“The Loving Story” a photo exhibit of an extraordinary interracial couple who helped change interracial marriage laws in the United States is currently on display at the International Center of Photography in New York City. It is hard to believe that close to fifty years ago, it was against the law to marry outside your race. However, in 1958, that was the reality for Richard and Mildred Loving.
The couple lived in Virginia, one of the sixteen states which prohibited interracial marriages. Richard, a white man, and Mildred, a woman of African American and Native American ancestry, did not want to break the law. They decided to marry in Washington D.C. They returned to Virginia, thinking they had not broken any laws
A month after they married, police burst into their home in the middle of the night and arrested them.
Richard and Mildred Loving did not consider themselves political. Yet, in seeking to justify their marriage, they changed history. The American Civil Liberties Union took the Loving’s case, and against all odds, brought it all the way to the United States Supreme Court.
In 1967, in a landmark Civil Rights ruling, the Supreme Courts ruled against America’s laws banning interracial marriage.
On Valentine’s Day, a day that celebrates love and friendship, HBO showcases “The Loving Story” at 9 p.m. The Loving’s story is an inspirational tale of love, honor, and courage which prevails over the court room to win us one our most basic civil rights in America, the right to marry the person we love regardless of race.