Heartwarming portraits of interracial couples - PHOTO

Heartwarming portraits of interracial couples - PHOTO
With the current president a product of an interracial marriage, it's easy to forget how recently miscegenation was taboo in the United States and how mixed-race couples still face hardships today.

Photographer Yael Ben-Zion illustrates the modern challenges facing these couples in new book 'Intermarried'. The origins of 'Intermarried' go all the way back to 2007 when she was working on a different project, and interviewed former opera singer Beatrice Rippy at her home, coming across some family pictures. While they didn't initially talk about Rippy's marriage, the idea stuck with Ben-Zion and a few years later she decided to start Intermarried. When Intermarried started to take shape, Ben-Zion asked Rippy about her marriage to Carroll in the 1950s, when interracial marriages were banned in more than 40 U.S. states. 'In response, she put on her great smile and told me that they always did things their way.' Unfortunately, Ben-Zion was never able to sit down with Rippy for a long interview about her marriage since she passed away soon after. Thankfully though, Ben-Zion was able to speak with many more couples, starting by first contacting a parenting group in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Upper Manhattan. Many of the couples identified themselves as mixed and allowed Ben-Zion into their homes to take pictures of their families and the spaces they shared together. For some, the act of marrying someone outside of their race or religion meant offending their family. Take Jeff and Ilana Previdi for example. Jeff is Catholic and Ilana Jewish and when they first married her mother and sister refused to attend the wedding. While Jeff's family showed up for the big day, they were just as critical of the union.'When Jeff told them he wanted to marry me, they did not support it and expressed concern that they would have Jewish grandchildren.' While both families were concerned about the religious background of any possible grandchildren, it was little Annabel's birth in 2006 that actually brought them together in the end. Jeff and Ilana's mothers met for the first time at the hospital the day their daughter was born. For other couples the 'mixing' is less dramatic. Kari Steeves and husband David Sklar celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas, which means double the presents.And while Aditi Thapar was born in India, and her husband John Leahy back in the U.S. - they still find many commonalities between their respective upbringings. 'Despite our upbringing across the world, there were a remarkable number of similarities. It is pretty scary how similar out parents are and how similar our experiences were growing up,' John said. Overall, Ben-Zion hopes her latest book will create a 'platform for thinking and talking about issues that are very personal but have cast social and political implications'. Intermarried is available to order on Amazon.(dailymail.co.uk)ANN.Az

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