Before It Was Legal: a black-white marriage (1945-1987)


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They gave up family, friends, even country, to make a life together. 

“Would you marry a Negro?” the group of young white social workers asked each other over dinner. “If he’s the kind of man I’m attracted to,” Anna Harley answered. She was, in fact, seeing Daniel Winters, a black man, regularly.

Their forty-two-year marriage would span key historical periods of the 20th century and eventually take the couple from Indiana to Mexico City. There, for the first time, Daniel could work in the profession he’d been educated for. Freed from U.S. racism, he felt “as Mexican as chile verde.” Meanwhile, Anna, a reserved blond woman who struggled with speaking Spanish, experienced no similar sense of liberation.

Before It Was Legal is not a happily-ever-after story, but an honest portrayal of the love and hurt that any two people, not just a bi-racial couple, may encounter in an intimate relationship. It is the story of an independent white woman, a talented black man, and the times in which these two remarkable people lived.