|Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2017-03-07 02:21Z by Steven|
The New York Times
Kevin Noble Maillard, Professor of Law
Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams in Jordan Peele’s “Get Out.”
Credit Justin Lubin/Universal Pictures
The recent drama “Loving” is about an interracial marriage and takes place in midcentury rural Virginia, but there are no burning crosses, white hoods or Woolworth counters. Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter, a white man and a black Native American woman kiss in public at a drag race, and no one voices disapproval. A few white spectators stare and scowl. But the couple embrace and laugh, unsullied.
“Segregation wasn’t a clean divide in these communities,” the drama’s writer-director, Jeff Nichols, told me, and for “Loving” it’s true: The film, about the 1967 Supreme Court case striking down laws banning interracial marriage, addresses the long ignored and deliberately suppressed topic of mixed race in America. It confounds our impressions of the past, the legacies of slavery, and the reality of Jim Crow.
Fifty years have passed since “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” and this is still an issue. Mixed-race couples existed here long before 1967, but the Lovings (played by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga) were among the first to demand official recognition through marriage. According to the codes of popular culture and the law of domestic relations, families like theirs did not exist. Sustaining the legitimacy of racial boundaries requires suppression of these narratives. Without policing and erasing by law and popular culture, taboos lose their authority…
Read the entire article here.