why with a black man
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No one chooses who they fall in love with, and at the time Ruth fell in love, having a relationship with a black man was a very dangerous thing to do. This subject is broached in gradesaver's chapter 9-12 summary for the novel;
"Ruth was a rebellious girl who hated her father, and since her father hated blacks - and especially black men - it made sense for her to fall in love with a black man. In those days, she explains, interracial relationships were intensely dangerous, as black men were hanged in the South for even looking at a white woman. Ruth longed for romance, but no one ever asked her on a date until, one day, a young black man began visiting the store and asking her how she was doing. She had always liked the black people in the town because they never judged her."
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