Public Radio Reporter Seeking Couples In New England For Story On Interracial/Mixed Marriage.

Posted in Autobiography, Media Archive, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2017-02-20 02:17Z by Steven

Public Radio Reporter Seeking Couples In New England For Story On Interracial/Mixed Marriage.

WGBH Radio
Boston, Massachusetts

Sally Jacobs

My name is Sally Jacobs and I am a reporter doing a project for WGBH radio in Boston on interracial marriage in connection with the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing the practice. I am looking for couples in New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont) who have a compelling story of challenge, triumph, passion, hardship or adventure.

I am also looking for some particular experiences:

  • Interracial couples who divorced in the mid 1980s.
  • Couples who married before interracial marriage became legal in 1967.
  • Young/millennial couples who met on an interracial dating website.
  • Those with a compelling story from any time period.

If you live in any of the six New England states, please e-mail me a description of your story, long or short, at

Many thanks.

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The Newest Jews? Understanding Jewish American and Asian American Marriages

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Judaism, Media Archive, Religion, Social Science, United States on 2015-01-18 18:12Z by Steven

The Newest Jews? Understanding Jewish American and Asian American Marriages

Contemporary Jewry
July 2012, Volume 32, Issue 2
pages 135-166
DOI: 10.1007/s12397-012-9078-y

Helen K. Kim, Associate Professor of Sociology
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington

Noah Leavitt, Research Associate
Department of Sociology
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington

This paper investigates how racial, ethnic and religious identities intersect among couples where one spouse is Jewish American of any racial or ethnic descent and one spouse is Asian American of any religion or ethnic descent. While intermarriage is certainly not limited to these kinds of partnerships, there is reason to believe that these partnerships may become increasingly common when investigated along racial, ethnic, and religious dimensions. This study incorporates interviews with 31 intermarried couples residing in the Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco, Oakland, New York, and Philadelphia metropolitan areas. In particular, we highlight participants’ discussions of two main subjects: shared values within their partnerships and racial, ethnic, and religious identities of children, if present. Our paper expands the broader sociological literature on intermarriage as well as the specific literatures on intermarriage for Jewish Americans and intermarriage for Asian Americans.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Daughters of the Trade: Atlantic Slavers and Interracial Marriage on the Gold Coast

Posted in Africa, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery, Women on 2015-01-12 15:47Z by Steven

Daughters of the Trade: Atlantic Slavers and Interracial Marriage on the Gold Coast

University of Pennsylvania Press
January 2015
288 pages
6 x 9 | 17 illus.
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8122-4673-5
Ebook ISBN: ISBN 978-0-8122-9058-5

Pernille Ipsen, Assistant Professor
Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, Department of History
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Examining five generations of marriages between African women and European men in a Gold Coast slave trading port, Daughters of the Trade uncovers the vital role interracial relationships played in the production of racial discourse and the increasing stratification of the early modern Atlantic world.

Severine Brock’s first language was Ga, yet it was not surprising when, in 1842, she married Edward Carstensen. He was the last governor of Christiansborg, the fort that, in the eighteenth century, had been the center of Danish slave trading in West Africa. She was the descendant of Ga-speaking women who had married Danish merchants and traders. Their marriage would have been familiar to Gold Coast traders going back nearly 150 years. In Daughters of the Trade, Pernille Ipsen follows five generations of marriages between African women and Danish men, revealing how interracial marriage created a Euro-African hybrid culture specifically adapted to the Atlantic slave trade.

Although interracial marriage was prohibited in European colonies throughout the Atlantic world, in Gold Coast slave-trading towns it became a recognized and respected custom. Cassare, or “keeping house,” gave European men the support of African women and their kin, which was essential for their survival and success, while African families made alliances with European traders and secured the legitimacy of their offspring by making the unions official.

For many years, Euro-African families lived in close proximity to the violence of the slave trade. Sheltered by their Danish names and connections, they grew wealthy and influential. But their powerful position on the Gold Coast did not extend to the broader Atlantic world, where the link between blackness and slavery grew stronger, and where Euro-African descent did not guarantee privilege. By the time Severine Brock married Edward Carstensen, their world had changed. Daughters of the Trade uncovers the vital role interracial marriage played in the coastal slave trade, the production of racial difference, and the increasing stratification of the early modern Atlantic world.

Table of Contents

  • Maps
  • Introduction. Severine’s Ancestors
  • Chapter 1. Setting Up
  • Chapter 2. A Hybrid Position
  • Chapter 3. “What in Guinea You Promised Me”
  • Chapter 4. “Danish Christian Mulatresses”
  • Chapter 5. Familiar Circles
  • Epilogue. Edward Carstensen’s Parenthesis
  • Notes
  • Note on Sources
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • Acknowledgments
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Census Bureau’s Plan to Cut Marriage and Divorce Questions Has Academics Up in Arms

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Economics, Gay & Lesbian, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-01-01 20:37Z by Steven

Census Bureau’s Plan to Cut Marriage and Divorce Questions Has Academics Up in Arms

The New York Times

Justin Wolfers, Senior Fellow
Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington, D.C.

also: Professor of Economics and Public Policy
University of Michigan

If the Census Bureau proceeds with a recently released plan, then in a few years’ time, we will know very little about how the contours of family life are changing.

We will not even know whether marriage and divorce rates are rising or falling. For all the talk of evidence-based policy, the result will be that important debates on issues including family law, welfare reform, same-sex marriage and the rise of nontraditional families will proceed in a statistical void.

Much of what I, an economist who has studied family issues, and my colleagues in this field have learned about recent trends in marriage and divorce has come from questions in the American Community Survey. It asks people whether they have given birth, married, divorced or been widowed in the past year. Their answers allow demographers to track marriage and divorce rates by age, gender, race and education.

These data have revealed many important social trends, including the rise of sharply different marriage and divorce patterns between rich and poor, and the increase in divorce among older Americans, even as it has fallen for younger people. And they have provided the only statistical window into the adoption of same-sex marriage.

The Census Bureau is proposing to eliminate these questions. It would follow a series of steps taken over recent decades that have collectively devastated our ability to track family change. This isn’t being done as a strategic policy choice but rather is the result of a series of isolated decisions made across several decades by statisticians scattered across various government agencies who have failed to understand the cumulative effect of their actions…

Read the entire article here.

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Multiracial Marriage on the Rise

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-12-20 17:13Z by Steven

Multiracial Marriage on the Rise

The Brookings Institution
The Avenue: Rethinking Metropoliitian America

William H. Frey, Senior Fellow
Metropolitan Policy Program

One consequence of America’s diversity explosion is a rise in multiracial marriages. In 1960, before immigration levels to the United States started to rise, multiracial marriages constituted only 0.4 percent of all U.S. marriages. That figure increased to 8.4 percent in 2010 and for recent newlyweds, 15 percent.

Not surprisingly the prevalence of out-marriage is high for new minorities, Hispanics and Asians, in light of the large pool of potential partners who are of different origins. More than four in ten new marriages of each group marry someone of a different race—with whites the most likely partners…

Read the entire article here.

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Race, Marriage, and the Law of Freedom: Alabama and Virginia 1860s-1960s

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2014-02-24 03:05Z by Steven

Race, Marriage, and the Law of Freedom: Alabama and Virginia 1860s-1960s

Chicago-Kent Law Review
Volume 70, Issue 2: Symposium on the Law of Freedom, Part I: Freedom: Personal Liberty and Private Law (1994)
pages 371-437

Peter Wallenstein, Professor of History
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


In 1966, one hundred years after Congress passed the Fourteenth Amendment and sent it to the states for ratification,’ Richard and Mildred Loving took a case to the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge their convictions for having violated Virginia’s laws against interracial marriage. In the months ahead, the nation’s high court would face squarely, for the first time, the question of whether laws like Virginia’s violated the Fourteenth Amendment. In June 1967, in a unanimous decision, the Court struck down all laws that made the racial identity of an American citizen a criterion for indictment and conviction for the crime of contracting a marriage.

The most private of relationships proved tightly entwined with public policy in the years after the end of American slavery. Sexual relations across racial lines-whether within marriage or outside itproved a topic of judicial interest into the 1960s for two reasons. First, many American states enacted and long retained statutes restricting such interracial relations, and second, some people sought to establish and maintain such relations whatever the law. Generalizing about the racial attitudes and behavior of white southerners, Swedish sociologist Gunnar Myrdal noted in the early 1940s that “the closer the association of a type of interracial behavior is to sexual and social intercourse on an equalitarian basis, the higher it ranks among the forbidden things.”

This Essay focuses on the most forbidden thing of all: marriage between African Americans and European Americans. The Essay details the origins and application of laws against such marriages, and tracks the history of challenges in the courts to those laws. Two states, Virginia in the Upper South and Alabama in the Deep South, together illustrate how the law related to sex, marriage, and interracial couples. Though the variations on a general theme are intriguing, the two states differed little in the outlines of their legislative or judicial histories on questions of miscegenation. Both states criminalized sexual and marital relations of an interracial nature. In both states, any number of cases developed at the local level, as the courts dealt with indictments for violating the antimiscegenation laws. At the appellate level some defendants brought appeals on constitutional or other grounds. The legal environment in each state was shaped by a decision from the other state.

Four cases, two from Alabama and two from Virginia, went to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1883, Pace v. Alabama supplied a major precedent in favor of the constitutionality of antimiscegenation statutes. Virginia relied on Pace into the 1960s to justify its own antimiscegenation  laws. In two cases in the 1950s, Jackson v. Alabama and Naim v. Virginia, the Court skirted the issue and left Pace intact. In 1967, in Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court finally reversed Pace and established a new law of race and marriage throughout the nation. Only in the 1960s, a full century after Emancipation, did the Supreme Court declare statutes against interracial marriage unconstitutional. Only then did the law of slavery and racism defer at last to the law of freedom and racial equality.

The law that the Lovings challenged in the 1960s had its origins in the seventeenth century. In Virginia, slavery and antimiscegenation legislation developed together. In Alabama, by contrast, laws restricting interracial marriage originated only in the 1850s. In both states, such laws reached their fullest development in the years between 1865 and 1883, that is, in the generation after the Civil War and Emancipation. Moreover, in both states the legal definitions of white and non- white shifted in the early twentieth century, such that residents with any discernible African ancestry were classified as nonwhite (something not the case in the nineteenth century).

When the Lovings married each other in 1958, no constitutional challenge to antimiscegenation laws had succeeded in any federal court. The American system of marital Apartheid no longer held sway in many states outside the former Confederacy, but in the South it showed no promise of relinquishing its control. That system had its origins, at least in Virginia, as far back as the 1690s. It had grown more powerful as slavery had. It had continued to grow more powerful into the 1920s and 1930s. As late as the 1950s, efforts to challenge the system in state and federal courts alike in both Alabama and Virginia had come to naught. Yet, the Lovings prevailed in their challenge. This Essay tells the history of the system they challenged and outlines the story of that challenge and its aftermath…

Read the entire article here.

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A True History Full of Romance: Mixed Marriages and Ethnic Identity in Dutch Art, News Media, and Popular Culture (1883-1955)

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Communications/Media Studies, Europe, History, Media Archive, Monographs on 2013-12-31 17:21Z by Steven

A True History Full of Romance: Mixed Marriages and Ethnic Identity in Dutch Art, News Media, and Popular Culture (1883-1955)

Amsterdam University Press
184 pages
Soft Cover ISBN: 9789089644251

Marga Altena, Historian of Visual Culture

This important study about ethnically mixed marriages in the Netherlands of the 1883-1955 period offers a compelling overview on the nature and experience of ethnicity from a wide range of scholarly perspectives.

Drawing from exhaustive research in the Netherlands, Europe and the Americas, Altena offers illuminating new insights into mixed-marriage families as they were depicted in the arts and in news media; and how the families themselves in turn reacted to, and influenced those images. The author focuses on well-documented individuals and shows how they gained a coherent voice in Dutch culture. Altena attributes to them conscious agency in their own self-presentation, rather than just viewing them as victims of racial prejudice.

A timely contribution to the debate surrounding ethnicity and integration in Dutch society, this work demonstrates how that process was mediated by the various agencies, while placing special emphasis on the marginal groups within central news media as crucial in the opinion making.

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Interracial Marriage and the Civil Rights Revolution: A Personal Journey

Posted in Live Events, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2013-12-03 06:13Z by Steven

Interracial Marriage and the Civil Rights Revolution: A Personal Journey

The University of Pennsylvania Provost presents The Inaugural Provost’s Lecture on Diversity
University of Pennsylvania
Annenberg School Room 110
2013-11-13, 17:00-19:00 EST (Local Time)

Dorothy E. Roberts, George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology; Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights
University of Pennsylvania

As far back as I can remember, my father was conducting research for a book on interracial marriage in Chicago.  He died without publishing the work to which he devoted his entire academic career.  Robert E.T. Roberts, an anthropologist at Roosevelt University in downtown Chicago, interviewed more than 600 black-white couples over a period of five decades.  He began in 1937 as a 22-year-old master’s student at University of Chicago, recording the life histories of interracial couples married as early as 1890.  He continued interviewing couples for his Ph.D. dissertation, completed in 1956, the year I was born.  Two years earlier, my father, who was white, married my mother, a black Jamaican immigrant who came to Roosevelt on a scholarship and accompanied him on interviews as his research assistant.  For the remainder of his career, he interviewed hundreds more couples—and then hundreds of their children—until he retired in 1986. 

When my father died in 2002, I inherited 25 boxes of his files on interracial marriage in Chicago—a treasure trove of rare interviews, newspaper clippings, letters, photographs, and handwritten notes.  I found in my possession an untapped archive of extraordinary potential to reveal insights into racial identity and relations in the United States, and I believe I am uniquely qualified to undertake this investigation.  I want to write the book my father never completed from my perspective—as his daughter, whose childhood was dominated by his passion for recording the stories of interracial couples; as the child of interracial parents, who grew up in Hyde Park during the social upheavals of the 1960s; and as a legal scholar and sociologist who has devoted her own career to the study of race and the elimination of racism…

For more information, click here.

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Making it Last: A Couple Who See Race Clearly

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2013-08-25 21:18Z by Steven

Making it Last: A Couple Who See Race Clearly

The New York Times

Erika Allen

Booming’s “Making It Last” column profiles baby boomer couples who have been together 25 years or more.

Christopher and Laura Castoro met when she asked him to tutor her in German. They didn’t realize they were of different race till their first date, and when they decided to marry, “We knew it was going to be us against the world,” she said.

Christopher and Laura Castoro celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary on June 8. In 2000, he retired as the director of transportation for a chemical and technology company. She is an author (also writing under her maiden name, Laura Parker) who writes, among other things, romance novels, including “Love on the Line,” “Rose of the Mists,” “A Rose in Splendor” and “The Secret Rose.” The couple lives in Fort Worth. They have three adult children and nine grandchildren. A condensed and edited version of our conversation follows.

You met in college?

Christopher: Yes, I went to Howard University to study chemistry. As a high-schooler in Brooklyn I’d taken a test that secured me a scholarship — a full ride to Howard. I was studying German during my junior year and this girl with very fair skin and curly blond hair shyly asked me to tutor her.

Laura: I was on scholarship, too. I had to make Bs in all of my classes. But six weeks into the year I was getting a C+ in German. Money and pride were at stake so I asked a boy from the front row to tutor me.

First impressions?

Laura: He was cute and professional, but he was older and I thought he had a girlfriend.

Christopher: Even though we were at Howard I assumed that Laura was a white girl. As it turned out, she’d assumed that I was African-American and we both had it wrong.

How did you sort things out?

Laura: The tutoring went on for a while before we decided to go out and the first place we went was a German restaurant. Halfway through the meal he mentioned being Italian and I said, “Oh, you have Italian in your family?” and he said that yes, his whole family was Italian.

Your reaction?

Laura: I was stunned. I am from the segregated South. At the time one in six people at Howard was not African-American, but I assumed he was black. I was out with a white person and I had not done this intentionally. And he was out with a black woman and didn’t know it. The schools in my town in Arkansas were just being integrated, but I graduated from an all-black high school. I just did not know white people. And even though I am very fair, everyone knew my family and they knew I was black. This was the first time I realized that it wasn’t obvious that I was black.

Christopher: I was surprised, but I had been at Howard for two years and she wasn’t the first black woman I dated…

Read the entire interview here.

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Is Interracial Marriage Still Scandalous?

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2013-06-15 03:49Z by Steven

Is Interracial Marriage Still Scandalous?

Room For Debate
The New York Times

Kevin Noble Maillard, Professor of Law
Syracuse University

Gary B. Nash, Professor Emeritus of History
University of California, Los Angeles

Heidi W. Durrow, Author and Co-Founder
Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival

Diane Farr, Actress and Writer

Rose Cuison Villazor, Professor of Law
University of California, Davis

This month marks almost 50 years since the Supreme Court case of Loving v. Virginia, which made interracial marriage legal nationwide. Marriages between people of different races have climbed since, to a high of 8.4 percent in 2010.

Does this mean that we have achieved a colorblind society, or just that the hate has moved to YouTube? In an age when white people are becoming a minority, is interracial marriage still scandalous?

Kevin Noble Maillard, a professor of law at Syracuse University, suggested this discussion.

Read the entire discussion here.

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