Erica Chito Childs is the author of Fade to Black and White: Interracial Images in Popular Culture. She has two interracial children of her own, providing her with a first-hand experience of the topic of interracial couples. The book is based on her own research of how interracial couples are portrayed. The first way she describes is that people are still “constructing interracial relationships as a problem” (6). She writes how “when images of interracial trysts do emerge, they tend to be deviant, ranging from temporary hookups, absurd pairings, dangerous encounters, relationships in a remote or distant land, or symbolic of a spiral into disorder and chaos” (6). This shows that interracial couples are trying to be deviant, and that it is strange that they would truly want to be together. Childs also discusses that people privilege, protect and empower whiteness (8). She states that people have the tendency to use interracial relationships to show how good and accepting white people are to be in a relationship with a person outside of their own race.
It is also seen as a form of rebellion when a person enters an interracial relationship. When a woman is found to be involved with a man of another race, they are considered to be rebelling. “The myth of white womanhood as the epitome of beauty, femininity and purity emerged as part of the fabric of American society and popular culture.. The same white male mind that transformed African men and women into slaves transformed white women into possessions that must be protected and repressed.” (Childs 95). This quote shows that white women are held to a high value and that if a white woman enters a relationship with a man of another race, she is no longer pure and beautiful. With this view, a white woman in an interracial relationship loses her worth and is inferior to white women who are with white men.
Television is the most common way people get their information. Television also gives people a view of life outside of their regular routines. At the same time, some people believe that what they see on television is exactly what the world is like. This may be true of people who do not live in a diverse area or who do not interact with people outside of their race. Childs dedicates an entire chapter to interracial relationship on primetime television (33). She mentions I Love Lucy, which was the first television show to feature an interracial couple. The executives for the show were reluctant to cast the actors because they did not know how the public would react to a “Latin as the husband of an ‘All American girl’” (Childs 34). The reluctance of the executives prove that society is not accepting to new things. If it was not believed to be a problem, there would have been to reason to question whether or not to put it on television.
Childs talks about other television shows with casts