During the 1940s, British woman Mary was studying typing and shorthand at a technical college when she met Trinidad-born soldier Jake, who was part of the American soldiers brought to the UK for training by the Air Force.
Jake and his military buddies contacted Mary and her buddy to chat, and the ladies were shocked to discover they could communicate in English. They began talking, and Jake even cited Shakespeare for Mary, which she appreciated.
A few weeks later, they went on a picnic, and complications ensued when a woman who saw Mary at the picnic reported her to her dad, and she was barred from ever seeing him again.
Jake went to Trinidad, but the two kept in touch through letters, and after a few years, he returned to the UK to find better-paying employment.
Mary accepted Jake’s proposal at the age of 19, but was soon kicked out of the house by her dad, who was outraged by her choice to marry a black man. Mary married Jake in 1948 with just a little bag in her possession, and no one from her family was there.
Mary was astounded to find that society looked down on interracial couples and would point at them anytime they went down the street together.
The couple, who lived in Birmingham, had difficulty finding flats to rent since no one wanted to lodge a black guy. They didn’t have any friends, and they didn’t have any money since Jake couldn’t find work. As he recalled, one couldn’t work in an office back then since a black guy in an office with all the white females wasn’t regarded as safe.
Their difficulties were exacerbated when Mary delivered a stillborn child eight months into her pregnancy. Her heart was broken, and the couple decided not to have any more kids.
Fortunately, the persevering couple’s situation improved. Mary acquired teaching positions and eventually became a deputy teacher, whilst Jake started at a factory before working at a post office.
They also began making new acquaintances, but would tell them about their interracial marriage before allowing them into their house. Mary’s father died when she was 30 years old; despite their reconciliation before his death, he never approved of her choice to marry Jake.
Mary and Jake, who have been married for seven decades and counting, indicated that they consider themselves fortunate to have met and married one another.
Jake claimed that the fact that society never fully accepted them still bothers him. He discussed his experiences with prejudice, including how a guy once massaged his neck and remarked, he intended to see whether the filth would come off.
The pair is still actively working on their relationship after many decades of marriage. Jake, for instance, cooks every day except when they have kosher guests. Mary has a mild form of early-onset Alzheimer’s, and although there is no cure, the physicians are doing all they can.