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Loving before Loving: A Marriage in Black and White
by Joan Steinau Lester
University of Wisconsin Press, 2021
eISBN: 978-0-299-33108-5 | Cloth: 978-0-299-33100-9
Library of Congress Classification PS3612.E8195Z46 2021
Dewey Decimal Classification 323.092

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REQUEST ACCESSIBLE FILE
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Committed to the struggle for civil rights, in the late 1950s Joan Steinau marched and protested as a white ally and young woman coming to terms with her own racism. She fell in love and married a fellow activist, the Black writer Julius Lester, establishing a partnership that was long and multifaceted but not free of the politics of race and gender. As the women’s movement dawned, feminism helped Lester find her voice, her pansexuality, and the courage to be herself.
 
Braiding intellectual, personal, and political history, Lester tells the story of a writer and activist fighting for love and justice before, during, and after the Supreme Court’s 1967 decision striking down bans on interracial marriage in Loving v. Virginia. She describes her own shifts in consciousness, from an activist climbing police barricades by day and reading and writing late into the night to a woman navigating the coming-out process in midlife, before finding the publishing success she had dreamed of. Speaking candidly about every facet of her life, Lester illuminates her journey to fulfillment and healing.

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