Project

Interracial Marriage and Racial Equality in Chicago, 1937-1967

Program

ACLS Fellowship Program

Abstract

This project examines the lives of black-white couples residing in Chicago between 1937 and 1967 to investigate the relationship between interracial marriage and racial equality during a period of dramatic social change. How did interracial couples experience and understand their marriages in relation to the intensifying challenge to the racial order? Drawing on an extraordinary archive of 470 in-depth interviews conducted by Chicago anthropologist Robert E.T. Roberts over the course of five decades, this study explores the role interracial marriage played in the changing racial politics from the perspectives of the couples and argues for a conceptual approach that neither glorifies nor ignores the political significance of interracial intimacy.