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Love over Property: Debates on Interracial Marriage in the 1920s
AuthorGardner, Kaela Breanne
Advisorde Jong, Greta E
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From colonial America to 1967, interracial marriage was outlawed in many jurisdictions throughout the United States. The 1920s saw a rise in political and cultural conservatism that produced greater opposition to interracial marriage in the decade. Groups like the Ku Klux Klan had racist and nativist sentiments and ultimately pushed for broader bans on interracial marriage. However, there was also an understudied group of activists that advocated for interracial marriage. Politically minded women and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People lobbied against legislation that prohibited interracial marriage and saw successes throughout the decade. Marriages across the color line were often met with negative public opinion, but they were also met by support by those who believed that a loving, companionate marriage was more important than a marriage based on race alone. Through a legal examination of several court cases and anti-miscegenation laws, I argue that debates surrounding interracial marriage were fervent and on-going in the 1920s, nearly fifty years prior to the landmark Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court case.
|Committee Member||Keyes, Sarah; Gifford, Justin D|