Celebrating Black Brides: Profile #18

Couple: Josephine Willson and Blanche Bruce

Date of Wedding:  June 24, 1878

Place: 228 Perry Street, Cleveland, OH (Home of the Bride's Parents)

Officiant: Rev. N.S. Rulison

Fun facts

Sixty guests attended the private ceremony.

The groom's family was not invited to the wedding because of their enslaved past.

The bride's parents closed the heavy velvet draperies throughout the house to prevent the crowd gathered outside from being able to peek at the ceremony.

The bride wore a white silk gown trimmed in satin.

After the ceremony, guests enjoyed a catered supper while a local orchestra provided music.

The couple sailed to Europe on June 27 for a four-month honeymoon but returned stateside in time for the next session of Congress.

The groom was the second African American to serve in the  United States Senate and the first African American to be elected to a full term.  He represented the state of Mississippi.


Celebrating Black Brides: Profile #7

Couple: Medgar Evers and Myrlie Beasley

Date of Wedding:  December 24, 1951

Place: Mount Heroden Baptist Church, Vicksburg, MS

Fun facts

The couple met at Alcorn A&M College where they were both students.

The couple had a major argument the night before their wedding.

The Evers' honeymoon consisted of one night in a segregated hotel in Jackson, Mississippi, and then visits with both sets of in-laws.

*A white supremacist murdered Medgar Evers in 1963.


Celebrating Black Brides: Profile #2

Couple: Martin L. Harvey and Emma Clarie Collins

Date of Wedding: August 1, 1943

Place: Central Methodist Church, Jackson, MS

Officiant:  Rev. A.L. Holland

Fun facts:

The couple’s romance began in Berlin, Germany, in 1939.

The wedding was profiled in three different black newspapers.

The bride had a cathedral train and the groom and his groomsmen wore white dinner jackets with black tuxedo trousers.

Clarie Collins Harvey was a funeral home owner who used her business to further civil rights.  See “DIGNITY IN LIFE AND DEATH: UNDERTAKER CLARIE COLLINS HARVEY AND BLACK WOMEN’S ENTREPRENEURIAL ACTIVISM,” JOURNAL OF MISSISSIPPI HISTORY LXXVI (FALL/WINTER 2014): 111-127.


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