Maria Root

Maria P.P. Root is past-president of the Washington State Psychological Association. This article is adapted from her book Love's Revolution: Interracial Marriage, which was published in 2001 by Temple University Press.

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The Color Of Love

W ith at least three million people in the United States in interracial marriages, racially mixed marriage is no longer a rarity. And with one degree of separation -- all the family members of these couples -- it touches many millions more. Allowing a second degree of separation -- friends, coworkers, acquaintances -- intermarriage likely affects most people in this country. Younger people, on average, are far more open to intermarriage than those who grew up in an era of segregation. This trend is a major gain for tolerance and pluralism in America, and families that successfully navigate the challenge of interracial marriage often become more open generally. But large pockets of discrimination continue to exist. Earlier in this century, segregationists expressed concern that civil rights would ultimately lead to greater acceptance of intermarriage. And in a sense, they were right. With more interracial contact has come less fear and more acceptance of the racial "other," and the...