Multiracial population growing

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Sheronda Smith crossed the color line for love in her first marriage. So when she did it again, she and her husband, Joshua, expected the disapproving looks they sometimes got from strangers.

Joshua and Sheronda Smith live in Evans with their four mixed-race teen children from Sheronda's first biracial marriage.   Special
Special
Joshua and Sheronda Smith live in Evans with their four mixed-race teen children from Sheronda's first biracial marriage.

Sheronda is African-American and Joshua is white. Both are stationed at Fort Gordon. They live in Evans with their four mixed-race teenagers from Sheronda's first marriage.

"It's a tough fight to make a biracial marriage work," Sheronda said. "You've got to work at it and be willing to fight for what you have."

That fight might be getting a little easier for her and her family.

Figures from the 2010 census show the mixed-race population is still small in number, but growing fast.

In Georgia, 2 percent of the population is now multiracial, up from 1.2 percent in 2000. That's a 68 percent increase in 10 years, making it the fastest growing racial demographic in the state. Nationally, multiracial population growth rate was about 50 percent.

Richmond and Columbia counties also saw increases. Richmond County's multiracial population grew from 1.6 percent to 2.6 percent between 2000 and 2010, up 62 percent. In Columbia County, it grew from 1.1 percent to 2.8 percent, up 151 percent.

Though the starting point from 2000 was a small number, those changes represent real progress, said William A. Reese, an Augusta State University sociology professor.

"What's more important than an increase in the multiracial population is what that means," he said. "It means more people from different races are marrying."

Among sociologists, marriage is considered the final barrier between races. Racism is considered over when intermarriage becomes common, Reese said.

The multiracial population is probably growing for two reasons, he said. There are more biracial couples, meaning more biracial children. But there are also more people identifying themselves as multiracial, instead of choosing one race or another.

When biracial unions succeed, producing a Tiger Woods or Barack Obama, it goes a long way toward removing the stigma from such relationships, Reese said.

"Stereotypes and prejudices are based on ignorance. So, when there's a dramatic example of success, it does a lot to break down the stereotype," he said.

Sheronda said she has seen plenty of those stereotypes during both marriages. Some close friends distanced themselves. The service at restaurants was sometimes slower. Real estate agents steered her family toward poorer neighborhoods. A neighbor refused to wave back to her when she walked up the street, hand in hand with her husband.

"My husband and I just looked at each other," she said. "I know it was because he was there. I've waved every time I've passed her house and she always waved back before."

Despite such incidents, she sees small changes in attitudes. In the past when she registered her kids for school, she was advised to check the box saying they were black. When she moved to Evans in 2006, there was a box for five races and also a box that said "biracial."

"It was like, wow, what's that? I'd never seen that before," she said. "I think people are becoming more aware. They're recognizing there are people who are biracial."

Increase seen in area, state

Percentage-wise, the fastest growing racial demographic in the state of Georgia, including Richmond and Columbia counties, are those who consider themselves mixed race.

 20002010CHANGE
Richmond County3,2305,23062%
Columbia County1,3913,489151%
Georgia114,188191,56968%

Source: 2010 census

Comments (37) Add comment
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Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 03/27/11 - 05:53 am
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Well, according to that

Well, according to that change, in 100 years they will make up almost 10%!!!

I do think that this line, "When biracial unions succeed, producing a Tiger Woods or Barack Obama, it goes a long way toward removing the stigma from such relationships, Reese said" ould be taken either way.

Good and bad examples at the same time...

Brad

charliemanson
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charliemanson 03/27/11 - 08:16 am
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In my opinion, very few

In my opinion, very few people in America aren't 'multi-' in some sort of way.

charliemanson
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charliemanson 03/27/11 - 08:16 am
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Brad states, "Good and bad

Brad states, "Good and bad examples at the same time..."

------------------

And how did the 'Mighty Brad' determine what is good or bad???

ags59
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ags59 03/27/11 - 09:03 am
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As long as your spouse treats

As long as your spouse treats you right what does it matter if they are black,white or anything else? All GODs people are created equal no one is better than anyone else if they think they are its in their mind only.

Augusta resident
1368
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Augusta resident 03/27/11 - 09:22 am
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Why don't they just say what

Why don't they just say what they really mean? Black and White Mixed, not multi racial. Who cares about White and Cherokee? Nobody!

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/27/11 - 09:24 am
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Yeah, the whole concept is

Yeah, the whole concept is overblown. When Germans and Irish folks wed, nothing much was made of it. When Hispanics and whites marry, ditto. America is an amalgamation of races.

What I find far more relevant is the influx of Spanish speaking people. They are growing in Georgia at an astronomical rate due to immigration and their birth rate. Whites will be in the minority in a couple of decades in Georgia and many other states. Who knows if that will be good or bad....or maybe just won't matter.

augustadog
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augustadog 03/27/11 - 10:28 am
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Who Cares !!!! Now when most

Who Cares !!!!
Now when most people can say that, we're over it.

Dixieman
14465
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Dixieman 03/27/11 - 10:37 am
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Tautology of the

Tautology of the week:

"Though the starting point from 2000 was a small number, those changes represent real progress, said William A. Reese, an Augusta State University sociology professor.

"'What's more important than an increase in the multiracial population is what that means,' he said. 'It means more people from different races are marrying.'"

Dixieman
14465
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Dixieman 03/27/11 - 10:56 am
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In preppy circles,

In preppy circles, "interracial romance" means dating someone from Canada.

countyman
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countyman 03/27/11 - 12:05 pm
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Aren't Aiken, Mcduffie,

Aren't Aiken, Mcduffie, Edgefield, & Burke counties apart of the metro too?

A interracial family moved to Evans and actually thought none of their neighbors would have a problem... They should have looked into Grovetown or to a lesser extent Martinez if they wanted to live in Columbia County...

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/27/11 - 12:25 pm
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Countyman said, "A

Countyman said, "A interracial family moved to Evans and actually thought none of their neighbors would have a problem... They should have looked into Grovetown or to a lesser extent Martinez if they wanted to live in Columbia County..."

You probably didn't mean it, but that's discriminatory and stereotyping. They can live anywhere they want. To say an area is less tolerant than another is stereotyping. You actually believe they shouldn't have moved to Evans because you mistakenly believe that area is racially predjudiced? Should signs warning multi-racial couples be posted like your comment?

countyman
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countyman 03/27/11 - 12:50 pm
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Riverman, The comment was

Riverman, The comment was based on living in Columbia County before..

My statement definitely didn't mean the entire Evans area is prejudice..... I'm saying anybody can drive around Evans and Grovetown and notice which city is more diverse...

If somebody wanted to live in a diverse area in RC, I would suggest West Augusta over the city of Hephzibah...

dani
12
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dani 03/27/11 - 12:55 pm
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I know several Mexican

I know several Mexican -American interracial couples. As the Hispanic population grows, so will the marriages.

Jakki2488
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Jakki2488 03/27/11 - 01:06 pm
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Brad at first I agreed with

Brad at first I agreed with your comment, a good example and a bad example, but actually these are two good examples. Obama and Woods both broke barriers and opened doors. Though in writing that I have to wonder what it says about us as a nation? We like to say that America is a melting pot, but are we? When we see our citizens as Black, White, Red, Yellow, etc., are we melting? We are all racist to a degree, but hate to admit it. The day we stop seeing and calling color we have grown as a nation and a person.

WW1949
19
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WW1949 03/27/11 - 01:24 pm
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Jackie, then the race

Jackie, then the race questions on any application should be removed and all affermative action requirements and government set-asides be done away with because the government sees us a black, white, red, and yellow.

Riverman1
82450
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Riverman1 03/27/11 - 01:43 pm
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Countyman, the problem with

Countyman, the problem with that is who said they wanted to live in "a more diverse area"? They wanted to live in Evans. It's wrong to suggest they should live somewhere else with more blacks just because the wife is black. See what I mean?

blacklion1001
21
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blacklion1001 03/27/11 - 01:53 pm
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Come on people. We are

Come on people. We are better than this, I hope.

Jakki2488
0
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Jakki2488 03/27/11 - 02:01 pm
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WW1949, we are the

WW1949, we are the government. It is not some invisible force that acts on its own accord. Depending on the person reviewing the application race questions have been a hindrance or a help for applicants. I personally think they serve no purpose, the person is qualified or they are not. Additionally, let’s be sure to point out that affirmative action and set-asides have helped many non-traditional minorities; white females serving as "president" of many small businesses. Many of these programs of which you speak have been dismantled over the years, so their impact have been diluted.

WW1949
19
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WW1949 03/27/11 - 03:31 pm
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Jackie, you are correct about

Jackie, you are correct about the race question. It hurts some and helps some. I just think like you that a person should stand on their own merits and qualifications and not a percentage of one race or another in the job mix. Most people doing government contracting will alter the make up of their company to make them better qualified to receive a contract because of race or gender. They also can get a contract at more money by doing this. This is wrong and should not be allowed. The contracts and jobs should be awarded to whom ever is the best qualified-period. You are also correct in saying that we are the government but you know well that a politician is going to do whatever he or she wants to do when elected and most will follow the party line good or bad to protect their job and their influence.

countyman
19745
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countyman 03/27/11 - 04:06 pm
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Riverman, Where does the

Riverman, Where does the article say the family wanted to live in Evans from the start? The article only says they ended up moving to Evans...

Who said anything about one particular race? I never mentioned black people once in my comment.. I guess when you hear somebody use the word ''diverse'' you automatically think of black people..

The city of Grovetown has a good portion of blacks, whites, hispanics, etc.. In my opinion Grovetown happens to be more tolerant compared to Evans... Maybe it's because parts of Grovetown are similar to South Augusta.. Alot of the new homes are based on future military families moving here.. The military is full of interracial couples..

Riverman1
82450
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Riverman1 03/27/11 - 04:32 pm
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Countyman, let's go over a

Countyman, let's go over a few points. The couple moved to Evans so we must assume they wanted to live here. Are you saying they didn't want to, but had to? Where do you get that idea? She is black and he is white. That's the multiracial situation in this article.

You said, "A interracial family moved to Evans and actually thought none of their neighbors would have a problem... They should have looked into Grovetown or to a lesser extent Martinez if they wanted to live in Columbia County..."

You were wrong to suggest they should have moved to some other place than Evans. Now you are digging a deeper hole suggesting they would be better off in Grovetown because you say it's like South Augusta. There are lots of military familes in Evans. This article is not another Richmond Cty v. Columbia Cty one. You have wrongly tried to make it into that.

follower
59
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follower 03/27/11 - 04:42 pm
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Folks, there is no way that

Folks, there is no way that we'll ever be able to look at another person and not recognize that they are black, white, hispanic, nice looking, homely, thin, no so thin.......or whatever physical characteristic the eye sees. And why should we? Shouldn't we acknowledge that, and then judge them by who they are inside, putting aside the stereotypes?

To say you don't notice someone is one color or another is a lie. Now, what it causes you to think is where an introspective inventory of one's self may be in order.

Denying the obvious is stupid. Just as judging someone because they are physically different is also stupid. Should we not celebrate the diversity in each of us, and at the same time marvel over the unity in all of us.

AutumnLeaves
7143
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AutumnLeaves 03/27/11 - 04:55 pm
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You can't tell the racial

You can't tell the racial background of someone by looking at them. No one would know my racial background by looking at me. The only way to know all the races in your ancestry is by DNA. As far as I'm concerned everyone is mixed race. We might as well consider ourselves the human race and get over it.

Dixieman
14465
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Dixieman 03/27/11 - 05:37 pm
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My wife is Asian.

My wife is Asian.

dougk
3
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dougk 03/27/11 - 05:40 pm
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Race is a socially contrived
Unpublished

Race is a socially contrived concept with no biological/genetic basis.
Skin color and hair texture and the like are only window dressings which are miniscule properties in a biological profile.
If a white guy wanted to guess who, between his black neighbor or his white neighbor, who is more similar to him genetically, his best guess is to flip a coin.

Jakki2488
0
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Jakki2488 03/27/11 - 05:53 pm
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AutumnLeaves no matter what

AutumnLeaves no matter what you view yourself to be, it’s how the world sees you that will dictate a lot, unfortunately. Not fair, just true. People judge others based on their perceptions. Tiger Woods created the phrase Cablinasian to identify his ethnicity, but as you see from the above article, and others, he is viewed by the world as a black man. No matter his created label of Cablinasian. It’s time for this nation to retire race. We all need to unite and become Americans.

AutumnLeaves
7143
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AutumnLeaves 03/27/11 - 05:57 pm
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Dixieman, she may look Asian,

Dixieman, she may look Asian, she may have Asian ancestors, but the only way to know her (or anyone else's) full racial makeup is by DNA. I know I am at least two races, so I'm pretty sure, there are more races represented in my DNA I DON'T know about. Yet. Anyone on any reasonably populated part of this planet that thinks they are just one race is just deceiving himself or herself. Sure there may be a rare exception if there is an isolated group of people that has been separated from the rest of the human race since the dawn of humankind. But as the years go on, that is less and less likely.

dougk
3
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dougk 03/27/11 - 06:00 pm
0
0
There are no "race" markers
Unpublished

There are no "race" markers in DNA, at least to the point to which "race" has been socially defined.

AutumnLeaves
7143
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AutumnLeaves 03/27/11 - 06:01 pm
0
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Just for the record Jakki248.

Just for the record Jakki248. I am perceived to be Caucasian. I am not. I find the perception that I am Caucasian has been unfortunate at times. I have heard the most horrific prejudice from all races, including whites. Occasionally, I wait until they have stuck their foots in their mouths and then tell them my ancestry.

dougk
3
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dougk 03/27/11 - 06:32 pm
0
0
Yea, Autumn....isn't that a
Unpublished

Yea, Autumn....isn't that a crock? I wish racist white people would learn that not all people who are white share their ignorant and vile racist attitudes.

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