The journey that Richard and Mildred Loving took is important for history and for the future of civil rights in the United States. I recently watched the documentary The Loving Story and enjoyed the footage, pictures, and interviews of everyone involved in the Loving v. Virginia case. The documentary addressed the issue of interracial marriage in Virginia in 1967.
The married partners, Richard and Mildred, were woken up in the middle of the night and were criminally charged for being in the state of Virginia and being married. Richard was a white male, Mildred was a African American and Native American, and that was the problem that they faced at that point in history. During this time, it was illegal to be of different races and married in 21 states. The Lovings were exiled from the state of Virginia if they were going to be together. The couple had to secretly sneak back into the state to see their families. In the documentary, they showed footage of Richard driving to Virginia with Midlred in the trunk. This stood out to me, and that was when I really understood the courageousness of two people fighting against the laws put in place to keep them apart. I also really enjoyed the fact that Mildred Loving was the one to speak more and be outspoken about what they were doing. Richard was the more quiet one, which also does not coincide with gender roles that are placed for them.
To me, this story did not only reflect the opinions of our government system, but of the peoples’ consciousness of getting past Jim Crowe segregation laws. The film also gave insight to what other people, at that time, thought about pertaining the laws of being against the “mixing of the races”. The reasons that came out had to do with God not wanting the races to mix and that is why he put them in different continents. A woman stated this in the interview footage and it reflected the line of thinking of many people that were against people like the Lovings.