In the United States, we celebrate Loving Day — a day where we honor the Supreme court decision of Loving vs. Virginia of 1967 which struck down all anti-miscegenation laws remaining in sixteen U.S. states. Childhood and family friends Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter married in Washington, DC when she was 18 years old and pregnant. Mildred did not realize interracial marriage was illegal and they were arrested in their hometown north of Richmond, Virginia and forced to plead guilty to charges of “cohabiting as man and wife, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth.” To avoid jail time, the couple had to agree to leave Virginia and lived in Washington DC with their children for some time. Upon returning to Virginia (it was their home after all!) they were harassed and arrested. After writing to US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy about their predicament, he referred the case to the American Civil Liberties Union. In 1967 the Supreme Court ruled to strike down the remaining anti miscegenation laws.
Per their website, LovingDay.org, Loving Day seeks both to commemorate and celebrate the Supreme Court’s 1967 ruling, keeping its importance fresh in the minds of a generation which has grown up with interracial relationships being legal, as well as explore issues facing couples currently in interracial relationships. Ken Tanabe is credited with forming the idea for Loving Day. He created the idea in 2004 for his senior thesis at Parsons the New School of Design.
In the US, were not as “post-racial” as we’d like to believe — I think the current political climate has thrown that theory out of the window. We are decades away from the 1967 Supreme Court Loving ruling but interracial couples still navigate a few minefields in society. Michele and I are happily in a partnership where we discuss these things rather openly. Over the years, I’ve gotten a lot of emails and DMs not just about traveling as a black woman but traveling as an interracial couple (many in particular from black woman with white partners and children!). So when Michele suggested that I write a post on romantic trips for black couples for Valentine’s day, I gently reminded him that we’re not a black couple but decided to address questions I HAVE gotten.
Here is Michele and me on Traveling As an Interracial Couple on YouTube or if you’d prefer, IGTV (sound’s better).
We take the freedom to date and marry who we want for granted. My great grandmother and grandfather couldn’t marry and he loved her dearly with my mom being his only child. Thanks for sharing the message and reminder as diverse relationships aren’t always accepted in many social circles, nations, and cultures even still.
Thank YOU for sharing your family’s story! We definitely take it for granted and it’s almost shocking / jarring when we come outside of our bubble and realized they still aren’t accepted!