It says a great deal about the acceptance of interracial marriage in America that you don’t much hear the phrase “interracial marriage” itself anymore: in much of the country, such unions have become so common as not to merit their own intellectual category. But what about elderly interracial newlyweds? That much more demographically unusual phenomenon — or rather, the actual nonagenarian, recently married interracial couple of Edith Hill and Eddie Harrison — provides the subject for Laura Checkoway’s short documentary Edith+Eddie, which you can watch free on Topic.com.
“Hill was 96 and Harrison 95 years old when they were married, and the film bills the two as ‘America’s oldest interracial newlyweds’ at the time of their union in 2014,” writes the Hollywood Reporter‘s Chris Gardner in an article on the film’s having been produced by Cher.
But “what could’ve been a heart-warming love story turned into something tragic as the two were separated by Hill’s family in a bitter family feud,” a source of much of the considerable drama in the movie’s 30 minutes. “The couple had been sharing Hill’s Virginia home until one of her daughters forcibly moved her to Florida, separating the couple.”
Alas, Harrison died during a bout of influenza just three months later. “He lived for her, and she lived for him. It’s the love story of the century,” said Hill’s daughter, quoted in a Guardian article that describes how “their marriage was problematic because Hill has been declared legally incapacitated for several years.” Another daughter “contested the marriage, saying it would complicate the eventual distribution of Hill’s estate. But Hill and Harrison said they wanted to stay together.” And given all they’d lived through — “the two longtime Virginians would not have been allowed to marry if they had met in their 20s, 30s or 40s under state law at the time” — one easily understands why.
Stream Edith+Eddie for free on Topic.com.
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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.
Love is a beautiful thing that should be shared no matter how old you get. In fact, love, companionship with someone that you share common values and experiences tend to extend your life and make it purposeful. This was what I think Eddie and Edith shared.
I pray for the assigned guardian and her daughter from Florida; they are the most heartless people one could imagine. Life however can also be cruel, and age is not something that’s going, its something that’s coming. What goes around, comes around. Their children are watching, and God doesnt sleep. They took away joy from two people and subsequently contributed to Eddie’s death. And for what? How long will that what last? “For what does it profit a man to gain the world, but lose his soul?”
I pray God’s grace and mercy over Edith. And I pray for all the elderly who will be put through similar situation due a fault system that only benefits the “guardian”.
Right. Heartless people… No communication with the only family Edith has ever known and did not allow her communication with her husband even on his Deathbed.
Poor Edith. This is heart breaking.
This reminds me of when I did a hospital chaplaincy and and old lady was hospitalized after her family moved her to Texas. She stopped talking and all she ever said was, I want to go home, I want to go home. She died about a month after they moved her.
How insane that system /guardianship committed the EPITOME of elderly abuse—-TOTALLY DISREGARDING both of their CHOICES, even manipulated police to threaten/kidnap/force Edith out of her own lifelong home. The abuse and total isolation then killed Eddie.
Those who enabled this should be sued for every nickel they have and held accountable for their criminal behavior. Hope perps burn in HE-L