Richard & Mildred Loving: The Bravest Interracial Couple You Never Knew

Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving

Image via Wikipedia 

Without the Lovings–yes, that really is their last name–my family would not exist.

Richard and Mildred Loving changed the image of marriage forever. Funny thing was, I didn’t learn about them until recently. So why don’t more people know about their historic fight?

Richard, who is white, and Mildred, who is black, was jailed for marrying each other.  Interracial marriage was still illegal in 1967, but they fought back. The couple took their case Loving v Virginia all the way to the Supreme Court.

The Lovings won.

On June 12, 1967 the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to ban interracial marriages.

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling. I’m happy to see an influx of books and a film about the Lovings.

Take a look at the Loving trailer from Focus Features where Joel Edgerton plays Richard Loving and Ruth Negga plays Mildred. The film will be released November 4. When I told my husband about it, his first response is, “We need to go see it.”

Loving v. Virginia books to read to your family

When I told my kids about how the Lovings weren’t allowed to be married, they were shocked. How could someone not be able to marry who they loved? It’s important to me for them to learn about our country’s past so we can continue to grow as a country and community. #LoveisLove

Here are a couple of books about the Lovings and their story that you can read and share with your family. I wish there were more–if you can recommend any, leave the title in the comments. (These links are affiliate links)

The Case For Loving by Selina Alko

The Case For Loving: The Fight For Interracial Marriage by Seline Alko and illustrated by Sean Qualls & Selina Alko.

This picture book is written with younger kids in mind. It covers the Lovings’ family with an emphasis on their children. I need to get a copy so I can read it with my kids.

Loving vs Virginia by Patricia Hruby Powell

Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case written by Patricia Hruby Powell, illustrated by Shadra Strickland.

This book won’t be released until January 2017, but I got my hands on a galley last month at the ALA annual conference. Written in verse, the book tells the story of the famous case. The voices alternate between Richard and Mildred. Interspersed between their words are illustrations, facts about interracial marriage laws, and legal notices.  I haven’t read all of it, but it’s well done so far. A good book to read with your older kids.