Do barriers to interracial marriage still exist? Despite recent media reports that we are living in a "post-racial world" as the face of the American family changes, the numbers do not lie when showing that there is still resistance to black/white relationships.
A recent report by the United States Census Bureau reveals that interracial marriage is at an all time high, up 28 percent from the year 2000. In 2010, 5.3 million couples reported themselves as interracial -- a significant increase from 4 million in 2000. Of these interracial couples in the latest report, the majority were white/Hispanic (38 percent) and white/Asian (14 percent), comprising over half of the marriages classified as mixed.
Although black/white has increased since the 2000 census, it is still relatively rare. Out of 56 million married households in 2010, about 422,000 are between blacks and whites. When compared with all interracial married couples, this number is much lower at 7.9 percent, a slight increase from 7.1 percent in 2000.
Formally, all prohibitions on black/white interracial marriage have been removed. The Supreme Court ruled that anti-miscegenation laws were unconstitutional in the 1967 case of Loving v. Virginia. This case made it legal for people to marry the person of their own choosing, regardless of race. No state government can block an interracial marriage after the ruling, the case determined.
Hearts did not change overnight, however. Some states did not change their laws after the ruling, even though they could not have been enforced. South Carolina and Alabama did not officially amend their laws until 1998 and 2000, respectively, and not without resistance. In 2009, Keith Bardwell, a Justice of the Peace in Louisiana, refused to perform the marriage of a black man and white woman. And just last year, a church in Kentucky banned interracial couples from membership.