When being seen with a black man was taboo…

I’ve been wanting to write about this for a long time….but I always backed away from doing so, as it is still seen as a subject that’s loaded with hostility, albeit a silent hostility nowadays it seems.

I’m writing from a viewpoint that’s based in the late 60s, early 70s. In those days (and I hope I’m not already sounding like a grand-pappy!), it was indeed very rare to see mixed couples.

Yes, there were a few, but on the whole, they remained somewhat, shall we say, underground, away from the limelight.

I personally experienced the feelings from both sides of the fence, as it were…..I had male and female friends who were white as well as black, and the stories they used to tell of, would fill several books if I were to retell them today.

Suffice to say, white women seen with black men, or black women seen with white men, were chastised, frowned upon, and sadly in some cases, physically beaten, as happened to some of my friends.

Today’s example is of a very nice couple….the girl from a working class background and the guy a well-connected government official from his native West Indies, who once danced with Princess Margaret when she was at a convention in the islands.

Picture 751



In the photo here, they look as happy and confident as can be, but sometimes, I believe the camera can lie….lie in the sense that it will only show what is presented to it. In this photo, I believe the couple have put up a brave facade to all that turmoil going on within both their households.

The guy was being blasted with innuendos on a daily basis about why he chose to marry a white girl, and vice versa with the girl.

In fact, the grandfather of the girl had found out the home address of the black guy, and together with a burly son-in-law, paid him a threatening visit, warning him to back off with his relationship.

The happy ending to the story is that the couple did not heed any warnings given to them, and went on to marry and live a very long, happily married life, just like anybody else. Even the grandparents eventually accepted the union.

But we all need to sit down and think deeply about things like this…even today, more than 45 years after this photo was taken….today, when we have walked on the moon, have developed technologies that were unheard of in those years, progressed so much, so far……but….what would we do….if our daughter, our son, decided to marry a partner from another race….how would we feel….a very difficult question to answer indeed…..!





About filmcamera999

ME & MY PASSION! ok, you probably looked at the length of this "about me" page and thought, god, what's wrong with this guy!....does he have to start telling us his life story or something!!? well, youve come here now anyways, so why not hear what im like as a person, eh? ive been using film cameras for well over 30 years...my first one being the family yashicamat twin lens! over the years, ive both bought sold and collected film cameras...too many to tell the truth! in fact, ive been buying and selling cameras well before the internet came on the scene, so anything you purchase from me is backed by my self-styled moneyback promise.....if you dont like what youve bought, send it back within 14 days and you get all your money back...no arguments!! WHERE I STAND ON THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION! yes, i do use digital as well, but only as a ready-reckoner...i try and take most shots with my simple 2megapixel digicam....if the shot looks good, i pull out my film camera and shoot! i most defintely do not believe in digital manipulation of photographs....that in my eyes is not photography...its cheating! WHERE I USED TO LIVE, WHERE I AM NOW & WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO DO! i used to live in Ontario, Canada, but moved back to the UK a little while ago (its a long story..!)...but now i'm living in the one place i always wanted to be...Vancouver, BC..the next best thing to paradise on earth! as i work as a freelance writer as well as other things, i often find hat my work takes me to europe for short spells, so i get to travel a lot...not a blessing, as i just hate long flights! im a qualified Quality Assurance guy (you know...ISO 9000, auditing, documentation etc) ....99% of my skill-set is transferable so i can handle any admin or documentation-related roles....see you in BC! otherwise, i specialise in ISO 9000 auditing and documentation. my dream? to have my own thriving camera shop in Vancouver BC, whilst living in the mountains somewhere.....the best of both worlds!
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6 Responses to When being seen with a black man was taboo…

  1. I saw this this morning and wondered in what sort of world I lived.

    • hi, steve…thanks for dropping in…
      yes, we can all raise our voices when we hear of female abuses in 3rd world countries such as India, Pakistan, Middle East, Africa etc…but reading your link, it appears there are similar minded men alive and well in our western countries too…sad day to read about that…thanks for pointing it out…i may be using it in another of my post…hope you dont mind.

  2. The question “how would you feel” is actually pretty easy for me to answer. My daughter is of a mixed genetic background (I say mixed genetics because science tells us race does not exist), so I’ll just be happy if she’s happy with whatever partner she chooses. When her mother and I dated we used to get “those” looks in public, especially when she was pregnant. Thanks for the post.

    • hi, greg and thanks for that very personal post.
      my friend marty on this blog has been saying that we are becoming more accepting of this, but i beg to differ slightly…its more that we dont want to be SEEN to be negating other races, rather than accepting them for what they are…im the first one to put up my arms to say im guilty of it too, in some ways…

  3. MartyW47 says:

    I Think Martin Luther King said it best when he said; “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” If we judge each other by the content of our character and not the color of our skin the world will be a better place. We’re getting there, kicking and screaming but we’ll get there eventually. 😉 But, I do think society today is definitely more tolerant of inter-racial couples.

    • hey marty!
      yep, i tend to agree…we are becoming more and more accepting of people…whether they have black, brown, red, yellow, green or whatever color skin.
      but i get the feeling that its not due to any changes in acceptance per se…to me, it feels like people are AFRAID to be seen or known as not liking other races, even if not being totally racist….i’ve seen it in the faces of my own family…my wife for heaven’s sake…when she sees a mixed race couple…!
      so i agree with you, that we are still…still kicking and screaming in being told to accept this….i well recall an example given to us at university about racism….that was about a class of white kids, 30 in all, who were being monitored candidly to gauge heir acceptance of each other….it was found that the kids developed a dislike of their fellow students who did not have the majority color hair….those kids with black and red hair especially, were not accepted into strong friendships during the school year…whereas the others with mousy brown or blondish hair all stuck together…!
      people will always be the same! if its not hair, it’ll be something else….!

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