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Loving vs Virginia

by | Jun 5, 2024 | Books about Black History, Planner | 1 comment

Loving vs Virginia Ruling of 1967

In June 1958, a young couple named Richard and Mildred Loving traveled from Virginia to Washington D.C. to get married. This was not a destination wedding however; they had to travel out of Virginia because interracial marriage was illegal in that state.

One month later, in July 1958, police burst into their bedroom and arrested in their bed for the felony of interracial marriage. They spent a few days in jail each, their sentence of one year of prison time was suspended with the agreement that they leave Virginia and never return.

They moved to Washington DC and had three children, but missed their life in Virginia so much that they eventually moved back to a hidden farm in Virginia to raise their three children.

Hoping for help to be able to live in freedom, Mildred Loving wrote a letter to the U.S. Attorney General for assistance. The Attorney General forwarded the letter to the American Civil Liberties Union, who accepted the case in November 1963.

After many long court cases, Loving vs Virginia finally reached US Supreme Court in April 1967. Finally, on June 12 1967, the Supreme Court issued their decision that Virginia was found to be in violation of the 14th amendment of equal protection under the law.

Thanks to the courage and tenacity of Richard and Mildred Loving, interracial marriage is now federally legal.

June 12th is now designated as Loving Day, and is celebrated across the country. Visit LovingDay.org to find a celebration near you.

Click here to read the official transcript of the Supreme Court decision.

a black woman and a white man hold hands and lean into each other

Loving (PG-13) is a movie that follows the story of Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter from just before they cross state lines to wed in 1958 all the way through finding out the Supreme Court ruled in their favor in 1967.

Loving stars Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton.

You can watch Loving on Netflix.

The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage

Sean Qualls(Illustrator)  Selina Alko (Illustrator)
This book is a wonderful introduction to the story of the Loving family for small children. The author and illustrator are themselves an interracial couple, and they use basic appropriate language to describe what happened to the Lovings when they got married. 
My six-year-old spent the first half of the book incredulous that interracial marriage was illegal up until very recently. He cheered when I read the ruling from the Supreme Court. I am so glad we have a book to read together that honors the Loving family for all they endured just to be openly in love and have a family, and how they changed the country.
a red-haired white man and his Black wife are seated together with their three interracial children on their laps
two people holding hands, one person is white and one person is Black

Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case

Patricia Hruby Powell (Author)  Shadra Strickland (Illustrator)
This is a good book option for middle school and high school grades. It’s written in prose, with each character telling their story in poetry form.
It also features several historical pictures scattered throughout the pages, giving context to the Civil Rights Movement happening in the country at the same time. This helps the reader understand the Lovings’ struggle within history.


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