1967: The Year Interracial Marriage Became Legal

The Richard and Mildred Loving Documentary

BBC (2009)

Film Review

This film is about a 1967 Supreme Court case in which an interracial couple successfully challenged a Virginia law prohibiting miscegenation.

Mildred and Richard Loving legally married in Washington DC in 1958. However they were arrested and thrown in jail when they returned to their home in Central Point Virginia. The court ultimately ordered them to leave Virginia for 25 years or face a one year jail sentence.

Relocating to Washington DC, they were jailed every time they tried to visit Mildred’s family in Central Point.

In the early sixties, Mildred wrote to attorney general Robert F Kennedy, who referred the couple to the ACLU. The latter appealed the Lovings’ sentence in the Virginia Supreme Court and lost. A 1967 appeal to the US Supreme Court prevailed, effectively abolishing the anti-miscegenation laws that remained in sixteen southern states.

As late as 1947, thirty states, including California and Oregon, had laws against interracial marriage.

The documentary is in three parts – Parts 2 and 3 launch automatically.

 

9 thoughts on “1967: The Year Interracial Marriage Became Legal

  1. I WAS BORN IN THE YEAR OF 1953 AND YES I AM A 62 YEAR OLDER. I AM ALSO OF MIXED BLOOD, FOR GENERATIONS. ON MY LATE FATHER’S SIDE I AM WHITE AND CHEROKEE INDIANA, ONE OF MY GREAT GRANDFATHER’S WAS A FULL BLOOD CHEROKEE, AND ON MY LATE MOTHER’S SIDE I AM OF POLISH GENERATIONS. MY LATE MOTHER AND FATHER MET EACH OTHER AFTER WORLD WAR II, IN MIAMI, FL USA, AT A POLICEMAN’S BALL. MY LATE FATHER WAS ALSO FIVE YEARS YOUNGER THAN MY LATE MOTHER, AND SHE GAVE BIRTH TO ME WHEN SHE WAS 41 YEARS OLD. MY LATE MOTHER WAS BORN IN BRITISH COLUMBIA CANADA, RAISED IN FRANCE. POLISH GRANDPARENTS TRAVELED. MY LATE FATHER WAS BORN IN USA, AND A BORN AND BREAD GEORGIA CRACKER. I AM A CULTURAL VARIETY.

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  2. As you know, I live in Ohio. I graduated from high school in 1967, and six years later I was going to college and playing in a band from Chillicothe, which is in the south-central part of the state, the Appalachian part of the state.

    It’s still odd to me, I never saw an interracial marriage until I worked in Chillicothe. Columbus was still very racist at that time, and any couple attempting a marriage like this would have been set upon, immediately. I am more than certain of this.

    But in Chillicothe, which was considered by Columbus folk as a city in the “redneck” area of Ohio, “mixed marriages”, as they were referred to then, had been accepted for many decades. I am not saying the whites were wild about the notion, but these marriages had, to whatever extent, been accepted. And yet, the city itself was very segregated.

    I know this because our black bass player’s father was white and his mother black. And he himself was married to a white woman. I spent a great deal of time in the black community there, since Bill and I had become close friends. And I was not only accepted in the community, I was welcomed. I loved Bill’s parents and the rest of the community there.

    I haven’t been to Chillicothe for years now. But I don’t remember the last time I saw a black/white couple in Columbus.

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      • This was always amazing to me. In Chillicothe’s case, it is a small city, so perhaps, the whites didn’t want civil upheaval?

        But Milwaukee is not a small city, so this is even stranger. At least it was a step in the right direction.

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