Ronia Carter

Tue Jun 09 2020 04:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)


“My parents moved from LA to the Bible Belt in the South, where I spent most of my childhood. The vibe here is Christian, right-wing. Even the Bangladeshi community is conservative and religious, a stark difference from the progressive community we left in LA. I was often the only POC at my school and just wanted to fit in. I had a typical Bangladeshi upbringing, fiercely family-oriented, and academics first. I grew up sheltered with the “white is right” mentality, but that slowly changed as I experienced diversity.

It was always assumed, even by me, that I would marry a Bangladeshi, but you can't change fate. Bringing home Bubs as the man I want to marry, not only a non-Bangladeshi but a Black man was terrifying given the bias in our community. I prayed like never before. I was even mentally preparing myself for a life without my parents. Their initial response was NO, as I expected. We argued over the next several months. They had an influx of reasons why it wouldn’t work, the main one being "cultural differences." I knew what that really meant, and so did Bubs. By the time they accepted my decision, everyone was mentally drained.

The next year was an emotional rollercoaster. Bubs battled the pain of his in-laws’ rejection, while mine accepted me from the beginning. My parents never had a conversation with him about what happened - no accountability, no apology. He smiled in front of them and did everything to pull off a Bangladeshi wedding, but I saw how deeply he was hurt. He’d second guess whether a nice gesture was genuine or only because of our marriage. He wanted to show them love but it wasn’t given to him so freely. I felt stuck in the middle. I knew my parents were growing and changing from this experience but it wasn't transparent enough for others to see. Alhamdulillah, he’s forgiven them, but I can’t erase those memories.

Despite everything, it’s beautiful to see Bubs’ impact on my family. Ammu cooks all his favorites, her way of showing love. Abbu, a man of few words, loves teaching him about Bangladesh and talking about sports. It’s been a long, tough road, but our story is a reminder that love transcends all.”