Ron and Lynn with daughter Mekenzye

Same on the Inside
Ron and Lynn with daughter Mekenzye

Sixteen years ago, Lynn, who's African-American, met a German-Italian massage therapist who "always had a witty comeback." Thirteen years of marriage and a 9-year-old daughter later, Lynn, a first-grade teacher, is still smiling. "This relationship has made me more relaxed—no acts or airs," she says of her marriage. "It doesn't matter how I look. In his eyes, I am beautiful."

The family lives in Sunrise, Florida, but Lynn grew up in predominantly white Chevy Chase, Maryland, and says her parents encouraged her to marry whomever she'd be happiest with. "When it comes to race, I think we all need to put our fears away," she says. "We aren't different on the inside. We love the same. We feel the same. We are the same."
Syud and Karen with sons David and Benjamin

Religion and Race
Syud and Karen with sons David and Benjamin

In 1988, Karen, a film producer from Los Angeles, visited a favorite restaurant in New York, where the manager, Syud, sat down next to her. "I was immediately intrigued," says Karen, the granddaughter of an orthodox rabbi. "I was struck by his intelligence. We talked about everything from politics to women."

He was equally impressed: Six weeks later, Syud, a Pakistani Muslim, asked Karen to marry him. "My first thought was, 'Oh my God! I've fallen in love with a Muslim! What am I going to do?'" Before their wedding—and after their reluctant parents gave their blessing—the couple decided they'd raise their children (now 8 and 13) Jewish. Their older son, Benjamin, recently celebrated his Bar Mitzvah. Every two years, Karen and Syud take the kids to Pakistan to visit their Muslim relatives.
Jasmine and John with daughters Jesse and Mackenzie

Dinnertime Compromises
Jasmine and John with daughters Jesse and Mackenzie

For this family, a cultural divide opened up at the dinner table. "Chinese people often eat family-style—big plates with everyone picking up food with chopsticks," says Jasmine, O, The Oprah Magazine's executive fashion editor. Her husband, a stage-lighting technician, was raised by a strict Welsh mother and Scottish father who belonged to the "clean plate" club. So when their daughters (now 15 and 8) asked for food from their mother's plate, John said, "Not till you finish what's in front of you."

After 25 years together and a slew of dinnertime compromises, Jasmine says of her husband, "I have always loved John's spirit. He has his own ideas about everything, from society to work to money. I didn't marry a 'European' man. I married a man who can think for himself."
Lonnie and Sharon with daughter Jordan

Embracing Diversity
Jasmine and John with daughters Jesse and Mackenzie

For this family, a cultural divide opened up at the dinner table. "Chinese people often eat family-style—big plates with everyone picking up food with chopsticks," says Jasmine, O, The Oprah Magazine's executive fashion editor. Her husband, a stage-lighting technician, was raised by a strict Welsh mother and Scottish father who belonged to the "clean plate" club. So when their daughters (now 15 and 8) asked for food from their mother's plate, John said, "Not till you finish what's in front of you."

After 25 years together and a slew of dinnertime compromises, Jasmine says of her husband, "I have always loved John's spirit. He has his own ideas about everything, from society to work to money. I didn't marry a 'European' man. I married a man who can think for himself."
Jennifer and Marques with daughter Ella

Best of Both Worlds
Jennifer and Marques with daughter Ella

You'll hear the beat of Buenos Aires and the bass of hip-hop in the Brooklyn home of Argentinean Jennifer and her African-American partner, Marques. Their 18-month-old daughter, Ella, already plays the harmonica and owns enough instruments to start a band—egg-shaped maracas (huevos) and an accordion are her favorites. "I don't come across many Argentineans here, so I've always known I'd probably connect with someone from a different background," Jennifer says. "I'm thankful that my daughter will inherit the best of two worlds."

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