A Nation Imprisoned by Race: An Analysis of Interracial Relationships

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An interracial relationship is a connection between persons of different races; this connection can be purely platonic or involve sexual relations. It is important not to confuse interracial dating with interracial marriage because there are distinct differences, implications, and data. For example, more individuals are likely to interdate than to intermarry because dating is less of a commitment (Yancey). The earliest examples of intermixing occurred during slavery when White plantation owners forced themselves onto Black female slaves (Foeman). Whether by law or by custom, there was a time when interracial interactions were strictly prohibited; legal restrictions and regulations existed as early as 1662. These prohibitions reinforced the relative value of Whiteness over color, and the Jim Crow period (1863-1953) only perpetuated this racist view (Perry). Today, racism is not the only factor discouraging interracial dating. Other influences include familial and community opposition, societal and professional pressures, cultural heritage, and religion. These considerations coupled with theories such as Blacks date Whites for status creates an unwelcoming environment for interracial relationships. Although the United States is becoming increasingly diverse, interracial contact is still awkward and considered taboo by some (Grapes). Furthermore, those who do interdate are accused of having negative images of their own race. In the case of African Americans, interracial involvement makes them “less Black” (Childs). Even with the changing color line in the United States, interracial couples walk the edges of acceptance. Society does not seem to realize that there is unity in diversity. Interracial dating is not a new occurrence, it’s... ... middle of paper ... ...0-57. JSTOR. Web. 15 Dec. 2013. Grapes, Bryan J., ed. Interracial Relationships. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven, 2000. Print. Maykovich, Minako K. “Reciprocity in Racial Stereotypes: White, Black, and Yellow.” American Journal of Sociology 77.5 (1972): 876-97. JSTOR. Web. 15 Dec. 2013. Perry, Barbara, and Mike Sutton. “Policing the Colour Line Violence Against Those in Intimate Interracial Relationships.” Race, Gender & Class 15.3/4 (2008): 240-61. Richeson, Jennifer A., and J. N. Shelton. “Negotiating Interracial Interactions: Costs, Consequences, and Possibilities.” Current Directions in Psychological Science 16.6 (2007): 316-20. JSTOR. Web. 15 Dec. 2013. Yancey, George. “Interracially Dates: An Examination of the Characteristics of Those Who Have Interracially Dated.” Journal of Comparative Family Studies 33.2 (2002): 179- 90. JSTOR. Web. 15 Dec. 2013.

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