When Mary, a white woman, met Jake, a black man, it was the 1940s in Britain, and although they lived in a metropolis, Jake was one of very few black males.
Mary might have easily walked away, but she had fallen in love and would do everything to be with her love, even if her father ordered her to.
When she informed her father she was intending to marry Jake, he replied that she would never set foot in this home again if she married that guy.
When Jake moved over from Trinidad during the war, the couple met at the same technical institution where Mary was taking typing and shorthand classes and he was training with the Air Force.
Mary, who lived in Lancashire at the time, and Jake struck up a conversation, and he impressed Mary with his Shakespeare expertise.
He and his companion took Mary and her pal out for a picnic, and they were noticed by a woman riding by who was surprised to find two English girls conversing with black males, so she reported Mary to her dad. Her dad was horrified and forbade Mary from ever seeing him again.
After Jake returned to Trinidad, they wrote to each other, and he moved to the United Kingdom a few years later to find better-paying employment.
Jake proposed to Mary when she was 19 years old; she agreed, but when she informed her family, they kicked her out.
She just had one little suitcase with her when she left. In 1948, no relatives attended their registrar’s office wedding.
Although her father was ‘horrified’ that she was considering marrying a black guy, Mary didn’t understand that the rest of society felt the same way.
The first few years of their marriage in Birmingham were awful—she sobbed every day and rarely ate. Nobody spoke to them; they couldn’t find a place to live since no one would rent to a black guy, and they didn’t have any money.
Individuals would point at them as they walked down the street together, Mary stated.
Mary got pregnant, and she and Joseph were excited about becoming parents. However, when Mary was 8 months pregnant, she gave birth to a stillborn child.
With Mary working as a teacher and advancing to assistant principal of a British school and Jake finding a position with the Post Office, their circumstances did improve. They established new acquaintances; however, Mary said that she felt compelled to inform people that her husband was black before introducing them to him.
Mary, 84, and Jake, 89, reside in Solihull, just south of Birmingham, and just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.
Jake says he has no remorse, but that today’s young black kids have no concept of what it was like for him in 1940s Britain.
When he first came to the United Kingdom, he was exposed to abuse on a daily basis. Once he was on a bus and a guy wiped his hands over his neck and said: ‘I wanted to check if the dirt would come off.’
And one couldn’t work in an office back then since a black guy in an office with all the white females wasn’t considered safe.
Despite the difficulties, discrimination, and abuse, the pair is still deeply in love and has no qualms about marrying, having enjoyed almost 70 years of marital happiness.
Their love for one another has really overcome everything; they are a wonderful example, and we wish them many more years of happiness.