Margaret B. Cunningham, long-time resident of Schenectady and Arlen Westbrook, of Delmar, NY will be signing their recent book “Integrating Delmar 1957, the Story of a Friendship”.
This book is a unique personal account told by the wives of two couples (one Black and one White) of their experiences integrating Delmar and the lasting friendship that developed. Both wives decided from the beginning to record separately, their feelings about the situations they each encountered at that time. They each express their intimate feelings and fears about the interracial situation as it progressed.
It also records the reactions of neighbors and others in the community to a Black family living in their neighborhood for the first time, including incidents of people who made the situation difficult and those who were helpful.
This book illustrates the existence of racism in the north and the courage of individuals to overcome that racism. It chronicles the development of a genuine friendship, and describes a co-housing experiment long before it became a movement.