Matters of the Heart: A History of Interracial Marriage in New Zealand

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Oceania on 2013-02-09 20:34Z by Steven

Matters of the Heart: A History of Interracial Marriage in New Zealand

Auckland University Press
July 2013
312 pages approx
240 x 170 mm, illustrations
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-86940-731-5

Angela Wanhalla, Senior Lecturer in History
University of Otago, New Zealand

A history of the intimate relations between Māori and Pākehā, and the intersections of public policy and private life.

Philip Soutar died at Ypres in 1917. Before becoming a soldier, Soutar’s life revolved around his farm at Whakatāne, where he lived with his Māori wife Kathleen Pine in an ‘as-you-please marriage, uncelebrated by a clergyman’. Matters of the Heart introduces us to couples like Philip and Kathleen to unravel the long history of interracial relationships in New Zealand.

That history runs from whalers and traders marrying into Māori families in the early nineteenth century through to the growth of interracial marriages in the later twentieth. It stretches from common law marriages and Māori customary marriages to formal arrangements recognised by church and state. And that history runs the gamut of official reactions—from condemnation of interracial immorality or racial treason to celebration of New Zealand’s unique intermarriage patterns as a sign of us being ‘one people’ with the ‘best race relations in the world’.

In the history of intimate relations between Māori and Pākehā, public policy and private life were woven together. Matters of the Heart reveals much about how Māori and Pākehā have lived together in this country and our changing attitudes to race, marriage and intimacy.

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The Anti-Miscegenation History of the American Southwest, 1837 To 1970: Transforming Racial Ideology into Law

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, Slavery, Texas, United States on 2011-03-06 20:50Z by Steven

The Anti-Miscegenation History of the American Southwest, 1837 To 1970: Transforming Racial Ideology into Law

Cultural Dynamics
Volume 20, Number 3 (November 2008)
pages 279-318
DOI: 10.1177/0921374008096312

Martha Menchaca, Professor of Anthropology
University of Texas at Austin

This article proposes that a historical analysis of court cases and state statutes can be used to illustrate how racist ideologies were transformed into practice and used to legalize racism. To exemplify this argument, marriage prohibition laws in the United States Southwest from 1837 to 1970 are examined.  This analysis demonstrates that African Americans and Anglo Americans were not the only groups affected by anti-miscegenation legislation.  Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, and Native Americans were also profoundly affected and their respective histories contribute to a more indepth understanding of the policies and practices used by state governments and the courts to discriminate against people of color.  This article also reveals that most legal cases reaching state supreme courts in the Southwest involved Mexican Americans because their mixed racial heritage placed them in a legally ambiguous position.

…Afromestizos and the First Anti-Miscegenation Law in the American Southwest

The history of anti-miscegenation law in the American Southwest began after Texas obtained independence from Mexico in 1836. One year later, on 5 June 1837, the newly formed Republic became the first nation in the Southwest to prohibit people of different races from marrying freely (Marital Rights, art. 4670, 2466, in Paschal, 1878: 783). People of European blood and their descendants were prohibited from marrying Africans and their descendants. A racially mixed person could marry a White person if they had no African ancestors in the last three generations. If the law was broken, the White person was sentenced to two to five years in prison. Texan congressmen justified imprisonment by the seriousness of ‘the offense against public morals, decency, and chastity’ (Tex. Penal Code 386, in Paschal, 1878: 429).

Texas’s anti-miscegenation codes were part of the Republic’s larger body of racially discriminatory laws passed after independence. In 1836, Mexico’s liberal racial legislation was rescinded. Citizenship was no longer extended to all people and Mexico’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1829 was nullified. Only Anglo Americans and Mexicans who were not of African heritage were given citizenship (Cx. of the Repu. of Tex. 1836, art. 6, s. 6, in Laws of Tex., vol. 2, p. 1079). Slavery was also reinstated and freed Blacks who had been emancipated under Mexican law were returned to bondage…

Read or purchase the article here.

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Changing Family Structures in America [Project Description]

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2011-01-09 01:06Z by Steven

Changing Family Structures in America [Project Description]

US 2010: Discover America in a New Century

Zhenchao Qian, Professor of Sociology
Ohio State University

The US 2010 research project examines changes in American societ in the recent past.  Directed by sociologist John Logan, US 2010 is funded by the Russell Sage Foundation and Brown University.

Qian will create a descriptive portrait of changes in family structure, with a special emphasis on gender and racial/ethnic differences and geographic variations. Using the 2010 and earlier censuses and the 2005-2010 American Community Surveys (ACS), his research will highlight several trends.

Marriage rates have declined over the years. The weakened connection between marriage and childbearing, the growing popularity of nonmarital cohabitation, the stable high divorce rates, and the declining remarriage rates have all contributed to the decline in marriage rates…

Interracial marriage reflects racial and cultural diversity in American families. Recent increases in interracial marriage have narrowed the “social distance” between racial groups; Qian will demonstrate trends in intermarriage with whites for blacks, Asian Americans, American Indians and Hispanics. ..

“With increasing shares of minority populations, Americans can no longer be viewed in simple black and white or even single-race terms,” Qian said. “Intermarriage connects married couples, families, friends, and social networks of different racial/ethnic groups; the growing population of mixed-race individuals from intermarriage further blurs racial boundaries and adds another dimension of diversity in American families.”

Read the entire project description here.

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Dangerous Liaisons: Sex and Love in the Segregated South

Posted in Books, History, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2010-12-29 18:24Z by Steven

Dangerous Liaisons: Sex and Love in the Segregated South

The University of Arkansas Press
160 pages
Paper: 1-55728–833-X (978-1-55728-833-2)
Cloth: 1-55728-755-4 (978-1-55728-755-7)

Charles F. Robinson II, Associate Professor of History, Vice Provost for Diversity, and Director of African American Studies program
University of Arkansas

In the tumultuous decades after the Civil War, as the southern white elite reclaimed power, “racial mixing” was the central concern of segregationists who strove to maintain “racial purity.” Segregation—and race itself—was based on the idea that interracial sex posed a biological threat to the white race. In this groundbreaking study, Charles Robinson examines how white southerners enforced anti-miscegenation laws. His findings challenge conventional wisdom, documenting a pattern of selective prosecution under which interracial domestic relationships were punished even more harshly than transient sexual encounters. Robinson shows that the real crime was to suggest that black and white individuals might be equals, a notion which undermined the legitimacy of the economic, political, and social structure of white male supremacy.

Robinson examines legal cases from across the South, considering both criminal prosecutions brought by states and civil disputes over marital and family assets. He also looks at U.S. Supreme Court decisions, debates in state legislatures, comments in the U.S. Congressional Record, and newspaper editorials. He not only shows the hardening of racial categories but assesses the attitudes of African Americans about anti-miscegenation laws and intermarriage.

Dangerous Liaisons vividly documents the regulation of intimacy and its fundamental role in the construction of race.

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Social Status, Race, and the Timing of Marriage in Cuba’s First Constitutional Era, 1902-1940

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive, Social Science on 2010-12-07 14:32Z by Steven

Social Status, Race, and the Timing of Marriage in Cuba’s First Constitutional Era, 1902-1940

Journal of Family History
Volume 36, Number 1 (December 2010)
pages 52-71
DOI: 10.1177/0363199010389546

Enid Lynette Logan, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

This article examines the practice of marriage among whites, mestizos, blacks, Cubans, and Spaniards during the first constitutional era, focusing upon the reported ages of brides and grooms. The study consists of a quantitative examination of trends found in the records of 900 Catholic marriages celebrated in Havana during the opening decades of independence. The first major finding of the research is that according to most major indicators of status, age was negatively correlated with rank. Thus, contrary to the conclusions of studies conducted in many other contexts, those in the highest strata of society married younger. Furthermore, very significant differences were detected in the marital patterns of those identified as mixed-race and those labeled as black. This finding offers empirical weight to the notion that the early-mid twentieth-century Cuban racial structure would best be characterized as tripartite, rather than binary in nature.

Read or purchase the article here.

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The Election of Barack Obama and the Politics of Interracial and Same-Sex Marriage

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2010-09-27 21:16Z by Steven

The Election of Barack Obama and the Politics of Interracial and Same-Sex Marriage

History News Network

Peggy Pascoe, Beekman Professor of Northwest and Pacific History
University of Oregon

Peggy Pascoe is the author of “What Comes Naturally: Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America, (winner of 5 literary prizes).

The election (and now the inauguration) of Barack Obama has inspired a widespread sense of awe at the scope and scale of change in race relations in America—and more than a hint of self-congratulation.

The news media just can’t seem to resist trumpeting the example of interracial marriage. When Barack Obama’s white mother married his black father in 1961, reporters remind us, their marriage would have been illegal in more than a dozen states. See how far we’ve come, they enthuse, falling into the trap of assuming that the legality of interracial marriage is proof that racism and white supremacy have disappeared into thin air and a colorblind utopia is on the way.

As someone who has spent nearly two decades studying the history of interracial marriage in America, I want to suggest that at a moment when talk of change seems to be everywhere, we could use a bit less celebration—and a lot more reflection…

…It does not, however, follow that interracial marriage is synonymous with colorblindness or that the end of racism is at hand. Generations of lawyers had to fight to make interracial marriage a legal right. Many of them thought colorblindness was a wonderful idea, but few were naive enough to believe it actually existed. Today the assertion that America is a colorblind nation is so commonplace that even the most conservative of Supreme Court justices are eager to wrap themselves in its mantle. Yet forty years after the Supreme Court’s decision in Loving v. Virginia, marriages between blacks and whites are still the rarest form of interracial marriage, and interracial couples still face a host of challenges, from stares on the street to confusion on the faces of their children’s teachers and playmates. And in yet another example of racism’s shape-shifting power, America’s prisons, police, schools, and housing markets offer daily evidence of how easy it is for claims of colorblindness to co-exist with, and even enable, new forms of white entitlement…

Read the entire article here.

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Race on Trial: Passing and the Van Houten Case in Boston

Posted in History, Media Archive, Papers/Presentations, Passing, Social Science, United States on 2010-09-01 22:14Z by Steven

Race on Trial: Passing and the Van Houten Case in Boston

Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 94th Annual Convention
Association for the Study of African American Life and History
Hilton Cincinnati, Netherland Plaza
Cincinnati, Ohio

Zebulon V. Miletsky, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies
Stony Brook University, State University of New York

In 1894 Anna Van Houten sued Asa P. Morse in a controversial “breach of promise” case in Boston after he withdrew his proposal of marriage upon the discovery of her black ancestry. Morse contended it was a promise that he was not bound to keep because Van Houten was passing for white and had misrepresented herself by concealing her true identity. The case caused quite a stir in the delicate social and racial hierarchy of Boston and was watched very closely by the press who fed the public’s appetite for every detail of the scandal. While many in the public sympathized with Morse for having been deceived, the court concluded that the concealment of her race was not a factor and a breach of promise had indeed been committed. As a result, Van Houten won her original case as well as a sizable settlement. However, the verdict caused a public outcry. The case was successfully appealed and eventually overturned using a legal argument that claimed race constituted valid grounds for a breach of promise.

This paper examines the Van Houten case and what it reveals about Northern anxieties over passing and interracial marriage in the late nineteenth century in cities like Boston. The court’s acceptance of Morse’s appeal is problematic in that interracial marriages or engagements required a legal remedy to prevent them even though they were not prohibited by the state. The case also provides a unique glimpse into the public’s beliefs about the physical nature of race at the very moment when those views were beginning to shift from a scientific understanding to one that is more socially constructed. Finally, this case sheds light on the phenomenon of passing which gave way to a new legal construction of race that allowed for different kinds of evidence, such as photographs and witness testimony to prove the racial identity of an individual.

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The Law: Anti-Miscegenation Statutes: Repugnant Indeed

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States, Virginia on 2010-06-17 15:34Z by Steven

The Law: Anti-Miscegenation Statutes: Repugnant Indeed

Time Magazine

Judge Leon Bazile looked down at Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter Loving as they stood before him in 1959 in the Caroline County, Va. courtroom. “Almighty God,” he intoned, “created the races white, black, yellow, Malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.” With that, Judge Bazile sentenced the newlywed Lovings to one year in jail. Their crime: Mildred is part Negro, part Indian, and Richard is white.

In Virginia, as in 15 other states (the number was once as high as 30), there is a law barring white and colored persons from intermarrying. The Lovings could have avoided the sentence simply by leaving the state, but they eventually decided to fight the Virginia antimiscegenation law “on the ground that it was repugnant to the 14th Amendment.” In rare unanimity, all nine Supreme Court Justices agreed last week that it was repugnant indeed.

Read the entire article here.

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Black Women See Fewer Black Men at the Altar

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, New Media, Social Science, United States on 2010-06-04 21:31Z by Steven

Black Women See Fewer Black Men at the Altar

The New York Times

Sam Roberts

It is a familiar lament of single African-American women: where are the “good” black men to marry?

A new study shows that more and more black men are marrying women of other races. In fact, more than 1 in 5 black men who wed (22 percent) married a nonblack woman in 2008. This compares with about 9 percent of black women, and represents a significant increase for black men — from 15.7 percent in 2000 and 7.9 percent in 1980…

…Among all married African-Americans in 2008, 13 percent of men and 6 percent of women had a nonblack spouse. This compares with nearly half of American-born Asians choosing non-Asian spouses…

…While the increased rate of intermarriage reflects demographic changes in the American population — a more diverse pool of available spouses — as well as changing social mores, they may presage a redefinition of America’s evolving concepts of race and ethnicity.

“The lines dividing these groups are getting blurrier and blurrier,” said Jeffrey S. Passel, an author of the Pew analysis.

For instance, of the 2.7 million American children with a black parent, about 10 percent also have one nonblack parent today. Because many mixed-race African- Americans still choose to identify as being black—as Mr. Obama did when he filled out the 2010 census—the number of multiracial African-Americans could actually be higher.

How children of the expanding share of mixed marriages identify themselves—and how they are identified by the rest of society—could blur a benchmark that the nation will approach within a few decades when American Indian, Asian, black and Hispanic Americans and people of mixed race become a majority of the population.

More precise estimates of the number of people who identify themselves as mixed race will be available from the 2010 census. Other census estimates found a 32 percent increase in the mixed-race population (to 5.2 million, from 3.9 million) from 2000 to 2008.

Still, the “blending” of America could be overstated, especially given the relatively low rate of black-white intermarriage compared with other groups, and continuing racial perceptions and divisions, according to some sociologists.

“Children of white-Asian and white-Hispanic parents will have no problems calling themselves white, if that’s their choice,” said Andrew Hacker, a political scientist at Queens College of the City University of New York and the author of a book about race.

“But offspring of black and another ethnic parent won’t have that option,” Professor Hacker said. “They’ll be black because that’s the way they’re seen. Barack Obama, Tiger Woods, Halle Berry, have all known that. Will that change? Don’t hold your breath.”…

To read the entire article, click here.

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Interracial marriage still rising in U.S.

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2010-05-26 21:04Z by Steven

Interracial marriage still rising in U.S.

Associated Press

Hope Yen, Associated Press Writer

About 8 percent of U.S. marriages are mixed-race

WASHINGTON – Melting pot or racial divide? The growth of interracial marriages is slowing among U.S.-born Hispanics and Asians. Still, blacks are substantially more likely than before to marry whites.

The number of interracial marriages in the U.S. has risen 20 percent since 2000 to about 4.5 million, according to the latest census figures. While still growing, that number is a marked drop-off from the 65 percent increase between 1990 and 2000.

About 8 percent of U.S. marriages are mixed-race, up from 7 percent in 2000…

“Racial boundaries are not going to disappear anytime soon,” said Daniel Lichter, a professor of sociology and public policy at Cornell University. He noted the increase in anti-immigrant sentiment in the U.S. after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks as well as current tensions in Arizona over its new immigration law…

…Broken down by race, about 40 percent of U.S.-born Asians now marry whites — a figure unchanged since 1980. Their likelihood of marrying foreign-born Asians, meanwhile, multiplied 3 times for men and 5 times for women, to roughly 20 percent.

Among U.S.-born Hispanics, marriages with whites increased modestly from roughly 30 percent to 38 percent over the past three decades. But when it came to marriages with foreign-born Hispanics, the share doubled — to 12.5 percent for men, and 17.1 percent for women.

In contrast, blacks are now three times as likely to marry whites than in 1980. About 14.4 percent of black men and 6.5 percent of black women are currently in such mixed marriages, due to higher educational attainment, a more racially integrated military and a rising black middle class that provides more interaction with other races…

‘Multi’ label shunned

Due to increasing interracial marriages, multiracial Americans are a small but fast-growing demographic group, making up about 5 percent of the minority population. Together with blacks, Hispanics and Asians, the Census Bureau estimates they collectively will represent a majority of the U.S. population by mid-century.

Still, many multiracial people — particularly those who are part black — shun a “multi” label in favor of identifying as a single race.

By some estimates, two-thirds of those who checked the single box of “black” on the census form are actually mixed, including President Barack Obama, who identified himself as black in the 2010 census even though his mother was white…

Read the entire article here.

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