Interracial Realationships


African Americans and whites in the United States have witnessed a large amount of social and cultural desegregation of. Through years of desegregation, however, social and cultural differences still exist. They exist in the institution of marriage. Americans have been and are continually moving slowly away from segregation. "In the past forty years, laws have transformed schools, jobs, voting booths, neighborhoods, hotels, restaurants and even the wedding altar" (Ties that Bind). Since the 1960\'s, when housing discrimination was outlawed, many African Americans moved into predominately white neighborhoods. The steadily growing areas in the west and southwest are least segregated, because these areas never had the…"entrenched African American and white sections of town" (Afgen).
There are other signs that are visibly seen in the areas of education. A study, done by the University of Michigan, shows that integration on campuses occur on a regular basis. The racial lines are crossed routinely; about 50% of African Americans and 15% of whites reportedly study together and a percentage close to that also eat together. Socially, there has been a steady focus of opinion on a variety of racial issues. Since 1972, surveys have asked whether the respondent would favor a law making inter-racial marriages illegal. "Since 1901, there has been a ban on these interracial marriages in Alabama" (Afgen). In 1980 the results showed that 30% of whites and 18.3% of African Americans favor such a law. By 1994, data showed 14.7% and 3.2% respectively. Similar trends have also been observed in busing and even integrated social clubs (Ties that Bind). A simple analysis shows that complete desegregation is moving in the right direction.
Regardless of these examples of desegregation, a deeper look shows that there are still signs of racial discriminations, mostly seen in the institution of marriage between African Americans and whites. "By 1996, there were more than 340,000 marriages between blacks and whites, according to the census updates, of which fewer than 1 in 3 interracial marriages were between African Americans and whites in the 1960" (Ties that Bind). These numbers do not reflect the spread of desegregation very well. If there is such a large spread of desegregation between African Americans and whites from the past to the present, then the numbers should reflect a much larger count of interracial marriages between these races. This is, however, untrue. There are less such barriers African American and white couple\'s face today.
One of the major barriers that face these couples does not come from themselves but rather from family disapproval. Ruth, an African American woman, and her husband Steve, a white man, were married in 1982. They have no prejudice toward each other and they share the equal love of any other married couple. Problems did not arise from friends because they shared friendship with people from different races along with those who looked at the person, not the color. However, they had problems with other people, such as Steve\'s mother. His mother had sat him down and asked him why he could not marry his own kind. Steve, of course, stood firm and married Ruth, which unfortunately resulted in the ties between his mother and himself breaking away. Robert, an African American man, married Michelle, a White Lutheran woman. Not one of Michelle\'s relatives attended the wedding, except for her mother. Her father was furious that he was expected to accept an African American into the family. "It is not the disfavor of strangers that hurts these couples the most, but rather the disfavor of family"(Newsline). "Territa, a African American women, had broken up with Todd, her White husband, several times before getting married because of the initial reaction of Todd\'s family "(Newsline). Nevertheless, they did not let their family\'s disapproval stop them from continuing on what they had.
In another occurrence, Fred and Anita Prinzing, both white, were aware that interracial marriage brought problems. Both their son and daughter married African Americans. Fred and Anita believed that they were not prejudiced, but as far as their children were concerned, they couldn\'t justify the prejudice they felt for their children marrying African Americans. The only way they believed that they could have been persuaded from prejudice was the fact that they had been exposed to it