Photo series exposes disgusting comments interracial couples hear every day

We’ve come a long way in the fight toward love equality, but a striking series by photographer Donna Pinckley shows that interracial couples still experience way too much prejudice.

Pinckley launched the Sticks and Stones series in May 2014 after one of her frequent models and her African-American boyfriend told her about the comments they often receive about their relationship.

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“Her mother and I were catching up in the kitchen when she told me of the cruel taunts hurled at her daughter for dating a boy of another race,” the photographer wrote on her website. “As she was speaking, I was reminded of another mother in another kitchen many years ago, whose daughter had been the object of similar racial slurs. What struck me was the resilience of both couples in the face of derision, their refusal to let others define them.”

Sticks and Stones photos
Image: Donna Pinckley

So she decided to start photographing interracial couples of all ages to not only capture them and their worlds, but of the love they built despite the way the “outside” felt about their relationship. She added common criticisms the couples hear to the bottom of their photos.

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“Wouldn’t you rather date someone of your own race?”

“Look at you taking another one of our Good Black Men.”

“If she can’t use your comb, don’t bring her home!”

Sticks and Stones photo series
Image: Donna Pinckley

And those are some of the “mild” comments. Pinckley told The Huffington Post that she’s surprised at the amount of prejudice young interracial couples receive, despite the idea that the younger generations are more tolerant.

“It’s kind of interesting to see, with race relations the way they are, you would think that you would only hear the comments made to older couples, but I’m finding out I have a lot of young couples, too, that have had comments made to them,” she told HuffPo. “I find that kind of disturbing. It’s not getting better.”

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Ultimately, the artist hopes her series will both shed some light and change some minds. “Anyone is entitled to love,” Pinckley said. “It’s not just same race. Love’s love.”