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How Craig Melvin's mother-in-law reacted when she learned her daughter was dating a Black man

Terri Czarniak sat down for a candid conversation about race with her daughter.
/ Source: TODAY

Lindsay Czarniak, wife of TODAY co-host Craig Melvin, is continuing her conversations about race in a new Instagram video where she sits down with her own mother to discuss the topic.

Earlier this month, Czarniak talked to her mother-in-law Betty Jo Melvin about the moment she learned her son was dating a white woman and this time, she flipped the question and asked her mom what she thought when she learned her daughter was dating a Black man.

"The conversation with my mother in law about race made me want to have a similar conversation my mom about her thoughts including the conversation we had when @craigmelvinnbc and I were first dating. Thanks @tczarniak for being willing to share so much," Czarniak, 42, explained in the video caption.

In the video, Czarniak asks her mom, Terri Czarniak, what it was like finding out about her budding relationship with Craig. "There were a lot of people that wrote, after they watched the conversation with Betty Jo and said, 'Tell us more about when you told your parents that you were dating a Black man,'" said Czarniak.

"I remember thinking, 'Well, whether he was black or purple or green, it didn't really matter,'" said her mom. Instead, what she really wanted to know was, "'Is he a nice guy?'"

Czarniak also talks to her mom, who worked as an educator and a principal, about how she viewed issues surrounding race growing up in a community in Pennsylvania that was not diverse. Her mom said that there was only one Black family in her community when she was growing up and that even though she was aware of the protest movements in the late 1960s, she was very sheltered from what was going on in the world and thought that it did not affect her.

"Even when the '60s came and there were racial issues happening in other places, I was made very aware of them but I really still hadn't looked at it like, 'Oh, that was nothing that I had to deal with.' That's pretty naive and that's kind of amazing to me that that's the way it was," Terri Czarniak said.

"That's also the way I feel about conversations that I've been having now with what my kids will deal with," said Czarniak in response to her mom's revelation. "I feel super naive. Super naive. I went from feeling really helpless when this conversation was starting to feeling super naive."

Czarniak is mom to Delano, 6, and Sybil, 3 who are biracial. Following the death of George Floyd, Craig said on the 3rd hour of TODAY that the reality is that his children are black and that at some point they will learn that this is how the world views them.

26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards In New York - Red Carpet
Craig Melvin and Lindsay CzarniakMike Coppola / Getty Images for GLAAD

Terri Czarniak said that because she and her husband had raised Lindsay and her brother in a diverse community in Virginia, it wasn't surprising to her that her daughter married a Black man. Her mom teared up talking about what it was like to move to a place where diversity was more common.

"I realized how lucky we were to have you guys here ... I remember being so excited and your dad and I both saying ... we were so happy to be able to raise you in a place where there's just no question about, everybody here, everybody's the same. And so I remember thinking when you were marrying Craig, 'Why would this be a surprise?' We've raised them in a place where that's what we want."