As a product of an interracial couple, and whose family and country is a giant melting pot, seeing same race couples in the media and in movies surprised me growing up. Interracial couples have been around for hundreds of years so why wasn’t the media and entertainment world not showing a true depiction of couples in the real world? It never occurred to me the reasons were because people didn’t want to see them, and why it took so long for interracial couples to show up on the big screen.
Despite the slow progress, the change started in the early nineteen hundreds. A little factoid I had the pleasure of discovering for myself. The stories depicted interracial couples, however actors portraying the true ethnicity of the characters weren’t used until later years-around the sixties.
Many people, myself included, assumed the first onscreen TV kiss was in 1968 on Star Trek, but a recent discovery uncovered a play in 1962 in the UK beat out Captain Kirk and Uhura. Depite coming in second, Gene Roddenberry was a visionary who showed us a glimpse of the future with difference races living and working in unity and peace.
While researching information for this blog post, I was surprised to find movies about interracial couples dating back to silence films in 1917. My favorites movies showing interracial romance-so far-are Soul Man, La Bamba, The Lover, The Bodyguard, The Joy Luck Club, and Othello. The character’s stories were relatable. The movies depicted strong women from different backgrounds, and how race affected their lives, and decisions as well as the people around them. The stories and characters reflected real life, despite being fictional.
My goal when I started writing was to publish stories about interracial couples and give them a voice. I was twelve. Over the years, the publishing industry changed before my first book, FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ was published in 2012. While my book doesn’t have an interracial couple on the cover, many books covers today boast a range diversity in color and sexuality. I love the change, as it’s a realistic view of the world we live in and the couples in our world.
In my book PERSUADING LOLA, the main characters Lola and William face the same challenges most mixed couples face with one added bonus. William is from a rich, prominent political family-a challenge even today, but in 1958? Lots of fodder for story and character conflict. I fell in love with these characters who are ghosts in FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ, and knew I’d write their story. If you enjoy reading stories about interracial couples overcoming great obstacles to find love, grab a FREE copy and read their story for yourself.