Thursday, December 9, 2010

Interracial marriages in the United States

After having seen the movie Guess who’s coming to dinner I thought a lot about this subject that is still in my eyes a problem in our society today. Even if that film was made in the late 1960’s, it brought up the issue of interracial marriage and this is still an issue today. I went searching for some numbers to confirm my thought, my personal experience and my intuition. I found these numbers concerning “black and white marriages” in the United States (2006):
- White husband and white wife: 50,224,000
- Black husband and black wife: 3,965,000
- Black husband and white wife: 286,000
- White husband and black wife: 117,000

These numbers speak on their own and show how much interracial marriages are still taboo in our society and still quite rare. What is the reason for this? Have mindsets really changed since the 1960’s? Where does the problem lie for interracial couples? The heart of the problem is here: because interracial marriage was for so long forbidden in the United States, people’s mindsets have not had time to adjust to the idea.

In my opinion, this social problem will only resolve itself with time and patience, because I do think it is also a generational issue within society. In my experience, the younger generations do not think of interracial couples as an issue at all; whereas the older generation still looks at interracial couples as something forbidden and bad.

Please do not hesitate to share your personal view and experiences on this matter. How would your parents react if you announced one night at the dinner table you were going to get married to your white/black boyfriend/girlfriend?



  1. Those numbers are pretty shocking. I didn't realize it was still that big of a disparity. It's a little sad to think that interracial marriages are still so taboo.
    Let's think more on the bright side: the numbers, I am sure are far better than they used to be! Also, maybe we could blame this on the desire to marry someone similar to yourself. Many people will not marry out of their own religion, could this be the same for race?
    This also gets back to Darshan's post long ago about gay rights; I think it's a similar argument as to the debate of gay marriage now. While homosexuality is becoming less taboo, homosexual relationships (particularly marriage) are still taboo. That's why there are so few states that allow for gay marriage.
    Would you agree?

  2. I think a lot of the fear of dating someone of another race comes from both personal views and the views of family/friends. My parents fall into that 4th category and both of their families disapproved of their marriage so much that they didn't even have a wedding. They just signed some papers and then flew straight to Europe for their honeymoon. It wasn't until my brother and I were born that family members finally came to visit and realized my parents were just a normal couple with some good-looking babies. People in our generation may not have such a problem with the idea of interracial relationships, but most of them do have a problem with being involved in one. I'm not sure if you can call it racism or just a fear of something different, but I've talked to plenty of girls who wouldn't even think of dating a guy of another race. On the other hand, I've found that guys are a lot more adventurous in who they would consider dating.

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