Conventional wisdom tells us that marriage was illegal for African Americans during the antebellum era, and that if people married at all, their vows were tenuous ones: until death or distance do us part. It is an impression that imbues beliefs about black families to this day. But its a perception primarily based on documents produced by abolitionists, the state, or other partisans. It doesnt tell the whole story. Drawing on a trove of less well-known sources including family histories, folk stories, memoirs, sermons, and especially the fascinating writings from the Afro-Protestant Press,Til Death or Distance Do Us Part offers a radically different perspective on antebellum love and family life. Frances Smith Foster applies the knowledge shes developed over a lifetime of reading and thinking. Advocating both the potency of skepticism and the importance of story-telling, her book shows the way toward a more genuine, more affirmative understanding of African American romance, both then and now.