Loving Day is a celebration of the 1967 Supreme Court’s Decision which precludes individual states from preventing people of different races from getting married. The idea of commemorating Loving Day originated from Ken Tanabe whose father was Japanese and mother was Belgian. The first celebration took place in 2004 in New York City. Ken simply wanted to see multiethnic individuals and families recognized and celebrated.
Today, individuals of all races are free to love and marry someone who is not of the same race. In 1958, however, when Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial race couple got married this was not the case. The Lovings were harassed, arrested and then banished from their home state of Virginia. This unfair treatment was too much for young Mildred to contend with, so she shared their personal experience in a letter to the United States Attorney General, Robert Kennedy. This letter made its way to the American Civil Liberties Union and led to the case of Loving vs. Virginia, a series of court hearings and rulings which lasted nine years.The case ultimately ended up in the United States Supreme Court where a victory was won for the Lovings and interracial couples for years to come.
Jufauri Ely, Program Director of the Bachelor of Healthcare Administration for Baker College shares his thoughts on Loving Day and Love
June 12 is Loving Day, a celebration marking the day the Supreme Court struck down state bans against interracial marriage. I wish it was not called interracial marriage because there is only one race-the human race. I was fortunate in my life to realize that love is not something you can see but something you can do. Love doesn’t come in colors or shades but it is the actions you take. If we move past what we see and realize what we all feel, we can become more connected. The one thing most of us have in common is that we have experienced love.
Many people believe that love conquers all. We can easily get past our differences when we act in love. I remember learning that freckles were just pigment cells in the skin. The pigment or melanin in the skin of a person of color is the same as a freckle. My hope is that in the future my children are not identified as black or white. I hope they can be represented only by the content of their character. As more melanin is intertwined in humanity through interracial relationships, the world will change and grow in this area. We will have more empathy, concern and love for our fellow human beings once we recognize that we may look different but we’re all the same. When my wife and I decided to get married we were probably one of the first interracial couples in our family. Now we have several and I am glad because we represent a shift in thinking that could further unite the world. Diversity in love is what the world needs to thrive. May you have a loving day today and be forever grateful for all the differences we can experience in this life.
Loving Day Resources
An Interview with Ken Tanabe, the Founder of Loving Day
The Richard and Mildred Loving Story
The White and Black Worlds of Loving v. Virginia