The First Interracial Marriage In America.
So every year, my mother will inevitably prompt me to engage in Black History activities much the same way a toddler pokes a sleeping dog with a stick for entrainment. But this year instead of having to prove to her that I’ve watched some program on Dr. King, or a documentary about Guion Bluford, I’ve decided to find some new faces relevant to black history in America. Now we all know that the gay rights movement is currently something that rotates in and out of our faces every so often, and there are some people who believe gay marriage is wrong. I’m not here to say weather it is or isn’t, but what I do want to do is remember a time when marriage between blacks and white was illegal. (It’s also called Miscegenation) Not being able to marry another race (to me) is ridiculous. I’ve, uh… copulated with women of every race there is, and to not be able to take any of those relationships further because of some law is absurd to me. But just like every boundary before and after it, the destruction of Miscegenation started with one incident, and then spread. Read the very important story Richard and below.
You may not know her name, but Mildred Loving was a civil rights activist. Like many who played a role in the civil rights movement Emmett Till, Rosa Parks Mrs. Loving wasn’t looking to change the world by her actions. All she was looking to do was be married to her husband, Richard. Richard was white, and Mildred was black and when they were married in 1958, interracial marriage ”miscegenation” is the pejorative was against the law in their home state of Virginia, as well as 16 other states. Interracial marriage was once a concept so odious that in 1912, Rep. Seaborn Roddenbery of Georgia tried to introduce an amendment to the Constitution banning such unions. To his colleagues in Congress he lectured, according to the Chicago Daily Tribune: ”It is contrary and averse to every sentiment of pure American spirit. It is contrary and averse to the very principles of a pure Saxon government. It is subversive of social peace. … No more voracious parasite ever sucked at the heart of pure society and moral status than the one which welcomes or recognizes everywhere the sacred ties of wedlock between Africa and America.”
Aren’t you glad we’re living in a time when politicians don’t use relationships between consenting adults as wedge issues? (sarcasm) The Lovings even spent time in jail for the high crime of being married to each other, and were forced to move from Virginia… Then, in June of 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Lovings’ ACLU-supported challenge to the Virginia law banning interracial marriages. Forty years later, there’s something like 4.3 million mixed-marriage couples in the United States. Never mind the number of people legally allowed to love as they please, Mildred Loving never thought she personally had done anything special. “It was God’s work,” she told the Associated Press in an interview last year. Though their only desire was to be together, it was not meant to be for the Lovings. Richard was killed in a 1975 car accident. Well, they’re together again now, and bless them both.
I know Mildred and Richard’s name may not be mentioned in middle schools across the country every February, or they may not have a street in every major city named after them, but when it comes to the freedom of being with whoever you love, they are pioneers. February, aside from being Black History month, is also the month that holds valentines day. So if you (like myself) are emotionally involved with someone of a different race, take a second to thank the people who made it possible for you.