Before my husband and I started a family, I didn't know anything about Loving Day, celebrated on June 12. I happened to stumble across a blog and learned about the story of interracial couple, Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving.
The funny thing is that I remember watching a movie based on this couple starring Tim Hutton and Lela Rochon years ago, but didn't connect the dots right away.
Loving and Jeter both grew up in Virginia, later fell in love with one another and decided to get married in 1958. But in order for them to legally tie the knot, they had to travel to Washington, DC. Upon returning to Virginia, they were arrested. Not only did the state forbid mixed marriages, they also didn't allow couples to get get married out of state and reclaim residency in their home state.
Instead of spending time in prison, the Lovings were ordered to leave the state of Virginia. They later won the right to live in peace as husband and wife in 1967, which sparked other states to follow suit thereafter.
We've come a long way since the Lovings, but we still have a long way to go. Even though mixed marriages are legal, there are still some people who disagree with interracial couples.
I've been called a white man's whore among other things via social media. But I don't let those Internet idiots get to me.
Every now and then we notice stares and whispers when we're out in public. However, the complete blatant disrespect we've experienced often occur online. I've been called a white man's whore among other things via social media. But I don't let those Internet idiots get to me. I love my husband and our children. I take pride in my family.
So, every year on June 12, we honor the Lovings and what they did for us. We have two beautiful biracial children and often celebrate Loving Day as a family.
This year it happens to fall on our daughter's pre-k prom. My husband and I accompanied her to the dance. It was a special night marked by a special holiday.
Interestingly enough, we haven't told her about the Lovings, which is odd considering we've had the race talk several times in the past. I have explained to her that there was a time when her Dad and I weren't allowed to marry each other when we discussed civil rights.
This is definitely a conversation that I plan on having with her again soon—this time specifically address the Lovings. I think it's extremely important for kids to know their history. Being aware of our past allows us to appreciate what we have and strive to succeed at whatever it is we set out to conquer. That is the lesson we want to bestow upon our kids.