March 16, 2017 7:52 AM   Subscribe

The Loving Project talks with interracial couples about their experiences with race and being together. We are the Fifteen Percent, inspired by the Cheerios ad, [previously] publishes user-submitted photos of interracial families on its tumblr.

Loving Project:
On June 12, 1967, in the case of Loving v. Virginia, the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled that state laws prohibiting mixed-race marriages were unconstitutional.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ruling, the Loving Project is documenting the experiences of couples whose marriages would have been illegal in some states prior to 1967. Our goal is to celebrate a landmark in civil rights but also to explore what it’s like to be part of a mixed-race marriage at this time in America’s history.
We are the Fifteen Percent
We created this site to publicly reflect the changing face of the American family. According to the 2008 census, 15% of new marriages are interracial. And yet, it still feels rare to see something like the Cheerios ad represented in mainstream culture.
posted by Margalo Epps (15 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
This looks like my apartment complex. Not only in terms of melanin and cultures but also gender pairings. It's a nice place to live...
posted by jim in austin at 8:09 AM on March 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'll have to add our family to the Tumblr.
posted by My Dad at 8:14 AM on March 16, 2017 [5 favorites]

A shout out for the movie.
posted by IndigoJones at 8:19 AM on March 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

Another podcast about inter-racial relationships you might enjoy is Hamster Village by LA (and former Portland) comedian Nathan Brannon. (My wife and I were on one episode).

20 episodes so far, on Itunes.
posted by msalt at 8:33 AM on March 16, 2017

When I was growing up, my parents, aunts, and uncles were all, "Oh, I don't have any moral objection but it's just cruel to the children because they won't really belong anywhere." Now, half of them have interracial grandkids, family picnics are a beautiful patchwork quilt, and it's totally not an issue at all. Makes me so happy I have no desire to remind them of their former opinions.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:37 AM on March 16, 2017 [7 favorites]

When I was growing up, my parents, aunts, and uncles were all, "Oh, I don't have any moral objection but it's just cruel to the children because they won't really belong anywhere."

Oh hey, do you know my grandmother? Lovely lady, but this was her idea about interracial marriage. Is it any surprise that all three of her daughters had kids with dark-skinned foreigners (a Peruvian, a Puerto Rican, and an especially swarthy Italian). Of course, my mother and aunts are practically translucent, so all the grandkids pass as white (although we tan beautifully).

What's interesting to me about lots of the pictures on the Fifteen Percent tumblr is that, I guess through a combination of geography and family history, many latinx people don't code as non-white to me, on first glance, so I found myself looking twice to see what was "unusual."
posted by uncleozzy at 9:07 AM on March 16, 2017 [3 favorites]

I'm part of one - my wife is of Puerto Rican heritage.

I spend some days terrified that INS will do something stupid and I will need to go somewhere with her birth certificate (from New York City) and be obstinate and irritating until I get her out of lockup.
posted by mephron at 9:17 AM on March 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

I spend some days terrified that INS will do something stupid

Jeez, if I was you, I'd spend all days terrified of that -- doesn't Homeland Security regularly hassle people from New Mexico about there being no such state, and they're not allowed in without a passport?
posted by spacewrench at 10:08 AM on March 16, 2017

My daughter and her husband have an interracial marriage with his having adopted her first child via a previous marriage and their second being born 5 years into their marriage. The girls are obviously sisters, unless you happen to be blind and not to be able to see past skin color. Thank The Dogs my wonderful son-in-law received his citizenship papers a couple years ago. Mephron, I can only imagine your fear of what can happen with The Idiot in office.

They are in Albuquerque, so both are a minority re state demographics. They are fortunate to be white collar professionals, and he's in research at the university, and there are very, very few incidents involving their being an interracial couple. I would love to have them closer, but am grateful that their state culture is much more accepting then here in Idaho.
posted by BlueHorse at 11:00 AM on March 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

For all the hate and fear in the world, it does my heart good as a mixed-race person, and one who identifies as such, to see these families.

When I was growing up, my parents, aunts, and uncles were all, "Oh, I don't have any moral objection but it's just cruel to the children because they won't really belong anywhere." Oooh, every time I've heard this argument since I was a teenager, my response has been "And whose fault is that?!? People need to make a goddamned effort, then!"

My African-American maternal grandparents thought the same thing about me, and were adamant that I be brought up as black. The only hint I know of my birth father's background is from one of my aunts, who told me as an adult that he was "not a white white man" (so not Anglo-Saxon, I take it), and that unfortunately she didn't know any more because my birth mother (whom I've not known or seen for 40+ years) refused to discuss it with anyone.

The irony is that my maternal grandmother was barely a shade darker than Mariah Carey, with wavy dark auburn hair and seriously Northern European features; her Virginia Melungeon ancestry was in full effect!

OTOH, I'm nervous now that when I travel to Spain this summer, I'm at that vortex of skin tone, hair type and facial features that I can be taken for a lot of things, and I am terrified of being pulled aside for questioning/handing over my devices when I return. My hope is that the CBP at JFK are from PR and will think I'm also from PR. :|
posted by droplet at 11:15 AM on March 16, 2017 [7 favorites]

These are all great but the Liang Family of McKinney, TX makes my heart sing with their Texanness.
posted by sunset in snow country at 12:31 PM on March 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

When we were children, my brother and I didn't know very many other mixed race children. I was always watching with eagle eyes for other families who were "like us." This is a great project!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:41 PM on March 16, 2017 [1 favorite]


I grew up in an interracial family. My great grandmother (born in the teens, i think, now deceased) had a second husband, black, in the late 1950s early 1960s, and they had a girl together despite her advance age. I never got to meet him, they separated long before I was born, but their daughter was one of my favorite family members, she was the cool aunt, and her kids were just enough older than me to be the coolest ever.

That same great-grandmother, one of her sons married a black woman, and they had a large family together. So before I was even born, my family was interracial, and I grew up into it not even knowing it was not the norm.

It's even more interracial now, I have columbian cousins and mixed cousins, etc. It's beautiful. My partner and I plan on adopting, and I'll be thrilled if the baby make my own family interracial
posted by FirstMateKate at 1:26 PM on March 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

This is my happy thought for the rest of the week for sure!
posted by Hermione Granger at 3:09 PM on March 16, 2017

I'm just here for the baby pics. Sooo much cute!
posted by nubianinthedesert at 4:56 PM on March 16, 2017

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