Miscegenation and the Social Changes in Interracial Relationship

Miscegenation and the Social Changes in Interracial Relationship

Miscegenation is defined as the mixing of different races or ethnicities in marriage, cohabitation or sexual relations. Miscegenation comes from the Latin words miscere, to mix, and genus, race. While the origin of the term is not derogatory, the mixing of races has been considered taboo throughout history. It is not only in the US that laws against interracial relations have been passed. However, much like everything else in history, social changes in interracial relationship have occurred.

Interracial relationships were most probably seen as taboo because of the history between different races. In the US and European countries, the African race served as slaves for many years and were considered inferior. This is opposite to Portuguese colonies as Portugal supported miscegenation as a way to boost low populations. Nonetheless, social changes in interracial relationship almost at once followed after independence from colonial powers, revolutions and civil rights protests.

Maryland was the first state to pass an anti-miscegenation law in 1664 with many states following in the eighteenth till the twentieth century. Although some states like Massachusetts repealed anti-miscegenation laws, the constitutionality of these laws were upheld by the US Supreme court. California, in 1948, became the first state to effectively endorse these laws. Over the years, many states followed. It wasn’t until 2000 however, that the laws were completely accepted when Alabama became the last state to accept social changes in interracial relationship.

Before, segregation in public facilities like buses, schools, restaurants and jobs, separated the dark-skinned African-Americans from the white men. Should anyone have been part of an interracial relationship, they too must be ostracized. Today, due to social changes in interracial relationship, different races are free to sit next to each other, eat next to each other and work together. These are all simple things that are fundamental to civil rights. Marriage, which is also considered a fundamental right, followed the social changes in interracial relationship soon after.

Interracial relations are very much commonplace these days. So common in fact, that some of the more popular celebrities are products of mixed race celebrities. Had social changes in interracial relationship not happened throughout history, some of the people we come across each day may not exist. What was once taboo is now an everyday thing. Open-mindedness, consideration, giving importance to civil rights, not being prejudiced and treating everyone as equal with equal opportunities are all attributes that have provided for the social changes in interracial relationship.