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Interracial Marriages and the Effects on Children

Annotated Bibliography

Nacy John Alouise


The University of Dayton School of Law
Spring 1998

Introduction
This annotated bibliography will attempt to overview the history of
interracial marriages and the children born out of such relationships.
More specifically it will focus on how these marriages have affected the
children throughout history and the effects interracial marriages have on
children. The Supreme Court case, which directly speaks to this topic, is
Loving v. Virginia. In 1958 Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter married in
Washington, D.C. and returned to Virginia together as husband and wife.
Richard was White and Mildred was Black. The problem arose in that
since 1961 Virginia banned interracial marriages. The Lovings were
prosecuted under a statute enacted in 1924 entitled "An Act to Preserve
Racial Integrity."1 The statute said that in Virginia no White person could
marry anyone other than a white person.2 The law made it a crime not
only to enter into an interracial marriage in the State of Virginia, but it
also criminalized interracial marriages outside the state with the intent
of evading Virginia's prohibition.3 Furthermore the law stated that
children born out of such a union were deemed in the eyes of the State
to be illegitimate and without the protections and privileges accorded to
the children of lawfully wedded parents.
The Lovings pleaded guilty to violating the Act and were sentenced to
one year in jail, though the trial judge gave them the option of avoiding
incarceration on the condition they leave the State and not return for
twenty-five years.4 During the course of the proceeding the trial judge
asserted that: "Almighty God created the races of White, Black, Yellow,
Malay, and Red, and He placed them on separate continents." "And but
for the interference with His arrangement there would be no cause for
such marriages." "The fact that He separated the races shows that he
did not intend for the races to mix."5
After Virginia's Supreme Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction the
Supreme Court of the United States reversed the decision on the
grounds that the Constitution of the United States prohibits states from
barring interracial marriages. In so doing, the Supreme Court invalidated
similar laws in fifteen States. Thus, as of June 12, 1967, interracial
marriages were no loner illegal in any State.
We are now approaching the 31st year of the Loving decision and views
on interracial marriage have improved. In 1991 a Gallop Poll found that,
for the first time, more people in the United States approved of
interracial marriages (48%) then disapproved (42%).6 Also the number
of interracially married couples in the United States has gone from
150,000 couples in 1970 to 1.1 million in 1994 and the number of
children born out of interracial marriages jumped from 460,300 in 1970
to 1.9 million in 1994.7 Furthermore, a Gallop Poll indicates acceptance
for interracial marriages is growing. Sixty-one percent of White
Americans are more likely to approve of such marriages today,
compared to 4% in 1958.8 In addition, according to the U.S. Census
Bureau, one in fifty marriages are interracial which is four times the
number compared to 1970.9
Interracial marriages can include the union of Asians, Hispanics, Blacks,
Whites, and any other group. However, when people talk about race
relations, the focus is on Blacks and Whites. No matter what ethnic
groups are involved, one major result of these marriages are children.
After reviewing this material and reading the associated articles, the
reader should have a strong understanding of the issues surrounding
children of interracial marriages, and the problems parents encounter
with their mixed race children. In addition, the reader should have a
better understanding of the history of interracial marriages.
Children from interracial marriages are no longer denied the same
benefits and privileges as the children prior to Loving. Celebrities like
Tiger Woods may have changed society's views on interracial children,
but are there more serious effects on these children than what is shown
by Tiger Woods? These effects and the history of interracial marriages
will be the focus of this annotated bibliography.