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It’s hard to believe that there was once a time when interracial love was taboo and illegal. Mary and Jake Jacobs fell in love in 1940s Britain, when their families would not have accepted this. 7 decades later, they’re still together.
So what’s their story?
Jake Jacobs was born in Trinidad and served in the British military during World War II. He met Mary while stationed in the UK with American soldiers.
Mary explained that her family wasn’t supportive of them as a couple. She told the Daily Mail that her father was against the pair.
“He was horrified that I could contemplate marrying a black man, and I soon learned that most people felt the same way.
The first years of our marriage living in Birmingham were hell — I cried every day, and barely ate.
No one would speak to us, we couldn’t find anywhere to live because no one would rent to a black man, and we had no money.”
Mary also explains how they met.
“I met Jake when he came over during the war from Trinidad, as part of the American forces stationed at the Burtonwood base near my home in Lancashire.
We were at the same technical college. I was having typing and shorthand lessons and he’d been sent there for training by the Air Force.
He was with a group of black friends and they called my friend and me over to talk. We didn’t even know they spoke English, but Jake and I got chatting.
He quoted Shakespeare to me, which I loved.”
The couple eventually married in 1948, and they’re still going strong.
What was it like to be in a mixed race relationship in the 1940s and 50s? We meet Jake and Mary Jacobs who got married in 1948 pic.twitter.com/E56ZP6QLbs
— BBC Radio 2 (@BBCRadio2) October 13, 2016
The couple had one stillborn child and did not have children after this.
Here’s the lovely couple when it all began.
Sadly, interracial couples still face a lot of stigmas, but people have come a long way in recognizing their love (and minding their own business!).
This is definitely an inspiring story! What do you think of Mary and Jake’s enduring love against all odds?
Feel free to share in the comments, or let us know if you think we’ve come far enough as a society. What can people do better?