By Renée Bess
Every Sunday I greedily guard enough time to read one feature in particular of the New York Times’ “Style” section. I don’t waste more than a moment scanning the postage stamp size photos that fill the “On the Street” page or the “After Hours” section, although I’ll own my penchant for glancing at the pictures in search of revelers of color. I’ve read the Sunday New York Times since I was a teenager, and I’m happy to report that the photos in the two aforementioned pages portray much more racial diversity than they did forty years ago.
What kept me glued to the “Styles” section then was the same feature that keeps me glued to it now, the parade of marriage and wedding announcements. During my adolescence, I’d read the blurbs and then fantasize how the text might describe my own nuptials. Don’t scoff. If you were an African-American child who grew up in an integrated neighborhood, went to racially integrated public schools, and had parents who modeled a sense of self-worth, you had the audacity to believe you were equal to the people whose wedding announcements you read every week. I used to scan some of those notices and replace the bride’s name with my own.