She was thrown out 70 years ago for loving a black man – now look at them today


Jake and Mary Jacobs recently marked their 70th wedding anniversary, but their journey to reach this milestone was filled with challenges.

Mary, a Caucasian woman, and Jake, an African-American man, lived in the same city in 1940s Britain, despite Jake being one of the few black men in the area.

Mary could have left easily, but she defied her father’s orders and fell in love. She was willing to do anything to be with her lover.

“When I told my father I was going to marry Jake he said, ‘If you marry that man you will never set foot in this house again.’”

Mary was studying typing and shorthand at the technical college while Jake was training in the Air Force. They met when Jake moved from Trinidad during the war.

Jake initiated a chat with Mary, who resided in Lancashire at the time, and she was amazed by his understanding of Shakespeare.

Mary and her friend were invited by him and his companion to join them for a picnic. However, a passing cyclist saw them and reported Mary to her father. The cyclist was shocked to see two English girls talking to black guys. As a result, Mary’s father was startled and prohibited her from visiting him again.

Jake and Trinidad kept in touch through letters when he came back. After a couple of years, he went back to the U.K. in search of higher-paying job opportunities.

Jake shocked Mary by proposing to her; she was only 19 years old and agreed. However, when she informed her family, they expelled her.

I departed with just a single small suitcase. No relatives attended our civil wedding in 1948.

Mary’s father was shocked when she mentioned the idea of marrying a black man, but she was unaware that the rest of society shared the same sentiment.

During the initial years of our marriage in Birmingham, life was extremely difficult. I would cry every day and hardly eat. We faced isolation as no one would communicate with us. Finding a place to live was a challenge since no one was willing to rent to a black man. Additionally, we were struggling financially.

Mary explained that even just walking down the street together was challenging because people would constantly point at them.

Mary had a hard time walking down the street with her partner because people would stare at them. She got pregnant and they were thrilled to become parents, but sadly, she had a stillborn baby at 8 months.

She mentioned that it didn’t have anything to do with the stress I was experiencing, but it deeply saddened me, and we never had any additional children.

Mary’s life became easier when she started working as a teacher and eventually became an assistant principal at a British school. Jake also found a job at the Post Office. They made new friends, but Mary always felt the need to mention that her husband was black before introducing him to others.

She mentioned that her father passed away when she turned 30. Despite their reconciliation, he never gave his approval to Jake.

Jake, aged 89, and Mary, aged 84, live in Solihull, a town located south of Birmingham. They just marked their 70th wedding anniversary.

Jake asserts that he holds no remorse, yet he also asserts that the current generation of black youth lacks comprehension of the life he experienced in 1940s Britain.

Upon my arrival in the U.K., I experienced abuse on a daily basis. I recall a particular incident on a bus where a man touched my neck and made a derogatory comment about my appearance.

In the past, black men were not considered safe to work in an office with white women.

The couple remains deeply in love and happily married for over 70 years, despite facing numerous challenges, bias, and abuse. They have no regrets about their marriage.

They are truly inspiring, and I hope they have a lifetime of happiness together because of their love for each other.

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