In 2015, 17 percent of U.S. newlyweds had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity. That’s roughly a fivefold increase since 1967, when the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Loving v. Virginia made interracial marriage legal.
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Changing the law was a start—but it didn’t “necessarily do anything to change people’s minds,” says Syracuse University law professor Kevin Noble Maillard, who writes frequently about intermarriage. Partners of different races or ethnicities are nothing new, he notes: “But it’s very different when there’s public recognition of these relationships and when they become representations of regular families—when they’re the people in the Cheerios commercial.”
We sat down with 17 couples from the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area to talk about their experiences of being in a marriage that crosses racial or ethnic lines and to learn about their hopes for the future.
Read the full April 2018 article on intermarriage, “The Many Colors of Matrimony,” and check out the entire National Geographic issue on race.
Couples Share the Happiness and Heartache of Interracial Marriage | National Geographic