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American Love Stories

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Here's a taste of what happened in the American Love Stories dialogue groups. The exchanges below were selected from over 440 participant-created topics containing 5000 messages.

ALS dialogue groups were composed of roughly 30 people who started at the same time and participated for 3 weeks. They chose to join one of three types of groups when they signed up:

• Relationship Groups began by discussing bridging differences within relationships

• TV Series Groups were for people who wanted to talk about the broadcast

• 25 and Under Groups were composed of people twenty-five and under and began with either topic.

Groups were free to open up new topics for discussion, and some of those exchanges are highlighted as well.

on Love and Dating

  • Broken Hearts: Participants open up online
  • Plus-size women discuss interracial dating
  • Can exclusively dating Black men be called racist?
  • When loved ones use racial differences to hurt you
  • Do loving, interracial relationships really know no bounds?
  • When black men prefer white women
  • Love & marriage on the Internet
  • Condemning, or coping with, interfaith marriages?
  • Accepting differences: Can white men do it?
  • Unconditional love: Who gets it and who doesn't
  • An appreciation for inner beauty: are Black men more accepting?

    on Family

  • "Lightening up" your children
  • Seeking reconciliation with your family
  • Looking for answers? Insight into interracial families
  • Reject your family or accept their narrow-mindedness?
  • What about the children? How to help your bi-racial children cope
  • The importance of multi-cultural communities
  • How interracial couples deal with their families
  • Nourishing your children's interracial identity
  • Discussing race issues with your bi-racial family
  • Dealing with distressed parents
  • "Is she adopted?" white women bond over society's confusion about their darker skinned children
  • Small town or big city: Raising bi-racial children?
  • Is having bi-racial children a good idea?
  • Adopting bi-racial children

    on Biases and Identity

  • Interracial couples who cringe at seeing other interracial couples
  • Coping with the violence within
  • Feeling culturally connected
  • Us & Them: Class and racial divides
  • A "bias against fat people"
  • Defining race and its impact on identity
  • Reflections on growing up half-deaf and ostracized
  • Code-switching: struggling to be yourself on both sides of the race line
  • Is America fixated on labels and identity?
  • Recognizing your own biases
  • The impact of self-applied labels
  • What do people really think about bi-racial couples?
  • Blacks discuss whether or not they are collectively inferior to whites
  • Are African Americans more accepting of biracial individuals?
  • Are the young more prejudiced towards the deaf?

    on Taking Action

  • Combatting bigotry is a daily routine
  • "I have a dream." Was it the wrong dream?
  • Understanding affirmative action -- How can change really occur?
  • Stop talking and start doing
  • Fearing & preventing hate based violence

    on Communication

  • A few dialogue group members introduce themselves
  • Responding to an antagonist
  • What participants have learned from the ALS dialogue
  • A few words in praise of this forum
  • Scorning comfort: the importance of open dialogue
  • The pros and cons of a colorblind society
  • The Black vernacular
  • Who made me the spokeswoman for my race?
  • Is racism more prevalent in America?
  • A few goodbyes
  • A few more goodbyes

    on Discussions of Difference

  • Black & white Women: It's not so black & white
  • Does racism start with recognition of skin color?
  • Why female friends can cross the color line
  • Trying to make friends with the opposite race
  • Reckoning with the past -- an antidote to racism?
  • Fixated on racism -- Participants square off
  • Why are some Blacks transfixed on past mistreatments? Participants respond
  • Black and white women get frank about the reality of racism
  • Negotiating interfaith relationships

    on Relating and Reacting to the Sims Family

  • First reactions to American Love Stories
  • Sympathizing with Cicily's "too white" identity
  • "It's Bill's Fault" -- Participants sound off on the effect of an absent father
  • Understanding and relating to Cicily
  • Does the Wilson-Sims household represent the typical interracial family?
  • Reacting to Cicily's semester in Nigeria
  • Relating to the Sims family




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