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Tender Photos Unearthed from a Turbulent Time

Jan 20, 2012 - 14 comments

In honor of Valentines day and a Thank you to the couple in this story for without whom it wouldn't be possible for Jason and I to call each other husband and wife today, I just HAD to post this......To LOVE!.....Click on the link to see this beautiful couple!


When Mildred and Richard Loving married in Washington, D.C. in 1958, they didn't think they were breaking the law. Both were from the small town of Central Point, Virginia. Mildred was of African-American and Native American decent and Richard was white. They did know it was illegal for them to marry in their state-as well as 15 others--which is why they left to tie the knot. Within a month of returning home, police burst into their bedroom in the middle of the night and arrested them under the state's anti-miscegenation law. They were sentenced to a one-year in prison term that could be suspended if they left Virginia.

Banished to Washington, D.C., Mildred Loving, who did not consider herself a political person, wrote about her plight to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. The American Civil Liberties Union took up the case and brought it all the way to the United States Supreme Court. In 1967, in a landmark Civil Rights ruling, the court struck down America's laws against interracial marriage.

On the 40 th anniversary of the ruling, Loving issued a statement that read, "I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard's and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight, seek in life."

In 1965, Life Magazine sent photographer Grey Villet to photograph the Lovings and their three children. Writing for the New York Times, Villet's widow Barbara recalled that he approached the assignment with the aim of creating a tender family portrait, not an overtly political statement. "He chose as he did in every essay…to seek out the literal heart of the matter: a love story." However, the images were utterly groundbreaking exactly because of the intimate and emotionally transparent way they portrayed a taboo subject.

Filmmaker Nancy Buirski rediscovered Villet's photographs while making a documentary for HBO called The Loving Story. Twenty of the images are on display at the International Center of Photography in New York City from January 20 through May 6, 2012. The Loving Story will debut on February 14.

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1530342 tn?1405016490
by MrsPincince, Jan 20, 2012
Truly a wonderful love story...Thank you Mildred and Richard Loving:)....I find it fitting that their last name is Loving!..Too cute!...Racism has come a VERY long way so far. Hopefully it will one day cease to exist....

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by plumber43, Jan 20, 2012
Amen, so beautifully said!

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by adgal, Jan 20, 2012
It boggles my mind to this day that there could be or ever have been laws dictating whom you can marry. I believe, and always have believed, that if two people are of legal age and want to marry, why on earth would anyone care about their personal business.  Hard to believe that only 40 years ago it was still illegal to marry outside of your race.  I always admire people who choose to fight back.  Thanks for sharing this story mrs.  I knew that it used to be illegal, but did not know the story on how that law came to be overturned.  

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by JennyB0125, Jan 20, 2012
That is a beautiful story!!   Thanks for sharing!

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by ducky406, Jan 21, 2012
Such an awesome article! Thanks for sharing it, I've never known the story that ignited it. I remember when I got my first boyfriend (who was black) I was talking to my grandma about him and she said it was remarkable how much had changed. She told me that even in Washington state, far away from the south and it's history she would have gotten hell if she ever tried to date a black guy. Someone in her year was actually ostracized and had taunts of "how do you like those big lips" thrown at her. Sometimes it's still hard to believe people are that cruel, and yet they are. My niece's aunt moved from Alabama 'cause she married a black man and her son got the brunt of that-that was only 15 years ago.

And of course one of my best friends growing up was gay and it just tore my heart in half to know there was no way he should ever consider going to university with me. I went to a private Christan University and there was a huge turbulent fight between the students who were gay and those who were very... strict in their Leviticus roots and closed in their minds. Actually not just the students, many of the staff too were divided. There is something wrong with the world when you know someone will not be welcomed. We still have a long way to go, but maybe one day we can get there.

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by MrsPincince, Jan 21, 2012
Thanks for taking the time to read it ladies:)......

@ducky406- It amazes me myself...My husband is white and from a catholic background. He is French-Canadian, Irish, Italian, & Portuguese. His mom is Italian and Portuguese and his dad is the French-Canadian & Irish...I am 100% Nigerian from a Muslim background. Let me tell you we both went through it with or own parents (Mainly his mom, and both my mom & dad..His dad was the only one who didn't care)..It was hard but we both knew what we had in each other and we decided if they really loved us like they say they do they will eventually realize that the color doesn't matter..My mom grew up in Nigeria and in her late 20s moved to the states with my brother and sister before I was born. She moved to the south side of Chicago. If you know Chicago, it's had its share of culture issues and racism. She went through her share of it so I guess (in her mind) she was only looking out for my best interest...Anyway, We ended up coming to RI when my sister got accepted to Johnson & Wales University....I remember when I told her Jason asked me to marry him. She said to me, "Don't you worry for your kids and how are you going to protect them from ridicule"?...I responded, "My kids will NEVER wonder why mommy is black and daddy is white. Maybe they will ask but it won't come from a place of embarrassment because they will see and feel the love between myself and their father and that's all that would matter.....His mom didn't give me a chance at all in the beginning. I remember they day she met me, she told me to "Get the F#@% out of her house"...I will never forget it. Jason was so PISSED...So yes Jason and I know first hand all about racism and ignorance. We'll be together 13yrs (married for 6 of those) in February....My mom knows now what a good person he his and still apologizes to me every now and then for the emotional torture she put us through when we first got together. His mom unfortunately passed away last September but I'm happy to say that we became the BEST of friends....Unfortunately racism is out there BUT the world is realizing that you can't change the inevitable.

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by SeptemberBound, Jan 21, 2012
MrsPinciine thank you for shring this article, I am also in an interracial marriage but thankGod we have not had to go through the hardshid you did.  Thank God your love for each other was strong enough to withstand the close minded people around you and eventually to show them the meaning of true love. We have come a long way i the county but we still have a ways to go,, love is love no matter the color of ones skin. What a beautiful family the Lovings were and I thank them for standing up for love during a turbalent time in our history!


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by ducky406, Jan 21, 2012
Wow, MrsPincince you have quite an amazing story! You really have gotten it from all sides-family, religion, race, and nationality. It's definitely a testament to the strength of your marriage and love to stay firm through all of it. Personally the biggest thing I've had to deal with is religious disagreements. My husband is anti-establishment and Buddhist. He thinks of most religions as hokey and pointless because the view is too narrow. And I'm nondenominational Christian from a Mormon background with an Irish Catholic grandmother so I see the beauty and spirituality that can come from tradition. Our families have been nothing but supportive and we've still had quite a few rows because of the difference in tradition and religion. I can't imagine adding more stress on top of that.

1530342 tn?1405016490
by MrsPincince, Jan 21, 2012
You know, It just makes me all that more secure. Love conquers all. Especially if BOTH parties are in it FOR REAL!

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by adgal, Jan 21, 2012
You know, I read these stories and I just feel horrible.  Horrible that any two people who love each other and wish to make a life long commitment would even have to think about this.  Honestly, it makes no sense. Think about it...people hating each other for no other reason then skin pigmentation?  Or that perhaps they speak to God in a different way?  Or celebrate different holidays?  Whatever the reason, I cannot nor will I ever accept that.  I will never understand racism. It's not even logical.  There are two kinds of people in this world...good and bad. Period, end of story.  The's not even relevant.  Differences should be celebrated, cultures should learn from each other.  I truly will never understand.

377493 tn?1356502149
by adgal, Jan 21, 2012
BTW...if Jason is part French Canadian?  You know I am French Canadian, and I have some pretty cool recipes if you ever want to have a "traditional" night for him.  Yeah, you can get them on line, but mine are passed down through generations.  Let me know if your interested. I have some pretty traditional stuff I could send you.  xoxox (and where is our shoe addicts club)..haha

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by SunWorshiper_26, Jan 21, 2012
Awe :)

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by mum2beagain, Jan 22, 2012
Wonderful article. And amazing personal stories. Love can conquer all.

Avatar universal
by Londres70, Jul 18, 2012
You posted this a while back and I just now saw this.  It is truly a beautiful article about the power of love and thanks for posting it.  

Europeans are more open-mined in regards to these marriages, however, racism exists pretty much everywhere unfortunately.  

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