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Interracial Marriage Then and Now

Together for decades, four couples discuss struggles and offer advice

Chris and Minerva Warwin, New York

"What you doing with that Aunt Jemima?" Chris Warwin would hear such comments in the 1970s and 1980s when he was with Minerva. But the insults weren't only reserved for her. "Why is sister here with the white devil?" Minerva recalls hearing from a Nation of Islam member on a subway platform. — Photo by Ball & Albanese

In the last 30 years, the number of interracial marriages in the U.S. has more than doubled. In 1980, 7 percent of new marriages brought together people from different racial or ethnic backgrounds, reports the Pew Research Center. Today, 15 percent of newlyweds are crossing the racial divide.

See also: Faces of the Freedom Rides: Ten who went, then and now.

Societal attitudes about these unions have also shifted. Today, nearly
two-thirds of Americans say they're fine with people marrying someone of a different race. In 1986, only 28 percent of people agreed with that
statement.

Here are the stories of four couples, married more than 30 years, who
crossed racial, societal and even legal barriers to be the pioneers that
paved the way for today's new way of thinking about interracial marriages.

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