Interracial Marriage Grows in America

Black women have long complained about the lack of available black men to marry. Among the factors they cite, including men in jail, men living lives that will put them in jail and men who are gay, there is: men who marry white women. Well, a new study shows there may be more reasons to complain about that. The Pew Research Center says in 2008, 22% of African American men who became newlyweds married outside their race. It’s part of a growing trend nationwide as the research indicates that one in seven new marriages is interracial or inter ethnic. In 1961, when Barack Obama’s parents were together, less than one in a thousand parents were like theirs, now interracial or interethnic marriages  are 1 in 60. The largest bulk of this trend is between white and hispanic unions at 41%, followed by white and asian marriages at 15%. Black and white couples are third, at 11%. Polling shows that most Americans are fine with interracial or interethnic marriages and not just in a general sense, more than 60% say they would be fine with it they heard a family member was marrying outside their own race. The Pew study says weakening taboos against interracial marriages and a forty-year immigration wave among Asians and Hispanics are the main driving forces . With more than 70% of African American women claiming themselves single, it appears they may have to join the 9% of black women who chose to marry outside their race, if they want to increase their chances of getting to the altar

Supreme Court legalizes interracial marriage

June 12, 1967 US Supreme Court Strikes Down Bans on Interracial Marriage

In 1958, Richard and Mildred Loving returned to their home in Caroline County, Virginia, after marrying in Washington, DC. Richard was white, Mildred was black. They were arrested and charged with felony offenses since interracial marriage was illegal under Virginia law. Facing prison time the Lovings pleaded guilty to the charges in 1959, received a suspended sentence and were ordered to leave the state for 25 years. The Lovings challenged the law in 1964 and were once again arrested while visiting family members in Virginia. After an unsuccessful first trial in State Courts, they appealed to the US Supreme Court to hear the case. On June 12th 1967, the Court unanimously decided Loving vs Virginia in favor of the Lovings, declaring interracial marriage bans unconstitutional and striking down similar laws in 18 states. The Court acknowledged the laws were rooted in racism and denounced them as “measures designed to maintain white supremacy.” The lovings returned to Virginia and lived as husband and wife with their three children. After the ruling, states that had never legally recognized an interracial marriage were forced to do so (1.43) but opposition lingered. In 2000, Alabama became the last state to repeal its interracial marriage ban when its residents voted to remove an anti-miscegenation provision from the state constitution, more than 30 years after Loving made it unenforcable.

Early African-American Woman Physicians: "She has undertaken a Herculean task"

Today, about 1/3 of doctors are women. Image over 150 years ago when this was not the case. When most women and girls did not receive much, if any, formal education, Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to earn a medical degree in 1849. About 20 years later, in the post civil war years, African Americans were just beginning to glimpse the distant possibility of civil rights outlined in the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments. But a set of formal and informal social and legal policies known as the Jim Crow laws enforced racial segregation and continued to deny African Americans their full rights as American citizens. Jim Crow segregation applied to most areas of life including hospitals, medical care and medical education. African Americans struggled to train as physicians and it was especially hard for African American women who struggled against both racial and gender discrimination. The Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania founded in Philadelphia in 1850 was one of the few places African American women could go to train as physicians. Once they graduated, African American women physicians faced limited opportunities to practice medicine. This, in combination with the shortage of doctors in poor communities inspired many of these women physicians to create their own opportunities (93 seconds)