Married gay African-American women 68 year-old Sonja Jackson (left) and 83 year-old Evelyn Jenkins Whitaker at home in  Brooklyn, New York. Assistant: Alison Lippy, Allison@allisonlippy.com, Phone +1 410 967 1096. Photography and video by Robin Hammond, pitures@robinhammond.co.uk. Editor: Mallory Benedict, Mallory.Benedict@natgeo.com, +1 202.791.1282. 05 February 2019

Sonja & Evelyn /

“Both Evelyn and I have been in a heterosexual marriage for several years, and giving birth to children. Evelyn having one son who is now deceased, and Sonja has two sons. We met on our job. Sonja was a faculty member teaching in the department of Radiologic Technology. Evelyn was at the time the vice president in student affairs. We started working together on a project and became companions while working on the project. Eventually we had to admit that we were attracted to one another. We worked closely on the project and some of our colleagues began to recognize it, two actually confronted us.

A couple of years later we decided that we loved each other and wanted to be together , Sonja was in her marriage at the time and did not want to make any changes until her young son had graduated from college. Also it was difficult to leave our partners. We made some serious attempts to get together also after Evelyn threaten to leave the relationship.

After her son graduation we decided to get together. Since we were both in a relationship we thought it best for Sonja to live alone. Sonja moved in with Evelyn after living separately for one year after Sonja terminated her marriage and Evelyn separated from her partner.

Sonja and I have been together for 18 years. We were officially married nine years ago in Toronto, Canada. Over all our families have accepted our relationship. Our mothers before their departure from this earth, embraced us, there was never a negative word from either of them. The children and grandchildren are comfortable with our relationship. The same can be said about other relatives.

Our life together has been great with the exception of medical issues and the attitude of our church minister. We are happy and love each other very much and we c are of each other.”

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