Although Alice Childress wrote Wedding Band (the full title of which is Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story in Black and White) in the early 1960s, the play was not performed professionally until 1966. There was interest in producing the play on Broadway, but because of its controversial subject matter the play remained largely unknown to audiences. Finally in 1972 Wedding Band was produced in New York for the first time. Subsequently, a New York Shakespeare Festival production of the play, based on Childress's screenplay, was broadcast by ABC in 1973; however, several ABC affiliates refused to carry the television production. The play examines the enduring nature of love between a white man and a black woman in 1918 South Carolina. Wedding Band confronts racism, but Childress reveals that racism is not only directed at blacks, but is also displayed by blacks. In the play, whites, Asians, and Jews are also victims of racism. Childress's depiction of an interracial love affair broke long-standing taboos on stage and television. While white critics argued that Herman should have been stronger and more determined to break away from southern racism, black critics maintained that Childress should have focused her writing on a black couple. Childress's characters are not idealized human beings; they are the imperfect men and women of a real world. Rather than present audiences with a model for racial harmony, Childress exposes the reality of life for black and white Americans as she explores the frailty of a humanity so entrenched in maintaining rules and social lines that it forgets that there are lives at stake.