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That degree of familiarity with — and proximity to — interracial marriage is the latest milestone in what has been a sweeping change in behaviors and attitudes concerning interracial relationships over the past several decades. Since then interracial marriage in this country has evolved from nearly non-existent to merely atypical.In 1970, fewer than one percent of all married couples were made up of spouses of a different race; by 2000 that figure had grown to just over 5%, according to an analysis of U. Census Bureau data by the Population Reference Bureau, a nonpartisan research organization.Together, they run Cool Al’s — a popular hamburger restaurant — while raising a 12-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter in the state with the nation’s lowest percentage (0.7) of multiracial residents.
Coupled with a steady flow of immigrants from all parts of the world, the surge of interracial marriages and multiracial children is producing a 21st century America more diverse than ever, with the potential to become less stratified by race. Many prominent blacks — including Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, civil rights leader Julian Bond and former U. Bob Jones University in South Carolina only dropped its ban on interracial dating in 2000; a year later 40 percent of the voters objected when Alabama became the last state to remove a no-longer-enforceable ban on interracial marriages from its constitution.
Tough times for some multiracial families More often, though, the difficulties are more nuanced, such as those faced by Kim and Al Stamps during 13 years as an interracial couple in Jackson, Miss.
Kim, a white woman raised on Cape Cod, met Al, who is black, in 1993 after she came to Jackson’s Tougaloo College to study history.
Stark racial disparities are a defining characteristic of our prison system, but all too often the necessary data doesn't exist to prove it.
The Prison Policy Initiative excels at finding creative solutions to data problems like this.