By Bonnie DeShong
In the 1950’s interracial anything was against the law in most states, especially the southern ones. It was a bold move in 1958 when Richard Loving, a white man, asked Mildred Jeter, a Negro to marry him. In order for them to legally wed they had to leave Caroline County, Virginia and go to Washington, D.C. Their problems started when they went back to live in Virginia where interracial marriage was illegal. The Lovings were arrested, charged with the felony “miscegenation,” (marriage or cohabitation between two people from different racial groups, especially, in the U.S., between a Black person and a white person) … sexual relations between two people from different racial backgrounds that result in the conception of a mixed-race child). They were tried and convicted and sentenced to a year in jail. They were given the option to leave the state of Virginia and never return unless they were alone, not together.
They moved to Washington, D.C. and decided to fight the law. The case went to the Supreme Court and in 1967 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of the Lovings, which led to the overturning of 16 states ban on interracial marriage.
Based on a true story, LOVING is a film full of love but is hard to watch and experience. Joel Edgerton as Richard Loving has the looks of someone who would be protesting interracial marriage instead of fighting for it. He is a pale complexioned, buzz cut white guy who is truly in love with this dainty, soft spoken woman of color. Ruth Negga embodies the spirit of Mildred Loving. Soft, beautiful, yet strong and determined to fight for recognition of the love she and Richard have for one another, their children, and family.
The film is well written and the actors are superb. People who grew up during these times of segregation may have a different reaction to the film than those of today where interracial marriage and children are totally accepted. I admit to having flashbacks to a time in the south where my fair skinned cousin couldn’t walk next to her dark skinned father without being harassed.
This film is not for small children but will be a great opening for discussion with your pre-teen and above.
SPEND THE MONEY and see LOVING in the theaters.
Until next time, keep your EYE to the sky!