High School Sweethearts Torn Apart by Racism Reunite and Wed 45 Years Later

Like in all of our favorite fairy tales from childhood, this story involves great love, difficult times, but a happy end.

In 1967, the Supreme Court case Loving vs. Virginia made interracial marriage legal after the interracial couple sued Virginia for its laws prohibiting marriages like theirs.

That same year, Howard Andrew Foster and Myra Clark started dating in high school. The youngsters easily fell in love, but their relationship was still seen as abnormal then, and even though it was legal, it was still very much frowned upon by society.

Yet, they remained together for 2 years, before going off to college.

Yet, at college, Foster fully understood the consequences their love would later have on their lives. Namely, he was the only black person attending Columbus Technical Institute, now Columbus State Community College, and he faced racism from his professors.

At this point, thinking about Myra’s and her life, he decided to end the relationship.

The couple had to put up with constant stares and comments from others during the entire time, but now, Foster thought that society would never let them be together and be happy. He was afraid she was going to get tired of the stares, and this was so unfair.

He thought her happiness was the most important thing, so he decided to spare her from all the prejudice that she had to cope with over and over again.

Myra remembers he told her he didn’t think they should see each other as society wasn’t going to let them be happy. Then, they hugged and separated. Yet, they both turned back at the same time to wave goodbye to each other, as Myra said like they were saying “See you later.”

They started living their own lives, but never forgot the other. All his life, Andrew wondered what his life would have been if they stayed together. Both of them got married, had families, and both lost their spouses to age/disease.

And in 2013, they met again. Myra worked at Mount Carmel Hospice, and there, she met a nurse whose daughter was married to Andrew’s son.

They eventually reconnected on Labor Day weekend of 2013 and immediately fell back in love.

Over forty years after racism caused their breakup, they reconnected at Sharon Woods Metro Park on a fall day, and they held hands across a picnic table as they talked like they have been together all their life. Howard recalls that it was that dream he just never thought would come true.

They got engaged and married August 1 the following year, about four decades after their first date.

Once they met again, Foster promised himself he would never walk away again.

Nowadays, things are very much changed, and Gallup findings reveal that 87% of Americans approved of interracial marriage in 2013, as opposed to 4% in 1958.

On her Facebook page, Myra posted a photo, and in the comments, she wrote that they are having a lot of fun with each other and their families.

Stories like this remind us that love knows no bounds, and the color of the skin says nothing about a person’s personality.

As Quaker William Penn said, “Force subdues, but love gains.”