Blog Post

A New Study on Inter-Marriage

Racialicious posted a link to Sociological Images, about a recent study on the trends on interracial marriage and the odd occurrence of "black exceptionalism."  In "Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Multiraciality,"  there are two super interesting points: the author, Jennifer Lee, points out that 75-90% of black Americans are ancestrally multiracial (including yours truly) yet consistently identify as black (including yours truly), even though the one-drop rule of hypo-descent has long since been abolished. She also argues that blacks intermarry at lower rates than other groups. 

In re: the former, I would think more attention needs to be paid to the ways in which those blacks who claim multi-raciality are ridiculed for being ashamed of their blackness and the social/political issues claiming a multi-racial heritage poses. Also, the blog entry does not seem to address the shame many black Americans might feel by claiming a multi-racial identity when the reasons they are multi-racial in the first place are often directly related to the slave trade and the forced sexual encounters between slave owners and masters.  This is a topic that may be outside of the scope of the project, but it would seem to shed light on the statistics that only 7% of that 75-90% would willingly claim multi-raciality.

In re:the latter, I would wonder what the rates for out-marriage are by gender.  Who is out-marrying from which group at a higher rate and compared with existing studies on racism and social issues with People of Color (POCs) might this indicate in relation to continuing negative stereotypes (e.g. desirability by race because of out-moded and racist ideas about who is "naturally" a better mate)?

It's an interesting study, that I hope may prove useful for my classes this fall.

You can find the study here:


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