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Old 03-19-2007, 08:34 AM
 
2 posts, read 12,677 times
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Default Sensitive question about relocating to Virginia

My husband and I are thinking of moving to the US and are interested in Virginia in general and the Roanoke area in particular. I am American and black, he is English and white. We are in our late fifties and this will be our retirement home so employment is not an issue. Can anyone discuss what if any problems we might encounter because of being inter-racial and him being English. I like to think that any problems might be minimal but I am also a realist and know that race is still an issue in America.

Thanks for any input.
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Old 03-19-2007, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
737 posts, read 2,645,668 times
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I think the easiest time you'll have is in Northern VA, where most people are liberal. The rest of VA is more like the south... I'm not saying everyone is racist... but I'd say maybe 10% are still... and only maybe 1-2% will actually show it. You should be fine in Roanoke... I don't think you'll have to worry about your safety or anything, but something may come up while you live there.

I wouldn't let that stop you though, the Roanoke area is a really nice place.
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Old 03-19-2007, 11:01 AM
 
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I agree - you should be fine in Roanoke. There is plenty of diversity close to the city, and less as you go into the surrounding counties.
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Old 03-19-2007, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Jersey City
4,556 posts, read 9,019,913 times
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Another nice mountain town in Virginia is Charlottesville. It's much more liberal/progressive than Roanoke and it's closer to other cities such as DC and Richmond. But, it's a smaller town and a college town (which can be good or bad, depending on your perspective).
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Old 03-19-2007, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Richmond
1,489 posts, read 6,096,277 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricD View Post
I think the easiest time you'll have is in Northern VA, where most people are liberal. The rest of VA is more like the south... I'm not saying everyone is racist... but I'd say maybe 10% are still... and only maybe 1-2% will actually show it. You should be fine in Roanoke... I don't think you'll have to worry about your safety or anything, but something may come up while you live there.

I wouldn't let that stop you though, the Roanoke area is a really nice place.
Excuse me? Racism is everywhere ! Northern Virginia is not that liberal. A lot of people there are pushy and rude because they come down from the north. They are also very materialistic.

Racism is north, east, west, and south !
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Old 03-19-2007, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Apex, NC
1,341 posts, read 4,230,795 times
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Hey Jaymesma, I live in the Roanoke area and I think you'd feel at home here. Now, your English husband on the other hand, he'd be in trouble All kidding aside, Inter-racial marriages aren't terribly uncommon in the Roanoke area. I think nearly 1 in 10 families in my older daughters' grade are of mixed race. One notable English bloke in Roanoke who maintains a blog ( http://www.burlings.org/weblog (broken link) ) would be able to give you perhaps more valuable insight into how Roanokers treat Brits around here.

You're right, race is still an issue in America, but I think, all things considered, you'll find that race as an issue is quite minimal in the Roanoke Valley.

Where in the Roanoke Valley are you considering for your retirement? Have you given Franklin County any consideration? It's where I live, and it's just south of Roanoke and inside the Roanoke metro area. It would be more rural than Roanoke itself although not less tolerant, given our counties' demographic and cultural history.

Sean
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Old 03-19-2007, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Moneta, Va
3 posts, read 13,913 times
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Smile sensitive in Va

I don't think you would have any problems in Roanoke, either. It is a very culturally diverse city, many ethnic groups. Roanoke also has a fairly low crime rates considering the size of the city. Best of luck!
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Old 03-19-2007, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Roanoke, VA
16 posts, read 57,927 times
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Roanoke is great! I just moved back after 8 years and I have to say it really has grown into a great area. Not that it was not before, but it has become much more progressive. Most people in the area are laid back and kind and start conversations with you at any oppourtunity. The only problem your hubby may have is everyone talking to him about his accent. I think you will be welcomed to the Valley with open arms! Best of luck with the move and I agree that you may want to look into the Frankin County area close to the lake.
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Old 03-19-2007, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
737 posts, read 2,645,668 times
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Originally Posted by vasinger View Post
Excuse me? Racism is everywhere ! Northern Virginia is not that liberal. A lot of people there are pushy and rude because they come down from the north. They are also very materialistic.

Racism is north, east, west, and south !
Racism IS everywhere, I agree, but any racism in Northern VA is more twards hispanics rather than blacks. I wouldn't suggest moving to Northern VA to anyone though, especially a retired couple. Roanoke is great, but there WILL be more racism there than in some other places... it's in the south, and the closest town is Lynchburg, that's got to tell you something (that was a joke, just incase anyone didn't get it)

I don't think there's much racism in VA as a whole as there used to be... but like you said, it's everywhere. I just don't want to paint a picture of utopia for this lady.
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Old 03-19-2007, 04:21 PM
 
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
2,407 posts, read 10,078,900 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricD View Post
I think the easiest time you'll have is in Northern VA, where most people are liberal. The rest of VA is more like the south... I'm not saying everyone is racist... but I'd say maybe 10% are still... and only maybe 1-2% will actually show it. You should be fine in Roanoke... I don't think you'll have to worry about your safety or anything, but something may come up while you live there.

I wouldn't let that stop you though, the Roanoke area is a really nice place.
I concur completely. Northern Virginia is a terrific haven for interracial couples, but Roanoke is fine as well. I think you may get some glances (okay, stares) and a few surprised expressions/remarks along the lines of "have you met my husband?" followed by an "oh.....uh.....hi..." You know the type of surprised reaction I'm referring to I'm sure. This holds especially true as a couple in their late fifties who will most likely be socializing with people of a similar age, who while they may be accustomed to seeing younger folks in interracial relationships, are less so to seeing someone their own age in one so it may catch them a bit off-guard. However in terms of actual mistreatment or discrimination, it's unlikely.
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