Kelli Goff, Special Correspondent
The legacy of the interracial-marriage case looms large on the 46th anniversary of the landmark decision.
Forty-six years ago, on June 12, 1967, the Supreme Court ruled that a Virginia law prohibiting Mildred Jeter Loving, who was black, and Richard Loving, who was white, from marrying because of their race was unconstitutional. Their family name, “Loving,” was so perfect for a case about love that it probably would have been dubbed unbelievable if the story were being pitched as fiction.
The case transformed the landscape of America. In a statement to The Root, Kim Keenan, general counsel for the NAACP, said of Loving v. Virginia’s impact, “Along with other key cases, it brought an end to a separate-and-unequal legally sanctioned way of life in America.”
Below is a list of the top ways that Loving v. Virginia has directly and indirectly changed America.
It gave the United States its first black president. Barack Obama was born in 1961, and the Loving case was decided in 1967, but the Lovings were married in 1958 in Washington, D.C. They were arrested upon returning to their native Virginia for defying the state’s anti-miscegenation statute. Their sentence of one year in prison or the option of leaving their home state set the groundwork for their landmark Supreme Court case. In doing so they made it possible for families like that of President Obama, which consisted of his black African father and white American mother, to legally exist in the state nearest to the city that the president and his family now call home…
Read the entire article here.Tags: Kelli Goff, Loving v. Virginia, The Root