Thanks so much to everyone who took the quiz! So far, your 39 responses paint this picture:
45% of you identify as multi-racial or multi-ethnic; among you multis, 24% of your parents were unmarried when you were born (compared to 15% of parents of the total group). Your ages range from 19 to 74, with 46% of you still under age 40. 90% of you are unmarried, and 47% of you have multiracial/ethnic children of your own.
Among the 28 of you who have committed romantic relationships, 74% are different-sex, 6% are same-sex, and 19% are poly. Of the 37 partners you described, 22% are themselves multiracial/ethnic, and 51% identify with just one race/ethnicity but that one is different from yours. So 73% of your relationships are interracial/ethnic.
Of course, this is not a scientific sample! But it is fascinating to see such big numbers. Your personal comments are also fascinating. Here are just a few:
Although my family of origin was marriage-based and white, there are lots of multiracial families among my extended family. We all feel just as much like family even though we all look different and have different last names, and we joke a lot about the benefits of “hybrid vitality.”
… our real difference are the economic/ parenting styles we experienced growing up.
I have a biracial child and am a single parent. My child attends a predominantly black school and has been having some identity issues due to her bi-racial status and we are working through them little by little each day
Board member Kevin Maillard has written extensively on the topic of unmarried mixed-race relationships. He sent this commentary:
The NY Times’ recent article on multiracial identity places great weight on intermarriage as the catalyst for the “biracial baby boom.” But is this true? It would suggest that the multiracial population did not take off until 1967, when the Supreme Court ruled antimiscegenation laws unconstitutional in Loving V. Virginia. This is an easy way to imagine the origins of mixed race in America, but it overlooks unmarried relationships that produced the bulk of the historical mixed race population.
Marriage is only one way of recognizing relationships, and it is also a convenient way to ignore them, too. By prohibiting marriage between people of different races, states did not have to recognize the legal legitimacy of multiracial children. Because the parents did not have a legally recognized relationship, the state could deny benefits and support. In all kinds of court cases, people used antimiscegenation laws to invalidate and prevent equal treatment of the law. For example, white men tried to evade divorce obligations from black women, landlords excluded Amer-asian families, and collateral heirs argued that wills were invalid. By saying that such relationships were illegitimate, people relied upon law to erase the legal existence of multiracial people. They were not counted in the census, and the children weren’t either.
But during this entire historical period, families continued to blend outside of marriage. States’ goals of keeping the races separate only worked for preventing official recognition. As people, we’ve always known that marriage isn’t the only way to make a family.