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June 12 is Loving Day.
While the day itself is certainly a celebration of love, its name comes from Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple that fought the state of Virginia’s laws banning interracial marriage.
On June 12, 1967, the Supreme Court unanimously decided such a law was unconstitutional. Virginia and 14 other states, including Texas, changed their laws regarding interracial marriage based on this decision.
As one half of an interracial couple, this day always brings home to me how recently my marriage would have been illegal. It wasn’t that long ago.
Because of this, I think it’s important that not just my family and I, or other families that look like us, but people everywhere learn about, celebrate, and honor Loving Day.
And here are 10 ideas to get you started:
There’s nothing quite like a book. Whether you want to see bits of your own life reflected in print, or open your eyes to new experiences and perspectives, there’s nothing quite like a book.
For adults, Loving Day, by Mat Johnson, is entertaining and insightful, a good summer read any day, but particularly on this one.
For kids, consider adding The Case For Loving, which explains the history of this landmark case on a level kids can understand. Black Is Brown Is Tan is also a good bet, as it represents interracial parents and mixed-race children and brings skin color up in a matter-of-fact way.
Of course, the movie Loving would be an appropriate one to watch on this day, as it gives a Hollywood history of the case. However, you could also watch a show or movie that features an interracial relationship of any kind, such as Guess Who, The Sun Is Also a Star, or Hairspray.
Are you a podcast fan? Expand your horizons and explore interracial relationships, mixed-race life, and more when you listen to episodes of Militantly Mixed, BWT But We’re Together, It’s Not All Black And White, and the Interracial Odd Couple.
There are hashtags for everything and Loving Day is no exception. Do a quick search for #LovingDay on Instagram and read beautiful stories of love that cross race and culture lines. If you have your own story to share, please do so, and if not, considering sharing some of your favorites. Both actions help raise awareness of the struggles and joys of interracial relationships.
In honor of Loving Day, donate your time, talents, or treasures to organizations that support multiethnic communities. You can volunteer or donate to organizations such as the Multicultural Alliance, or the National Association of Multicultural Education.
There’s a lot of information out there on racial inequality. Take this day to commit to learning more about the history of Loving Day, or other landmark legal cases concerning racial discrimination, so that you can deepen your understanding of the long journey our country is taking on the road to equality.
Take some time today and make something new to commemorate the new chapter Loving Day started. Create a collage with your kids of families that come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. Choose a recipe from a different culture and make it together in the kitchen, talking about what we can learn from others who may not look like us. Write a poem, paint a picture, sing a song. Creative expression is an amazing way to deepen understand and connect with others.
Talk to your kids, your spouse, your friends, your siblings, your aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Talk to them about stories you’ve heard, people you know, and the things you see. Don’t just shush someone when they ask a question or say something ignorant. Talk to them about it and help them understand.
Hopefully, all the talk will lead to acceptance. Families don’t all look the same. They may not “match” in all the ways we think they should. But that doesn’t make them any less real or valid. Accept and embrace all the couples and families in your life and celebrate their love.
Mildred and Richard Loving chose to fight for their right to love one another. There are many people in our country and around the world who are still fighting for that right. Honor their struggle, courage, and victory today by loving all others, and yourself, to the fullest of your ability.