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Black & white marriage in the US in the past?

Black & white marriage in the US in the past?


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I have just watched the film "Loving" (A film depicting an interracial couple in the late 1950s in the US state of Virginia.).

I wondered why black & white married couples in the US in the past had to put the marriage certificate on the top of their bed while sleeping?


Because interracial marriage and intimate relationships were still illegal in several US states at the time, including the state of Virgina, where the movie is taking place, at the time it is taking place.

The couple got married in Washington D.C., where such marriage was legal. (Traveling there from their Virginia residence for the sake of marriage, and then back to Virginia, was not legal according to Section 20-58 of the Virginia Code.)

The prominent display of the certificate could have been an act of pride, defiance, or assertion. They did not "have to" display it that way by any Virginia law, as the marriage itself was not considered legal by Virginia authorities anyway.

Actually, there is a Wikipedia article about that couple's court case that eventually led to overturning the last of those laws as the Supreme Court considered such laws as unconstitutional.


The Lesson from America’s First Interracial Marriage

Four hundred years ago this past spring, North America witnessed its first interracial marriage. Most Americans don’t know the time or place of the ceremony, but everyone knows the bride—Pocahontas, the famous Powhatan princess. Since her death in 1617, she’s been the inspiration for hundreds of paintings, poems, and plays, not to mention movies and marketing campaigns. Her rescue of John Smith from execution has become a founding myth of American culture, retold by one generation after another. But over the years, the legend of Pocahontas—and her marriage—has become more fiction than history. Who was the real Pocahontas? Can her marriage tell us anything about America today?

First, the facts. Pocahontas never married John Smith, the colonist who invented the famous rescue story. The actual man at the altar was a commoner, John Rolfe, who confessed his love for her in a pleading letter to colonial authorities. Jamestown higher-ups blessed the nuptials, even though they viewed Indians with contempt. They saw a big advantage in having an Indian princess (and any male offspring) on their side.

Their scheme backfired when Pocahontas died during a whirlwind tour of England. After a brutal war in 1622, the English drove most Powhatans from the area. Once open to interracial unions, the Virginia Colony passed laws in 1691 banishing interracial married couples, defined as a union between whites and “Negro, mulatto, or Indian man or woman.” Other colonial legislatures put similar language on the books, giving legal reality to racial fears.

At the same time authorities were clamping down, the myth of Pocahontas’s marriage only grew. Like Squanto, who supposedly saved the Pilgrims from starvation, Pocahontas was romanticized as an Indian who gave a helping hand to whites. At a time when one drop of African blood made one a slave or second-class citizen, a drop of Pocahontas’s blood was viewed as a source of high breeding, even aristocracy. As Robert S. Tilton has shown, America’s upper classes bragged of their descent from Pocahontas, and Confederates celebrated her as a progenitor of the South.

In 1967, the Supreme Court struck down laws banning interracial marriage, opening the way for a change in American demographics. Once again, Pocahontas evolved with the culture, and in 1995 became the subject of an enduringly popular Disney animated feature, which portrayed her in wedded bliss with a dashing Englishman. This Pocahontas represented a positive evolution over the one romanticized by colonists and glorified by Confederates—no longer a symbol of white supremacy, Pocahontas was a reflection of a more diverse America, a patron saint of multiculturalism. At last, the Pocahontas myth seemed to have been rescued from America’s pernicious racial history. But was something missing here, too?

Unlike her cartoon counterpart, the real Pocahontas did not live happily ever after. She succumbed to the demands of colonial politics, and though she is often remembered positively, the cause she cared most about—the well being of her people—today receives little notice, even as her marriage is celebrated in cartoons and movies. While America has made enormous progress on race, much of it has left Native Americans behind. Indeed, just a month after the anniversary of Pocahontas’s wedding, President Obama finally made his first appearance at a reservation, visiting the Standing Rock Sioux amidst controversy over a proposed oil pipeline, which tribal leaders insist is a treaty violation. The controversy, the latest episode in a conflict that goes back hundreds of years, would have been familiar to Pocahontas. Indeed, it was precisely such fights over land and resources that motivated her marriage, and that she dedicated herself to resolving during her lifetime. Neither the handmaiden of white civilization, nor the founding mother of multiculturalism, the real Pocahontas was something different: a diplomat. She used her marriage as a political tool, a way to open up lines of communication between peoples. Confronted with today’s neglect of Indian country, she would not have taken refuge in happily ever after stories. She would have spoken up and insisted on a real dialogue, and not just when oil is at stake.


When did interracial marriage become legal in the United States?

In the United States, anti-miscegenation laws existed from the colonial era through the 20th century, and they are bookended by two Virginia pieces of legislation: Virginia’s 1691 anti-miscegenation law, and Loving v. Virginia (1967).

Colonial Era

In 1691, the colonial assembly of Virginia passed a law that was designed to prevent “that abominable mixture and spurious issue” of “negroes, mulattoes, and Indians intermarrying with English, or other white women.” [1] Any English or white woman who intermarried was banished from the colony. If she had a “bastard child by any negro or mulatto,” she had to pay fifteen pounds sterling to the church wardens of the parish within a month of giving birth. If she did not have fifteen pounds sterling, she was essentially indentured for five years until the debt had been paid.

Legislating interracial relationships suggested that they were illegitimate. Furthermore, legislating, for example, interracial fornication as a crime different from fornication, suggested that the interracial element made any crime more deviant. In North Carolina, where historian Kirsten Fischer did her study of sexual slander cases, the most degrading insults against white women contained graphic descriptions of sex with black men or animals. In describing interracial sexual acts as especially perverse, slanderers implied that interracial sex transgressed a natural boundary. As a result, sexual slander cases in which race played a prominent role bolstered the racial hierarchy at the same time it reinforced sexual constraints on white women. [2]

Nevertheless, interracial relations occurred—sometimes of free will, and in many cases in the absence of it. Ironically, Thomas Jefferson, in his Notes on the State of Virginia wrote: “amalgamation with the other colour produces a degradation to which no lover of his country, no lover of excellence in the human character, can innocently consent.” This statement is ironic, because historical evidence suggests that Jefferson fathered several children with his slave, Sally Hemmings.

19th Century

While laws against intermarriage in the East and South reflected the black-white binary, states in the west developed much more complicated and exclusive laws against intermarriage—representative of the uniquely diverse societies they were encountering.

For example, Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi all explicitly forbade the intermarriage between whites and blacks while Arizona’s anti-miscegenation law prohibited the intermarriage between whites and anyone who was either “Filipino, Hindu, or black,” California’s specifically prohibited intermarriage between whites and blacks or Asians while Oregon’s prohibited the intermarriage between whites and blacks, Native Americans, Asians, and even Native Hawaiians.

Most laws against intermarriage—or miscegenation laws—were passed in the middle of the 19th century and by the end of the Civil War, and by 1865 all western and Southern States had them in place.

During Reconstruction, anti-miscegenation laws were briefly repealed in the South, but were reinstated after 1877.

Anti-miscegenation laws were repeatedly upheld in court. The most notable case regarding the topic was the U.S. Supreme Court case Pace v. Alabama (1883). Section 4189 of the code of Alabama prohibited whites and blacks from “living with each other in adultery or fornication.” It carried a steeper fine that Section 4184 of the code of Alabama that prohibited “any man and woman” from living together in adultery or fornication. In this case, Tony Pace, a black man, and Mary Cox, a white women, were indicted for violating section 4189 of the code. They claimed that it violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights because the law penalized them more heavily for being an interracial couple. [3]

Instead, the court ruled that there was no violation. Rather, the punishment was relative to the crime. Interracial fornication was a different, and more severe, crime than fornication furthermore, it was not a violation of equal protection since the white party and the black party were both penalized equally.

20th Century

Individual states were able to mobilize the Pace ruling in order to defend their anti-miscegenation laws through the first half of the 20th century. It was not until the California case Perez v. Sharp (1948) did individual states recognize their anti-miscegenation laws were at risk.

The Perez case was unique because the plaintiffs argued that California’s anti-miscegenation law violated their freedom of religion. Andrea Perez, a Mexican American woman, and Sylvester Davis, a black man, were both Catholics and wanted to marry. However, under California law, Perez was legally considered white, and therefore unable to marry a black man. Arguing that marriage was a holy sacrament, and since the Catholic church did not say anything about interracial relations, Perez and Davis were able to successfully challenge California’s anti-miscegenation law.

The gap between California striking down its anti-miscegenation law and the Loving case which declared them unconstitutional can be explained by caution.

Groups like the NAACP were reluctant to jump on the wagon to fight anti-miscegenation laws because they worried it might affect the successes they had been having with school desegregation—most notably the Brown decision.

In 1965, Albert C. Persons wrote Sex and Civil Rights to suggest that all civil rights activists were sexual deviants, that others were only lured into participating in activism by being promised sex. His evidence was spurious and contradictory, but it also gave credibility to the rumors that linked civil rights with concerns about white supremacy and barriers against interracial sex and marriage. It wasn’t until Loving v. Virginia (1967) a case involving a white man and black woman, that the U.S. Supreme Court declared state laws that prohibited interracial marriage unconstitutional. Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving were a young couple who lived in Virginia. Because of Virginia’s revised Racial Integrity Act (1924), they were unable to marry in their home state. Nevertheless, in 1958, the couple went to Washington, D.C. to get married since D.C. did not have a law against interracial marriage at that time. They were married in D.C. and returned to Virginia.

One night, police raided their home and arrested them. The couple was charged with “unlawful cohabitation” and had two options: jail or banishment for 25 years.

The couple decided to move to D.C. where they remained for 5 years. Mildred wrote to Robert F. Kennedy who referred her to the ACLU. She missed her family and wanted to be able to return to Virginia. and after discussion, the couple decided to return to Virginia. The couple was arrested again, but they were prepared this time. ACLU volunteer attorneys, Bernard Cohen and Philip Hirschkop filed a motion that said that the Racial Integrity Act violated the Lovings’ Fourteenth Amendment rights. The case made it all the way to the US Supreme court and the court declared state laws prohibiting interracial marriage unconstitutional.

In its unanimous decision, the court declared that “marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual, and cannot be infringed by the State.”


Black & white marriage in the US in the past? - History

Editor's Note:

June 12th marks the anniversary of the Supreme Court's Loving v. Virginia case that struck down laws prohibiting interracial marriage. More than fifty years later, it seems absurd to most of us that such laws ever existed in the first place. But, as historian Jessica Viñas-Nelson explains, the fear of interracial marriage has been at the center of America's racial anxiety for a very long time.

In June, many Americans marked Loving Day—an annual gathering to fight racial prejudice through a celebration of multiracial community. The event takes its name from the 1967 Supreme Court ruling in Loving v. Virginia. The case established marriage as a fundamental right for interracial couples, but 72 percent of the public opposed the court’s decision at the time. Many decried it as judicial overreach and resisted its implementation for decades.

The case that brought down interracial marriage bans in 16 states centered on the aptly named Richard and Mildred Loving. In 1958, the pair were arrested in the middle of the night in their Virginia home after marrying the month before in Washington, D.C. Pleading guilty to “cohabiting as man and wife, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth,” they were offered one year imprisonment or a suspended sentence if they left their native state.

The Lovings chose exile over prison and moved to D.C. but they missed their hometown. After being arrested again in 1963 while visiting relatives in Virginia, Mildred Loving wrote Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, who in turn referred her to the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU appealed the Lovings’ conviction, arguing interracial marriage bans contradicted the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause. Despite this line of argument, lower courts upheld the verdict because, as one jurist wrote, “the fact that [Almighty God] separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

After multiple appeals, the case reached the Supreme Court, where Chief Justice Earl Warren’s opinion for the unanimous court declared marriage to be “one of the ‘basic civil rights of man’…To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications…is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty.” Warren further ruled that interracial marriage bans were designed expressly “to maintain White Supremacy.” The court’s decision not only struck down an 80-year precedent set in the case Pace v. Alabama (1883), but 300 years of legal code.

In the decades that followed, the nation’s views on interracial marriage have undergone a slow sea change. In 1967, only 3 percent of newlyweds were interracial couples. Today, 17 percent of newlyweds and 10 percent of all married couples differ from one another in race or ethnicity. Even though legal in most states by 1959, the overwhelming majority of white Americans then believed rejecting interracial marriage to be fundamental to the nation’s well-being. In 2017, in contrast, 91 percent of Americans believe interracial marriage to be a good or at least benign thing.

Today, few would publicly admit to opposing interracial marriage. In fact, most Americans now claim to celebrate the precepts behind Loving and the case has become an icon of equality and of prejudice transcended. Accordingly, individuals across the political spectrum, from gay rights activists to opponents of Affirmative Action who call for colorblindness, cite it to support their political agendas.

Yet, for 300 years, interracial marriage bans defined racial boundaries and served as justification for America’s apartheid system. And 50 years on, many of their effects remain.

Founding Myth, Foundational Rejection

The first recorded interracial marriage in American history was the celebrated marriage of the daughter of a Powhatan chief and an English tobacco planter in 1614. Matoaka, better known as Pocahontas, did not wed Captain John Smith as the Disney version of her life implies. Instead, she married John Rolfe as a condition of release after being held captive by English settlers for more than a year.

Rolfe presented her, duly baptized, in England as a symbol of peace, an example of England’s “civilizing” potential in the New World, and a means to raise funds for the Virginia Company’s colony. She died in England soon thereafter and the peace brokered with the marriage collapsed.

This first marriage obtained mythic portions long before Disney remade the story and even shaped Virginia’s laws on interracial marriage. Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act of 1924 codified individuals as white only if they had “no trace whatsoever of any blood other than Caucasian,” except for those who had one-sixteenth or less blood from American Indians—the so-called “Pocahontas exception”—a concession to some elite families who claimed lineage from Rolfe and Pocahontas’s only child.

A 1924 Health Bulletin issued by the state of Virginia to warn white residents of the estimated tens of thousands of “near white people” who should be avoided as “their children are likely to revert to the distinctly negro type even when all apparent evidence of mixture has disappeared.” The state seal featuring an American Indian heads the bulletin, even though someone with more than one-sixteenth American Indian ancestry would not be permitted to marry a white person in that state.

While Rolfe—and his alleged future descendants—won esteem for association with an “Indian princess,” relatively little racial mixing occurred between English settlers and Native Americans. English prejudice against a “savage” people, religious injunctions against marrying non-Christians, and a smaller imbalance in gender ratios among English colonists than in French and Spanish colonies contributed to this outcome—not to mention Indian women’s disinclination to select Englishmen, who were much less adept than Native men at hunting, fishing, and other valued skills.

The first laws proscribing interracial relationships, however, did not pertain to Native-English unions but to ones colonial leaders feared would upend the social order because they could promote alliances between indentured servants and slaves.

In 1664, Maryland sought to stanch potential interracial marriages by threatening enslavement for white women who married black men. Two years earlier, Virginia had enacted legislation to profit from white men’s sexual relationships with black women. Children would inherit the social status of their mother, not their father, meaning the children of slave women would be born slaves regardless of the father’s status. Virginia then outlawed interracial marriage entirely in 1691. Virginia’s original penalty for those who wed interracially—banishment—was the same punishment the Lovings received nearly three centuries later.

These laws had clear aims: to control women’s sexuality, to establish categories of slave and free, and to develop racist ideologies justifying discrimination. White men had sexual access to all women and exclusive access to white women. Interracial sex, so long as it remained out-of-wedlock and occurred between white men and black women, merited little legal or social consequence. These laws also set into motion America’s peculiar system of racial classification: hypodescent. Americans would be classified not according to the degree of mixture they contained but by the total absence or presence of blackness.

The first laws prohibiting interracial marriages occurred when wealthy planters were transitioning from using European indentured servants as their primary labor to African slaves. As these two labor pools worked alongside one another and even married one another, planters feared that poor whites and African slaves would overthrow the far smaller planter class.

Interracial marriage bans, therefore, arose to build racial barriers that would supplant alliances among the laborers by creating binary categories of black and white, slave and free. Indeed, Maryland’s assembly passed the statute discouraging marriage between white women and black men within an act authorizing lifelong slavery.

Most other American colonies followed Maryland and Virginia’s lead and banned interracial marriage between 1661 and 1725. Forty-one states in all eventually enacted bans.

“The Battering Ram”: Interracial Marriage and the Age of Abolition

Northern colonies and later states also enacted bans on interracial marriage, although some repealed these as they gradually abolished slavery. Nevertheless, white fears of mixed marriages remained a potent political force, particularly in the North.

Most white northerners showed themselves firmly opposed to any suggestion of black equality through their rejection of interracial marriage or even the mere hint of its occurrence. Not coincidently, public hysteria against interracial marriage grew louder in the 1830s when the rights of black people were being contentiously debated and a more vocal and inclusive abolitionist movement emerged. Defenders of slavery accused abolitionists of coveting interracial marriages, despite the undeniable evidence of interracial offspring on Southern plantations resulting from slave owners forcing themselves on slave women.

After rumors spread in 1834 that abolitionist ministers had married an interracial couple (they hadn’t), 11 days of racial terror erupted in New York City. A mob attacked a mixed-race gathering of the American Anti-Slavery Society and continued to menace, burn, and destroy the homes and churches of leading abolitionists. The mob’s wrath targeted black churches, homes, schools, and businesses. A similar riot, with similar instigation and targets of violence, occurred in Philadelphia in 1838.

As the targeted violence against abolitionists and black institutions illustrates, by the 1830s, interracial marriage had become a proxy for white anxieties that the social order they had built upon racial distinction might be endangered. Abolition threatened the social order and thus supporters of slavery raised fears of interracial marriage to torpedo abolitionists’ efforts and to hurt the free black population.

Many of the 165 anti-abolitionist riots that took place in the 1830s were provoked by rumors of interracial marriages. Little else could more effectively raise a mob or garner as much wrath anti-abolitionists used this to great effect. In 1838, the black-authored newspaper Colored American astutely labeled the tactic “the battering ram of the pro-slavery party.”

Despite allegations that abolitionists were amalgamationists (supporters of interracial marriage), most in fact opposed interracial marriage and readily crumbled before the oft-repeated question: “Would you let your daughter marry a Negro?”

Even William Lloyd Garrison, one of the most radical abolitionists, never advocated actual interracial marriages even as he fought for the repeal of marriage bans. Garrison explained that abolitionists’ support for repealing interracial marriage bans “has not been to promote ‘amalgamation,’ but to establish justice.”

Such marriages among abolitionists were also exceedingly rare. One of the few known interracial marriages between abolitionists—William King and Marry Allen (1853)—resulted in their fleeing the country in fear for their lives.

Abolitionist and publisher William Lloyd Garrison spoke out about the injustice of interracial marriage bans (left). Abolitionist and writer David Walker called for black unity against racial injustice in 1829 (second from left). Abolitionist, writer, and women’s rights advocate Lydia Maria Child argued for the right to interracial marriage in principle, not in practice as she maintained “no abolitionist considers such a thing desirable” (third from left). Orator and abolitionist Charles Lenox Remond considered the legality of interracial marriage the epitome of rights necessary for a free and open society and fought for the repeal of Massachusetts’s ban in 1843 (right).

Most African Americans too were ambivalent toward marrying interracially. They saw the importance of obtaining the legal right to it in principle, but took pains to deny allegations that they coveted such unions and vehemently decried slave owners’ rape of enslaved women. Perhaps the era’s most famous black pronouncement on the matter came from David Walker’s revolutionary Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World (1829) when he declared: “I would not give a pinch of snuff to be married to any white person I ever saw.” Nevertheless, he argued that marriage bans were a hallmark of inequality and he sought their removal on principle.

Even where interracial relationships were legal, derogatory depictions—like E.W. Clay’s popular series of lithographs—linked it in the white public’s imagination with bastardy, debauchery, and immorality. In rare cases though, interracial couples inside and outside of legal wedlock existed and sometimes even thrived in pockets of the North where local communities paid far less concern than one might expect. Even if community tolerance existed, however, the children of interracial couples unable to legally wed were defined as bastards—a branding that carried real consequences in the 18 th and 19 th centuries as it foreclosed the possibility of inheritance—meaning white property remained in white hands.

For the enslaved population, however, no such consensual interracial relationship could exist. Even the rare and seemingly loving unions that functioned like marriages between masters and slaves could not—by definition—be consensual. Most interracial sex under slavery, however, did not even have a veneer of loving attachments and was instead the blatant rape of black women by white men. This history’s effect on African Americans’ views of interracial relationships cannot be overstated.

Nor can interracial marriage’s role in politics and legal history be exaggerated.

As part of the justification for the infamous Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) case, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney used the existence of interracial marriage bans as evidence that the Founding Fathers never intended Black Americans to be citizens. These laws, Taney insisted, were evidence of a “perpetual and impassable barrier erected between the white race and [those]…which they looked upon as so far below them in the scale of created beings that intermarriages between white persons and negroes and mulattoes were regarded as unnatural and immoral, and punished as crimes.”

The issue even arose in the legendary debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas. Douglas accused Lincoln of condoning amalgamation, to which Lincoln vehemently protested “that counterfeit logic which concludes that, because I do not want a black woman for a slave I must necessarily want her for a wife.” Accusations, however, continued to plague Lincoln and took on a life of their own in the 1864 election.


(1967) Loving v. Virginia

WARREN, C.J., Opinion of the Court
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
________________________________________
388 U.S. 1
Loving v. Virginia
APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF APPEALS OF VIRGINIA
________________________________________
No. 395 Argued: April 10, 1967 — Decided: June 12, 1967
________________________________________
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WARREN delivered the opinion of the Court.

This case presents a constitutional question never addressed by this Court: whether a statutory scheme adopted by the State of Virginia to prevent marriages between persons solely on the basis of racial classifications violates the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. For reasons which seem to us to reflect the central meaning of those constitutional commands, we conclude that these statutes cannot stand consistently with the Fourteenth Amendment.

In June, 1958, two residents of Virginia, Mildred Jeter, a Negro woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, were married in the District of Columbia pursuant to its laws. Shortly after their marriage, the Lovings returned to Virginia and established their marital abode in Caroline County. At the October Term, 1958, of the Circuit Court of Caroline County, a grand jury issued an indictment charging the Lovings with violating Virginia’s ban on interracial marriages. On January 6, 199, the Lovings pleaded guilty to the charge, and were sentenced to one year in jail however, the trial judge suspended the sentence for a period of 25 years on the condition that the Lovings leave the State and not return to Virginia together for 25 years. He stated in an opinion that:

Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And, but for the interference with his arrangement, there would be no cause for such marriage. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.

After their convictions, the Lovings took up residence in the District of Columbia. On November 6, 1963, they filed a motion in the state trial court to vacate the judgment and set aside the sentence on the ground that the statutes which they had violated were repugnant to the Fourteenth Amendment. The motion not having been decided by October 28, 1964, the Lovings instituted a class action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia requesting that a three-judge court be convened to declare the Virginia anti-miscegenation statutes unconstitutional and to enjoin state officials from enforcing their convictions. On January 22, 1965, the state trial judge denied the motion to vacate the sentences, and the Lovings perfected an appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia. On February 11, 1965, the three-judge District Court continued the case to allow the Lovings to present their constitutional claims to the highest state court.
The Supreme Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of the anti-miscegenation statutes and, after modifying the sentence, affirmed the convictions. The Lovings appealed this decision, and we noted probable jurisdiction on December 12, 1966, 385 U.S. 986.

The two statutes under which appellants were convicted and sentenced are part of a comprehensive statutory scheme aimed at prohibiting and punishing interracial marriages. The Lovings were convicted of violating § 258 of the Virginia Code:

Leaving State to evade law. — If any white person and colored person shall go out of this State, for the purpose of being married, and with the intention of returning, and be married out of it, and afterwards return to and reside in it, cohabiting as man and wife, they shall be punished as provided in § 20-59, and the marriage shall be governed by the same law as if it had been solemnized in this State. The fact of their cohabitation here as man and wife shall be evidence of their marriage.

Section 259, which defines the penalty for miscegenation, provides:

Punishment for marriage. — If any white person intermarry with a colored person, or any colored person intermarry with a white person, he shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by confinement in the penitentiary for not less than one nor more than five years.

Other central provisions in the Virginia statutory scheme are § 20-57, which automatically voids all marriages between “a white person and a colored person” without any judicial proceeding, and §§ 20-54 and 1-14 which, respectively, define “white persons” and “colored persons and Indians” for purposes of the statutory prohibitions. The Lovings have never disputed in the course of this litigation that Mrs. Loving is a “colored person” or that Mr. Loving is a “white person” within the meanings given those terms by the Virginia statutes.

Virginia is now one of 16 States which prohibit and punish marriages on the basis of racial classifications. Penalties for miscegenation arose as an incident to slavery, and have been common in Virginia since the colonial period. The present statutory scheme dates from the adoption of the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, passed during the period of extreme nativism which followed the end of the First World War. The central features of this Act, and current Virginia law, are the absolute prohibition of a “white person” marrying other than another “white person,” a prohibition against issuing marriage licenses until the issuing official is satisfied that the applicants’ statements as to their race are correct, certificates of “racial composition” to be kept by both local and state registrars, and the carrying forward of earlier prohibitions against racial intermarriage.

In upholding the constitutionality of these provisions in the decision below, the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia referred to its 1965 decision in Naim v. Naim, 197 Va. 80, 87 S.E.2d 749, as stating the reasons supporting the validity of these laws. In Naim, the state court concluded that the State’s legitimate purposes were “to preserve the racial integrity of its citizens,” and to prevent “the corruption of blood,” “a mongrel breed of citizens,” and “the obliteration of racial pride,” obviously an endorsement of the doctrine of White Supremacy. Id. at 90, 87 S.E.2d at 756. The court also reasoned that marriage has traditionally been subject to state regulation without federal intervention, and, consequently, the regulation of marriage should be left to exclusive state control by the Tenth Amendment.

While the state court is no doubt correct in asserting that marriage is a social relation subject to the State’s police power, Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190 (1888), the State does not contend in its argument before this Court that its powers to regulate marriage are unlimited notwithstanding the commands of the Fourteenth Amendment. Nor could it do so in light of Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (1923), and Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535 (1942). Instead, the State argues that the meaning of the Equal Protection Clause, as illuminated by the statements of the Framers, is only that state penal laws containing an interracial element as part of the definition of the offense must apply equally to whites and Negroes in the sense that members of each race are punished to the same degree. Thus, the State contends that, because its miscegenation statutes punish equally both the white and the Negro participants in an interracial marriage, these statutes, despite their reliance on racial classifications, do not constitute an invidious discrimination based upon race. The second argument advanced by the State assumes the validity of its equal application theory. The argument is that, if the Equal Protection Clause does not outlaw miscegenation statutes because of their reliance on racial classifications, the question of constitutionality would thus become whether there was any rational basis for a State to treat interracial marriages differently from other marriages. On this question, the State argues, the scientific evidence is substantially in doubt and, consequently, this Court should defer to the wisdom of the state legislature in adopting its policy of discouraging interracial marriages.

Because we reject the notion that the mere “equal application” of a statute containing racial classifications is enough to remove the classifications from the Fourteenth Amendment’s proscription of all invidious racial discriminations, we do not accept the State’s contention that these statutes should be upheld if there is any possible basis for concluding that they serve a rational purpose. The mere fact of equal application does not mean that our analysis of these statutes should follow the approach we have taken in cases involving no racial discrimination where the Equal Protection Clause has been arrayed against a statute discriminating between the kinds of advertising which may be displayed on trucks in New York City, Railway Express Agency, Inc. v. New York, 336 U.S. 106 (1949), or an exemption in Ohio’s ad valorem tax for merchandise owned by a nonresident in a storage warehouse, Allied Stores of Ohio, Inc. v. Bowers, 358 U.S. 522 (1959). In these cases, involving distinctions not drawn according to race, the Court has merely asked whether there is any rational foundation for the discriminations, and has deferred to the wisdom of the state legislatures. In the case at bar, however, we deal with statutes containing racial classifications, and the fact of equal application does not immunize the statute from the very heavy burden of justification which the Fourteenth Amendment has traditionally required of state statutes drawn according to race.

The State argues that statements in the Thirty-ninth Congress about the time of the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment indicate that the Framers did not intend the Amendment to make unconstitutional state miscegenation laws. Many of the statements alluded to by the State concern the debates over the Freedmen’s Bureau Bill, which President Johnson vetoed, and the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 14 Stat. 27, enacted over his veto. While these statements have some relevance to the intention of Congress in submitting the Fourteenth Amendment, it must be understood that they pertained to the passage of specific statutes, and not to the broader, organic purpose of a constitutional amendment. As for the various statements directly concerning the Fourteenth Amendment, we have said in connection with a related problem that, although these historical sources “cast some light” they are not sufficient to resolve the problem

[a]t best, they are inconclusive. The most avid proponents of the post-War Amendments undoubtedly intended them to remove all legal distinctions among “all persons born or naturalized in the United States.” Their opponents, just as certainly, were antagonistic to both the letter and the spirit of the Amendments, and wished them to have the most limited effect.

Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483, 489 (1954). See also Strauder v. West Virginia, 100 U.S. 303, 310 (1880). We have rejected the proposition that the debates in the Thirty-ninth Congress or in the state legislatures which ratified the Fourteenth Amendment supported the theory advanced by the State, that the requirement of equal protection of the laws is satisfied by penal laws defining offenses based on racial classifications so long as white and Negro participants in the offense were similarly punished. McLaughlin v. Florida, 379 U.S. 184 (1964).

The State finds support for its “equal application” theory in the decision of the Court in Pace v. Alabama, 106 U.S. 583 (1883). In that case, the Court upheld a conviction under an Alabama statute forbidding adultery or fornication between a white person and a Negro which imposed a greater penalty than that of a statute proscribing similar conduct by members of the same race. The Court reasoned that the statute could not be said to discriminate against Negroes because the punishment for each participant in the offense was the same. However, as recently as the 1964 Term, in rejecting the reasoning of that case, we stated “Pace represents a limited view of the Equal Protection Clause which has not withstood analysis in the subsequent decisions of this Court.” McLaughlin v. Florida, supra, at 188. As we there demonstrated, the Equal Protection Clause requires the consideration of whether the classifications drawn by any statute constitute an arbitrary and invidious discrimination. The clear and central purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment was to eliminate all official state sources of invidious racial discrimination in the States. Slaughter-House Cases, 16 Wall. 36, 71 (1873) Strauder v. West Virginia, 100 U.S. 303, 307-308 (1880) Ex parte Virginia, 100 U.S. 339, 334-335 (1880) Shelley v. Kraemer, 334 U.S. 1 (1948) Burton v. Wilmington Parking Authority, 365 U.S. 715 (1961).

There can be no question but that Virginia’s miscegenation statutes rest solely upon distinctions drawn according to race. The statutes proscribe generally accepted conduct if engaged in by members of different races. Over the years, this Court has consistently repudiated “[d]istinctions between citizens solely because of their ancestry” as being “odious to a free people whose institutions are founded upon the doctrine of equality.” Hirabayashi v. United States, 320 U.S. 81, 100 (1943). At the very least, the Equal Protection Clause demands that racial classifications, especially suspect in criminal statutes, be subjected to the “most rigid scrutiny,” Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214, 216 (1944), and, if they are ever to be upheld, they must be shown to be necessary to the accomplishment of some permissible state objective, independent of the racial discrimination which it was the object of the Fourteenth Amendment to eliminate. Indeed, two members of this Court have already stated that they

cannot conceive of a valid legislative purpose . . . which makes the color of a person’s skin the test of whether his conduct is a criminal offense.

McLaughlin v. Florida, supra, at 198 (STEWART, J., joined by DOUGLAS, J., concurring).

There is patently no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination which justifies this classification. The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy. We have consistently denied the constitutionality of measures which restrict the rights of citizens on account of race. There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the Equal Protection Clause.

These statutes also deprive the Lovings of liberty without due process of law in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.


Interracial Marriage in America Is the Highest It's Ever Been Since Loving vs. Virginia

Fifty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled miscegenation laws&mdashor laws preventing people of different races and ethnicities from getting married&mdashunconstitutional. Decades later, interracial marriage is now the highest it has ever been in the United States, up 14 percent compared with what it was in 1967 when the courts ruled in favor of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple who were thrown in jail in Virginia for violating the state's rules against multicultural love.

Only 3 percent of couples in the country had intermarried at the time of the ruling, but by 2015, 17 percent of newlyweds in the U.S. had a spouse from a different racial background, according to U.S. Census Bureau data reviewed by the Pew Research Center in a report released Wednesday. The increase is the highest it has ever been, with interracial marriages of black people nearly tripling from 5 percent to 18 percent since 1980. White newlyweds with spouses of a different ethnicity have also increased, from 4 percent to 11 percent since 1980.

Richard & Mildred Loving, of Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court case that made laws against interracial marriage illegal. True Americans. pic.twitter.com/NNl4OdfoCZ

&mdash Rafay (@rafayhasnain_) April 16, 2017

Interracial marriages aren't just up for black and white love birds. About three in 10, or 29 percent, of Asian newlyweds living in the U.S. entered an interracial marriage in 2015, according to the report. Of those marriages, 27 percent included spouses from Hispanic or Latino decent. As for American-born Asians, 46 percent married someone from a different race in 2015, while 39 percent of American-born Hispanics tied the knot with a person of a different ethnicity in 2015.

Personal views toward interracial relationships and marriage have changed even more dramatically in the U.S. A separate Pew survey recently found 39 percent of adults viewed intermarriage as a "good" thing for society, compared with just 24 percent who advocated for intermarriage in 2010.

Attitudes toward mixed marriages have shifted even more drastically when considering American views on the matter back in 1990, when 63 percent of non-black adults said they would be completely or somewhat opposed to a family member marrying a black person. In 2015, only 14 percent of non-black adults surveyed said they wouldn't agree with a relative marrying a black person.

Following the Civil War, many states, particularly ones located in the South, still had regulations that made it illegal for a white person to marry anyone other than a white person. Virginia law also prohibited residents from traveling to other states to avoid miscegenation laws, which is exactly what Richard Loving, a white man, and Mildred Loving, a black and Native American woman, did when they exchanged vows in Washington in 1958.

When the couple was found out by the local sheriff of Central Point, Virginia, where they lived, they chose to move to the country's capital and later had three children. It wasn't until they returned to Virginia for a visit in 1967 that they were imprisoned for engaging in an interracial marriage.

Their case made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which unanimously ruled miscegenation laws violated the Constitution, most evidently the 14th Amendment. And on June 12, 1967, marriage across racial and ethnic lines was deemed federally legal in the U.S.

Some states took longer than others to adapt to the ruling. Alabama was the last state to completely lift bans against interracial marriage in 2000.


10 Fascinating Interracial Marriages in History

Attitudes towards Interracial marriage have changed dramatically, in just the last generation. In the United States it was just 43 years ago when interracial marriage was made fully legal in all 50 states. Today, in many countries, interracial marriage is commonplace and most don&rsquot even give it a second thought. However, as we all know, it wasn&rsquot always this way in the past. This list includes individuals who didn&rsquot let the prejudice of society make their decisions in life, and also paved the way for interracial couples in the future.

Note: Interracial marriage can convey a relationship between a Black and an Asian, a White and an Asian, a Hispanic and an Asian, a White and a Hispanic, etc. In this particular list I have included only black and white relationships.

Pearl Mae Bailey was a famous actress and singer and Louie Bellson was a famous jazz drummer, composer and bandleader. Bellson was Duke Ellington&rsquos first white musician and met Bailey after being introduced by a trombone player. After a courtship lasting just four days they were married, in London. It was Bailey&rsquos third marriage and Bellson&rsquos first. Interracial couples were a rarity at the time, and even Bellson&rsquos presence in the Ellington band raised some eyebrows. During some dates in some Southern cities in the United States, Ellington would claim that Bellson was of Haitian background. After their wedding, Louie Bellson spent much of his time as Pearl Bailey&rsquos musical director, writing her arrangements and leading her accompanying bands. The Couple were married for 38 years, until Bailey&rsquos death in 1990, at age 72. Bellson died at age 84, in 2009. The couple adopted a boy, Tony, in the mid-1950s, and girl Dee Dee, in 1960.

Interesting Fact: Bailey served as a United Nations&rsquo Goodwill Ambassador under several Republican Presidential Administrations. Even after the majority of African-Americans moved from The Republican Party to The Democratic Party in 1964, Pearl Bailey remained with The Republican Party because The Republican Party was where she and Louis Bellson found the greatest acceptance for their interracial marriage.

Betty and Barney Hill were from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Barney worked for the post office and Betty was a social worker. The Hills were also members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and community leaders. On the night of September19th, 1961, Betty and Barney Hill were heading back from a vacation in Southern Canada to their home in New England. They claimed to have observed a bright light in the sky that appeared to be following them. They arrived home at about 3 am and realized (later, when it was pointed out to them) that they had lost about 2 hours of time. Two weeks later Betty began having nightmares. In her nightmares, she described being taken aboard an alien spacecraft and then having medical experiments performed on her. Betty and Barney then decided to undergo hypnosis. In separate sessions, they described some similar experiences of being taken on board an alien spacecraft. Betty said she was shown a star map which she was able to memorize and reproduce later, which some believe is showing Zeta Reticuli as the aliens&rsquo home. Under Barneys hypnotic session he said a cup-like device was placed over his genitals and thought that a sperm sample was taken. He also said he heard them speaking in a mumbling language that he did not understand. The UFO incident was distracting and embarrassing for Barney Hill. He feared that the tabloid publicity would tarnish his battle for equality and dignity. The Hills eventually went back to their regular lives but were always willing to discuss the UFO encounter with friends and UFO researchers. The release of the book &ldquoInterrupted Journey&rdquo in the mid-1960s, and a movie called The UFO Incident, starring James Earl Jones and Estelle Parsons turned Betty and Barney Hill into the world&rsquos most famous UFO &ldquoabductees.&rdquo

Interesting Fact: Some psychiatrists suggested later that the supposed abduction was a hallucination brought on by the stress of being an interracial couple in early 60s. Betty discounted this suggestion, saying that her relationship with Barney was happy, and their interracial marriage caused no notable problems with their friends or family. Barney died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1969, and Betty died of cancer in 2004. Many of Betty Hill&rsquos notes, tapes and other items have been placed in a permanent collection at the library of the University of New Hampshire, her alma mater.

At the turn of the twentieth century, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was one of Britain&rsquos most outstanding and celebrated composers. He was born to a white mother and black father and was raised in the London suburb of Croydon. At the age of just 23 he produced his most famous work a musical called Hiawatha&rsquos Wedding Feast. Some describe it as one of the most remarkable events in English musical history. Coleridge-Taylor married Jessie Walmisley, in 1899. She was a pianist and a classmate of Samuel&rsquos in high school. Jessie&rsquos family had been vehemently opposed to the marriage and had done all in its power to prevent it. On the day before the wedding, Mrs. Walmisley invited Samuel to the family home where she and her husband shook his hand in a formal gesture of acceptance. Coleridge-Taylor and his family were targets of abuse from groups of local youths who would repeatedly shower him with insulting comments about the color of his skin. His daughter later recalled &ldquowhen he saw them approaching along the street he held my hand more tightly, gripping it until it almost hurt.&rdquoOn September 1, 1912, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor died of pneumonia complicated by exhaustion from overwork. He was just 37 years old. Hundreds turned out for his funeral and a memorial concert which was held to raise money for his widow and his two children, Hiawatha and Gwendoline, who would both go on to have musical careers.

Interesting Fact: It emerged that the publishers of Hiawatha&rsquos Wedding Feast had paid Coleridge-Taylor just 15 guineas (£15.75) for the composition, which earned the company a fortune. Their refusal to grant the widow a fair royalty resulted in the formation of the Performing Rights Society, which has exacted fair dues for composers in Britain ever since.

When Sammy Davis Jr. married Swedish-born actress May Britt in 1960, interracial marriages were forbidden by law in 31 US states. Earlier that year the Democratic Convention took place in Los Angeles where John F. Kennedy would be elected as the Democrats&rsquo presidential nominee. When the introductions of Hollywood celebrities were being announced, Davis was booed by many of the white Southern delegates because he was engaged to a white woman. A headline over a New York Times story the next day read, &ldquoDelegates Boo Negro.&rdquo JFK&rsquos father, Joseph Kennedy, was worried that Davis&rsquo marriage to a white woman on the eve of the November election might cost his son votes, so Davis reluctantly postponed the wedding until after the election. At the wedding Frank Sinatra was the best man along with many other stars, including Peter Lawford, Dean Martin, Janet Leigh, Shirley MacLaine, Milton Berle and Edward G. Robinson. During their marriage the couple received hate mail and were targets of nasty jokes and vicious slurs. Because Davis performed almost continuously he spent very little time with his wife. They divorced in 1968, after Davis admitted to having had an affair with singer Lola Falana. Davis and Britt had a daughter and also adopted two sons.

Interesting Fact: Before Davis met Britt, he had a relationship with actress Kim Novak. A contract by the mob was allegedly put out on Davis&rsquos life. Frank Sinatra intervened but Davis still feared for his life and married a black showgirl. The marriage only lasted a few months and was later annulled. Some consider Novak the love of Davis&rsquo life. Before he died of throat cancer, Davis&rsquos third wife, Altovise, allowed Novak to visit. She and Sammy spent hours talking and reminiscing just weeks before he died, in 1990.

George S. Schuyler was a journalist, satirist, author and editor. During the mid 1920s, Schuyler was published in The Nation, and other left wing publications. Josephine Cogdell was an actress, model and dancer and came from a wealthy, former slave-owning family. She was intrigued by new ideas and radical politics and began corresponding with Schuyler, who was a brilliant and controversial journalist at the time. When she traveled to New York to meet him they would both write later that it was love at first sight. When they were married she proclaimed herself &ldquocolored.&rdquo on the marriage certificate because of the dangers of crossing racial lines. The couple believed that intermarriage could &ldquoinvigorate&rdquo both and help solve many of the United States&rsquo social problems. George and Josephine had one child named Philippa. Their daughter became a noted child prodigy. By the time she was four she was composing classical music for piano. When she reached adolescence, she was performing in the US and overseas. During the late 1940s, and the McCarthy Era, George Schuyler moved sharply to the political right. He believed that the American black could only succeed by working in cooperation with whites, within the democratic system, toward mutual economic gain. He started contributing to the American Opinion, the journal of the John Birch Society and, in 1947, he published The Communist Conspiracy against the Negroes. Schuyler continued his career as a journalist until 1966, when he published his autobiography, Black and Conservative. The couple remained married until George&rsquos death in 1977.

Interesting Fact: In 1967, their daughter, Philippa, had begun a career as a news journalist and traveled to Vietnam as a war correspondent. While attempting to rescue schoolchildren from a war zone, the helicopter crashed into the sea. She initially survived the crash but her inability to swim caused her to drown. She died at the age of 35. Film rights to her biography have been sold and it has been reported that she is to become the subject of a movie starring Alicia Keys. The above photo shows Phillipa, Josephine, and George Schuyler playing dominoes, around 1945.

Jack Johnson was an American boxer and the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion, a title he held from 1908 to 1915. In addition to being a rich and famous athlete, Jack Johnson also performed for theatre companies between fights, singing, dancing and acting. He also led a very fascinating life, to say the least. Jack Johnson was married three times. All of his wives were white, which caused considerable controversy at the time. In January 1911, Johnson married Brooklyn socialite and divorcee Etta Terry Duryea, after meeting her at a car race. Their romantic relationship was often very turbulent. Sources also indicate that Johnson was physically abusive towards her and was often unfaithful. Etta suffered from severe depression, evidenced by her reportedly wild mood swings. In 1912, after just 8 months of marriage, Etta committed suicide by shooting herself in the head. Shortly afterwards he met his second wife, Lucille Cameron, who was an 18 year old prostitute. Less than three months after Duryea&rsquos suicide Johnson and Cameron were married, an act that outraged the public. In 1913, Johnson was convicted for transporting women across state lines for immoral purposes, which was part of the Mann Act. For the next seven years, the couple lived in exile in Europe, South America and Mexico. Johnson finally surrendered to the US authorities in 1920, and ended up serving eight months in federal prison. Four years later, Lucille filed for divorce on the uncontested charge of infidelity. In1925, Johnson married Irene Pineau after meeting her at a race track. Johnson would later call her his true love. She remained married to Johnson for the rest of his life. In 1946, Johnson was driving on Highway 1 near Raleigh, North Carolina, when he lost control of his car, which hit a light pole and overturned. He died three hours later.

Interesting Fact: At Johnson&rsquos funeral, Johnson&rsquos third wife Irene Pineau was asked by a reporter what she had loved about her husband. &ldquoI loved him because of his courage, he faced the world unafraid. There wasn&rsquot anybody or anything he feared.&rdquo The photo above shows Johnson with his first wife, Etta Terry Duryea. Jack Johnson had no children.

Frederick Douglass was an American writer, social reformer and statesman. He was born a slave in the early 1800s, the son of a female slave and her white owner. After he escaped from slavery in 1838, he married a free African American woman Anna Murray, and had 5 children. After Anna died in 1882, he met Helen Pitts, a white abolitionist and suffragist. Against the wishes of Douglas&rsquos children and her family, they married. The marriage was the subject of scorn by both white and black Americans, but the couple was firm in their convictions. Douglass&rsquos marriage was an affirmation of his personal belief in American unity, and his desire for a true melting pot of cultures within the United States. Douglas laughingly commented, &ldquoThis proves I am impartial. My first wife was the color of my mother and the second, the color of my father.&rdquo Helen Pitts said &ldquoLove came to me, and I was not afraid to marry the man I loved because of his color,&rdquo The couple were married for eleven years, until his sudden death from a heart attack, in 1895. Douglass was also an advocate of equal rights for women. On the day he died he gave a speech on the topic of female equality and was a believer in granting women the right to vote. Helen is the one seated in the photo above. The woman standing is her sister Eva Pitts.

Interesting Fact: During Fredrick Douglass&rsquos first marriage he had a 26 year affair with German feminist Ottilie Assing. In 1884, when she read in the newspapers that Douglass was to marry Helen Pitts, who was 20 years-younger, she committed suicide in a public park in Paris. The letters Douglass wrote to her were burned, and she left all her money to Douglass.

Joseph Philippe Lemercier Laroche was born in Cap Haitien, Haiti, in 1886. At the age of 15, he left Haiti and travelled to Beauvais, France, to study engineering in high school. While visiting nearby Villejuif, Joseph met his future wife, Juliette. After Joseph received his degree, they were married. Their daughter Simonne was born in1909, and a second daughter, Louise was born prematurely in 1910, and suffered medical problems. Because of racial discrimination it prevented Joseph from obtaining a high-paying job in France. The family needed more money to pay for their youngest daughters medical bills so Joseph planned to return to Haiti in 1913, to find a better-paying engineering job. However, in March of 1912 Juliette discovered that she was pregnant, so the family decided to leave for Haiti before her pregnancy became too far advanced. For a welcome present Joseph&rsquos mother in Haiti bought them steamship tickets on the La France, but the line&rsquos strict policy regarding children caused them to transfer their booking to the Titanic&rsquos second class. Racism towards the couple because of their interracial marriage was rampant aboard the ship, especially among the crew members. After the Titanic struck an iceberg historians agree that Laroche was calm and heroic. As the ship sank, Joseph stuffed his coat packets with money and jewelry and took his pregnant wife and children up to the boat deck and managed to get them into the lifeboat. He wrapped the coat around his wife, and his last words were: &ldquoHere, take this, you are going to need it. I&rsquoll get another boat. God be with you. I&rsquoll see you in New York.&rdquo Joseph Laroche died in the sinking and was the only passenger of black descent (besides his daughters) on the Titanic. His body was never found.

Interesting fact: When Juliette returned to Paris with her daughters she gave birth to a son, Joseph Lemercier Laroche. The White Star Line, the company that owned the Titanic, was later forced to issue a public apology for the derogatory statements made by the crew. When Louise Laroche died on January 28, 1998, at the age of 87 it left only seven remaining survivors of the Titanic.

Seretse Khama was born in 1921, and is the son of the Chief of the Bangwato Tribe and ruler of the Bechuanaland (a protectorate by Great Britain) later known as Botswana. When his father died in 1925, Seretse&rsquos uncle, assumed the role as Seretse&rsquos guardian and Acting Chief. His uncle sent Seretse to England so he could continue his education. It was while he was in London, when studying for his bar examinations, that he met Ruth Williams. They shared their enthusiasm for jazz and eventually romance ensued and they were married a year later, in 1948. The interracial marriage sparked a furor among both the apartheid government of South Africa and the tribal elders. Seretse was at first banned from the chieftainship and the territory for breaking tribal custom, but was later re-affirmed and eventually became Chief. Because of the apartheid system in South Africa, the country could not afford to have an interracial couple ruling just across their border, so pressure was put on to have Seretse removed from his chieftainship. In 1951, the British government launched a parliamentary enquiry. They somehow proved that Seretse was unfit to be chief, and exiled Seretse and his wife Ruth from Bechuanaland. In 1956, Ruth and Seretse were allowed to return to Bechuanaland as private citizens, after he had renounced the tribal throne. In 1961, Khama founded the Nationalist Bechuanaland Democratic Party and became Prime Minister of Bechuanaland. In 1966, Botswana gained its independence and Seretse Khama became the country&rsquos first President. Ruth (Lady Khama) was a very influential and politically active first lady during her husband&rsquos tenure as president, from 1966 until his death in 1980. In 1966, Queen Elizabeth appointed Khama Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

Interesting Fact: Botswana was among the world&rsquos poorest countries but during Seretse Khama&rsquos tenure as president, Botswana had the fastest growing economy in the world. Khama instituted strong measures against corruption and reinvested money into infrastructure, health and education. In 2009, Seretse and Ruth&rsquos fist son, Ian, won a landslide victory and became the fourth President of Botswana. Their younger son, Tshekedi , was elected as a parliamentarian.

This is at the number one spot because this couple&rsquos marriage overturned state laws in the United States that prohibited interracial marriages. Richard and Mildred were from Virginia and met when he was 17 years old and she was 11. As they grew older, their friendship blossomed into romance. When Mildred was 18 she became pregnant so the couple decided to travel to Washington, D.C. to be married. Five weeks after their wedding, they were awakened at 2 a.m. by police and arrested for being married to one another. In 1959, they pleaded guilty to the charge against them and were sentenced to one year in jail. The sentence was suspended on the condition that the Lovings leave Virginia and not return for 25 years. The Lovings moved to Washington, D.C., and faced housing discrimination, compounded by deep unhappiness about not living close to their families. Mildred wrote a letter to Attorney General, Robert F. Kennedy. Kennedy then forwarded the letter to the American Civil Liberties Union. After many setbacks throughout a nine-year period, their case was heard before the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1967, The Supreme Court decided unanimously in their favor. Richard later said &ldquoFor the first time, I could put my arm around Mildred and publicly call her my wife.&rdquo In 1975, Richard Loving died at age 41, when a drunken driver struck the couple&rsquos car. Mildred Loving lost her right eye in the same accident. Mildred died of pneumonia in 2008, at the age of 68. The couple had three children, eight grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.

Interesting Fact: An annual celebration called Loving Day is held on June 12, the anniversary of the 1967 United States Supreme Court decision. Many organizations sponsor annual parties across the country, with Lovingday.org providing courtroom history of anti-miscegenation laws, as well as offering testimonials and resources for interracial couples.

I wasn&rsquot going to include this couple in the list because their relationship was so short, but I know there would be many comments asking about them so I decided to include it as a bonus.

In 1960, after Ann Dunham graduated from high school in Mercer Island, Washington, her family moved to Honolulu. Dunham then enrolled at the University of Hawaii. Obama Sr. was 23 years old and had come to Hawaii to pursue his education, and was the university&rsquos first African foreign student, leaving behind a pregnant wife and infant son in Kenya. Dunham met Obama Sr. at the University while attending a Russian language class. When Dunham became pregnant they were married on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Obama Sr.&rsquos wife in Kenya later said she had granted her consent for him to marry a second wife, in keeping with their countries customs. On August 4, 1961, at the age of 18, Dunham gave birth to her first child, Barack Obama II. Dunham took one month old Barack to Washington State where she took classes at the University of Washington from September 1961 to June 1962. Barack Sr. continued his studies in Hawaii until he graduated in 1962, and then left for Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he would begin graduate study at Harvard. Dunham returned to Honolulu to resume her education with her parents helping to raise Barack. Dunham then filed for a divorce in 1964, which was uncontested. In 1971, Obama Sr. came to Hawaii to visit his 10 year old son, Barack. This would be the last time he would see him. Obama Sr.&rsquos life fell into drinking and poverty back in Kenya. After a terrible car accident he lost both legs and subsequently lost his job. In 1982, at the age of 46, he was killed in another car accident in Nairobi. Obama Sr. had 7 children. In 1992, Ann, who was remarried to Lolo Soetoro, finally finished her doctoral dissertation and received her Ph.D. in anthropology. Two years later she complained of stomach pains. Months later, she was diagnosed with ovarian and uterine cancer. She died on November 7, 1995, at the age of 52. Ann Dunham had 2 children, Barack and a daughter, Maya, with Lolo Soetoro.

Interesting Fact: Following Ann Dunham&rsquos memorial service at the University of Hawaii, Obama and his half sister Maya spread their mother&rsquos ashes in the Pacific Ocean at Lanai Lookout on the south side of Oahu. Obama scattered the ashes of his grandmother (Madelyn Dunham) who died November 2, 2008, in the same spot weeks after his election to the presidency.


Part 1: Conflict over inter-racial marriage in the U.S. Anti-miscegenation laws. The Supreme Court ruling of 1967 in Loving v. Virginia.

US anti-miscegenation laws restricting marriages on the basis of race were once enforced in most states. Sometimes, they were referred to as miscegenation laws. The word comes from Latin: "miscere" (to mix) and "genus" (kind).

"also prohibited marriages between white women and black men. between 1935 and 1967, the law was extended to forbid marriage between Malaysians with blacks and whites. The law was finally repealed in 1967." 2

By 1750, all the southern colonies as well as Massachusetts and Pennsylvania had made interracial marriages illegal. 1For example, Virginia had a law stating that:

"All marriages between a white person and a colored person shall be absolutely void without any decree of divorce or other legal process." (Code Ann. A7 20-57)

By 1967, 16 states still had anti-miscegenation laws remaining in place. All were in the southeast quadrant of the United States, from Virginia to Texas to Florida. These are shown in red in the following illustration: States shown in gray never had anti-miscgenation laws those in green had laws repealed before 1887 those in yellow had laws repealed between 1948 and 1967:

4

Still, the territories of Alaska and Hawaii and a few states in the north-east quadrant of the U.S. never passed anti-miscegenation laws. The legislatures of other states repealed their laws at various times. These are shown in green and yellow above.

The Superior Court of New Jersey once commented:

"In case after case, legislation prohibiting racial inter-marriage was justified as unbending tradition rooting in received natural law." 1

Very often in the history of religion and culture, "natural law" has been used to justify prejudice and bigotry.

Another example occurred in 1869, when the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that:

". moral or social equality between the different races. does not in fact exist, and never can. The God of nature made it otherwise, and no human law can produce it, and no human tribunal can enforce it. There are gradations and classes throughout the universe. From the tallest archangel in Heaven, down to the meanest reptile on earth, moral and social inequalities exist, and must continue to exist throughout all eternity." 5

Their implication seems to be that all white persons are closer to the angels than are all blacks. Also, they seem to have assumed that all black persons are closer to reptiles than are all whites.

As far as interracial marriage is concerned, the "eternity" hoped for by the court in Georgia lasted for four generations. It came to a crashing halt everywhere in the U.S. 98 years later. In 1967 the U.S. Supreme Court declared the anti-miscegenation laws that were still in place among 16 states to be unconstitutional. U.S. couples -- whether of the same or different races -- became eligible to marry in any state, as long as they consisted of one woman and one man. The Court reached this conclusion even though the vast majority (72%) of American adults were still opposed to legalizing interracial marriage at the time. Also a near majority (48%) favored criminal punishments for interracial couples who married.

Support and opposition to interracial marriage has changed dramatically over the five decades from 1967 to 2015:

    As noted above, In 1958, only 4% of U.S. adults favored allowing black-white interracial couples to marry. 12

A similar trend happened in early 21st century with gay marriages (a.k.a. same-sex marriages).

  • In 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage. Other states followed, either by legislative action, public referendums, or court rulings.
  • By 2014-OCT, same-sex marriages were still banned in 15 U.S. states and in all 5 territories .
  • This became 14 states during 2015-JAN when Florida was forced to accept marriage equality by a court decision.
  • It became 4 territories during 2015-JUN when Guam legalized gay marriages. At the time, a substantial majority -- over 60% -- of American adults favor allowing same-sex couples to marry.
  • On 2015-JAN-16, the U.S. Supreme Court accepted four appeals from the 6thU.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • On 2015-JUN-26, the High Court legalized gay marriage across the country.
  • Within a month, the vast majority of U.S. same-sex couples were routinely able to pick up marriage certificates at their local county courthouse. Exceptions were:
    • One county in Kentucky. The clerk there objected on religious grounds to same-sex couples marrying and stopped issuing licenses to any couples.

    Sponsored link:

    How the anti-miscegenation laws ended in the remaining 16 southern states: the Loving v. Virginia case:

    In a most ironically named case "Loving v. Virginia," Richard and Mildred Loving -- interracial married newlyweds -- were arrested in the early morning of 1959-JUL-11. They had been married just five weeks previously in the adjacent District of Columbia where interracial marriages were legal. Various sources say that the county sheriff and two deputies broke into the bedroom of their home in Virginia, or that they simply entered the home through an unlocked front door. The couple were charged with a felony under Virginia's Racial Integrity Act of 1924. The charge read that they had:

    ". unlawfully and feloniously go[ne] out of the State of Virginia, for the purpose of being married, and with the intention of returning to the State of Virginia."

    ". cohabiting as man and wife against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth." 11

    They chose to plead guilty. 6

    The Virginia marriage law recognized only two races of human beings: white and colored. The latter was based on the "one-drop" rule. A person was considered "colored" if they had as few as one non-white ancestor -- no matter how many generations back that ancestor lived.

    The law could never be strictly applied, because evidence shows that the ancestors to Homo Sapiens -- modern humans -- originated in Africa about 600,000 years ago. Thus, all of today's caucasians have black ancestors if you go back sufficiently far in history.

    The Virginia law contained what was called the "Pocahontas exception." A person who had completely white ancestry back four generations -- except for a single great-great Native American grandparent -- was considered white. 7,8 Apparently, Native Americans were less non-white then were African Americans. So much for the purity of the races!

    The Loving couple could have each received a 5 year prison term, However, the Honorable Judge Leon M. Bazile was a compassionate person he only gave them a one year sentence in County Jail. Then he suspended the sentence and partly exiled them from their home state for 25 years. Each was allowed to return to Virginia, but only as individuals and not as a couple. The trial judge apparently ignored the principle of separation of church and state as well as the equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution when he delivered his decision.

    That is, the law said that race trumps love and commitment, if wife and husband are of different races.

    Although she is often referred to as black throughout the Internet, Mildred Loving (1940-2008) was actually part black, and part Native American of Rappahannock and Cherokee heritage. 6

    In 1963, Ms. Loving heard that Congress was working on a bill that would become the Civil Rights Act of 1964. She thought that their exile might be challenged in a civil rights lawsuit. She wrote to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy (D) for help. He referred her to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACCLU) who took up the Loving's case. The ACLU first asked Judge Bazile to vacate the appealed convictions and sentences. He refused, saying -- on behalf of God -- that:

    "Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races show that he did not intend for the races to mix." 11

    The ACLU then appealed the decision to the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. They lost. Finally, they appealed to the US Supreme Court. In 1967, the court unanimously overturned the Virginia law and all of the miscegenation laws of 15 other states. 9 Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote.

    "Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State."

    Persons of different racial backgrounds have been able to marry throughout the U.S. ever since. However, many of the miscegenation laws remained on the books for many years even though they had been nullified by the Supreme Court decision.

    Blogger Jack M. Balkin wrote:

    "In Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court held that laws banning interracial marriage violated the Equal Protection Clause [--in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution --] both because they violated principles of racial equality and because they abridged a fundamental right to marry. The case is doctrinally important for many reasons, including the Court's recognition that the Equal Protection clause protects certain fundamental rights, for its recognition of a fundamental right to marry, for its application of strict scrutiny to strike down racial classifications (an idea first raised in the Korematsu decision, which had nevertheless upheld the classification), and for its embrace of an anti-subordination as well as an an anti-classification model of race equality." 10

    This topic continues in the next essay

    References used:

    The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

    1. "Lewis et al., v. Harris, et al. Superior Court of New Jersey: Brief of plaintiffs in opposition to defendant's motion to dismiss," 2003-MAY-8, at: http://www.lambdalegal.org/
    2. Eddie Becker, "Chronology on the history of slavery and racism," at: http://innercity.org/holt/slavechron.html
    3. Perez, supra, 198 P.2d 17. Quoted in Ref. 1.
    4. "U.S. States, by the date of repeal of anti-miscegenation laws," Wikipedia, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/ Graph shown under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License
    5. Scott v. State, 39 GA 321 (1869). Quoted in Ref. 1.
    6. Douglas Martin, "Mildred Loving, Who Battled Ban on Mixed-Race Marriage, Dies at 68," The New York Times, 2008-MAY-06, at: http://www.nytimes.com/
    7. "Racial integrity act of 1924," Wikipedia, as on 2013-JAN-09, at: http://en.wikipedia.org
    8. Text of the "Racial integrity act of 1924," University of Virginia, undated, at: http://www2.vcdh.virginia.edu/
    9. The text of Loving v. Virginia is at: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/
    10. Jack M. Balkin, "Mildred Loving Speaks," Balkinization blog, 2008-MAY-06, at: http://www.intellisearchnow.com/
    11. Fay Botham, "Almighty God Created the Races: Christianity, Interracial Marriage, and American Law," University of North Carolina Press, (2013) Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
    12. "Marriage," Gallup, 2015, at: http://www.gallup.com/
    13. " In U.S., 87% Approve of Black-White Marriage, vs. 4% in 1958 ," Gallup, 2013-JUL-25, at: http://www.gallup.com/poll/

    Part 1: Conflict over inter-racial marriage in the U.S. Anti-miscegenation laws. The Supreme Court ruling of 1967 in Loving v. Virginia.

    US anti-miscegenation laws restricting marriages on the basis of race were once enforced in most states. Sometimes, they were referred to as miscegenation laws. The word comes from Latin: "miscere" (to mix) and "genus" (kind).

    "also prohibited marriages between white women and black men. between 1935 and 1967, the law was extended to forbid marriage between Malaysians with blacks and whites. The law was finally repealed in 1967." 2

    By 1750, all the southern colonies as well as Massachusetts and Pennsylvania had made interracial marriages illegal. 1For example, Virginia had a law stating that:

    "All marriages between a white person and a colored person shall be absolutely void without any decree of divorce or other legal process." (Code Ann. A7 20-57)

    By 1967, 16 states still had anti-miscegenation laws remaining in place. All were in the southeast quadrant of the United States, from Virginia to Texas to Florida. These are shown in red in the following illustration: States shown in gray never had anti-miscgenation laws those in green had laws repealed before 1887 those in yellow had laws repealed between 1948 and 1967:

    4

    Still, the territories of Alaska and Hawaii and a few states in the north-east quadrant of the U.S. never passed anti-miscegenation laws. The legislatures of other states repealed their laws at various times. These are shown in green and yellow above.

    The Superior Court of New Jersey once commented:

    "In case after case, legislation prohibiting racial inter-marriage was justified as unbending tradition rooting in received natural law." 1

    Very often in the history of religion and culture, "natural law" has been used to justify prejudice and bigotry.

    Another example occurred in 1869, when the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that:

    ". moral or social equality between the different races. does not in fact exist, and never can. The God of nature made it otherwise, and no human law can produce it, and no human tribunal can enforce it. There are gradations and classes throughout the universe. From the tallest archangel in Heaven, down to the meanest reptile on earth, moral and social inequalities exist, and must continue to exist throughout all eternity." 5

    Their implication seems to be that all white persons are closer to the angels than are all blacks. Also, they seem to have assumed that all black persons are closer to reptiles than are all whites.

    As far as interracial marriage is concerned, the "eternity" hoped for by the court in Georgia lasted for four generations. It came to a crashing halt everywhere in the U.S. 98 years later. In 1967 the U.S. Supreme Court declared the anti-miscegenation laws that were still in place among 16 states to be unconstitutional. U.S. couples -- whether of the same or different races -- became eligible to marry in any state, as long as they consisted of one woman and one man. The Court reached this conclusion even though the vast majority (72%) of American adults were still opposed to legalizing interracial marriage at the time. Also a near majority (48%) favored criminal punishments for interracial couples who married.

    Support and opposition to interracial marriage has changed dramatically over the five decades from 1967 to 2015:

      As noted above, In 1958, only 4% of U.S. adults favored allowing black-white interracial couples to marry. 12

    A similar trend happened in early 21st century with gay marriages (a.k.a. same-sex marriages).

    • In 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage. Other states followed, either by legislative action, public referendums, or court rulings.
    • By 2014-OCT, same-sex marriages were still banned in 15 U.S. states and in all 5 territories .
    • This became 14 states during 2015-JAN when Florida was forced to accept marriage equality by a court decision.
    • It became 4 territories during 2015-JUN when Guam legalized gay marriages. At the time, a substantial majority -- over 60% -- of American adults favor allowing same-sex couples to marry.
    • On 2015-JAN-16, the U.S. Supreme Court accepted four appeals from the 6thU.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
    • On 2015-JUN-26, the High Court legalized gay marriage across the country.
    • Within a month, the vast majority of U.S. same-sex couples were routinely able to pick up marriage certificates at their local county courthouse. Exceptions were:
      • One county in Kentucky. The clerk there objected on religious grounds to same-sex couples marrying and stopped issuing licenses to any couples.

      Sponsored link:

      How the anti-miscegenation laws ended in the remaining 16 southern states: the Loving v. Virginia case:

      In a most ironically named case "Loving v. Virginia," Richard and Mildred Loving -- interracial married newlyweds -- were arrested in the early morning of 1959-JUL-11. They had been married just five weeks previously in the adjacent District of Columbia where interracial marriages were legal. Various sources say that the county sheriff and two deputies broke into the bedroom of their home in Virginia, or that they simply entered the home through an unlocked front door. The couple were charged with a felony under Virginia's Racial Integrity Act of 1924. The charge read that they had:

      ". unlawfully and feloniously go[ne] out of the State of Virginia, for the purpose of being married, and with the intention of returning to the State of Virginia."

      ". cohabiting as man and wife against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth." 11

      They chose to plead guilty. 6

      The Virginia marriage law recognized only two races of human beings: white and colored. The latter was based on the "one-drop" rule. A person was considered "colored" if they had as few as one non-white ancestor -- no matter how many generations back that ancestor lived.

      The law could never be strictly applied, because evidence shows that the ancestors to Homo Sapiens -- modern humans -- originated in Africa about 600,000 years ago. Thus, all of today's caucasians have black ancestors if you go back sufficiently far in history.

      The Virginia law contained what was called the "Pocahontas exception." A person who had completely white ancestry back four generations -- except for a single great-great Native American grandparent -- was considered white. 7,8 Apparently, Native Americans were less non-white then were African Americans. So much for the purity of the races!

      The Loving couple could have each received a 5 year prison term, However, the Honorable Judge Leon M. Bazile was a compassionate person he only gave them a one year sentence in County Jail. Then he suspended the sentence and partly exiled them from their home state for 25 years. Each was allowed to return to Virginia, but only as individuals and not as a couple. The trial judge apparently ignored the principle of separation of church and state as well as the equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution when he delivered his decision.

      That is, the law said that race trumps love and commitment, if wife and husband are of different races.

      Although she is often referred to as black throughout the Internet, Mildred Loving (1940-2008) was actually part black, and part Native American of Rappahannock and Cherokee heritage. 6

      In 1963, Ms. Loving heard that Congress was working on a bill that would become the Civil Rights Act of 1964. She thought that their exile might be challenged in a civil rights lawsuit. She wrote to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy (D) for help. He referred her to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACCLU) who took up the Loving's case. The ACLU first asked Judge Bazile to vacate the appealed convictions and sentences. He refused, saying -- on behalf of God -- that:

      "Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races show that he did not intend for the races to mix." 11

      The ACLU then appealed the decision to the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. They lost. Finally, they appealed to the US Supreme Court. In 1967, the court unanimously overturned the Virginia law and all of the miscegenation laws of 15 other states. 9 Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote.

      "Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State."

      Persons of different racial backgrounds have been able to marry throughout the U.S. ever since. However, many of the miscegenation laws remained on the books for many years even though they had been nullified by the Supreme Court decision.

      Blogger Jack M. Balkin wrote:

      "In Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court held that laws banning interracial marriage violated the Equal Protection Clause [--in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution --] both because they violated principles of racial equality and because they abridged a fundamental right to marry. The case is doctrinally important for many reasons, including the Court's recognition that the Equal Protection clause protects certain fundamental rights, for its recognition of a fundamental right to marry, for its application of strict scrutiny to strike down racial classifications (an idea first raised in the Korematsu decision, which had nevertheless upheld the classification), and for its embrace of an anti-subordination as well as an an anti-classification model of race equality." 10

      This topic continues in the next essay

      References used:

      The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

      1. "Lewis et al., v. Harris, et al. Superior Court of New Jersey: Brief of plaintiffs in opposition to defendant's motion to dismiss," 2003-MAY-8, at: http://www.lambdalegal.org/
      2. Eddie Becker, "Chronology on the history of slavery and racism," at: http://innercity.org/holt/slavechron.html
      3. Perez, supra, 198 P.2d 17. Quoted in Ref. 1.
      4. "U.S. States, by the date of repeal of anti-miscegenation laws," Wikipedia, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/ Graph shown under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License
      5. Scott v. State, 39 GA 321 (1869). Quoted in Ref. 1.
      6. Douglas Martin, "Mildred Loving, Who Battled Ban on Mixed-Race Marriage, Dies at 68," The New York Times, 2008-MAY-06, at: http://www.nytimes.com/
      7. "Racial integrity act of 1924," Wikipedia, as on 2013-JAN-09, at: http://en.wikipedia.org
      8. Text of the "Racial integrity act of 1924," University of Virginia, undated, at: http://www2.vcdh.virginia.edu/
      9. The text of Loving v. Virginia is at: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/
      10. Jack M. Balkin, "Mildred Loving Speaks," Balkinization blog, 2008-MAY-06, at: http://www.intellisearchnow.com/
      11. Fay Botham, "Almighty God Created the Races: Christianity, Interracial Marriage, and American Law," University of North Carolina Press, (2013) Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
      12. "Marriage," Gallup, 2015, at: http://www.gallup.com/
      13. " In U.S., 87% Approve of Black-White Marriage, vs. 4% in 1958 ," Gallup, 2013-JUL-25, at: http://www.gallup.com/poll/

      How do you feel about this report? Join the Honorable Min. Louis Farrakhan and Dr. Boyce Watkins in Chicago on Saturday, March 30, to redefine the Black community. Click here for details.

      Maria Lloyd (@WritingsByMaria) is the Business Manager for the Your Black World Network and Dr. Boyce Watkins. She is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University and an advocate of dismantling the prison industrial complex, increasing entrepreneurship, reforming education, and eradicating poverty.


      The Changing Face Of Seeing Race

      In 1968, a year after the release of the film Guess Who's Coming To Dinner, a Gallup Poll revealed that just 20 percent of Americans thought it was OK for a white person to marry a black person. According to a recent 2011 Gallup Poll, 96 percent of African-Americans and 84 percent of whites accept the idea.

      Anonymous/AP hide caption

      In 1968, a year after the release of the film Guess Who's Coming To Dinner, a Gallup Poll revealed that just 20 percent of Americans thought it was OK for a white person to marry a black person. According to a recent 2011 Gallup Poll, 96 percent of African-Americans and 84 percent of whites accept the idea.

      That was the year interracial marriage made headlines. Just take the Hollywood classic Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. The film was a new kind of love story for Hollywood. The movie was about a black man who wanted to marry a white woman — a huge taboo at the time.

      Poll: Do You Approve Of Marriage Between Blacks And Whites?

      According to a 1968 Gallup Poll, just 20 percent of Americans thought it was OK for a white person to marry a black person. White Americans were far less likely to accept the idea than blacks. While more than 50 percent of blacks supported such marriages, fewer than 1 in 5 whites did.

      But that year the federal court system took a side on this issue that would change the face of America forever.

      At the time, 16 states had laws on the books barring such marriages. Two trailblazers from Virginia decided to challenge these antiquated laws. Their names were, of all things, Mildred and Richard Loving.

      In June 1967 the Supreme Court ruled that all laws barring marriages between blacks and whites were unconstitutional. After their court victory, Mildred Loving told ABC News why she wanted to fight back: "I say I think that marrying who you want to is a right that no man should have anything to do with. It's a God-given right, I think."

      Today, African-Americans and white Americans both widely accept marriages between blacks and whites. According to a recently released Gallup Poll, 96 percent of African-Americans and 84 percent of whites accept the idea.

      Plus, there are more interracial and interethnic marriages than ever before.

      Growing But Still Rare

      According to the Current Population Survey released in September, 7.4 percent of all marriages in the U.S. are between people of two different races or ethnicities. The CPS is a government survey that once a year tracks marriage data by race and ethnicity.

      Interracial Marriages In The U.S.

      Below, the percentages of married black men and women whose spouses are not black.

      Source: Census Bureau's Current Population Survey

      Credit: Tabulations by demographer Roderick Harrison of Howard University

      But marriages between blacks and whites, while slowly growing, remain relatively rare. In fact, whites marry blacks less often than they marry any other racial or ethnic group.

      As of 2010, just 0.3 percent of white men in marriages were married to black women, and just 0.8 percent of white women in marriages were married to black men. By contrast, 2.1 percent of white men in marriages were married to Asian or American Indian women, and 1.4 percent of married white women had an Asian or American Indian spouse. That meant that last year, white Americans were in marriages with Asians far more often than with blacks even though the number of married African-Americans outnumbered Asians by more than 2 million people.

      Similarly, 13.3 percent of Hispanic married men had a non-Hispanic spouse in 2010 and 14.2 percent of married Hispanic women had a non-Hispanic spouse.

      That makes married Hispanic men about two-thirds more likely than married black men to have a white spouse. And Hispanic women who are married are four times more likely than black women to have a white husband.

      "It reflects the status hierarchy," says Roderick J. Harrison, a demographer at Howard University. "If you're trying to marry up, clearly whites are it. If you're trying to avoid marrying down, it would still look like blacks might be the least preferred."

      When it comes to married black Americans, 8.1 percent of men had a white spouse in 2010 — up from 5 percent in 2001. And just 2.4 percent of black women were married to white men in 2001, but by 2010, that figure grew to 3.7 percent.

      Those gradual changes in black-white marriage are beginning to change the face of America. Nearly 2 million Americans identified as both black and white on the 2010 census, more than double the number in 2000.

      But the data make one thing clear — all racial and ethnic groups are marrying each other more often than they did in the past.

      Glen Owen, 43, with his wife, Meredyth, 42, and their two sons, Addison, 13, and Ellis, 11. The Owens live in Atlanta. He is a filmmaker and she is a stay-at-home mom.

      Courtesy of Glen Owen hide caption

      Glen Owen, 43, with his wife, Meredyth, 42, and their two sons, Addison, 13, and Ellis, 11. The Owens live in Atlanta. He is a filmmaker and she is a stay-at-home mom.

      Crumbling Walls

      Glen Owen has seen the changes take place with his own eyes.

      Owen, who is 43 and white, is a filmmaker. His wife, Meredyth, 42 and black, is a stay-at-home mom. The pair live with their two sons in Atlanta, where they say they have experienced no discrimination. Plus, they see the changing face of America virtually everywhere they look, Owen says.

      "You see interracial couples in commercials now. You never would've seen that even five years ago," Owen says. "I think those walls are definitely coming down."

      But Owen has vivid memories of things being very different. He grew up 45 minutes north of Atlanta, in a town of roughly 20,000 named Cartersville. He says he'll never forget what happened when black guys at his school dated white girls.

      "The principal got involved and called them in and talked to 'em, and parents got involved. They really tried to put a stop to it," Owen says. "And there would be couples that wouldn't go to the prom together because that would've been scandalous."

      But it's rarely scandalous today.

      Owen went back to his old high school for a football game a few years ago and was pleasantly surprised to spot a handful of interracial couples in the crowd.

      But that doesn't mean everything is peachy just yet.

      'Totally Shocked'

      Take Beth McKay and her husband, Terence. Beth is white. Terence is black. The McKays became national news when a justice of the peace in Louisiana refused to marry them in 2009.

      Beth Humphrey McKay, shown here in 2009, and her husband, Terence, became national news when a justice of the peace in Louisiana refused to marry them the same year because they were of different races.

      Bill Haber/AP hide caption

      Beth Humphrey McKay, shown here in 2009, and her husband, Terence, became national news when a justice of the peace in Louisiana refused to marry them the same year because they were of different races.

      His excuse? Interracial marriages just don't work.

      "It was devastating. It was shocking," Beth McKay says. "I think that that's just the best word to describe it. We were just like totally shocked."

      Not long after, the justice of the peace lost his job, and the McKays were married by somebody else.

      But she says that wasn't the last time she faced racism.

      When she's in all-white environments, she says it's pretty common for her to hear people's biases come out.

      "Whenever I'm around people and they don't know that my husband is black, that's when I get their honest opinions," she says.

      Sometimes the opinions are racist against blacks — and painful for her to hear, she says. Regardless of the biases people harbor, she says, she's glad to have such an intimate perspective on race in America — a perspective she says she would not have if she hadn't married someone of a different race.


      Watch the video: Λένε σε ένα κορίτσι να πάρει μαχαίρι μαζί της γιατί θα την σπάσουν στο ξύλο στο σχολείο! 11021 (July 2022).


Comments:

  1. Rivalen

    Yes it is...

  2. Grayson

    I'm crazy about them!

  3. Erskine

    Of course. This was and with me.

  4. Salah Al Din

    the sure-fire answer



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