For people of color, friendships can be complicated and can often involve navigating between segregated groups. This is especially true for those of us who might have attended a predominately white institution or earn a living in fields that aren’t particularly diverse. Even though many factors, such as religious beliefs, sexual orientation, income and tastes in music and food can determine the group of people we call friends, race continues to be a defining characteristic in the social relationships of most Americans.
According to a recent study conducted by Robert Jones of the Public Religion Research Institute, even as a minority group, blacks are the overwhelming majority in any black person’s group of friends. The study assumed that both blacks and whites had 100 friends and came up with the following numbers.
Essentially, a black person with 100 friends would have 83 black friends, 8 white friends, 0 asian friends and 9 friends who are of mixed race or identify as another racial category.
But of course, mere numbers don’t tell the whole story. We still live in a pretty segregated society. Who we chose to call “friend” often comes down to those who offer us comfort, sanity, acceptance, and empathy. What does your friend group look like?