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'Encouraging development' Kelley Kenney, a professor at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, is among those who have bucked the black-white gender trend.A black woman, she has been married since 1988 to a fellow academic of Irish-Italian descent, and they have jointly offered programs for the American Counseling Association about interracial couples.“For interracial families, the great challenge is when the kids are going to leave home and face a world that is still very racialized.” Love can take its toll The stresses on interracial couples can take a toll.

Taunts and threats, including cross burnings, still occur sporadically.

About 6.8 million described themselves as multiracial — 2.4 percent of the population — adding statistical fuel to the ongoing debate over what race really means.

Kerry Ann Rockquemore, professor of African-American studies at the University of Illinois-Chicago, is the daughter of a black father and white mother, and says she is asked almost daily how she identifies herself.

In some categories of interracial marriage, there are distinct gender-related trends. Le, a Vietnamese-American who teaches sociology at the University of Massachusetts, says the pattern has created some friction in Asian-American communities.

More than twice as many black men marry white women as vice versa, and about three-fourths of white-Asian marriages involve white men and Asian women. “Some of the men view the women marrying whites as sellouts, and a lot of Asian women say, ’Well, we would want to date you more, but a lot of you are sexist or patriarchal,”’ said Le, who attributes the friction in part to gender stereotypes of Asians that have been perpetuated by American films and TV shows.

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