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The Colors of Love

Multiracial People in Interracial Relationships

Melinda A. Mills

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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Pädagogik


How multiracial people navigate the complexities of race and love

In the United States, more than seven million people claim to be multiracial, or have racially mixed heritage, parentage, or ancestry. In The Colors of Love, Melinda A. Mills explores how multiracial people navigate their complex—and often misunderstood—identities in romantic relationships.

Drawing on sixty interviews with multiracial people in interracial relationships, Mills explores how people define and assert their racial identities both on their own and with their partners. She shows us how similarities and differences in identity, skin color, and racial composition shape how multiracial people choose, experience, and navigate love.

Mills highlights the unexpected ways in which multiracial individuals choose to both support and subvert the borders of race as individuals and as romantic partners. The Colors of Love broadens our understanding about race and love in the twenty-first century.



Anti-black racism, Mildred and Richard Loving, Parental opposition to partner choice, Racial fluency, Critical race literacies, Individual Racial identity, Monoracism, Acting black, Racial empathy, Dangerous discourses, Romantic careers, Loving, 2016 film, Preferences-as-pattern, Racial preferences and prejudices, Loving v. Virginia, Culture keepers, Invisibly mixed, More than black, Similar differences, Borderlands, Authenticity tests, Racial literacy, Acting white, Uncoupling, Erasing race, Racial optical illusions, Invisible mixture, Opposition to interracial intimacy, Bridge builders, White centrality, Multiply mixed, Emotional labor, Black by proxy, Couplehood, Ubiquitous multiracial person, Familial Racial Identity, Facultad, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Loving versus Virginia, Imagined ideal partners, Malevolent border patrolling, Multiracial partnership, Racially and ethnically ambiguous, Implicit whiteness, Implicitly interracial relationships, Racial socialization, Clearly mixed, “His” and “Her” Relationships, More than multiracial, Racing romance, Racial regulation, Multiracials in romantic relationships, Implicit blackness, Benevolent border patrolling, Romantic career, Parental protection, Patterned exclusion and inclusion, Racist compliments, Regulation of race and romance