They are both Black and white, not one more than the other. Ten years later, this romance that began near Lake Michigan between Gail and Jeff Groy has a blended family history that stretches across the Pond and the Caribbean.
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"She is, hands down, the most amazing educator I have ever met in my life," boasts Rainey. They met at a friend's birthday party when they were just sixteen. ' and then he came over and announced to everyone, ‘This is the girl I am going to marry,'" recalls Julie, who understandably avoided Rainey the rest of that night. Two kids from different parts of town: Julie grew up in Verona in a white, Catholic family; Rainey, a Black teen, hailed from Somerset Circle and Simpson Street, a section of Madison that he describes as pretty rough, and he was raised Pentecostal.
But they fell in love at a time when racial tensions were high and interracial dating was uncommon.
"People think she's either a nanny or that the kids are adopted," he says.
As a biracial couple, parents of interracial children and educators, the Briggses have a nuanced perspective on education."We really look at every kid and find out how we can make him or her the best that they can be."Rainey acknowledges that the teachers are predominantly white at Horizon Elementary."I don't think the teacher population reflects the population of students no matter where you go. The Briggses have done their part in trying to recruit teachers of color to Madison, attending job fairs outside the state to sing the city's praises. "Honestly, I think it's because no one wants to live in the cold," Rainey says.The schools in our area have made it a big priority to close the achievement gap.It's on everybody's radar."Rainey is quite concerned about the outlook for minority students in the Madison area.With over 20 million registered users in a matching pool that contains quality singles in every city of Wisconsin, it is no surprise that e Harmony is responsible for 565,000 marriages.