Crossing the Line: Interracial Couples in the South

Synopsis

Despite the increased number of interracial marriages in recent years, Black/White couples still experience a host of problems in American society, particularly in the South. Drawing on extensive interviews with 28 Black/White couples living in the South, this ethnographic study describes the issues and obstacles these couples have to face and documents their overwhelming sense of social isolation. The problems include hostility, encountered while the couple is in public, ranging from stares to outright attacks, as well as a lack of support and ostracization by their families. After discussing the nature of Black/White relationships and the historical implications of interracial couples--beginning with slavery--the authors adopt a life history approach, which allows them to probe deeply into the meaning of the interviewees' responses.

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