Really, Why Do Blacks Marry Interracially?

        Pew Research recently (2008) conducted a study where they found that Asians and Hispanics are more likely to marry interracially than Blacks.  More specifically, out of the newlyweds in the study Asians’ interracial marriages comprised 31% of the group while 28 % of the Hispanic  newlyweds were married interracially.  The interesting thing is that in the past few decades, the influx of Asian and Hispanic immigrants has increased exponentially, making the pool of prospects greater for these groups.  And although interracial marriages have increased almost 7% within the past decade, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the disparity in number across racial/ethnic groups is noteworthy.  Which begs the question:  If the availability of  potential mates for Asian and Hispanic increases with the influx of immigrants, why do these groups choose to marry someone other than Asian or Hispanic, respectively?

         Well, the question is not about why Asians and Hispanics marry outside of their race/ethnicity more frequently given the surge in immigration from Latin and Asian countries.  Deductively, we should explore why Blacks marry interracially despite this being the case for us.  When the Census estimates that by the middle of the century the minority will be the majority, they are not referring to Blacks.  Blacks do not migrate to this country in record numbers this day and age.  But let’s look at the factors that affect their choices to intermarry:  many Latin and Asian countries have strict cultural standards and societal expectations that inhibits or denounces intermarrying (although historically more Asians intermarried than what is believed by many).  So it should be of no surprise that coming to the U.S., the land of the free, that they would choose to exercise and/or explore the “forbidden fruit” since it is much more acceptable here .   In addition, since many foreigners come to this country to realize their economic dreams of acquiring riches, it would seem obvious that they would marry someone other than a compatriot, opting for someone who theoretically would give them a financial or economic “head start”.   However, the fact that the study indicates that it is the American born Hispanics and Asians that are more likely to intermarry than their immigrant brethren, shoots holes in those theories.  So the real question then becomes:  What perceived benefits do Hispanic-Americans and Asian-Americans have in intermarrying that Blacks overlook? 

       According to the same study, only 16% of the Black newlywed couples were interracial, which is third in the sample group of Whites, Asians, Blacks and Hispanics.  Although the numbers change according to the region of the country the couples reside, i.e. Black interracial marriages make up 38% of the marriage population on the West coast, in all four regions of the U.S. Blacks still come in third with the number of interracial unions.   And since some studies indicate that middle class and educated Blacks that are more likely to marry non-Blacks than lower-income or uneducated Blacks, which is not necessarily the case for Asians and Hispanics, it is clear that getting that “head start” is not necessarily the motivating factor for us.  This does not mean, however, that Blacks who marry other races are not interested in achieving economic success, it just indicates that the lower-income Blacks do not see “marrying up” as a priority. 

          Do the beliefs of self-hatred or rebellion have any validity?  Or is our loyalty to our race much more widespread than we would like to think?  I would like to hear your thoughts.

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