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“Dami has had some situations where he felt flak from both black women and black men, because it’s the whole concept of, African Americans have this obligation to rebuild the African American family, and how’s that going to happen if they’re not marrying each other? They have also noticed that students in the black community who do support them are uncomfortable expressing their approval of interracial dating around other black students.
So began the relationships of three couples at Harvard, all of which are interracial. So began the relationships of three couples at Harvard, all of which are interracial.
“Black opposition at Harvard will have a thesis, an Af-Am philosophy attached to it,” says Coates.
“When someone’s talking to Dami about why he shouldn’t date me, they’ll randomly quote black nationalism text.” They also cite the success of “I, Too, Am Harvard,” a project which they both respect, as a factor that they believe has caused students to more openly criticize their relationship.
On another occasion, Aladesanmi, whose parents are Nigerian immigrants went with Coates to what they thought would be a playful meeting run by the Harvard College Nigerian Students Association about dating a Nigerian.
But when a student—one of Coates’s close friends, with whom she had previously lived—was asked whether she regarded interracial dating as a threat to Nigerian culture, the meeting reportedly took a turn for the worse.
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Throughout the three months that they have been dating, Carroll and Yen say that they have never felt singled out or looked down upon because of their relationship.