All tagged interracial relationships

My novels all necessarily involve racism as an underlying theme. They take place in Texas—which is part of the South—during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, when white folks like me were being forced by the Civil Rights Movement to confront racism head-on, instead of pretending that segregation, discrimination and racial animus either did not exist, or were no big deal.

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People often ask me why I write romance novels, rather than some other genre. Well, I didn’t plan it that way. But it seems that no matter what I set out to write about, it ends up a romance of one kind or another. By “romance,” I mean a love relationship between two persons—of whatever ages … or even of the same sex.

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In most of my novels, I bring in interracial relationships. Why? First of all, my marriage is such a relationship. I am a white man who is married to a Latina. For young people today, that’s no big deal. But for the older generations, who are the majority and who politically are in control, it still is a big deal—whether they will admit it or not.

            It is hard for a young person today to grasp the idea of going to jail for marrying a person of another race. But until 1967, when the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional, over half of the states—and at one time two-thirds of the states—made what was called “miscegenation” a crime, punishable by imprisonment. (See: Loving v. Virginia.) That is, if a white person married a person who was legally non-white, the two parties were subject to criminal punishment and their marriage was not recognized—similar to the situation today for same-sex relationships in some states.

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Suffering from “shell shock,” as they called PTSD in World War I, Billy had gone to New Mexico and married into a Navajo Indian tribe. In 1947, when he died in an automobile accident, he left two Indian granddaughters, Alice and Harriet Landergin. What if Julia went to Gallup next to the Navajo Reservation and brought the two little girls home, to raise as her own?

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