It was in 1958 that the brave Mildred and Richard Loving began their journey that would pave the way for interracial couples in America. The two were accosted in their Virginia home at 2 a.m. after word of their marriage got out to the police. The Loving’s were arrested for violating the state’s Racial Integrity Act. It was this moment that marked the beginning of the end of a heinous ruling in our country.
The unparalleled courage that Mildred and Richard maintained during their time seeking asylum was certainly one for the books. The grueling time they spent relocated in Washington D.C. was a choice they made to avoid their pending prison sentences. The unfair choices were go to jail, or leave Virginia for 25 years. Dedicated to reclaim her life after seven years of being away, Mildred wrote a letter of appeal through the ACLU attempting to return home. The request was ultimately denied after a year of sitting in the hands of the US Attorney General. With persistence and unfailing commitment, the case eventually made its way to the Supreme Court in 1967 where it was ruled unanimously in their favor, deeming the Anti-miscegenation Law unconstitutional.
The inspiration that can be drawn from the strength of a love that overcame persistent hate was a blessing to multicultural and racial communities, both then and now. Not only was the story of Mildred and Richard Loving a major breakthrough in the quest for equality, but a great display of strength in commitment and partnership. In honor of Black History Month it feels imperative to note Mildred Loving's unfailing strength and persistence to hold firm to a life in which she could love and live freely. The way everyone deserves.