not uncommon to hear North America be called a "melting pot of
diversity". According to the U.S Census Bureau, as of 2014, the total
United States population is made up of around 17 percent Hispanics, 13
percent African-Americans, about 5 percent Asian, and 78 percent
Caucasian. These numbers are from individuals whom identified only as
In the mid 1900's several states across America had
anti-miscegenation laws in affect, outlawing interracial marriages and
relationships-mostly between African-Americans and Caucasians. In the
1967 landmark Supreme Court ruling in the case of Loving v. Virginia,
the Supreme Court ruled that anti-miscegenation laws are
unconstitutional and that interracial couples can marry without legal
Interracial married couple households account for
10 percent of all married households in the United States according to
the 2010 Census conducted by the U.S Census Bureau. According to a
different study conducted by the Pew Research Center, in 2010, 9 percent
of Caucasians, 17 percent of African-Americans, 26 percent of
Hispanics, and 28 percent of Asians married "out" of their race among
all marriages that year.
Also, according to the Pew Research
Center, as of 2012, 43 percent of Americans believe that interracial
marriages has been a positive change in society. On the other hand, 11
percent of Americans believe that it has been a negative change in
society, while 44 percent are indifferent.
"I don't see [the
11%] gap in interracial or interethnic relationships shrinking," says
Jessica Garcia, a 36 year old married woman. "I think society is more
focused on finding the right person for them, and not necessarily the
right person in the right race or ethnicity."
"Society has made a lot of advances in this area and I hope to see this continue to grow." Says Jose, 30.
2010, Jose and Jessica Garcia married in a quaint, waterside wedding
surrounded by family- family that includes Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and
Intercultural families might be able to compromise
on the differences and be able to represent both cultures equally in
their lives, or even choose to represent one over the other.
have mutual respect for one another and the cultures we grew up in" says
Jessica. "We decided what we wanted our children to have and be a part
of, and the rest fell into place."
"I have a huge appreciation
for seafood now and all things southern." Adds Jose, whose wife grew up
in the South whereas he is from the Northeast.
embrace his language [Spanish] probably more than he does. I would like
him to use more Spanish with the children much more than he does. I love
to hear him speak Spanish and how family is held with such a high
regard in his culture" Admits Jessica when they discussed each other's
culture and how they represented them in their household. "But, for the
most part it's all about compromise and respect and communication [in
our household]." Which is a huge part in raising their four children,
ages one to ten.
When it comes to practicing religion the
Garcia's are both Christian, with Jose being Catholic as well. "Faith
[is] important to the both of us, but where we worship wasn't really an
issue. We've done things through his church and some through mine."
revealed Jessica, Jose agreed.
When it comes to prejudice
against their relationship, both Jessica and Jose admit they nothing
extreme has ever been said or done towards them, but that "sometimes you
can just tell by their tone or mannerisms how they feel about your
However, Jessica opens up about
the struggle of having a Latin surname. "I think one thing people
struggle with is my name. Jessica Garcia is a very common Latina name
and so people assume that I speak Spanish, which I in fact do not. When
they find out I do not and they realize I'm English and Native American
they seem to get a little irritated that I've taken one of their own."
importance of family and the power of prayer is a driving force in
making their marriage great. "We've had four of the most amazing
children given to us via intercultural relationships. We have both
learned a lot about the world through one another and how we were
raised. We were definitely raised very differently, but we make it work
and bring all of that to the table. We decide as a couple what we want
for our children and in the end it's all the same stuff...regardless of
our backgrounds and ethnicities, we want our children to grow up and
respect humanity, treat all people with kindness and respect and to live
their life to the fullest potential. We want our children to know love
and the power of prayer above anything else in this world." Jose and
Jessica collectively agreed.