Photo by Jeff Latimer/Flickr (Creative Commons)
Just as the last three decades have brought more mixed-race and mixed-ethnicity marriages, they’ve also brought a growing number of multiracial, multiethnic Americans. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of multiracial children in the U.S. grew by almost 50 percent. In a country where the president was himself born to an interracial couple, being a child of mixed race longer makes one as "different" as it once did, at least not as a general rule.
Still, adults who grew up in multiracial families have unique stories, some more difficult to tell than others. Some of these stories will be shared this coming weekend in Los Angeles at the fifth annual Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival, held at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo. The festival, which highlights the work of mixed-race writers, filmmakers and others, was founded in 2008 by author Heidi Durrow and actor Fanshen Cox, both of whom grew up in multiracial families.
Most of the data out there on interracial relationships doesn't come from online dating sites, but it's high time more of it did, because the results are fascinating.
The online dating website OkCupid's dating-trends research component, OkTrends, posted a dizzying set of graphics with analysis the other day illustrating how, in spite of new census data telling us that the United States is becoming more diverse, there is still no such thing as a post-racial America in the selective world of online dating.
According to the post, the dating service analyzed 82 million messages sent in recent months, running the numbers in different ways. On its face, the result showed white dating-service users receiving more messages per capita than non-whites, even from non-white users. But OkCupid, the majority of whose users are white, did an interesting experiment, redoing the math on the hypothetical assumption that white users weren't the dominant majority.
Photo by 24oranges.nl/Flickr (Creative Commons)
One of the most e-mailed and tweeted stories yesterday involved students from the University of Maryland, but it involved a subject very close to the heart of Southern California. The New York Times piece explored the emergence of a mixed race America created by immigration and intermarriage through the members of the university's Multiracial and Biracial Student Association, a group of students of mixed racial and ethnic heritage ranging from black-white to Japanese-Irish who are proud to identify as such.
According to the story, one in every seven new marriages in this country is between people of different ethnicities or races (there's a nifty graphic). Mixed race Americans are "one of the country’s fastest-growing demographic groups," and racial statistics from the 2010 census, which will soon be released, will likely reveal more along the lines of this trend.