June 12, 2017 was Loving Day and marked the 50th Anniversary of the United States Supreme Court decision to end all anti-miscegenation laws that still existed in sixteen U.S. states. This decision meant that Black and white couples could legally marry without being arrested, charged, or thrown in jail. The law was changed thanks to the love and persistence of Richard and Mildred Loving who were part of a famous court case called Loving vs. Virginia. There have been 2 movies about this couple-- one for Mr. & Mrs. Loving, ABC television in 1996 starring actress Lela Rochon and the Academy Award-nominated Loving (2016).
Then there is also this HBO documentary film called The Loving Story from 2011.
Books have also been published about the Lovings' story including two non-fiction children's books including The Case for Loving: The fight for Interracial Marriage by Selina Alko, Sean Qualls and Selina Alko (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2015) and Loving vs. Virginia by Patricia Hruby Powell, illustrated by Shadra Strickland (Chronicle Books, 2017).
I think that it is important to remember, revere, laud, and commemorate the Lovings alongside other Civil Rights leaders. Let us remember the sacrifices that everyday people like the Lovings have made to change the laws but also to rewrite history and the future. It is wonderful to have books like these to share with our children as they too may have an intercultural and interracial family. It is also important for us to create dialogue around our diversity and how we can live in harmony and in a diverse world. We acknowledge that there are still many people today who cannot marry without experiencing social injustice and discrimination not only in the world and communities but also in their families. Also, many young readers grow up in multiracial, multicultural, multilinguistic, and multifaith homes. These children need to see reflections of their lives on the written page too. Hopefully, these diverse books and my upcoming picture book Malaika's Winter Carnival (2017) can normalize but also depict the diversity within all families in the world.