You’ve probably never heard of “Loving Day,” but I’m sure you know of someone in your life whom it aims to celebrate. “Loving Day” was created to honor mixed-raced couples and to shine light upon the progress our society has made regarding the issue.
It’s celebrated by many across the country (Find a celebration HERE) on June 12, the anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling which abolished all anti-miscegenation laws (laws legalizing racial segregation in regards to marriage and intimate relationships)–allowing families like my own to lawfully exist anywhere in the United States.
You see, there was a time in our country–in the not too distant past–when marriages like mine were considered illegal, solely based on the colors of the bride and groom’s skin. It wasn’t just taboo. Marrying outside of your race could actually land you time in the slammer!
But as Frederick Douglas once said, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” And a struggle, there was…
In the 1960’s, a young couple were wed in Washington DC. After their marriage, they settled in Virginia to begin their life together as husband and wife, only there was a problem. According to the law, their skin colors were a few too many shades apart, and as such, in the middle of the night the police came ‘a knockin’.
The couple, Richard and Mildred Loving, were arrested and were sentenced to a year in jail. The law at the time stated that if a multiracial couple were punished equally then the punishment couldn’t be considered discrimination. To avoid jail time, the couple left their home in Virginia.
The Lovings were obviously upset, but they weren’t without hope. They decided to fight against the archaic law, and on June 12, 1967, the United States Supreme Court ruled in their favor and struck down all anti-miscegenation laws throughout the country. Interracial marriage became legal!–although it was still considered scandalous.
Because of the Lovings’ determination to legalize their love, they paved the way for couples like my husband and I to follow our hearts and build a happy life, raising our children without fear of persecution. That’s not to say we haven’t faced our fair share of prejudice, no court ruling will ever eradicate that, but it does grant us liberty–and for that, I am thankful!
If, like me, you’re also in an interracial relationship/marriage–or even if you’re not— and would like more information on Loving Day and it’s history, you can visit the the Loving Day website HERE. If you feel inclined, you can also sign the petition to make Loving Day a federally observed holiday.
And if nothing else, a share on social media–or right here, in the comments–about Loving Day and how it affects you and your family would be equally welcomed!
This post was updated from a post originally published on June 10, 2016