Dear Mary, Dear Luther: A Courtship in Letters
Jill Marie Snyder
Dear Mary, Dear Luther is a rare collection of African American love letters. My parents wrote the letters from May 1937 to January 1941 when they married. Each saved the letters they received, leaving behind a beautiful legacy of love.
Luther was enjoying bachelorhood in Harlem and working as a hotel porter. Always the pursuer, he was honest with Mary about where she stood. Step by step, he proclaimed his feelings as he progressed from attraction to love. African American men are often portrayed as brutes, lacking feelings and deep emotions. Luther’s authentic expressions of romantic love will be a revelation for many.
Mary-sassy, feisty, mercurial-was a very smart young lady. Still living at home in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania with her parents and siblings, she continued to date others until Luther made it clear she was the only one. She accepted his evolving emotional state, never pushing for a greater commitment than he was ready to make. Gradually, their intimacy deepens until each knew they were ready to become man and wife.
With family history preceding the letters, and reflections on Mary and Luther’s life after they marry, Dear Mary, Dear Luther is truly the saga of a loving African American family, facing hardships with dignity and grace, representing millions of other African American families. This book is perfect for book clubs, church groups, and the whole family to read and discuss.