Local couple navigates racial, family issues in Memphis nearly 50 years after Loving

LD and Ashley Humphreys. The couple met at the University of Memphis and are now happily married.

A young bride walked down the aisle to marry the love of her life. The couple in the early twenties met at the University of Memphis, dated for nine months and were engaged for seven months.

They are like thousands of other couples across the world, they fight over what shows to watch, where to go for dinner, and who makes the best spaghetti. The only difference is their skin color. Ashley is white and LD is black.

“I don’t wake up everyday and say ‘Oh, I have a black husband.’ It’s not something you think about all the time,” Ashley said.

LD and Ashley Humphreys enjoying a day at the park after their engagement. The couple did not care about their skin color when they decided to get married, unlike some friends and relatives.

Ashley and LD represent hundreds of interracial couples across the United States that are stereotyped for dating outside of their ethnicity.

“I know we don’t wake up and think ‘Alright, how are we going to be two people that are two different ethnicities together,” LD said. “We wake up and think how are we going to make our marriage better, how are we going to set a better foundation for our children.”

This year marked the 49th anniversary of the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia, which struck down all anti-miscegenation laws reaming in 16 states. Since this major court case, interracial marriages have been on a steady rise.

 

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of census data in 2014, 37 percent of Americans said having more people of different races marrying each other was a good thing for society, up from 24 percent four years earlier.

LD and Ashley Humphrey after their wedding on June 11, 2016. The couple dated for nine months before they got engaged.

While the number of African American people ‘marrying out’ continues to rise, it is men who are more likely to marry outside of their race. In 2013, 25 percent of black men married outside of their race compared to 12 percent of black women.

LD said he has dated other ethnicities his entire life and that his family is completely supportive as long as he is happy.

“My mom and dad really didn’t care. They said just make sure that she’s the right one and make sure you’re treating her right like how you would treat any other women.”

While his parents were supportive of their relationship, Ashely’s were not at first.

“They would tell me that I’m dishonoring the family,” Ashley said.

Her parents did not meet LD until after he proposed. Ashley said she her relationship with her family deteriorated after she married LD.

Although she is not as close to her family as she once was, they have accepted her relationship and are working to build back their strong bond.

 

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About the Author

Sydney Neely
Sydney Neely is a well-rounded journalist, having experience working in both print and broadcast. This summer, she interned at The Commercial Appeal, a newspaper in Memphis, Tennessee, she had more than 15 stories published, including several on the front page. This prompted the managing editor to ask her to freelance for the paper. She finished the summer in Brazil, covering the Olympic Games as a flash quote reporter for sailing and basketball. Her internship at the Olympics has inspired her to change her focus to sports. Today, she is interning with the sports team at WMC Action News 5, shooting game footage and interviewing local basketball and football athletes. After Neely graduates in December 2016, she hoped to become a sports broadcaster and eventually work at ESPN.

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