Depending on who you ask, interracial marriages can still be a controversial subject — even after the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Loving v. Virginia, which legalized interracial marriage.
Now, census bureau data reveals that one in ten people in the U.S. have a spouse of a different race or ethnicity. This means 11 million people are in interracial relationships.
The survey focused on newlyweds or people married within the past 12 months. Its foundings show a dramatic increase in over 50 years. In 1967, just three percent of newlywed couples were of different races or ethnicities. In 2015 that number raised to 17 percent.
Despite the national increase, local numbers show a different story. In the Greensboro-High Point region of North Carolina only nine percent of couples are interracial. Only eight percent of couples are interracial in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, five percent in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and three percent in Asheville, North Carolina. In contrast, the numbers are 42 percent in Honolulu, Hawaii, 29 percent in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and 28 percent in Anchorage, Alaska.
The Winston-Salem region of North Carolina is close to the national average with 16 percent of the couples in interracial relationships.
News & Record interviewed different interracial couples and learned about their various stories. Wendy Linney, who’s White, met her husband, who’s Black, at work. She said they had a spiritual connection and his race never mattered. “It was a matter of the heart,” Linney said. “It was not a matter of really looking for anything else.”
When Linney married her husband, her father didn’t approve until they had triplets. Once the children arrived, the family came closer together. “We try to just teach our kids to look much further than the color of the skin and find somebody that’s compatible with them,” Linney said. “That’s what it’s really all about. The heart has no color.”
Folks in other regions might feel differently considering the low interracial numbers. Those interviews have yet to be conducted. Either way, love is love!