Whatever Happened to Interracial Love

As America resegregates, this book makes for a timely read. The Civil Rights movement is mostly cast, especially in popular history, as a movement about laws, voting, and legal rights. But cultural change in the 1960s reached into professional and personal spheres, too. These stories by Kathleen Collins are about those intimate battles that were fought in domestic and semi-public spaces. Collins’s writing is sharp, converastional but literary, and her observations about love and especially the added layer of complexity for interracial relationships are astute. I’ve been in multiple interracial relationships in my life and each had its own complications and excitements. The irony for the people in these relationships is that it’s always hard to figure out what is true about your relationship because it is you and your partner, with all your quirks and histories, figuring it out together. And what is true because you’re of mis-matched races or ethnicities. This can add a cognitive burden when you’re the one in the relationship. Or, in the case of a writer, it can create fodder for beautiful story telling.