In the Dark

Good Country People

Produced by Raindog Films 
Directed and written by Jeff Nichols 
Distributed by Focus Features 

Hacksaw Ridge
Produced by Cross Creek Pictures 
Directed by Mel Gibson
Screenplay by Robert Schenkkan and Andrew Knight 
Distributed by Summit Entertainment 

I first learned about miscegenation in 1958.  A student in my high-school religion class asked our teacher, Father Kohler, what he thought about race relations.  Would they, he wondered, ever be resolved?  The question surprised me.  To my knowledge there wasn’t a single black student in our all-boy Catholic institution at the time.  Father Kohler pondered the question for a moment and then suggested that the difficulty might be overcome by intermarriage.  Groans of disbelief arose in the room.  This was unthinkable.  Despite knowing blacks (negroes, as we called them then) on the sports teams of rival schools, we regarded women of their race as far too alien to inspire romantic interest.  (Thomas Jefferson’s alleged affair with Sally Hemings wasn’t to make headlines for another 40 years.)  Furthermore, few of us beyond those whose parents were wealthy enough to retain hired help had ever conversed with black females.  Meanwhile, 350 miles south of our schoolroom, an instance...

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