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It’s Love Actually, Say These Black-Indian Couples in America

What does it mean for an Indian-American to fall in love with a Black-American? Watch to find out.

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In this eye-opening conversation with two young couples I hear first-hand the story of being in a Black-Indian relationship in 2020.

Leah Cliatt (a Gujarati American) and her husband, Kendall Cliatt’s (a Black American doctor) love story is filmy – her parents had arranged marriage plans for her with an Indian-American doctor, when Kendall romantically swooped in to change things. But the Bollywood fun stops there and harsh reality surfaces of how anti-Black prejudices still run deep in the Indian diaspora. “I knew what my mother thought about ‘American culture’ and Black people  in particular so I didn’t introduce Kendall to them for a year,” Leah says.

Not being able to introduce a Black partner to one’s parents, is an issue that is faced sharply by Indian-Americans who are dating Black people in America and the world over. While not everyone in the older generation may be growing, the younger generation of Indian-Americans is certainly leading the way in changing biases and parental attitudes by taking a long hard look at how deep racism is.

“I realise my own anti-Black dating preferences growing up, where I felt that if I was interested in dating a Black person it was wrong in some way,” says Angelica Razak an Indian-American lawyer of Guyanese descent engaged to a Black American lawyer, John Francis. “The only way is for us to all help each other,” says Kendall, “otherwise one groups gets propped up and the other get left behind.”

“We need more couples like us,”  Leah says looking up at her husband with a big smile, “love is love”.

Amrita Gandhi was formerly senior editor at The Quint. In the first season of her show ‘So, What’s It Really Like?’, she talks love and relationships.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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