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This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court case, , that opened the door for interracial couples to marry in the South.Gloria remembers the first time she laid eyes on Leroy.It would be a huge risk for her to marry a white man. Gloria’s mother sent the couple to visit Gloria’s grandparents and seek their approval.
Stephen Mason's journey took him from 20 years on the road, from playing guitar in a Grammy-winning Christian rock band to setting up a one-chair, one-man barbershop called The Handsomizer.
On a rainy night in 1949, a young woman arrived by train in Franklin, Tennessee, and walked off into the night.
After about a year of dating, Gloria agreed to marry Leroy.
But, her excitement was tinged by a looming reality.
About 800 people showed up to the wedding, Gloria estimates, and all of them were there in peace.
The event is believed to be the first legal interracial wedding in Chattanooga.
The Griffiths are glad that their wedding drew so much attention. “And I told her this: It is impossible, me marrying Leroy, to elope.
“The community participated in a divine action,” Leroy says. “My mother said this to me, when I first told her we were getting married and she realized it was serious. I say this is bigger than he and I.” Even though Gloria and Leroy stayed safe on their wedding day, they were not immune to violence. It is a personal story of Jakob’s told by taking a musical journey all around Nashville.
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