When Marriage Becomes an ‘Act of Resistance’

Margo Long’s decision to marry an African American man in 1965 became the foundation of what is today a sprawling multi-racial family with Jewish-Muslim-Latino-European and African-American roots. Above: Margo Long (L), with her daughters Dayna and Rhonda, and her younger sister, Laurien Alexandre.

When Margo Long, a white Jewish woman in her twenties, married John, an African American man, in 1965, interracial marriage was illegal in almost half of the United States.

“That was two years before Loving vs. The Commonwealth of Virginia , the Supreme Court decision,” she recalls, sitting in front of a glass of wine in her Pasadena home 57 years later. “We were stopped all the time by cops. ‘Are you ok, mam?’” they would ask. “Why wouldn’t I be,” she would say.

Today, Long is a retired educator, 81 years old, and she takes great pride in her biracial and multicultural children and grandchildren.

“I couldn’t be a prouder matriarch,” she smiles.

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Back then, Margo’s parents were just fine with her decision, but her grandfather, on her father’s side, took them out of their will. “You can’t let Margo do that,” he told his son. “I can’t tell her what to do,” he responded.That disagreement would eventually become […]

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