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Contact: Teresa S. Thomas

For immediate release:
April 10, 2002

"Love on Trial: An American Scandal in Black and White" Is Topic of Carnegie Mellon Talk, Book Signing on April 19

PITTSBURGH—A national scandal of interracial marriage will be the topic of a talk and book signing Friday, April 19, 2002, when authors Earl Lewis and Heidi Ardizzone discuss the research that resulted in their book, "Love on Trial: An American Scandal in Black and White."

Their talk begins at 4 p.m. in Hamburg Hall 100 on the Carnegie Mellon campus and is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

Published by W.W. Norton & Company in 2001 and new in paperback this year, the non-fiction work deals with issues of race and identity that continue to haunt America today. Specifically, it tells the story of New York socialite Leonard Rhinelander's marriage in 1924 to Alice Jones, a former nanny that newspapers described as being of "mixed race." The couple met in 1921, fell in love, and after a three-year relationship wed with hopes of living quietly together. Any chance of quiet ended when a reporter for the New Rochelle Standard Star asked Rhinelander probing questions about his wife's background. Soon afterward, news of their marriage became a national scandal and the subject of a highly publicized annulment trial as Rhinelander was pressured to end the marriage. Lewis and Ardizzone analyze this scandal of the Jazz Age and relate the issues of race and identity to today's racial and social climate.

Lewis is the dean of graduate studies at the University of Michigan and the former director of the Center for Afroamerican and African studies there. Ardizzone teaches American Studies at the University of Notre Dame. They will be available for a book signing at the lecture's conclusion.

This event is co-sponsored by the Midwest Consortium for Black Studies and the Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy, the Ford Foundation and the History Department at Carnegie Mellon.

The sponsors request pre-registration. To do so, contact Nancy Aronson by telephone at 412-268-8928 or by email at


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