IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Craig Melvin's mom opens up about the moment she learned he was dating a white woman

Telling your parents about the person you’re dating can be an awkward experience, but Craig Melvin lucked out with his mom.
/ Source: TODAY

TODAY co-host Craig Melvin's wife, Lindsay Czarniak, sat down with his mom, Betty Jo, for a video chat talking about race and family.

Betty Jo shared the story of finally learning Czarniak was white — quite a while after she knew Czarniak was in the picture.

“He had to tell me that you were white,” Betty Jo laughed. “I don’t even know how it came up, y’all had been dating a while and it came up!”

Betty Jo explained she had raised her boys to “not see color” and that she had immediately accepted Czarniak.

“I told him that love has no color, that your skin color doesn’t matter, as long as you loved him and he loved you,” she said. “The color of your skin has nothing to do with who you are on the inside.”

Betty Jo said the idea of her sons marrying someone who wasn’t black had come up before when people had asked her about it.

“And I said, as long as they love them, that’s all the matters,” she explained.

“It was the children that I said, you know, you have to prepare your children and you have to make sure.”

The conversation was part of a series of talks Czarniak held with Betty Jo, who grew up in South Carolina in the 1960s, about race, raising children, and how to talk to children about these issues.

Craig recently opened up about raising biracial kids with Czarniak; they are parents to son Delano, 6, and daughter Sybil, 3.

Craig said he believes the two will be seen as one race, despite being biracial.

"The reality is my kids are black," Craig said. "And they at some point will have to become aware of the fact that that is how society views them. I think for some children it's a little trickier because you see both in yourself and you have these identity issues."

"So we're starting to talk about how we're going to be able to help them navigate issues that we didn't have to deal with," Craig said. "My wife is white, she grew up white, I grew up black, that was it. It's a weird thing."