if saying “See you later.”
They continued with their lives and both found spouses and had children with them. As time passed, they both lost their companions due to age or diseases.
In 2013, destiny was on their side and they met again. Namely, Myra worked at Mount Carmel Hospice, and out of blue she met a nurse whose daughter was married to Andrew’s son. In that way questions start to pop up about her old high school sweetheart which led to their reunion on Labor Day weekend of 2013. The feelings were still there and the old sparkle got ignited once again.
Forty years have passed since their break up, but they easily reconnected at Sharon Woods Metro Park on a fall day holding hands across a picnic table and talking as they have never been apart. For Foster this was a dream come true, and he proposed to her the next year on 1st August. They officially have become a couple after four decades of their first date. Foster made a promise to himself that he would never walk away from Myra again.
Myra posted a photo, on her Facebook profile, commenting the great fun they have had with each other and their families.
This reminds us of the popular saying of Quaker William Penn “Force subdues, but love gains.”
Fortunately, today on interracial marriages is not being looked upon as it was in the fifties or sixties of the last century. According to 2013 Gallup findings, 87% of Americans approve interracial marriage as opposed to 4% in 1958.
It is good to know that love still has no boundaries, and that the skin color never determines someone’s personality. Look at the UK royals, Harry and Meghan and how happy and fulfilling they are which could not have happen if they were living in the sixties of the last century.