Once you go black, you may go back

Since the days of slavery, individuals of different races have pursued relationships in the face of adversity.Interracial relationships in the United States have a long, sometimes tortured, history.

Today, as the face of love is changing and the number of interracial relationships continues to rise, more and more interracial couples are finding less opposition to their relationships. Dillard University’s division of sociology instructor, Russell Henderson, of Caucasian decent, views the topic of interracial relationships in a positive matter, but also feels it is difficult for an interracial child to be raised in such a home of two different races.

“It’s not an easy thing to do, not that I had to personally go through it but I do have adopted children in my family who did have to experience it. A child can get confused in such a family, by maybe not being accepted by one side of the family of one race and vice verse,” Henderson said.

According to U.S. Census reports, interracial marriages more than doubled between 1980 and 1995. Black/White marriages increased an estimated 96% overall, with marriages between of Black women and White men increasing 171%. Blacks with other races increased 124% during the same period.

While in the past, people were more likely to “stick with their own kind,” a significant growth in interracial relationships continues to occure. Interracial relationships are viewed as a positive step towards smoother race relations by some and as “sellout” behavior and a denial of racial heritage by others. There are some who do not agree for their children to date outside of their race.

The department of Mass Communications, administrative assistant, Dawn Bordenave will not tolerate her children to date the Caucasian race, “I do not approve of my children dating any one of the Caucasian race because racial slurs will eventually come out”, said Bordenave. Bordenave, a Creole woman, will allow her children to date of any other race. Bordenaves’ personal reasons are from past experiences with close friends of the past who went through racial situations. “My husband is Creole”, said Bordenave.

Interracial relationships provide individuals with the unique opportunity to learn, experience, and appreciate different cultures and backgrounds. Some find that we are finally learning that the outer shell of a person does not change who they are on the inside. Interracial relationships may strengthen individuals and build harmony between different races.

Some will argue that interracial couples need to deal with more differences and a greater number of challenges than “regular” couples – I would agree. I believe that by overcoming these differences interracial relationships become stronger and develop stability.

Finally, let us not forget the most important part of any relationship: love. An interracial couple is just as capable of loving each other as deeply as any other couple. If love is present in any relationship, great boundaries can be overcome. Any relationship will bring many challenges along with it, but one thing has always remained constant: true love will prevail.

“I would like to find a black man, I consider myself an African American woman and because of cultural characteristics I prefer to date or marry within my race,” said Yolanda Neff, a graduating senior urban studies and public policies major. ”If my child chooses to date outside the race, I won’t disown the person, but while raising them I will let it be known or prefer that they would find marriage partners within the race.”