For my last part of the Black History Month Swirling in History Series, I would like to share some photographs of Vintage couples starting from the 1950s. The pics and excerpts are from my upcoming book Vintage Swirl in Pictures: Black Woman Interracial Marriage & Relationships from Pre Colonial to the 1960s. The photographs in this post depict pioneering couples many of whom married when it was illegal in most states to do so. We owe so much to the forward thinking and progressive women who dared to go against the status quo and marry a white or non black man. They paved the way. Because most were covered by Jet, Tan, Brown, Ebony and Life magazines, it is safe to assume they were mainly celebrities or other newsworthy unions. There were many more who did not get coverage as they were average people. But for the few pictures we do have, we can see that interracial marriage for black women is not a novel concept. It has been happening nearly since time began. Not all the couples stayed together, but that was not necessarily due to race as people do break up for a variety of reasons. I hope you enjoy the pics and wet your appetites enough to look forward to my book.
Weren’t they a lovely couple? Stephen Fratallone, writing for”Jazz Connection Magazine” quotes Louie on racial incidents during their marriage.
“Because Pearl was the kind of lady she was, there were many people who by-passed that,” Bellson said. “She was one of those people everyone loved. We had a few incidents over the years, but not many. I received a letter when we first got married that was very derogatory, very racial. We didn’t think anything of it, but rather, we felt sorry for the person who wrote the letter.”
A great way to look at it then, a great way to look at it now. Photo – Jet Magazine Jan. 27, 1955
Jet Magazine Jan 10, 1957.
Wow a Cowgirl!
Jet Magazine June 25, 1953
Interracial Marriage, Your Job Can Lead to Interracial Wedlock – Brown Magazine, April, 1954
Marlon Brando & Barbara Roberts on Beach – Jet Magazine, August 18, 1955
and ended the relationship. He was weak.
Jet Magazine, May 15, 1952