Creighton hosts two-day event to commemorate Loving v. Virginia ruling

Posted in Articles, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2017-03-28 15:46Z by Steven

Creighton hosts two-day event to commemorate Loving v. Virginia ruling

News Center
Creighton University, Omaha Nebraska

Mat Johnson

Race. Identity. Relationships. Power. These were the main themes in last week’s two-day event, “50 Years of Loving: Seeking Justice Through Love and Relationships,” hosted by Creighton University’s 2040 Initiative and the Werner Institute. More than 150 people participated in the event.

Loving v. Virginia is a 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision that ruled anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional. The case involved Richard Loving, a white man, and Mildred Loving, a black woman. They were charged in Virginia with the felony of miscegenation – or mixing races – and were told their marriage was invalid.

Creighton’s two-day event kicked off last Thursday with a talk by Mat Johnson, author of the 2015 book Loving Day. Semi-autobiographical in nature, Johnson read passages from his book and spoke about his own upbringing and struggles with race and identity…

Read the entire article here.

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Palma Joy Strand: The politics of Loving v. Virginia

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-03-26 01:35Z by Steven

Palma Joy Strand: The politics of Loving v. Virginia

Omaha World-Herald
Omaha, Nebraska

Palma Joy Strand, Professor of Law
Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska

Alex Brandon

The writer is a law professor and director of the 2040 Initiative at the Creighton University School of Law.

The year 2017 marks the golden anniversary of the landmark court decision Loving v. Virginia. Fifty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court held that Richard Loving (who happened to be white) and Mildred Jeter (who happened to be black) had a constitutional right to marry.

The right to marry someone of a different race has put down roots. In his book “Racing to Justice,” the writer and social justice advocate john a. powell notes, “Nearly 15 percent, or one in seven, of all new marriages in 2008 were between people of different races or ethnicities.”

These interracial marriages create social ripples. Powell continues, “(M)ore than a third of all adults surveyed reported having a family member whose spouse is of a different race or ethnicity — up from less than a quarter in 2005.” We have moved beyond “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” to routinely having folks of more than one race around our Thanksgiving tables.

Along with mixed-race marriages and families, the proportion of the U.S. population with multiple racial heritages has grown dramatically. The Pew Research Center found in 2013 that the share of multiracial babies had risen from 1 percent in 1970 to 10 percent in 2013.

Loving marriages and Loving families and Loving children have transformed who we are as a nation. In the midst of continued racial separation, there are racial connections — connections that disrupt the same-old, same-old stories.

Yet the relevance of Richard and Mildred Loving and Loving v. Virginia today transcends both marriage and race…

Read the entire article here.

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50 Years of Loving: Seeking Justice Through Love and Relationships

Posted in Law, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2017-03-19 02:11Z by Steven

50 Years of Loving: Seeking Justice Through Love and Relationships

Creighton University | Werner Institute | 2040 Initiative
Omaha, Nebraska
2017-03-23, 17:30 through 2017-03-24, 17:00 CDT (Local Time)

Loving v. Virginia – Background

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 1967 decision in Loving v. Virginia ended legal prohibitions against interracial marriage in the U.S. By eliminating longstanding legal sanctions against “miscegenation,” Loving disrupted the pre-existing social system. The ruling rejected racial separation and hierarchy and endorsed relationships across previously uncrossable racial lines.

The effects of Loving marriages extend beyond those who are themselves married. Since Loving, the proportion of the U.S. population with multiple racial heritages has grown dramatically. Moreover, the children born as a result of Loving have disrupted the social construction of race itself, with more people self-identifying as of more than one race, biracial, multiracial, or mixed.

50 Years of Loving – Symposium Description

The symposium will begin with a feature presentation open to the public on Thursday, March 23, by Mat Johnson, author of the novel “Loving Day” (2015). Symposium participants will then explore the effects that the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1967 decision in Loving v. Virginia has had on U.S. society – institutionally, demographically and relationally. Participants will also develop strategies for moving from thought to action by building relationships across difference…

For more information, click here.

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The Artist Painting Intimate Portraits of Interracial Love

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States on 2017-03-13 18:54Z by Steven

The Artist Painting Intimate Portraits of Interracial Love


Sheila Regan

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case “Loving v. Virginia,” which overturned bans on miscegenation, artist Leslie Barlow wanted to explore mixed-race identity in a positive, uplifting way.

You’d think that 50 years after the landmark Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia, which determined that anti-miscegenation laws were unconstitutional in the United States, people would be free to love whomever they want. Tell that to Alissa Paris, who was harassed and called a racial slur while walking in downtown Minneapolis with her then-boyfriend a few years ago. They were both mixed race, but most people read Paris as black and her boyfriend as white.

On February 25, Paris attended an art exhibition with her current partner, Jared, who is also mixed race, at the Public Functionary gallery in Minneapolis. There, they saw a portrait of themselves, painted by artist Leslie Barlow, as part of a body of work that features mixed-race families and couples. In no time, Paris started to get choked up; it was rare to see mixed-race people portrayed in such an intentional way. “It was really emotional,” she says…

Read the entire article here.

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In contrast to the Loving litigators’ approach, the ideology that race is important to genetics but not to society is spreading in the United States today.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2017-03-11 03:20Z by Steven

In contrast to the Loving litigators’ approach, the ideology that race is important to genetics but not to society is spreading in the United States today. The current resurgence of genetic definitions of race at a time when a majority of Supreme Court justices have embraced a colorblind approach that ignores white supremacy has the potential to intensify racial inequality. The coincidence of these two flawed ideologies—that human beings are naturally divided into genetically distinct races and that racism has ceased significantly to affect society—reinforces a biological explanation for persistent racial inequities. Finding racial differences at the molecular level seems to make sense of the paradox of intensifying racial gaps in health, economic status, and incarceration since the civil rights movement.

Dorothy E. Roberts, “Loving v. Virginia as a Civil Rights Decision,” New York Law School Law Review, Volume 59, Number 1 (2014/2015), 208.

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Loving: Interracial Intimacy in America and the Threat to White Supremacy

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Law, Monographs, United States on 2017-03-11 02:21Z by Steven

Loving: Interracial Intimacy in America and the Threat to White Supremacy

Beacon Press
232 pages
6 x 9 Inches
Cloth ISBN-13: 978-0807058275

Sheryll Cashin, Professor of Law
Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

How interracial love and marriage changed history, and may soon alter the landscape of American politics.

Loving beyond boundaries is a radical act that is changing America. When Mildred and Richard Loving wed in 1958, they were ripped from their shared bed and taken to court. Their crime: miscegenation, punished by exile from their home state of Virginia. The resulting landmark decision of Loving v. Virginia ended bans on interracial marriage and remains a signature case—the first to use the words “White Supremacy” to describe such racism.

Drawing from the earliest chapters in U.S. history, legal scholar Sheryll Cashin reveals the enduring legacy of America’s original sin, tracing how we transformed from a country without an entrenched construction of race to a nation where one drop of non-white blood merited exclusion from full citizenship. In vivid detail, she illustrates how the idea of whiteness was created by the planter class of yesterday, and is reinforced by today’s power-hungry dog-whistlers to divide struggling whites and people of color, ensuring plutocracy and undermining the common good.

Cashin argues that over the course of the last four centuries there have always been “ardent integrators” who are now contributing to the emergence of a class of “culturally dexterous” Americans. In the fifty years since the Lovings won their case, approval for interracial marriage rose from 4% to 87%. Cashin speculates that rising rates of interracial intimacy—including cross-racial adoption, romance and friendship—combined with immigration, demographic and generational change will create an ascendant coalition of culturally dexterous whites and people of color.

Loving is both a history of white supremacy and a hopeful treatise on the future of race relations in America, challenging the notion that trickle-down progressive politics is our only hope for a more inclusive society. Accessible and sharp, Cashin reanimates the possibility of a future where interracial understanding serves as a catalyst of a social revolution ending not in artificial color blindness, but a culture where acceptance and difference are celebrated.

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Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case

Posted in Books, History, Law, Media Archive, Novels, United States, Virginia on 2017-03-06 23:03Z by Steven

Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case

Chronicle Books
260 pages
7-1/4 x 10 in
Hardcover ISBN: 9781452125909

Patricia Hruby Powell

Illustrated by Shadra Strickland

From acclaimed author Patricia Hruby Powell comes the story of a landmark civil rights case, told in spare and gorgeous verse. In 1955, in Caroline County, Virginia, amidst segregation and prejudice, injustice and cruelty, two teenagers fell in love. Their life together broke the law, but their determination would change it. Richard and Mildred Loving were at the heart of a Supreme Court case that legalized marriage between races, and a story of the devoted couple who faced discrimination, fought it, and won.

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Loving v. Virginia as a Civil Rights Decision

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2017-03-06 20:13Z by Steven

Loving v. Virginia as a Civil Rights Decision

New York Law School Law Review
Volume 59, Number 1 (2014/2015)
pages 175-209

Dorothy E. Roberts, George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology and the Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights
University of Pennsylvania

Loving v. Virginia, the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision that invalidated state laws restricting interracial marriage, marked the tail end of the civil rights cases of the 1950s and ’60s. Loving was not issued until 1967, more than a decade after the Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, holding racial segregation of public schools unconstitutional. At the time of the 1963 March on Washington, nineteen states still had laws prohibiting interracial marriage, and federal jurisprudence upholding these laws had remained the same since 1883.

Civil rights litigators waited so long to launch an attack on state anti-miscegenation statutes in federal court because interracial marriage seemed at once so trivial and so controversial. Trivial because it involved interpersonal relationships rather than the weighty public rights to equal education, voting, and employment. But challenging the marriage laws also struck at the bedrock of racism: Classifying human beings into supposedly biological races that should be kept apart. Some civil rights advocates, as well as justices on the Warren Court, feared that attacking anti-miscegenation too soon was doomed to fail and would threaten the implementation of recent civil rights victories because white Southerners’ loathing of racial intermingling was so basic to their dogma of racial separation. After all, a primary reason for segregated schooling was to foreclose the interracial intimacy that might be sparked in integrated classrooms. Moreover, prior to Loving, state control over marriage was absolute.

Loving was the capstone of the Court’s blow to the Jim Crow regime. As the Court stated, it struck down the Virginia law because it was a measure “designed to maintain White Supremacy.” Yet subsequent decades have faded the understanding of Loving as a civil rights decision. While Brown became the emblem of the end to de jure segregation, Loving fell into relative obscurity. In his recent book, The Civil Rights Revolution, constitutional law scholar Bruce Ackerman denies that Loving “deserves a central place in the civil rights canon.” The same-sex marriage movement revived the decision to stand for the right to marry the partner of one’s choice. In 2007, on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the Loving decision, Mildred Loving commented:

I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.

Today, Loving is remembered more for protecting the right to marry than for toppling the final pillar of the de jure racial caste system in the United States. Moreover, to the extent that federal courts rely on Loving as a civil rights decision, they have largely distorted its reasoning, as well as its significance to the struggle to end racism and white domination.

This article aims to revive Loving as a civil rights decision, and to stress the continuing importance of its recognition of the relationship between racial classifications and white supremacy. Part I places the Lovings’ lawsuit in the context of the litigation agenda that helped institute the civil rights revolution. Jim Crow restrictions on marriage implemented the combined white supremacist and eugenicist ideologies of an innate racial hierarchy that called for racial separation. Both civil rights lawyers and U.S. Supreme Court justices delayed tackling state anti-miscegenation laws for strategic reasons. But they understood these laws as part of the Jim Crow segregationist system that the civil rights movement was dismantling and kept their abolition as an eventual goal.

Part II analyzes the Loving decision as a challenge to racism and white supremacy as much as the validation of marriage rights—and the entangled relationship between the two in the Court’s constitutional reasoning. Just as bans on interracial marriage were an essential part of the segregationist regime, eliminating them was an integral chapter in the series of civil rights decisions issued by the Warren Court. A central question in Loving was whether the Court would extend the holding in Brown from the realm of public education to state laws regulating marriage. By applying Brown’s prohibition of racial separation to the private sphere of marriage, formerly seen as the exclusive domain of states’ power, the Court radically confirmed a constitutional mandate for federal intervention in all aspects of the nation’s racial regime.

Part III evaluates how federal courts have interpreted the civil rights dimension of Loving in the decades that followed. I argue that key U.S. Supreme Court decisions have perverted the central lesson of Loving. Rather than link racial classifications to political subordination (as the Loving Court did), subsequent Court opinions have wrongly relied on Loving to do just the opposite. Loving has been misused to support a colorblind approach to the Fourteenth Amendment that treats the government’s use of race to eliminate the contemporary vestiges of Jim Crow as contemptible as the Jim Crow classifications designed to enforce white rule.

Finally, Part IV explains why the lessons of Loving as a civil rights decision are especially important in today’s supposedly “post-racial” society. A new biopolitics of race is resuscitating the notion of biological racial classifications underlying the anti-miscegenation laws that Loving struck down. Genomic science and gene-based biotechnologies are promoting race-consciousness at the molecular level at the very moment the Court and many policymakers believe race-consciousness is no longer necessary at the social level. I conclude that it is more urgent than ever to understand race as a political system that determines individuals’ status and welfare, and for federal courts to implement, uphold, and enforce strong race-conscious remedies for the lasting legacy of slavery that the Fourteenth Amendment was intended to abolish and civil rights activists fought to eradicate…

Read the entire article here.

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What if the Court in the Loving Case Had Declared Race a False Idea?

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2017-03-06 19:17Z by Steven

What if the Court in the Loving Case Had Declared Race a False Idea?

The New York Times

Brent Staples

Mildred Loving greeting her husband Richard on their front porch in Virginia.
Credit Estate of Grey Villet

Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia struck a resonant historical note last year when he proclaimed June 12 “Loving Day,” in commemoration of Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 Supreme Court decision that invalidated state laws across the country that restricted interracial marriage.

That Virginia would celebrate the decision was symbolically rich, given that Richmond had been the capital of the Confederacy under Jefferson Davis and the seat of a virulently racist legislature that diligently translated white supremacist aspirations into law.

The Loving decision turns 50 this summer, which will give the annual festivals, picnics and house parties held in its honor a special gravity. But the recent re-emergence of white supremacist ideology in political discourse lends an inescapably political cast to this celebration of interracialism.

As this drama unfolds, historians and legal scholars are criticizing aspects of the Loving decision, including the court’s failure to repudiate the myth of white racial “purity” upon which Virginia’s statute was based…

Read the entire article here.

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The fourth Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference celebrates the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Gay & Lesbian, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Live Events, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2017-02-24 00:49Z by Steven

The fourth Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference celebrates the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia

Critical Mixed Race Studies Association

Laura Kina
Telephone: 773-325-4048; E-Mail:

LOS ANGELES, CA – The fourth Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, “Explorations in Trans (gender, gressions, migrations, racial) Fifty Years After Loving v. Virginia,” will bring together academics, activists, and artists from across the US and abroad to explore the latest developments in critical mixed race studies. The Conference will be held at The University of Southern California from February 24-26, 2017 at the USC Ronald Tutor Campus Center, 3607 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90089 and is hosted by the Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture.

The conference will include over 50 panels, roundtables, and caucus sessions organized by the Critical Mixed Race Studies Association as well as feature film screenings and live performances organized by the non-profit Mixed Roots Stories. The conference is pleased to run concurrently with the Hapa Japan Festival February 22- 26, 2017.

The year 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia, which declared interracial marriage legal. With a focus on the root word “Trans” this conference explores interracial encounters such as transpacific Asian migration, transnational migration from Latin America, transracial adoption, transracial/ethnic identity, the intersections of trans (gendered) and mixed race identity, and mixed race transgressions of race, citizenship, and nation…

Read the entire press release here. View the program guide here.

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