“Can Interracial Love Save Us?”
Boundaries of Love overtly challenges the sanguine picture of interracial marriage being the solution to racism and white supremacy. Adopting a “critical constructivist” perspective, this book reveals how black-white couples - whether in a society where they are flexible or one in which they are more rigid - often reproduced ethnoracial boundaries. Race mixture as a solution to racism has been a potent racial ideology both Brazil and the United States. The ideology of Brazil as a “racial democracy” has characterized it as having harmonious race relations, integration, and high proportions of interracial mating. This ideology obscured how centuries of race-mixing have co-existed alongside a white socioeconomic and political elite disenfranchising non-white Brazilians. The notion that “interracial love saves America” can gloss over ethnoracial preferences based in anti-blackness for both white and black partners. Of course, not all of the couples that I interviewed subscribed to these notions. However, enough did in both societies to call into question the blanket statement that all interracial love is anti-racist. More importantly, none of the couples in either society revealed a disintegration or blurring of racial boundaries that many, including academics, have come to expect.
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