Interracial relationships have taken place in America since colonial times, but couples in such romances continue to face problems and challenges. When the enslavement of Black Americans became institutionalized in the U. A major reason interracial relationships continue to carry stigma is their association with violence. The raping of African American women by enslavers, plantation owners, and other powerful whites during this period have cast an ugly shadow on genuine relationships between Black women and white men. On the flip side, African American men who so much as looked at a white woman could be killed, and brutally so. Author Mildred D.
On July 11, , newlyweds Richard and Mildred Loving were asleep in bed when three armed police officers burst into the room. The couple were hauled from their house and thrown into jail, where Mildred remained for several days, all for the crime of getting married. At that time, 24 states across the country had laws strictly prohibiting marriage between people of different races. Five weeks earlier, the longtime couple had learned Mildred was pregnant and decided to wed in defiance of the law. In , they approached the American Civil Liberties Union to fight their case in court.
Allison Skinner does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. According to the most recent U. More interracial relationships are also appearing in the media — on television , in film and in advertising.
Fifty years ago, the U. Supreme Court ruled miscegenation laws—or laws preventing people of different races and ethnicities from getting married—unconstitutional. Decades later, interracial marriage is now the highest it has ever been in the United States, up 14 percent compared with what it was in when the courts ruled in favor of Richard and Mildred Loving , an interracial couple who were thrown in jail in Virginia for violating the state's rules against multicultural love.
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