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Helen Hunt Jackson’s novel "Ramona" is a case in point.

In it, a woman named Señora Moreno objects to her adoptive daughter Ramona’s impending marriage to a Temecula man named Alessandro.

The raping of African-American women by plantation owners and other powerful whites during this period have cast an ugly shadow on relationships between black women and white men.

On the flip side, African American men who so much as looked at a white woman could be killed, and brutally so. Taylor describes the fear that interracial relationships invoked in the black community in the Depression era south in "Let the Circle Be Unbroken," a historical novel based on her family’s real-life experiences.

Besides, for a black man to even look at a white woman was dangerous.” This was no understatement, as the case of Emmett Till proves.

While visiting Mississippi in 1955, the Chicago teen was murdered by a pair of white men for allegedly whistling at a white woman.

Always an obedient girl, Ramona rebels for the first time when she chooses to marry Alessandro.

She tells Señora Moreno that forbidding her to marry him is useless. While it’s certainly not wise to allow narrow-minded family members to dictate your love life, ask yourself if you’re willing to be disowned, disinherited or otherwise mistreated to pursue an interracial relationship.

Although in early America members of different races openly procreated with one another, the introduction of institutionalized slavery changed the nature of such relationships entirely. When slavery of blacks became institutionalized in the U.S., however, anti-miscegenation laws surfaced in various states that barred such unions, thereby stigmatizing them.“In 1967, when my parents break all the rules and marry against laws that say they can’t, they say that an individual should not be bound to the wishes of their family, race, state, or country.They say that love is the tie that binds, and not blood.” When civil rights activists married, they not only challenged laws but sometimes their own families.

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