Mildred and Richard Loving's Love Created Lasting Change for Interracial Couples


Military. Dolores jeeter was born on july twenty second nineteen thirty nine in central point virginia. Her family was of african american european and native american descent. Unlike most southern cities in the height of jim crow central point was integrated black and white people mixed freely with relatively little racial tension. It was there that a teenage mildred met and fell in love with a young white man named richard. Loving mildred and richard began quietly dating when military became pregnant at eighteen. The couple decided to get married. But in nineteen fifty eight interracial marriage was illegal in the state of virginia barred from marrying in their home state. Mildred and richard drove to washington. Dc to tie the not. The young couple had only been married a few short weeks when in the early hours of one july morning. Sheriff garnett brooks and two deputies stormed into the couple's bedroom and central point acting on an anonymous tip that the couple was living in violation of virginia law. The police demanded to know. Mildew its relationship to richard. Mildred said plainly. I'm his wife and gestured at their marriage certificate on the wall. This did little to persuade the police. Even though they had not married within state lines the virginia law still forbade black and white citizens for marrying outside of virginia and then returning to live in the state as a result both richard and a pregnant mildred spent nights in jail. They eventually pleaded guilty to violating virginia law. Mildred ann richards plea bargain spared them from a one year prison sentence but ordered them to leave the state and not returned together for twenty five years. The loving somewhat followed orders after settling their court fees. They moved to washington dc where they raised. Three children occasionally making independent trips into virginia to visit family at great risk of imprisonment. Mildred richard made clandestine trips into virginia together and secretly lived there for a short period of time but by nineteen sixty three. The couple had had enough mildred. Who was already unhappy with city. Life decided she was done for good after her son was hit by a car on the advice of her cousin. Mildred wrote to then attorney general robert kennedy to ask for his assistance kennedy wrote back and referred mildred and her husband the american civil liberties union or the aclu. The aclu took their case four years later on april tenth nineteen sixty seven following legal challenge after legal challenge. The case of loving. Virginia made its way to the supreme

Coming up next