Clyde Williams and Mona Sutphen

Clyde Williams and Mona Sutphen

Meet the Harlem-based power couple who's love story began while planning peace in the Middle East

Clyde Williams and Mona Sutphen

The Williams-Sutphens in their Harlem home

we try to plan around that and make the necessary sacrifices to maintain that balance based on the opportunities that arise.

CW: It’s key for us that no one’s success is more important than the other’s. Her success is my success and mine is hers. So we know we have to make whatever sacrifices necessary so that we are both fulfilled individually and have fulfilled kids who know their parents are there for them.

MS:  We’ve been fortunate to have a lot of help, with family and great friends too. And we spend a lot of time together just the four of us. We spend a lot of time alone, just hanging out.

EBONY: How would you describe your parenting style?

MS: I’d say we are traditionalist. We are heavy on discipline and relatively strict and structured.  But we also make sure our children feel not just physically safe but emotionally safe, like they can come to us with anything. Our motto is definitely “walk softly and carry a big stick.”

CW: And our kids have only two things that they have to do in this world. [He calls to their daughter who is eating lunch with her brother in the kitchen.] Sydney, what are the two things you have to do in life?

SYDNEY WILLIAMS: [Without hesitation, the seven-year-old says:] Learn to make the world a better place and be a good human being.

CW:  And that’s honestly at the heart of all that we try to teach them.

EBONY: What do you hope your children will learn about love from your marriage?

CW: I hope they understand that you have to be respectful of each other and that there’s nothing more important than family. They are great kids, I know we are biased, but they are, and they inspire us. Everything we do is for them. I look at my wife and I have so much hope for our daughter. Because of my wife, our daughter gets to grow up in a world believing that anything she works for she can achieve. That’s really incredible.

Brooke Obie writes the award-winning blog, Follow her on Twitter @DCDistrictDiva.

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