My dear grandparents, Joe Richardson and Emma Lou Jenkins Richardson, married on October 3, 1938, which was also the birthday of my grandfather’s mother Nancy. My grandparents were together for 47 years until we lost my grandfather in 1985, and my grandmother was here for her 75th anniversary. Giving praises and thanks for the remarkable lives that they lived and for their legacy and sending them my love and wishing blessings upon them in heaven. This past Easter, coming across their 1938 marriage certificate felt like a special gift from heaven. My mother recognized the signature of my grandfather’s brother, her beloved Uncle Murray, on the document as one of the witnesses. Taped and hidden away underneath this document was a very small newspaper clipping mentioning “Joe Richardson” and “Emma Lou Jenkins” as one of the 5 “white couples” who had applied for marriage licenses in recent days. This case of mistaken racial identity is absolutely the only way that this information about my grandparents’ marriage made it into the paper, for the Montgomery Advertiser typically relegated black news to the “colored pages” during that time. My grandparents were somehow grouped with all of the “white couples” by mistake. Interestingly, in the wake of the loss of her first husband, my grandmother’s mother Ada was also listed as “white” in the 1910 census, along with her son, my grandmother’s oldest brother later known as “Jack,” though that was not his name back then; this likely happened because of her light skin color, long black curly hair and their light gray eyes. A decade later, in the 1920 census, she and her children with her husband Frank Jenkins, including my grandmother Emma, are all listed as “mulattos.”
"Marriage Licenses." Montgomery Advertiser. October, 1938.
Debutante news article in the Montgomery Advertiser newspaper on April, 1976 featuring my aunt, Pamela Richardson. This is the second part of the feature, which unfolded over two weeks, and was published on April 15 and April 22. This is the feature from April 22. "Phi Delta Kappa Debutantes." Montgomery Advertiser. April 22, 1976.
Vintage family photos and various others that have in some cases inspired my art quilts are included on my artist website at http://www.richerichardson.com/#!vintage-family-photos/efizr