Alisa Weis: The Emblem
Soon after Callie Rushton begins work as a tutor for a prominent businessman’s children, she meets his right-hand man, Gabe Ward, and is undeniably drawn to him. She has every reason to believe her feelings are mutual. But she lives in the small, coal mining town of Roslyn, WA, and it’s the 1930’s, when racial tensions are high. Callie knows that a relationship with a man of color would jeopardize her standing in the town and compromise Gabe’s position.
Though Gabe insists they maintain their distance from each other, the two keep meeting by accident. When their employer’s young son touches on a mystery pertaining to the first African Americans to arrive in Roslyn, they are brought together again. Through their search for the truth of the past, Gabe and Callie are made aware of unspoken societal boundaries and the cost of love across color lines.
The Emblem, while fiction, draws its inspiration from events of the Roslyn strike of 1888/89 when more than 300 African Americans arrived to town, not knowing they’d be made strikebreakers. Written with compassion and heart, this story invites readers to consider the hardship and decisions placed upon its characters.