Inter-racial Marriage Part 2: How 1 Couple is Ending Racism For Their Family Tree with Julia & Daniel Prudhomme


In this episode of the Building Us podcast, co-hosts Erik Garcia, CFP® and Dr. Matt Morris, LPC, LMFT interview Daniel Prudhomme, Account Executive at Dell Technologies and his wife Julia Prudhomme, National Account Manager at ConvergeOne. Daniel and Julia were both born and raised in different cultures and are different ethnicities. They share their stories, and experiences as an interracial couple and discuss how they are ending racism for their family tree and how they are navigating raising their biracial children.

Episode Highlights:

  • Erik introduces Daniel Prudhomme and Julia Prudhomme. (1:42)
  • Daniel mentions that they have been married for almost 16 years. (2:05)
  • Daniel shares that he’s African American and his wife, Julia is Caucasian. (2:11)
  • How did Daniel and Julia meet? (2:29)
  • How did their relationship develop from friendship to love? (3:10)
  • Julia shares that her constant communication with Daniel helped them get to know one another and who they were fundamentally. (3:52)
  • When did Daniel feel his attraction for Julia? (4:06)
  • How did Daniel’s community, friends, and loved ones initially respond to them as a couple? (4:28)
  • Julia mentions that when they first started dating, her family liked Daniel immediately. (5:50)
  • Julia shares that the early stages of their relationship were easygoing, fun-loving, and enjoyable time. (6:21)
  • Julia shares that her mother’s only concern is that the children might have difficulty understanding who they were because they weren’t Black and they weren’t White. (7:23)
  • Daniel shares that some extended family members expressed a few significant concerns, but that concern was more expressed to others when they’re not there. (8:20)
  • Julia mentions that Daniel’s parents had some concerns about their relationship as well, but after they spoke to them about it, they all agreed because after all, we’re all humans. (10:28)
  • Being in Cincinnati and being in the Southern US, did Daniel and Julia experience something different than where they are now? (12:38)
  • Daniel shares a story about his experience at a restaurant in New Orleans. (14:22)
  • Being a Black male, has Daniel received any messages about marrying a white woman from the Black community, and has that been part of his experience? (15:06)
  • Do Daniel and Julia have memories of some bad advice or some ideas they had from childhood about interracial relationships? (17:27)
  • Julia shares that during her teenage years, interracial dating was not allowed in their family. (17:55)
  • Erik shares that skin color is something that we take note of, but at the end of the day, it’s not a reflection of personality, it’s not a reflection of character, and it’s not a reflection of compatibility. (20:29)
  • Had there been some funny ways in which growing up differently has shown up in their home? (21:22)
  • Julia thinks that in all cultures, food is probably the easiest one to laugh about. (21:51)
  • Julia shares a story that she will never forget, and it’s about her first Thanksgiving with Daniel’s family. (22:07)
  • Did Daniel and Julia have more conversations and thoughts around what their kids would look like? (25:47)
  • Daniel thinks that mixed-race babies are beautiful in their skin complexion and hair. Therefore, they were excited about the outcome, and God has done good favors in their family. (26:13)
  • Julia shares that a few awesome surprises in life are good, and it made her think of not knowing the gender because they wanted to be completely surprised. (26:41)
  • Julia mentions that having biracial children didn’t affect her because it didn’t matter. (28:34)
  • Daniel shares that when they moved to Cleveland, he did a lot of research in the neighborhood and some factor research on the percentage of high school and college graduates, and found a higher percentage in the area that would be more accommodating. (29:12)
  • What is the significance of having a Black influence in their children’s lives and seeing successful Black people in different aspects of their life? (31:17)
  • What kind of feelings has Daniel and Julia had about parenting their children and keeping them safe, in a culture and a climate that doesn’t always accept them on face value? (33:07)
  • Daniel shares that the world is sometimes a little crude, in regards to Black kids or Black males, specifically in the repercussions and assumptions that go with it, but some actions can be avoided, and make sure that you’re not fighting that battle at the wrong stage of the process. (32:59)
  • When it comes to race and ethnicity, how do Daniel and Julia navigate that kind of conversation with their kids? (42:06)
  • Daniel shares that he tries to tell stories to his children about what his parents went through, and how it’s gotten better now and it’s going to continue getting better for them. (43:29)
  • What are some aspects that Daniel and Julia would hope that people would understand? (48:05)
  • Daniel mentions that he’s a big proponent of the fountain in the drain theory. (49:35)

Key Quotes:

  • “I think it stems from really that true prejudice of how can she be white, marry him who is Black, and not even realizing how much in common they had. When you go beneath the color of one’s skin, you get to know someone.” – Julia Prudhomme
  • “I felt like, if you truly love me and want me to be happy, you can adapt and adjust, and if it means that much to you that you can’t, then that’s your priorities getting in the way of your relationship with me.” – Daniel Prudhomme
  • “Just continue to treat people with respect and make sure that you are respected that you don’t let people walk over you, but you treat them with kindness, respect first, and just try to do the same basic principles that most people should be teaching their kids.” – Daniel Prudhomme
  • “The truth is deep, embedded in your heart, whatever that might be. Because chances are, if you lead with that, you’re going to overcome and be able to navigate, and just be a better human for your family, friends, or whoever.” – Julia Prudhomme
  • “We’re growing, we’re thriving, however, we have to just be mindful that we have to give grace to each other and if we are where that is present, then we will flourish.” – Julia Prudhomme
  • “The way I’ve seen success come is to learn from others, be able to pass it on, and take those pearls of wisdom to enhance your own life.” – Daniel Prudhomme

Resources Mentioned:

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