Vy and Marion's first meeting was a memorable one. "Now that was a moment," Vy says. "He looked like he was from central casting—he was an authentic cowboy! What he said when he threw his arms around us was, 'I prayed for this day. I'm so happy we are here together.'"
During her visit, Marion took his cousin on a tour of the 154-acre ranch where he was raised. Vy's ancestors likely worked in the fields owned by Marion's forefathers. "That's life," she says. "This is what it is. This is part of our history."
The cousins also visited Marion's special place, a grove of pine trees where he likes to reflect and pray. "This whole land and knowing there were ancestors on it…it's almost like magic," Vy says.
Though Vy and Marion don't look much like relatives, she says they feel like a family. "I think our story is one that brings people together and offers some hope and understanding about race in America," she says. "Once you get past the color, and all the other prejudices you have, you can discover that we really are the same."