interracial marriagehow has interracial romance change since the civil rights movement. and what was the problem

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booksnmore's profile pic

booksnmore | College Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

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Society as a whole has changed. We now have far more examples of interracial marriage in the headlines. While I was jogging on the treadmill this morning (only 30 minutes!) I saw two women interviewed, both who happen to be involved in interracial relationships. Then I saw the President in a commercial...whose parents were interracially married. We live in an entirely different world than we did just 40 years ago.

ask996's profile pic

ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

As a high school student in the mid 1980s, interracial dating in my area was still seen by many as taboo and very few girls engaged in it. This was followed up by college where there seemed to be a certain prestige if a girl was part of an interracial couple, but there was also then an unwillingness among the boys to date a girl after she’d been in an interracial relationship.

This is not nearly the same situation today as teenagers seem more willing to accept these differences. The main conflict at our high school seems to be among girls not accepting the differences of other girls.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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As a Florida high school graduate in 1973, I do not remember a single case of interracial dating in my high school (of about 2000 students). During my first years of teaching in a rural Florida high school during the early 1980s, there were very few instances. Hand-holding would have been a big deal. By the turn of the 21st century, however, interracial dating had become commonplace, even among middle school students. Times have truly changed during the past 40 years.

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lynn30k | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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I teach in Missouri at the high school level. I am almost as likely to see hand-holding couples that are kids of different races, as those that are of the same race. This is a big change from when I was a kid in the 60's. As a 12 year old I went to see "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" w/my mom and grandmother (born in 1934 and 1900) and remember the conversation they had about whether the actors were really kissing in the one scene that showed it (relected in a rear view mirror of a car.) I believe they thought not, because no one would actually do that! Yes, times have changed...thank goodness.

scarletpimpernel's profile pic

scarletpimpernel | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Yes, it has.  Even into the 1970s, there were schools with rules against interracial dating and towns with laws (not usually enforced) against interracial marriage.

I thought that this wasn't an issue at all, until I read an article about two months ago about a justice of the peace in Louisiana who refused to marry an interracial couple (he is black; she is white).  He said that he couldn't marry them because of the difficulties that their future children might face in life coming from an interracial marriage.  Of course, people were incredulous, and the justice of the peace has had to since resign.  The couple went elsewhere and got married, but their situation serves as a good reminder that not everything has changed since the 50s and 60s.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

What was what problem?  I'm not sure what you mean...

I don't know if you're talking just about black-white romances or any kind of interracial, but I believe that they have become way more accepted these days.  It's not unheard of today to have high-profile interracial couples when in the past that would never have happened.

On the personal level, my mom (white) and my dad (Filipino) got married in 1964.  Their marriage was seen as much more of an issue than my own marriage (she's 100% white) from 1990 ever has been.

If this isn't really what you're asking, clarify what you mean...

mkcapen1's profile pic

mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Interracial marriage was not accepted when I was a child and I am 55 years old.  For many years following the Civil War it was a crime for a white person to have a relationship with a black person.  It was agreeable for a white person to engage in a relationship with an Indian but it was not illegal.  American culture refused to allow African Americans to assimilate into the culture.  One way to prevent this was also to prevent interracial relationships and marriage. 

One only needs to look back at films ver the last 30 years to see dramatic changes.  Star Trek crossed a barrier when James Kirk kissed Ohura on screen.  Raquel Welsh and Jim Brown crossed barriers in film by their on screen relationship.  Gradually America has begun to accept interracial relationships.  It is no longer illegal.  However, our society has a long way to go to be as accepting as it needs to be to make the world comfortable and safe for those who know no color or ethnic group when it comes to love.  The increase in the adoption of children of one race by another race is a positive sign of change.

zwstephens's profile pic

zwstephens | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

I realize that the most commmon referance to interracial couples is that which one person is black and the other is white but if you stop and think interracial marriages have been happening in the U.S since colonial days, Pocahontas married an Englishman, I think the important point here is that although some people will invariably be against interracial couples the majority of society has accepted them as a fact of life and for the most part it is a dead issue which shows the progress we have made in proving that "All men are created equal".