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But that’s exactly what she did last month when she wed Gerry Hanlon, 62, a social-media manager for the Maryland Transit Administration.“I might have had a different reaction if I met Gerry when I was 25,” she said.Back then, fresh out of Duke and Harvard, she believed that part of being a successful African-American woman meant being in a strong African-American marriage. “There are so many moments when we’ve learned to appreciate the differences in the way we walk through this world,” she said. Hanlon, whose sons have been very accepting of their father’s new wife, said that one of the things he loves about his relationship with Ms. Whether it’s a serious discussion about police brutality or pointing out a privilege he takes for granted as a white man, he said, “we often end in a deep dive on race.”Still, they’ve been surprised at how often they forget that they’re a different color at all. Nelson said: “If my friends are about to say something about white people, they might look over at Gerry and say: ‘Gerry, you know we’re not talking about you.’Gerry likes to joke: ‘Of course not.As I pushed him around the neighborhood, I thought of him as the perfect brown baby, soft-skinned and tulip-lipped, with a full head of black hair, even if it was the opposite of my blond waves and fair skin.“He’s adorable. ” a middle-aged white woman asked me outside Barnes & Noble on Broadway one day, mistaking me for a nanny.“I am his mother,” I told her.“His daddy is Filipino.”“Well, good for you,” she said.The rates were highest in Honolulu (42 percent), Las Vegas (31 percent), and Santa Barbara (30 percent).
As they fell in love, she kept reminding him: “I’m black. Marie Nelson, 44, a vice president for news and independent films at PBS who lives in Hyattsville, Md., admits she never saw herself marrying a white man.It’s a sentiment that mixed-race couples hear all too frequently, as interracial marriages have become increasingly common in the United States since 1967, when the Supreme Court’s decision in Loving v. The story of the couple whose relationship led to the court ruling is chronicled in the movie, “Loving,” now in theaters.In 2013, 12 percent of all new marriages were interracial, the Pew Research Center reported.Rates have steadily increased since 1967, when the Supreme Court’s ruling barred states from outlawing interracial marriage.Although 11 percent of white newlyweds are now married to someone of a different race or ethnicity, white people are still the least likely of all major racial or ethnic groups to intermarry.