54 years ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized interracial marriage. It’s officially Loving Day.
On June 12, 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of a young couple, Mildred Jeter Loving and Richard Loving and struck down state laws prohibiting interracial marriages as unconstitutional. A monumental case Loving v. Virginia.
Prior to 1967, any interracial marriages or sexual relations were defined as felonies. The laws also prohibited the issuance of a marriage license and the solemnization of weddings between mixed race couples. Citing Blacks and Whites, Blacks and Asians, Blacks and Native Americans and Blacks and Filipinos. Also prohibiting the officiating of such ceremonies.
In 1959 a year after their marriage, The Lovings were sentenced to one year in prison, for being together but the presiding Judge, Leon M. Bazile suspended their sentence on the condition that they would leave Virginia and not return together for a period of 25 years.
It wasn’t that long ago to think that 16 states out of this “Great Land of Liberty and Freedom” would need to deem interracial marriages legal just for people to love and live with their forever person.
I think of my grandparents Charles Constantino and Elenor Jane who married and left Sandusky, Ohio for being a mixed couple. They went to Boston, Massachusetts where the laws had been repealed since the late 1880’s. Grateful today to be standing on the shoulders of Mildred and John Loving. Since today is the historic anniversary of the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision a.k.a. Loving Day it’s only right to celebrate inclusion and diversity.
Here are a few of our favorite interracial couples in Hip Hop that continue to inspire love and diversity everyday. Love is love.
Eve and Maximillion Cooper
Paul Wall and Crystal Wall
Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian
Cardi B and Offset
Jeezy and Jenny Mai
Ice T and Coco Austin
John Legend and Chrissy Teigen