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April 5th, 2012
10:49 AM ET

Tonight on AC360: Interracial dating exposes divide between teens and parents

Editor's note: Tune in to AC360 tonight for the surprising results of a groundbreaking new study on children and race at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.

(CNN) – Luke, a white seventh grader, believes his parents would not be supportive if he dated an African-American girl. "Honestly I don't think my parents would be too happy because ... if you marry a black girl, you're connected to their family now," he said, adding, "and who knows what her family is really like?"

Jimmy, a black seventh grader, recounted that after he had several white girlfriends, his parents seemed to interpret it as an affront to his own race. "They said, 'Why not your own kind?' because all my girls have been white," he said, adding, "it's not like they were like, 'You need to choose a black girl,' it's just they were asking me why I like white girls and I was just like, 'there's no ... specific reason.' "

Their stories highlight a divide not between the races, but between the generations. Both teens participated in an Anderson Cooper 360° study on children and race. Many students reported discouragement of interracial dating from their parents, or those of their friends, with reactions ranging from wariness to outright forbiddance.

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Filed under: Kids on Race • Race in America
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  1. Pana Delano

    Big up to Lukes parents. Perfect answer from his father!

    April 5, 2012 at 4:04 pm |