Lori and Manuel have been married since 1999. Manuel is white and grew up in Spain. Lori is black and grew up in Wisconsin. They met at university in Spain, where Lori was studying abroad; eventually Manuel joined her in the United States where they lived first in New York and then in Philadelphia.
In this episode of the Loving Project podcast, Lori and Manuel talk about what it’s like to raise biracial, bilingual children who are equally at home both in the US and in Spain. They also share their own experiences coming to terms with being part of an interracial marriage.
As one of a tiny number of Black students in her Wisconsin high school Lori dreamed of going to Spain, a place where she believe she would feel less “different”. Once there, Lori realized that in Spain she stood out just as much as she did in her home country.
However, in Manuel she found someone who had no preconceptions about her and was genuinely open to and interested in people from different cultures. Although he had seen racial discrimination – primarily directed at gypsies – while he was growing up, when he moved to the USA, Manuel was surprised to learn firsthand about some of the racism that Black Americans faced on a daily basis.
The family now lives in Philadelphia’s Mount Airy neighborhood with their three children. Lori is an author who has written about colorism and her experience becoming part of a multiracial family.