Some moons ago, my first official "date" was with a black boy. (I am white, by the way.) Technically he was half-black, but in the remote Maine community where I grew up, it didn't make much difference either way. There was one black family in town; they had only one child around my age, so he was the only black kid in my school. We didn't think of him as "black" or "half-black" or "mulatto," though. We thought of him as Jeff. That experience has largely defined race relations for me.
Not so, of course, for much of our nation's history and many of our nation's people.
But interesting new trends are emerging from the 2010 U.S. Census, particularly in race dynamics. One finding is that a more general population shift to the southern states now includes an increased number of African Americans who, for the past century, have lived in higher concentrations in the Northeast. Perhaps related to this trend are reports that in the Deep South, inter-racial marriages are gaining wider acceptance.