“We Were Married on the Second Day of June, and the Police Came After Us the 14th of July.”

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2016-11-13 23:21Z by Steven


“We Were Married on the Second Day of June, and the Police Came After Us the 14th of July.”

The Washingtonian

Hillary Kelly, Design & Style Editor

Richard and Mildred Loving. Photograph by Grey Villet.

An oral history, nearly 50 years later, of the landmark Virginia case that legalized interracial marriage—and is the subject of a talked-about movie out this month.

In June 1958, Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving drove from their home in Central Point, Virginia, to Washington, DC, to be married. Twenty-four states, including Virginia, still outlawed interracial marriage at the time. Mildred was part Native American and part African-American; Richard was white. Their union would eventually result in their banishment from the state and a nine-year legal battle.

On November 4, almost 50 years after the Supreme Court’s 1967 decision that the Lovings’ marriage was valid—and that marriage is a universal right—Hollywood is set to release Loving, already on Oscar lists. As director Jeff Nichols explained when asked why he took on the project, “We have very painful wounds in this country, and they need to be brought out into the light. And it’s gonna be an awkward, uncomfortable, painful conversation that’s going to continue for a while.”

The movie focuses on Mildred and Richard’s romance. We looked behind the scenes of the struggle itself, talking to insiders including the couple’s attorneys—then just out of law school—to revisit the case. One remarkable aspect: Unlike other civil-rights champions of their era, the Lovings never set out to change the course of history. “What happened, we real­ly didn’t intend for it to happen,” Mildred said in 1992. “What we wanted, we wanted to come home.”

This is the story of how a quiet couple from rural Virginia brought about marriage equality for themselves, and for all…

Read the entire article here.

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The Crime of Being Married

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2012-10-22 01:14Z by Steven

The Crime of Being Married

Life Magazine
pages 85-
Source: Library of Virginia

Photographs by Grey Villet

A Virginia couple fights to overturn an old law against miscegenation

She is Negro, he is white, and they are married. This puts them in a kind of legal purgatory in their home state of Virginia, which specifically forbids interracial marriage.

Last week Mildred and Richard Loving lost one more round in a seven-year legal battle, when the Virginia Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the state’s antimiscegenation law. Once again they and their three children were faced with the loss of home and livelihood…

Read the article here.

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Art Review: A Life of Marital Bliss (Segregation Laws Aside)

Posted in Articles, Arts, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2012-02-02 08:09Z by Steven

Art Review: A Life of Marital Bliss (Segregation Laws Aside)

The New York Times

Martha Schwendener

What’s the difference between a political activist and a political hero? It’s often a matter of intention versus accident. Within the civil rights movement Rosa Parks is seen as an activist: She trained at the Highlander Folk School for social justice in Tennessee, and her refusal to give up her seat on a crowded bus was the catalyst for the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott. Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple from Virginia whose marriage prompted a benchmark 1967 Supreme Court ruling overturning state miscegenation laws, are portrayed in “The Loving Story: Photographs by Grey Villet” as heroes who fell into history by accident.

he Loving story is well known in the annals of American civil rights history. It began on July 11, 1958, when a Virginia county sheriff and two deputies entered the Lovings’ bedroom at 2 a.m. and arrested them for violating the Racial Integrity Act, which banned interracial marriage. (Or you might say it began several years earlier, when Richard Loving, a white teenager, met Mildred Jeter, a girl of African-American and American Indian descent, six years his junior.)

When, at 18, Mildred became pregnant, the couple decided to marry in Washington, D.C., where interracial marriage was legal. They were arrested five weeks later when they returned to Virginia and tried to live as husband and wife, kicking off a nine-year legal odyssey…

Read the entire article here.

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The Case of Loving v. Bigotry

Posted in Arts, History, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2012-01-01 21:18Z by Steven

The Case of Loving v. Bigotry

The New York Times

Julie Bosman

Photography by: Grey Villet

In 1958, Richard and Mildred Loving were arrested in a nighttime raid in their bedroom by the sheriff of Caroline County, Va. Their crime: being married to each other. The Lovings—Mildred, who was of African-American and Native American descent, and Richard, a bricklayer with a blond buzz cut—were ordered by a judge to leave Virginia for 25 years. In January, the International Center of Photography is mounting a show [2012-01-20 through 2012-05-06] of Grey Villet’s photographs of the couple in 1965. That exhibit is complemented by an HBO documentary, ‘‘The Loving Story,’’ directed by Nancy Buirski, which will be shown on HBO on Feb. 14…

Read the entire text and view the photographs here.

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