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First Person: ‘We Are Us Because Of The Lovings’

Amy and Jamie Wise of San Diego in this undated photo.

Above: Amy and Jamie Wise of San Diego in this undated photo.

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They were told they would not make it past the first date. Amy and Jamie Wise of San Diego say they faced discrimination and some family members expressed concerns about their relationship because they were dating someone of another race.

But they decided to follow their hearts. Today the couple has been married for 24 years.

“There are a lot of things we dealt with, and still deal with,” said Amy Wise. “My husband has been called the n-word, I’ve been called white trash. We’ve had people call our daughter monkey. And on the flip side for every hateful word that comes at us, there’s a million more loving words.”

On June 12, the nation marks the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the landmark civil rights case Loving v. Virginia. That decision overturned laws prohibiting interracial marriage. Since then, the number of interracial marriages in the country has been steadily climbing. San Diego County has one of the highest intermarriage rates in the U.S. According to the Pew Research Center, 27-percent of newlyweds in the region are married to someone of a different race or ethnicity.

As part of our ongoing First Person series, the Wise’s share the struggles and joy they have experienced as an interracial couple in San Diego.

Special Feature First Person

KPBS Midday Edition's First Person series tells the stories of average and not-so-average San Diegans in their own words. Their experiences, both universal and deeply personal, offer a unique lens into the news of the day.


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