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When Crystal Parham, an African-American lawyer living in Brooklyn, told her friends and family members she was dating Jeremy Coplan, 56, who immigrated to the United States from South Africa, they weren’t upset that he was white, they were troubled that he was from a country that had supported apartheid. Parham doubted she could date him, although he swore he and his family had been against apartheid. Coplan reassured her that he was unfazed; he was falling for her. “I had my own preconceived ideas.”Marrying someone so different from yourself can provide many teachable moments.
As they fell in love, she kept reminding him: “I’m black. Marie Nelson, 44, a vice president for news and independent films at PBS who lives in Hyattsville, Md., admits she never saw herself marrying a white man.
It’s a sentiment that mixed-race couples hear all too frequently, as interracial marriages have become increasingly common in the United States since 1967, when the Supreme Court’s decision in Loving v. The story of the couple whose relationship led to the court ruling is chronicled in the movie, “Loving,” now in theaters.
Of the 3.6 million adults who got married in 2013, 58% of American Indians, 28% of Asians, 19% of blacks and 7% of whites have a spouse whose race was different from their own.Of people who used any dating app, 61% said they were open to interracial dating or marriage.Tinder's survey generally supports other research on dating apps and interracial marriage.There’s a similar gender gap for blacks, where men are much more likely to intermarry (25 percent) compared to only 12 percent of black women.Some people admit that they went into an interracial relationship with some faulty assumptions about the other person. When Jeremy took her to meet his friends, she worried that they would be racist.“In fact, they were all lovely people,” she said.
But that’s exactly what she did last month when she wed Gerry Hanlon, 62, a social-media manager for the Maryland Transit Administration.“I might have had a different reaction if I met Gerry when I was 25,” she said.