Tuesday 14 February 2012

Febuary Lovers: Mr & Mrs. Loving

Welcome to episode 1 of the February Lovers of 2012.

Have you ever seen a couple she beautiful, him handsome walking down the street, nothing about them is truly particularity different other than they are a interracial couple, maybe one is Caucasian & the other Black, maybe they are Asian & Black; whatever they ethnicity it's the love that shines through. You yourself (like me) maybe involved with a interracial relationship, I am a product of an interracial relationship, I like many of you have the right to these relationships due to those who came before us and fought for those rights.

Let’s be real the mixing of races here in America has not always been for love, or by choice. Many times it was the way to survive to make sure you progeny got a better life than you did, sometimes it was due to rape.

There are instances however that show us that it does happen for love, that there are people who would willingly stand up and fight for their heart’s true desire, and such is the case of Mr and Mrs, Loving. the couple from Virginia fled to Washington DC to get married due to the law on the books in Virginia which prevented the intermarrying of Caucasian and Blacks, this law called the “Racial Integrity Act” made it a criminal offence to knowingly have sex with another race, & a federal offence to marry another race. 
Arrested, tried and found guilty in Virgina they were sentenced to 1 year in jail or a suspended sentence if they left the state for 25 years; they took the suspended sentence and fled to DC, there they met with lawyers from the ACLU and on November 6, 1965, filed a lawsuit against the state of Virginia for violation of the 14th Amendment. As noted by the fact that you and I can date, have sex with and marry whomever we wish (I’m not discussing the LGBT community at the moment) you can tell they won.
On January 22, 1965  the case went before the Virginia Supreme Court, the judges upheld the Virginia Law.  The people who actually helped the ACLU team were the churches, the Presbyterian Church, then UU Association, & the Roman Catholic Church stepped into say
"laws which prohibit, inhibit or hamper marriage or cohabitation between persons because of different races, religions, or national origins should be nullified or repealed."[ (wikipedia/loving v Virginia)
Prior to the Loving case, there were a few others that challenged the law including Pace v Alabama, Perez v Sharp, each laid the groundwork which allowed the Loving case to proceed to the Supreme Court; on June 12, 1967 the court ruled in favour of the Lovings with this statement: 
Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State”
Despite the ruling, many of these laws remained on the books although un~ enforceable until Alabama repealed the law in 2000.

Yes you read that right, until 2000.  Now I didn’t mean to give you a history lesson, but every time I look at my partner, every time I look at my siblings & my Grandmere (or her pictures, since she has passed) I see the descendants of interracial love, and I am grateful everyday for these people.

Now to make this story even more personal, my favourite place to be during high school was the library, I volunteered there during my free periods and during my senior year when I only had homeroom & 1 other class, I was there all the time. My school librarian, one of the coolest women I knew and was very into discussing Black history with me, her name was Ms. Loving, as in the granddaughter of Mr & Mrs. Loving. When I saw the movie and went to school that Monday, she laughed when I walked in and said yes she had seen the show, she gave a talk during Black History Month and brought along family pictures, and shared those with us.
Talk about touching history, this is the story of a love that took on a state and went to bat for all those who couldn’t, This was a love that lasted until Mr Richard Loving preceded his wife into death in June 1975, and she later passed on May 2, 2008
Officially Loving Day is the day the courts overturned the rule, June 12th, but every Valentine’s Day, when my partners & I are enjoying this day for Lovers I always stop to light a candle for the ones who helped to make this love possible.
Even if your aren’t in an interracial romance, can you please light a candle today for all the lovers past and present who are in need of passion, comfort, Love and romance.

**If your in NYC they have a display of pictures from the Loving family, intimate portraits, why not take a look and see. Link is above with their names.**

Be Blessed, be happy, Be Love

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