Do Interracial Marriages Work?

Topics: Miscegenation, Race, Multiracial Pages: 8 (2565 words) Published: June 9, 2012
Do interracial marriages work?

ENG 115

Do interracial marriages work?

Multiracial relationships and marriages have changed a lot in the United States of America. As (Dalmage, 2000) acknowledges it started out with a painful history, which we are not celebrating, but remember and carry on. It has been a long way from slavery, rape and rejection to recent years when we get together out of love, admiration and respect (p. 5). One great example of multiracial acceptance and evolution of the society is President Barack Obama’s election. (Yancey & Lewis, 2009) emphasizes “This important phenomenon demonstrates how race relations has changed through the years and shapes who we are in this country. Even today, many perceive multiracial families as the hope for our future despite our racist past” (p. 1).

However, many still question the length of interracial unions. Throughout the history racial intermarriage brought suspiciousness and disapproval from both sides, from Black and White populations as well. It is on us, individuals to discover how these attitudes affect interracial partner choices and the marriage itself nowadays.

(Yancey & Lewis, 2009) observes the fact “interracial families are becoming a more significant part of our society and this population will continue to increase throughout the 21st century” (p. 2). The U.S. Census (2000) has found that while in 1960, the percentage of all marriages that were interracial was 0.39 percent, in 2000 the interracial couples made up 4.9 percent of the total (as sited in Yancey & Lewis, 2009). Goldstein (1999) asserted that one-fifth of all Americans have a close family member who is of a different race (as sited in Yancey & Lewis, 2009). Interracial marriages work in spite of race and culture differences, religious affiliation and the pressure from the outside world because love has no color, and we are moving toward a greater mix throughout the world with globalization.

(Dalmage, 2000) explains that in traditional thinking a good family is Christian and white and good families are the basic of a good society. “These ideologies and laws have existed side by side with laws denying African Americans (and others) the rights of marriage and family” (p. 3). Race has been constructed for inequality. As cited in (Dalmage, 2000), Silvia’s opinion is really explanative “I like the terms black and white because they are both equally impossible. Just as there are no coal-black people, there are no snow-white people either. And so you can see they’ve been constructed to mean what they mean” (p. 27).

Also, (Dalmage, 2000) points out “Unlike many whites, most black Americans are aware of the history of the one-drop rule and myth of white purity” (p. 5). The one-drop rule means that if someone has a black ancestor it makes him/her black as well. A great example as (Yancey & Lewis, 2009) noted is President Barack Obama. Even though he has a multiracial background (White mother and African father), he has been seen as Black (p. 1).

The history of racism does not apply only to the United States of America. (Benson, 1981) reports that “at various times in the history of black settlement in England, perhaps most notably in the 1950s, racial intermarriage has occupied an important place in popular consciousness”, interracial unions were considered a “social problem”. Up to the middle of the twentieth century, the predominantly male racial minority “have always drawn their sexual partners from the host population” (pp. 4-13).

There is inter-racialism in early modern literature since Shakespeare’s Othello. Othello is a black Moor, a highly esteemed general of Venice who is in love with Desdemona (a white girl). After a great series of misunderstanding and confusing situations the jealous Othello kills his

innocent wife and eventually himself. (Daileader, 2005) holds...

References: Benson, S. (1981). Ambiquous ethnicity. Cambridge University Press. Daileader, C.R. (2005). Racism, misogyny, and the Othello myth. Cambridge University Press. Dalmage, H.M. (2000). Tripping on the color line. Rutgers University Press.
Yancey, G., & Lewis, R. Jr. (2009). Interracial families: current concepts and controversies. Retrieved from University of Alabama, NetLibrary.
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