FROM THE MORGUE
Copyright 2012 by William A. Mays, Proprietor
PLAGUE MIXED MARRIAGES
Copyright © 1964 National Police Gazette Corp.
Copyrights managed by National Police Gazette Enterprises, LLC
By Kiley Rogers
Over every step America takes on the road to integration looms the shadow of a problem neither Negro nor white integrationists like to talk about—mixed marriage.
Until quite recently wedlock between the races was a fairly rare event; almost entirely confined to a few northern States. But all sociologists agree that complete integration in schools, churches, factories, offices and living quarters will inevitably lead to an immense increase of mixed couples—and to an equal rise of broken hearts.
For if ordinary marriage is a difficult affair, Negro and white marriages are a thousand times more so. They are haunted by problems the partners don't even dream about when they murmur "I do."
Take a couple of celebrities like torch singer Lena Horne and her white, bearded musician husband Lenny Hayton. Lenny was crazy about Lena, smitten enough to keep proposing for three years until she finally accepted him.
When their wedding was announced Miss Horne laughingly told reporters: "Race doesn't come into this... when I think of Lenny I don't think 'white man'."
But in spite of their fame and fortune it took the couple four years and countless setbacks and humiliations even to find an apartment in New York.
Sammy Davis' Problems
Recently colored entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr. announced that his decision to live in England had nothing to do with his racial difficulties here. But don't you believe it. Ever since Sammy's marriage to blonde and beautiful Swedish movie star May Britt the couple has been under nightmarish pressure.
Their public appearances were marred by placard-bearing pickets, their mail flooded by poison pen letters, Sammy's records were boycotted in the South and their home smeared with abusive slogans.
Luckily the Davis' have the money to escape from the atmosphere of hatred that threatened their lives. But what of these couples who don't?
For the real heartbreak of inter-racial marriages does not affect the handful of rich and famous celebrities whose weddings hit the headlines. It strikes at the unknown men and women who work in ordinary jobs and have no means of escaping the rocks hurled at them.
People like Ron and Thelma Penrich. Ron is a white New Englander, Thelma is a colored New York girl. They met in the hospital where Ron lay with a back injury and Thelma worked as a nurse. Like so many patients Ron fell in love with and married his nurse. This was 11 years ago—and their life together has been a near-hell ever since.
Ron works for a large export business with branches all over Latin America. But while all the other employees were promoted to executive jobs in Brazil, Chile or Bolivia, Ron had to remain at his ill-paid New York desk. Why? Because, as his superiors explained to him, the white American communities with whom he would have to deal wouldn't accept his colored wife.
Neither, Ron learned, would most New York landlords. He had no trouble getting apartments, but the moment they moved in the owners did their utmost to get them out.
At the moment he and Thelma share a roach-infested one-and-a-half rooms, which they can keep only by paying $120 a month. They have an unlisted telephone number because of the endless chain of insulting and threatening calls they received. And every other mail brings abusive anonymous letters.
"What shocked us most," Ron admits, "was that at least half of the abuse flung at us came from colored people. We just weren't prepared for that."
Few black-white marriage partners are. But the fact is that the colored community is often more hostile to intermarriage than the white.
Negro Community Hostile
The notorious Black Muslims make a point of insulting every mixed couple they see in the street. Their newspaper, "Mahommed Speaks", runs obscene comic strips sneering at Negro girls who "waste themselves on white trash." And while the less radical colored folk may be less openly abusive, few of them approve of their own kind "marrying outside."
In this respect they share the feelings of Catholics and Orthodox Jews, who bitterly oppose inter-faith marriages. But while the religious handicap can be overcome by the formal conversion of one of the parties, you can't convert the color of your skin. As one Negro Baptist preacher put it: "Marrying someone from another race is asking for more trouble than the Lord ever intended for you."
The trouble is most likely to start within the families concerned. And there it doesn't matter whether the girl is a plain nurse or a famous nightclub star.
When velvet-voiced singer Pearl Bailey announced her marriage to white Louis Bellson in 1952, his father was so furious that he tried to stop his son from using the family name. Thundered the old man: "He will be a disgrace not only to himself, but to me and his brothers and also his sisters."
When Chicago-born colored journalist Mary Cowles married white artist Hank Ridley her parents threw her out of the house. "I never want to see you or your white-man husband again as long as I live," were her father's parting words. He stuck to them even after Mary's marriage went to pieces and she tried to return home.
Much the same happened when colored nightclub singer Billy Daniels married a white socialite named Martha Braun. Family fury couldn't prevent the marriage taking place, but it undoubtedly helped to break it up. Three years later Martha obtained a Mexican divorce and told her friends: "Now I need a tequila to wash the bad taste out of my mouth."
Add the hostility of your family to the sneers of your neighbors, the threats from racists in both camps, the cold-shouldering from former friends, the discrimination of landlords and the sniggers of workmates and you will get an inkling of what lurks behind intermarriage.
Why, then, will some couples nevertheless go through with it?
On the surface there seem to be dozens of different reasons. Peggy Zornat, for instance, was a red-hot "Jazz kiddie" who spent most of her time with colored musicians because white men, she explained, "just don't have that beat in their blood."
In 1961 she married a colored drummer—and promptly lost her job as a receptionist. Today she is living in a rat-ridden Harlem slum hole, the mother of two half-breed children and the wife of a dope addict who is currently completing his second stretch behind bars.
Continued on Next Page
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|With integration on the march, nobody seems
willing to talk about the most devastating of
problems which soon will have to be faced by
black and white alike: inter-racial marriage!
In February 2012, Cracked.com published a humorous article about the Police Gazette. It is very good and great fun. But it reprints a few short paragraphs from the article below that make it appear the Police Gazette was against interracial marriage. Presented here is the original article in its entirety. You be the judge!