The thing that really kills me about all of these “Sam would be in as much trouble as Mercedes for their love” plot devices is the absolute refusal to grasp that Sam would have been taught that Mercedes was only good for serving his needs, be they sexual or otherwise. Sure, some people overcame that (kind of), but there’s a reason slaveowners could have 15 kids with a slave & never free them or their mother. There’s a reason it wasn’t illegal to rape a black woman until after the Civil Rights Movement, & there’s a reason much of the Civil Rights Movement is founded in black women agitating to be safe from white men.
Real talk, Sam having sex with Mercedes wouldn’t have meant any consequences for him (yes, even if she got pregnant), but it would have meant lots of consequences for her. Especially if she said no to him, or to any of his friends/family that might come calling. Want to know why the language around Slutwalk doesn’t speak to a lot of black women? Some of us know what it feels like to have the color of your skin = slut to people who might otherwise claim to be decent human beings.
Umm, so I was rummaging through FF.net in search of new Glee fic & I feel like I need fandom to acquaint itself with exactly what it would have meant to be black & female during Jim Crow. I understand the desire to explore that time period, but there is no way Mercedes could have gone off on white people in the segregated South left & right and survived. And I have no idea why you’d write her Dad as a deadbeat to explain her mother sending her away when basic safety concerns would merit that anyway. Not to mention, white people would not be trying to punish Sam for having sex with her. Interracial marriage was illegal, but there is a long long history of white men sleeping with WOC. And yes, they were still racist. A Sam raised in the deep South in the 50’s & 60’s could have found Mercedes attractive & still been a bigot. Hell that could happen now. Also, she would not be talking about white privilege. Just saying, if you’re going to write historical fiction research is your very best friend.