Teenager raises more than $10,000 for college after 'parents cut her off over black boyfriend'

Allie Dowdle claimed her parents had not seen Michael Swift as a person

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Friday 13 January 2017 14:32 GMT
Allie Dowdle and Michael Swift defied the teenager's father
Allie Dowdle and Michael Swift defied the teenager's father

A teenager from Tennessee has launched a fund-raising campaign after she said her parents cut off her college fund when she started dating a black student.

Allie Dowdle, who lives near Memphis, started the GoFundMe campaign with a plan to raise $10,000. So far, she has raised almost $13,000.

“About a year ago, I told my parents that I'd started dating a boy named Michael, pictured with me above. Hoping to share him with my family, I showed my parents his picture, and the conversation was over before it even began,” wrote the 18-year-old.

Mr Swift, 19, is a college soccer player at Clemson University in South Carolina

My dad did not give me an option: he told me that I was not allowed to see Michael ever again. Why? Strictly because of skin colour. It wasn't a quiet “no”, either. I’ll never forget the yelling my parents did, when they expressed how disappointed they were in me, that I could do so much better.”

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She added: “I couldn't comprehend how someone could be seen as less because of pigment. I still can't comprehend it, and I never will be able to.”

Mr Dowdle has denied that his decision was based on racism

The teenager said that she and Michael Swift continued see each other, albeit discreetly. Then, a month ago, she approached her parents again, thinking they may have had a change of heart. She said, they had not.

“Finally, about a month ago, Michael and I approached my parents, but their response was much more drastic than I could’ve ever expected,” she wrote.

“As I am 18, my parents have chosen to no longer support my future, stripping me of all my resources including my personal savings, my car, my phone, and my education and leaving me on my own to pay for college.”

She added: “Unfortunately, I will no longer be able to attend college if I cannot come up with the money somehow.”

Ms Dowdle’s father, Bill Dowdle, who runs a sporting good store, said that it may not be his “preference“ for his daughter to date a black man because of the “issues” surrounding biracial daring in the American.

Yet he said it was not his job to make such decisions for her, now that she is an adult. He said his opposite to heKristi LoyallKristi Loyallr boyfriend was “never about race” but was merely an opportunity for his daughter to take the “moral high ground”.

He said that he and his wife would accept whomever their daughter wanted to date, but that he disapproved of both Michael and a previous boyfriend in part because Allie began dating them in secret.

He said that said that he decided to cut off her college money because she has been spoiled and “it became obvious that she needed to go out in the world and grow up”.

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