Interracial Marriage Legal 43 Years

Today is a very special anniversary for my family. Forty-three years ago today, Mildred and Richard Loving won the Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia, allowing interracial couples to marry.

Illegal to marry in Virginia, the Loving’s drove to Washington DC to take their vows. Upon return to Virginia, they were arrested and sentenced to one year in prison for violation of the Virginia Racial Integrity Act of 1924 that criminalized marriage between whites and non-whites. Their sentence was suspended for 25 years on the condition they agreed to leave the state.

The Lovings appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. The case, Loving v. Virginia, was decided unanimously in the Lovings’ favor on June 12, 1967. The Court overturned their convictions. 

The couple never wanted to be famous, just happy. They went on to have three children.

Richard Loving died at age 41 in 1975, when a drunken driver struck their car. Mildred Loving died of pneumonia on May 2, 2008, in Milford, Virginia, at age 68. Her daughter, Peggy, said, “I want [people] to remember her as being strong and brave, yet humble—and believ[ing] in love.”  The final sentence in Mildred Loving’s obituary in the New York Times read, “A modest homemaker, Loving never thought she had done anything extraordinary. ‘It wasn’t my doing,’ Loving told the Associated Press in a 2007 interview. ‘It was God’s work.’

On a personal note, I, too, think it was God’s work. His signature is in their last name!

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Poem: “Human Family” by Maya Angelou

(there’s nothing like hearing Maya Angelou share her poetry…such a gift!)

Human Family

by Maya Angelou

I note the obvious differences
in the human family.
Some of us are serious,
some thrive on comedy.

Some declare their lives are lived
as true profundity,
and others claim they really live
the real reality.

The variety of our skin tones
can confuse, bemuse, delight,
brown and pink and beige and purple,
tan and blue and white.

I’ve sailed upon the seven seas
and stopped in every land.
I’ve seen the wonders of the world,
not yet one common man.

I know ten thousand women
called Jane and Mary Jane,
I’ve not seen any two
who really were the same.

Mirror twins are different
although their features jibe,
and lovers think quite different thoughts
while lying side by side.

We love and lose in China,
we weep on England’s moors,
and laugh and moan in Guinea,
and thrive on Spanish shores.

We seek success in Finland,
are born and die in Maine.
In minor ways we differ,
in major we’re the same.

I note the obvious differences
between each sort and type,
but we are more alike, my friends
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

Artwork: Spirit of Life (multicultural babies)

“Spirit of Life” by Karen Brinkerhoff

One of the biggest blessings in creating iCelebrateDiversity.com has been meeting people who are just as passionate about diversity as me! Meet Karen Brinkerhoff:

Karen is an amazing artist who loves to paint the diversity of mankind. She has painted a beautiful series called “Spirit” that consist of the following titles: Spirit of Life (shown above), Spirit of Woman, Spirit of Prayer, Spirit of Freedom.

My youngest daughter is featured in the Spirit of Life. Can you guess which one is her?

Children’s Book: “The Rabbits’ Wedding” by Garth Williams

The Rabbits’ Wedding

by Garth Williams

The Rabbits’ Wedding is, hands down, my youngest daughters favorite book. It has been as far back as I can remember. It’s a sweet story about two little rabbits, one white and the other black, who fall in love and want to be together forever. The illustrations are darling! Garth Williams is famous for illustrating many books, two of the most notable are Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web. Here’s a favorite page that always produces laughs:

Interestingly, the book was banned in several places during the 1960’s for fear that it was “brainwashing” children into thinking integration/interracial marriage was good.

Sweet message + darling illustrations = priceless!

BUY IT HERE!