These past several weeks have been an eye opening experience for many of us when it comes to learning and understanding more about the social injustice black people in the U.S. have been dealing with throughout their lifetime.
Our Jefa Mija has taken the time to speak to other black women in our community to learn about their experiences. She’s also spent time watching important films that highlight the issue of racism in our country and has done research to understand a culture that she admits she was not too familiar with.
The Mija project is about learning, growing and educating each other because imagine how powerful our voices can be if we are all able to use them together?!
Today we are using our voice to highlight a day in history. National Loving Day. You might see the hashtag floating around social media, but what exactly does it mean?
Grab a glass of wine and let’s learn together.
What is National Loving Day?
“The freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual, and cannot be infringed by the State.” – Chief Justice Earl Warren
On June 12, 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a historic ruling declaring Virginia’s ban on interracial marriages unconstitutional. That landmark case, Loving v. Virginia, paved the way for the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015 and led to the multicultural, diverse country that we see today.
Loving Day is a day to honor Richard and Mildred Loving an interracial couple from Virginia who tied the knot in 1958. As they were returning home from their own wedding, they got arrested for interracial marriage. The couple refused to be silenced and fought against the laws that forbid their partnership.
The couple fought for nine years and ultimately won the right to marry each other, lawfully.
Right from June 12, 1967, onwards, Americans were no longer prohibited from marrying someone they loved just because of the color of their skin.
The idea for National Loving Day came about in 2004 by Ken Tanabe. He grew up in an interracial family, having a Japanese father and a Belgian mother. He created the idea in 2004 for his senior thesis at Parsons the New School of Design. The idea for an official holiday commemorating this historic victory was created by Tanabe in hopes that it would bring together multi-ethnic families from around the world.
Loving Day this year comes at a time where our country is dealing with not only a world-wide pandemic, but a time where our country feels like it’s torn apart. Now, more than ever, our world needs more love and more unity.
The Loving’s historical case proves what the power of love can do. It proves that with determination and passion you can make a positive change in our world.
“Whether it is 1967 or 2020, the march toward justice is long and winding, but we must be resilient and push forward for justice. Sometimes civil rights are won by a group of people coming together to demand justice. Sometimes they are won by individuals like Richard and Mildred Loving who stood up against unfair, unjust laws. There’s power in numbers. There’s beauty in unity. And there are glimpses of hope during these trying times.” -Phuong Tran, Communications Associate for ACLU of Virginia.
So, if there’s one thing to take away from this day in history it’s that…..
Mija, yes you can and yes you SHOULD be able to love whomever you want!