Leslie Uggams is an actress and singer better known for her role as Kizzy Reynolds in the television miniseries “Roots” back in the ‘70s. She married an Australian white man despite the constant critics she got at the time, and despite all the racial hatred they got, they defied society and are still happily married.
Celebritist learned from an interview that Leslie did for Ebony way back in the day, her reasoning for marrying a white man despite the pressure from her family and society at the time that expected her to marry a black man.
The talented singer met Grahame Pratt while she was performing in Sydney in the early ‘90s. She was just in her twenties and had started to date white and black boys sporadically, revealing against her family prejudices on race.
She remembered how once she was dating a white boy who sends her a picture, and after she showed it to her aunt, she got this answer:
“'Well he's alright, I suppose,’ she told me, ‘but only for dates, huh, honey? When you're thinking of settling down for keeps you'll make sure you marry a nice black fella, won't you?.”
That didn’t stop her from falling in love with Graham, and after she realized he reciprocated her feelings, they got engaged. But Leslie was fully aware of the great responsibility that was having a mixed marriage and all they would have to face if they wanted to make it last.
So, in the five months, they were engaged, she invited Graham over the United States so he could meet her family and also understand what he was going to face since, in his country, the prejudice wasn’t that big for mixed marriages at the time.
What happened when Graham met her family, surprised the singer big time, as she explained:
“Knowing my family's ideas about mixed marriages I wanted to know, too, whether they would really accept Grahame and not just tolerate him. You can imagine how I felt when, after they got to know one another, my father told me he couldn't hope for a better son-in-law. The thing about Grahame is that he's a real Australian, a real man's man. [...] My mother dotes on him. She calls him 'my boy’.”
They married in 1965 and have two grown-up kids, daughter Danielle Chamber, and son Justice Pratt. The couple has been together for 53 years already, proving that they were able to overcome the social prejudices and that their love for each other was stronger than people’s opinions on race.
We’re glad to know that after all these years Leslie and Graham are still happily married, and they have a beautiful family that they’re proud to show off.
Did you know that Leslie Uggams was married to a white man?