The rising visibility of interracial couples calls for increased attention to the overlapping of culture and race, in safe spaces centered on small-group dynamics, or in public spaces where peoples of African descent are under the public gaze. This comparative study seeks to de-center the U.S-centered viewpoint common to much of the literature on black/white relations. Based on nine years of fieldwork in the American South and in France, Coquet shows many unexpected parallels between the two societies. Gendered perceptions of cultural authenticity and sexual ethics are a guiding thread, being inseparable from the historical and political contingencies (re-)defining acceptable forms of dating, marrying, and parenting among cis-heterosexual couples in both societies. Her account emphasizes resilience and agency as couples seek to protect themselves and their children, while their extended or symbolic kinship networks help white partners acknowledge the existence of racial privilege.
Table of Contents
Introduction: What’s Love Got to Do with It? Part I. Historical Backgrounds "Out of a past that's rooted in shame": How Interracial Marriage Became a Stigma Chapter 1. Criminalizing Interracial Attraction to Enshrine White Property in America Chapter 2. Religion and Gender in the Construction of Black Otherness in Metropolitan France Part II. Comparative Sociological Analysis "Good fences make good neighbors": Internalizing and Contesting the White Racial Frame int eh Realm of Intimacy Today Chapter 3. Inscribing Race and Gender in a "Colorblind" Era: How Partners are Socialized Against Dating "Out" Chapter 4. Current Repercussions of the Representations of Black/White Couples in France and Alabama: Is it About "Selling Out" or Becoming Kin? Chapter 5. Interracial Fusion? Maintaining a Partnership and Starting a Family with more than one Cultural Model Chapter 6. Fantasizing the Child: How Successfully do Partners Negotiate Racial Otherness when Reflecting on Parenthood and Parenting?
Cécile Coquet-Mokoko is a Professor of African American Studies, US Cultural History, and Gender Studies at the University of Versailles-St Quentin (France). She taught African American Studies for three semesters at the University of Alabama in 2009-2010. Her publications focus on African American religious traditions and oratory, and race and gender relations in the USA