June 12th commemorates the anniversary of the Supreme Court striking down state bans on interracial marriages, on June 12th, 1967. This was possible thanks to the love and fight put forth by Richard and Mildred Loving, a interracial couple from Caroline County, Virginia.
While, Virginia is known for the phrase, “Virginia is for Lovers” – that was not always the case. In fact, prior to the case Loving v Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967) it was illegal to marry outside of your race and many people were jailed as a result. The couple who fought so hard for love, Richard and Mildred Loving were both sentences to a year in prison in 1958, all because they wanted to love each other. According to Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which criminalized marriage between whites and colored, the Lovings were guilty for love.
Thankfully, the Loving’s decision to fight on for love, pushed them to appeal their convictions to the Supreme Court of Virginia and their case was heard. On June 12, 1968, the court made a decision in the favor of Richard and Mildred Loving, overturning their convictions. On June 12th, 1967, the court struct down Virginia’s anti-miscegenation laws, ending all race-based legal restrictions regarding marriage not only in Virginia, but across the United States.
This court ruling made it possible for my parents to marry legally and has made such a great impact on many other interracial relationships and families. Let us never forget, June 12th, 1967.
“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope”Maya Angelou
“Love is blind despite the world’s attempt to give it eyes.”Matshona Dhliwayo