Monday, May 05, 2008

Remembering Mrs. Loving…

Mildred Loving has died at the age of 68.

You may not know her by name and sadly a lot of people don’t know her through American history either.

Mildred Loving married her husband Richard in 1958 in Washington. They were both Virginians. She was black and Richard was white. When they returned home to Virginia they were arrested for "cohabiting as man and wife, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth” and only avoided jail by agreeing to leave Virginia.

They didn’t move back to Virginia until after 1967 when the Supreme Court ruled that people from different races had the right to marry.

Think about that...Mildred and Richard Loving were arrested in 1958 because a black woman and a white man could not legally be married in Virginia and that law wasn’t struck down until 1967.

And that landmark ruling struck down laws banning racially diverse marriages in 17 states.

17.

It should be hard to believe that so many states claimed to protected the sanctity of traditional marriage by restricting based on race under threat of arrest.

Should be, but…

Sigh.

May she rest in peace and may family and friends find comfort in the memory of her life...

8 comments:

Tha BossMack TopSoil said...

Bitch, I love you posts ;-) I had forgotten all about this story.

Anonymous said...

May she rest in peace.
Knowing their plight makes me stop, think, and feel sadness for this nation that has not changed. And for the people the nation bashes who have to live and try to love through the insanity.
Sanctity of marriage indeed. Tell that to all the wifes who have been battered abused or killed by "husbands."

Bette said...

*Should* be hard to believe, but you're right...not so much. Let's not forget that Alabama didn't get around to wiping its anti-miscegenation law off the books until 2000.

On a happier note, isn't it beautiful that their name was Loving? You can't make up stuff that right.

MacDaddy said...

I blogged about Mildred loving too. But I first got the idea after I read your post. Thank you.

New Black Woman said...

Thanks for posting that. May she rest in peace. Her courage was an inspiration to us all.

WNG said...

I am the grandaughter of a mixed race union which included jail time for my grandmother-my oldest uncle was born in the couty jail in Plymouth, MA. My grandfather escaped jail time (and death) by joining the merchant marine. Eventually they were left alone, but they weren't legally safe until after the Lovings' case was decided. Thank you for this post - and for recognizing what the Lovings went through.

Skemono said...

And that landmark ruling struck down laws banning racially diverse marriages in 17 states.
Strictly speaking, it was only 16. Maryland managed to repeal their anti-miscegenation law that year, I think that very month, but before the decision was handed down.

It should be hard to believe that so many states claimed to protected the sanctity of traditional marriage by restricting based on race under threat of arrest.
And here, 17 is the low number. That was after a decade of states repealing their laws... before 1948, there were about 30 states that had anti-miscegenation laws on the books. In total, 41 states had an anti-miscegenation law at some point in the nation's history.

It's still mind-boggling. And a lot of people don't even realize it happened--I had never heard of these laws until my mother mentioned them once.

Cathleen said...

Hi there, I'm a new reader to you blog. And wow I hadn't known about Mildred Loving until I read this, thanks for posting!