About this iReport
  • Approved for CNN

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    Posted June 3, 2014 by
    Montreal, Quebec
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Your modern family

    A Chocolate & Vanilla Family


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Sherley Joseph and Clove Roy are high school sweethearts who have been together for over 20 years. They have three children and live in Montreal, Canada which Joseph calls, “the mecca of intercultural relationships and marriage.”

    Although the couple feel accepted by their community, they have had a handful of negative experiences, which is why they are advocates for interracial love. Joseph says, “Our modern family is one of the most visual example of how love comes in many forms, facets and colors.”
    - taliaday, CNN iReport producer

    My hubby is French Canadian, and I am Haitian Canadian. We are high school sweethearts from Canada, and have been together for over 21 years. We have three 3 uniquely hilarious, beautiful and loving children.


    Living in Montreal Canada, where diversity is a virtue, we have very rarely, almost never, met any challenges or offensive remarks as a family. As a couple, we did get some ignorant remarks while in public together, but this was before we had any of our kids. As a family, we have been 'nomads' for the past 10 years, moving from province to province as my husband pursued work in the field of electronic gaming. The three different provinces we've moved into, have always been welcoming and receptive to our multiculturalism. My hubby works in an industry that provides a family like ours, the opportunities to live/work any where around the world. As a mom, when the opportunity to move would arise, the first thing I would check into is "How are Inter Racial families/relationship received culturally, and how multicultural is the city overall?".


    It's very important, especially when it comes to raising multicultural children, who at times have vocalized some identity challenges about their skin tones. My husband and I see this as an opportunity to keep instilling values of beauty, and diversity within our kids. Because of this, we have always taken into close consideration the environment we are planning to live in. We've lived in Toronto, St. Catharines, Edmonton and now Montreal.


    One thing I do notice, is how one city exemplifies the openness to multiracial families over others. I moved to Toronto in my teenage years and noticed the trend of interracial couples consisted mostly of black males and white females. The social message from this is black men are more willing to pursue intimate and long term relationships 'outside' of there race. I found this to be an issue for me while I was in my youth. My friends, mainly from my youth, would ask me: "Whats it like to date a white guy?" It was understandable because you didn't see that very often in T.O.. Four years ago, once we moved back to Montreal from Edmonton, we we're shocked and happily surprised to see how many multiracial families were thriving here. The real surprise would be waiting for us on our arrival to Montreal, and since this topic has been brought up several times on the Chonilla Podcast, we can comfortably claim that the city of Montreal is a 'Mecca of Intercultural Love'. And we wanted to showcase how multiracial families are just like any other family with similar challenges. But even being together for so long, and interacting with the world as a couple, we would always have very unique take-aways from all our encounters. This would spawn hours of fascinating conversations, which then made the logical leap to continuing these conversation in front of our beloved microphones. Our multiracial family has been fortunate enough to have had mostly positive reactions from our new surrounding as we traveled together around the great white north.


    When my son attended elementary school in Edmonton, his school had it's fare share of children from Somalia or Nigeria who immigrated to Canada, and it was surprising to see their little faces be intrigued and confused at the same time when we would visit our son during school assemblies. When our son would introduce us to his friends who had recently migrated from African countries, it was always entertaining. We could only hope that this means they would be having a conversation about us with their parents, and hopefully their parents would teach them to embrace differently dynamic families such as ours.


    Love is beyond race, and when your children are faced with that everyday, we need to be talking about it. It's a big deal to a lot of families, and we are different, and it's beautiful.

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