White Women, Black Men

In the sections of White Women, Black Men by Martha Hodes, we were able to see how interracial marriage was viewed centuries before the Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia. Interracial marriages were discriminated against and oftentimes dangerous for not only the husband and wife, but also for the kids during the time before emancipation. Due to the one drop rule, if the father of a child was enslaved, even if the mother of the child was white, the child would then be considered enslaved, and the mother’s status was disregarded.  An example of an interracial couple during this time is Nell Butler and Charles who got married on the Chesapeake and were advocates for interracial marriage such as their own and to end the stigma towards relationships such as their owns. After emancipation, if a free black man were to be caught with a white woman, there was a large possibility that they would end up lynched as often during this time the KKK got involved with these cases. Black men would also be brought to court as it was very easy for the white woman to say that the man was attempting rape (like in To Kill a Mockingbird). Organizations such as the KKK or even people whose job it was to give marriage licenses often felt threatened by interracial couples, and the KKK would go after both the men and the women and marriages licenses would be refused.

I really enjoyed this reading because I feel as though it goes more into depth about the deep history of how interracial couples have been treated throughout history. I have researched the Loving v. Virginia case (I have multiple books on the case) but there are so many others that are similar to the Loving’s that just aren’t talked about. I feel as though many interracial couples are still discriminated against or at the very least judged when out in public together because of how stigmatized they were throughout history. Interracial couples have definitely been more normalized in recent years, but I would love to see more acceptance from society.