There has been a sea change in American demographics and attitudes about race mixing. Until the mid-1900’s, people with the blood of two or more races were considered an abomination and interracial marriage was illegal in many states. Since the 1967 Supreme Court decision overturned those laws, America has been browning. Between the 2000 and 2010 Census, multi-racials have grown three times faster than single race people. Some estimates in 2017 exceed the 2010 Census, now counting 17 million.
In a 2012 Pew report, 63% of Americans said it “would be fine” if a family member married someone of another race. Another PEW report found that multiracial marriages grew from 7% of newlyweds in 1980 to 17% in 2015, and the number of multiracial infants tripled from 1980 to one in every seven U.S. births in 2015.
That is to say, mixed race in America is both important and personal. For me, and for you.
In My Life
I write about the mixed race experience in America, focused on black-white unions, inspired by my family’s experiences. In 1942 my black father and white mother fled Indiana’s Klan and anti-miscegenation laws to legally marry in New York, twenty-four years before the Supreme Court made mixed-race marriage legal.
My evolving understanding of the mixed race identity and its place in America has grown from my governmental and societal label of Negro at birth to today’s possibilities in the rising tide of biracials and multi-racials.