Yet despite how wonderful everything was, I still kept part of myself in reserve.While Justin offered so much of himself through our conversations, I answered his probing questions with this: “If I know you in six months, I’ll tell you.”So how did I finally know he was the one worth putting myself out there for? Now, I should probably mention that Justin is black, and that I didn’t grow up around many black people.But we’d go to late movies or take walks through the city together.We had a spot on 14th Street and Seventh Avenue where we loved to sit and chat.When my grandparents met Justin, my grandmother was cordial but cold. When it came time for them to leave, my grandparents didn’t even acknowledge him.Instead my grandmother looked me in the eye, with Justin standing behind me, and said, “Tell that guy I said goodbye.”I had never seen my loving, hardworking, and wonderful grandma be so hurtful and so racist. After they left I took Justin on a ride to get out of the house.
She had probably never looked a black man in the face, let alone had a conversation with him, and now one was in her daughter’s home, dating her granddaughter.” and “What role do you see yourself in beyond girlfriend or wife? I didn’t like my mom and dad’s marriage, but I couldn’t put my finger on why.But thanks to Justin’s constant communication, I envisioned a marriage that was more than just two people loving each other.Interracial dating can be complicated, Ashley Graham and husband Justin Ervin painfully learned after she introduced him to her family. Now, I should probably mention that Justin is black, and that I didn’t grow up around many black people,” the model reveals in her new book, “A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty and Power Really Look Like,” which is excerpted in Glamour.“The sum total of what I learned about African American culture in school was Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and the Underground Railroad.As if his understanding wasn’t generous enough, Justin called my grandmother on her sixtieth wedding anniversary.He’s not a texter or an emailer; he’s a pick-up-the-phone-and-call-you person, and anniversaries are a big deal to him.Ervin made it clear her grandmother’s perception of black people came from television, which often perpetuates racist stereotypes.But Ervin took matters into his own hands by taking the first step to build a bridge with Graham’s family.Afterward Grandma called my mom and said, “You’ll never guess who called me.” And from then on out, she loved him. I’m so grateful that happened, and it never would have if Justin hadn’t put his hand out there.He always puts love before pride, which is what he did with me. When we began dating, he did it with intention, always asking the difficult questions: “What do you bring to this relationship?