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arl Warren, the 16th chief justice of the United States said, in his opinion, that the choice of marrying or not marrying people from other races is personal and that it’s inappropriate for the states to have control over such aspects of humanity. Before this statement became one of the key references in the fight for freedom of marriage, the practice of whites falling in love and marrying Asians and blacks were widely not accepted. Americans who did it at the time faced tremendous criticism from all angles of the country.

Everyone thought that Zephaniah Kingsley (who manumitted four slaves and then married them) was probably out of his mind when he said that the benefits of marrying blacks include producing healthier and more beautiful children, as opposed to the public opinion at the time. How about John Rolfe? A beastly successful tobacco planter, who married Pocahontas, a woman from Powhatan?

John Rolfe wedding his manumitted Pocahontas slave. | Source


Blacks had already been acquiring lands, building businesses, and meddling in warfare before the civil war. When they started falling in love and attempting to marry white women, white men realized that they were biting more than they can chew. You can have our lands, businesses, and even oil but we aren’t gonna allow you touch our ladies, they say. Even with these racist fueled destructive public opinions, interracial extramarital relationships were somewhat quite common in the lower class.

Some women of note had something for black men. I don’t know, maybe because black men can perform better in bed, a statement I found so mythical.

William G. Allen was almost lynched
When you talk about prominent figures who fought hard to sustain racial equality and non-interracial education, we need to refer to the forgotten professor, William G. Allen. Belonging to a free Mulatto mother and white father, William like most other blacks, at the time, faced racism at its highest level. He was accepted into a newly opened school, that belonged to a clergyman in 1838, who introduced him to an abolitionist, Gerrit Smith. Besides teaching fugitive slaves in Canada, Allen co-edited an abolition newspaper, the National Watchman. To make the story short, Allen found love at his new school, unfortunately with a white lady, Mary E King.

She loved him, and he loved her, to this end, they decided to begin a relationship. Her parent offered opposition at first, but with time, they accepted him. Regardless of her parents’ mysterious tolerance, the larger white community thought that the decision lies on everybody’s shoulders. This union started what is known as the anti-abolitionist movement. 500 white men were prepared to lynch him, or, perhaps humiliate him, as some sources would claim. Allen and his bride escaped to London, far away from the prying eyes of enemies. They got married and raised four kids together.

We’ll pull out your eyes and break your legs
Sammy Davis Jr. was one of the best actors in America during the 50s, a handsome black individual, who was also one of the most popular too. Things would change for Sammy when he developed an affection for a fellow white actress. He was on with Kim Novak, who, also at the time, was at the top of the game. Gratitude to the series that promoted her fame, The Man with the Golden Arm and Pal Joey.

They were both popular, so the rumor traveled faster and wider. Davis realized that this was going to have a tremendous negative impact on her lover’s career. He apologized and wanted to end things before they get completely out of hand. But what did she do? Novak was deeply in love, there was no way she would allow the movie industry to achieve its aim. At the risk of her career, she said “The studio doesn’t own me!”

Sammmy Davis Jr and Kim Novak. | source


Even though everyone seems to have been told about the conspiracy, there wasn’t much evidence to tie them. Revealing in his autobiography, Davis said that the outings he shared with her were hidden from the public, thanks to his friend, Sibler. There were days he hid under a black blanket in the back seat while she drives.

Another but the more terrifying rumor was out. Davis, who was visiting Novak and her parents in Las Vegas, was said to be making an engagement agreement with the family. Harry Corn, a studio head at Columbia Picture, who had the ambition to replace Rita Hayworth with Novak, was the first to react. He knew that Novak was a potential superstar, far beyond the realm of America. A big advantage to promoting himself and Columbia Picture. There was no way he would allow a black man to jeopardize this.

He found Davis’s father, and through him, he sent a threat. He said he would break his legs and pop out his eyeballs if he didn’t marry a black woman immediately. Fear gripped him, he knew what Corn could do, just like he knew how many thug groups he had in control. Davis had no other choice, to save dear life he had to marry a black lady, and offered her a price of about $10,000 to act as his so-called wife.

Anti-miscegenation (criminalizing interracial marriage) law, which was first passed by the Maryland assembly in 1691, was dissolved in 1967 by the U.S supreme court, led by Earl Warren. Within this period of 276 years, in the 1800s, 29 states had anti-miscegenation laws, California becomes one of the earliest states to lift the ban, 24 states still had the law in place in the 20s, and interracial couples would be charged with a felony, and sentenced to serve five years if found guilty, Richard and Mildred Loving were dragged out of bed into the open for living together as an interracial couple.

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