It was the sixties. Everything was changing. People were demanding freedom of every kind. Freedom from racism, from the war in Vietnam, from sexism, from police brutality. So, why not, also, the freedom to marry whomever you choose? In 1965, before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the ban on mixed marriages was unconstitutional, in many states it was a crime to marry "outside your race." And less than 1% of Americans chose to commit that crime. This is the story of how I came to defy that ridiculous law.
Idea/Concept: Bell's polished memoir reflects on an interracial marriage in an era before the ban on mixed marriages was deemed unconstitutional. With its uncommon focus, this work shines a light on a tumultuous moment in history and a society on the brink of change.
Prose: Bell's prose is evocative and clear. The author writes with grace and authority, telling her story in a manner that is both inviting and edifying.
Originality: By focusing on the life of a marriage, Bell offers a unique framework for her memoir. Though she maintains this narrow focus, the specific circumstances provide a window into the greater social climate, offering a stark perspective on racism, politics, and cultural change.
Execution: The author effectively places her story within its historical context, blending the personal with the universal, while portraying individuals with compassion and circumstances with nuance.
Blurb: Bell’s easy and engaging style draws the reader into a story of personal drama inextricably entangled with the background of national turmoil.
Date Submitted: November 24, 2019