But these new signs of openness do not necessarily translate into approval for most of these couples.
Teresa Johnson, a white social worker, has been married to Ralph Johnson, a black actor, for 17 years.
"Here we are, a typical middle-class family," she said. K." Marriages between blacks and whites make up a tiny fraction of all married couples in the country -- about 4 of every 1,000.
But the numbers are rising, as well as the ratio, which was 1.5 out of 1,000 in 1970.
They helped each other with class work and goaded each other to raise their hands. They have survived their families' shock and disapproval and the stares and unwelcome comments of strangers.
Smith, a significant proportion of whites -- 1 in 5 -- still believe interracial marriage should be illegal, as against 2 in 5 whites asked the question in 1972.
"They feel so strongly about it that they don't even want to leave it up to the individual," said Dr. Further, 66 percent of whites said they would oppose a close relative's marrying a black person.
To protect this secret, she has not been to a family wedding or funeral since she married, for fear that the topic might come up. But they were horrified at the news and dared not let it slip.
She did not even bother to tell them she was pregnant the last time.