Title

‘I'm Black and I'll Always Be That Way’: Black Identities Through the Lens of Interracial Intimacy

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-30-2015

Department

Sociology

Language

English

Publication Title

Ethnic and Racial Studies

Abstract

Early research on black racial identity development cautioned that close relationships with whites signalled an alienation from blackness and a subconscious acceptance that ‘white is right’. These assumptions mirrored popular media and political discourse suggesting that romantic relationships outside of one's racial group reflect a devalued or inauthentic racial self. More recent scholarly research presents a mixed picture about the role of interracial intimacy on black racial identities. Using in-depth qualitative narratives with forty-two interracially partnered African Americans, this article explores whether interracial intimacy recasts the meaning or intensity of black racial identities. Findings affirm that black racial identities are heterogeneous – some partners experienced blackness as a central, fundamental identity while others possessed ambivalent attachments to blackness. Across these experiences, however, adult interracial intimacy had at most an incremental influence on racial identity. Interracial contact during adolescence was far more influential because it allowed blacks to develop dimensions of white cultural identity.

Comments

For more information on the published version, visit Taylor and Francis's Website.

DOI

10.1080/01419870.2015.1023820

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