An interracial high school couple broke up because of social pressure during the late 60s. Now, having finally reunited with his sweetheart after 43 years apart, this man knew for sure he wasn’t going to walk away again.
On that day when Howard Foster of Columbus, Ohio, saw his once high school sweetheart, Myra Clark, again at Sharon Woods park, he knew he wasn’t going to make the mistake of letting her go again.
“It was that dream you just never thought would come true … there she was,” Howard told the Associated Press.
More than four decades had passed since Howard broke up with Myra for an unfortunate reason: racism. He parted ways with the love of his life, because he is a black and Myra is a white, and society couldn’t accept that.
Howard and Myra had dated in the late 60s, when they were both classmates at Columbus West High School. They would often chat on the phone for hours ’till the wee morning hours. Yet, rarely is love smooth and easy sailing; the couple had to contend with the high racial tension of those years.
Howard thought he could put up with the pressure of prejudice, but he was wrong. After graduating from high school, he often faced discrimination from professors at Columbus Technical Institute simply because of his skin color.
No matter how well he did in an assignment, his professors would give him a “D.”
This made Howard think twice about his relationship with Myra.
“Society wasn’t going to let us be together and she be happy … She’d get tired of the stares; I just thought it was unfair to her,” Howard said. “Her happiness was the most important thing.”
He didn’t want Myra to face the same prejudice, so he made the painful decision to break up with her.
The two bade farewell, turning back to look at each other for the last time.
It was then that Myra had a hunch that they would see each other again. And she was right.
After that joyful reunion in 2013, which was made possible thanks to a mutual friend, the couple, now in their 60s, were never to be separated again.
Interracial marriage was only made legal in Virginia in 1967. As society had become more open to interracial marriage, Howard and Myra tied the knot in 2015.
The couple hold hands fondly every night before sleep, perhaps trying to make up for lost time.
“We enjoy each other; we really enjoy each other,” Howard said. “I walked away once; I was not going to walk away again.”
Hopefully someday, more people will come to realize that discriminating based on race or skin color is wrong. As Nobel Prize-winning writer, Elie Wiesel wrote: “No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them.”