Interracial Families: Current Concepts and Controversies

Interracial Families: Current Concepts and Controversies

Interracial Families: Current Concepts and Controversies

Interracial Families: Current Concepts and Controversies

Synopsis

A unique book offering both a research overview and practical advice for its readers, this text allows students to gain a solid understanding of the research that has been generated on several important issues surrounding multiracial families, including intimate relations, family dynamics, transracial adoptions, and other topics of personal and scholarly interest.

Excerpt

By the time this book comes out Senator Barack Obama will either be the first Black president of the United States or he will be the first Black person who came the closest to becoming president. This realization occurs even though it is well known that Senator (or President at this time?) Obama has a White mother and an African father. He is the product of a multiracial marriage, a fact that is not insignificant in shaping his chances of winning the election. This important phenomenon demonstrates how race relations has changed through the years and shapes who we are in this country. Even today, many perceive multiracial families as the hope for our future despite our racist past. Historically individuals who have partial Black heritage have been seen as Black (note that Senator Obama is not seen as White even though he has as much European genetic lineage as he does African). Since it can be argued that Senator Obama’s multiracial background has helped, not hurt, his opportunities to become President, it can be argued that this political race is indicative of the changing racial climate in America.

Usually the image most individuals have when they consider the ideal family is one with parents of the same race. In the United States, we tend to expect people of the same race to create families. This assumption ignores the creation of families by individuals of different races, whether by interracial romance or by adoption of children of races different from those of the parents. The fact is we have a growing number of families in our society who do not fit into this view. In 1960, the percentage of all marriages that were interracial was 0.39%. Between 1970 and 1990 the number of children in those marriages grew from about half a million to 2 million children (McKenny & Bennett, 1994). The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2000 census indicated that interracial couples made up . . .

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