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Interracial Marriages and the Effects on Children
Annotated Bibliography Nacy John Alouise
The University of Dayton School of Law
This annotated bibliography will attempt to overview the history of interracial marriages and the children born out of such relationships. More specifically it will focus on how these marriages have affected the children throughout history and the effects interracial marriages have on children. The Supreme Court case, which directly speaks to this topic, is Loving v. Virginia. In 1958 Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter married in Washington, D.C. and returned to Virginia together as husband and wife. Richard was White and Mildred was Black. The problem arose in that since 1961 Virginia banned interracial marriages. The Lovings were prosecuted under a statute enacted in 1924 entitled "An Act to Preserve Racial Integrity."1 The statute said that in Virginia no White person could marry anyone other than a white person.2 The law made it a crime not only to enter into an interracial marriage in the State of Virginia, but it also criminalized interracial marriages outside the state with the intent of evading Virginia's prohibition.3 Furthermore the law stated that children born out of such a union were deemed in the eyes of the State to be illegitimate and without the protections and privileges accorded to the children of lawfully wedded parents.
The Lovings pleaded guilty to violating the Act and were sentenced to one year in jail, though the trial judge gave them the option of avoiding incarceration on the condition they leave the State and not return for twenty-five years.4 During the course of the proceeding the trial judge asserted that: "Almighty God created the races of White, Black, Yellow, Malay, and Red, and He placed them on separate continents." "And but for the interference with His arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages." "The fact that He separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."5
After Virginia's Supreme Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction the Supreme Court of the
United States reversed the decision on the grounds that the Constitution of the United States prohibits states from barring interracial marriages. In so doing, the Supreme Court invalidated similar laws in fifteen States. Thus, as of June 12, 1967, interracial marriages were no loner illegal in any State.
We are now approaching the 31st year of the Loving decision and views on interracial marriage have improved. In 1991 a Gallop Poll found that, for the first time, more people in the United States approved of interracial marriages (48%) then disapproved (42%).6 Also the number of interracially married couples in the United States has gone from 150,000 couples in 1970 to 1.1 million in 1994 and the number of children born out of interracial marriages jumped from 460,300 in 1970 to 1.9 million in 1994.7 Furthermore, a Gallop Poll indicates acceptance for interracial marriages is growing. Sixty-one percent of White Americans are more likely to approve of such marriages today, compared to 4% in 1958.8 In addition, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, one in fifty marriages are interracial which is four times the number compared to 1970.9
Interracial marriages can include the union of Asians, Hispanics, Blacks, Whites, and any other group. However, when people talk about race relations, the focus is on Blacks and Whites. No matter what ethnic groups are involved, one major result of these marriages are children. After reviewing this material and reading the associated articles, the reader should have a strong understanding of the issues surrounding children of interracial marriages, and the problems parents encounter with their mixed race children. In addition, the reader should have a better understanding of the history of interracial marriages.
Children from interracial marriages are no longer denied the same benefits and privileges as the children prior to Loving. Celebrities like Tiger Woods may have changed society's views on interracial children, but are there more serious effects on these children than what is shown by Tiger Woods? These effects and the history of interracial marriages will be the focus of this annotated bibliography.
The following articles are included in this bibliography: