The Loving story: law that changed discrimination against interracial marriage.

June is a historically significant month for African civil rights legislations. On 12th June 1967, the landmark decision by the Federal Supreme Court in Loving Vs Virginia declared it is unconstitutional to prohibit interracial marriages.
The struggle for racial equality for the African community didn’t end with the signing of the Civil Rights act in 1964. The civil rights movement spearheaded by Martin Luther demanded equal rights and the prohibition of discrimination against African Americans. At the time interracial marriage was prohibited by law in many states across America making it illegal for a black person to marry outside their race.

The story behind the Loving vs Virginia court case is the efforts and determination by a woman of mixed African American descent named Mildred Loving. Her story begins when she marries Richard Loving, a white construction worker in Virginia. They register their marriage in Washington D.C as the state of Virginia prohibited such union. The Loving’s choose to live in Virginia and made plans to build a new home despite it was against the law in the state of Virginia for two people from different racial backgrounds to live under the same roof. The police arrested them and charged for breaking the law and to avoid being sent to prison they agree to stay away from Virginia.
Loving’s returned to Washington and stayed with friends. They got arrested once again when Mildred returned to Virginia for the birth of their first child. Their lawyer gets them bailed out this time stating that he incorrectly advised them they can return. Mildred gets frustrated about having to stay away from her family members and the dissatisfaction from city life.

Her letter to the Attorney General Robert Kennedy finally brings some hope for her plight. Robert Kennedy refers the case to the American Civil Liberties Union that takes up their case that goes all the way to the Federal Supreme Court which overturned similar anti-miscegenation laws across America. The courts upheld that anti-miscegenation laws violated the equal protection granted to all citizens under the 14th Amendment.

Mildred was determent to fight the case till the end not only for their sake but for many others like them who will have to face discrimination in the future under the prevailing law. If Mildred didn’t take action to bring justice, the outcome today would be very different. Mildred’s actions fifty-three years ago for the freedom of marriage and equality is as important as the other landmark decisions made by the Federal Supreme Court on establishing Civil Rights for the African American community. The film titled “Loving” released in 2016 is based on the story of Mildred and Richard and their struggle with the autorities. The date of the historical decision is now unofficially celebrated as the Loving day.



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