Mildred & Richard Loving
Loving v. Virginia 1967 – the final ruling of this Supreme Court case made anti-miscegenation illegal (these were laws that enforced racial segregation in marriage and intimate relationships – basically making it illegal to marry outside of your own race). By law, people of different racial backgrounds – most notably & controversially black and white – who were married and who wanted to get married, could legally do so in the states that had previously forbade it. Each June 12, we in America commemorate this triumphant feat. Happy Loving Day! I didn’t even know it existed until last year when I watched the documentary on Netflix. I highly recommend it.
What this means to me:
Family means the world to me. Reaching out to my family members, calling to check on my nephew and younger cousins and being on the small committee that plans our family reunion – these all keep us connected. My NeeNee, my mom’s eldest sister, makes sure to keep our ancestry.com account updated with all of the happenings with family near and far. Our family tree stops at a dead halt just a few branches up though.
My Grandfather, Lucian (Mabel’s son)
Many people of European descent can trace their family members back several generations and understand the legacy that they come from. I, being the result of the great American mixing pot, particularly African-American, do not have that luxury. Aside from the fact that slave owners successfully broke all ties of African slaves and their home and lineage, and obliterated their African traditions, I also come from a diverse lineage. Stories of one Granny telling me about “my big fat Indian grandfather” and memories of asking my other Granny “who is that white man on the wall?” (her late husband/my grandfather – who is actually black, possibly with white ancestors) stick out most in my mind. Loving someone of another color was illegal and dangerous, so shame, fear, and law-breaking were associated with interracial relationships. While diversity in all aspects is being shown in a positive light in recent times, before the 1970s, diversity in love was viewed as especially heinous. I still ponder in my mind how in the world the color of skin can create such hate, but I know I will never understand it. I can only promote love.
My great-grandmother, lovingly called “Mama Mable,” is of mixed heritage. It is believed that her father was a “mulatto” (a derogatory term describing someone of mixed heritage). She remembered being raised earlier on by a white school teacher after her mother and grandmother died. Not much else is known of my family’s heritage before her generation.
Thanks to people like the Lovings:
I like to think that my great-grandmother and our ancestors are smiling down on me right now. She never knew her real heritage, and she never knew me, but the chains that forbade the former have been broken. The majority of her great-great grandchildren are of mixed races, and it is perfectly fine. My best friends come from a wide range of races and ethnicities. I am in a loving interracial relationship, and am blessed to have not experienced any discrimination. The world is still not perfect, but many people have let go of hatred and embraced diversity. We have a long way to go, but thank God we aren’t where we used to be. Just a suggestion, though: Let’s make everyday Loving Day 💗
P.S. If loving someone with a different amount of melanin is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
Read more Loving Day stories from my friends:
Sevia @ Ware is the Vodka – Appropriately Loving
Valrey @ ValreyBrennan.com – Forever Loving
Stephanie @ StephanieDrenka.com – What’s Love Got to Do With It?
xoxo, dolls & dudes