The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Loving Day

Posted by Seeking Solace |

Today is Loving Day.

This day is of particular importance for me. For those of you new to my blog, I am biracial. My mother is White and my dad is Black. In addition, my wonderful Husband is White.

The Supreme Court decided the case Loving v. Virginia which struck down laws banning interracial marriage. It was decided the same year my parents married. A year later, Seeking Solace was born.

Although my parents live "up North", they still had to battle many obstacles and prejudices. The could not get married in the county they lived. They had to drive two hours to find a Justice of the Peace who would marry them.

They had to deal with the prejudices of strangers and even family members who thought what they were doing was wrong or unnatural. some tried to use religion to justify that interracial marriage was wrong.

They heard comments that they should not have children because they children won't know what they are.

I remember hear many of the racist comments when I was a little girl. I also remember the toll it took on my parents. I also remember the stigma that my brother and I suffered because people from both races would not accept us. Some white people thought we just just too Black. Some Black people though we were "acting White". I have so many stories that could probably fill a book. (Hmmm....that's an idea...)

You would think this would make me bitter, but it doesn't. I am proud of my background. I am proud of my parents because they taught me to accept people for the content of their character. I am not just Black or just White. I am multi-racial, multi ethnic person.

Have things gotten better since Loving? Yes and no. When I married Husband, we did not go through the stigma and angst that my parents did. We do, on occasion, get "the look" from people from both races. I still get people who ask me "What are you?" (Usually, people think I am Puerto -Rican, Hispanic, or Asian Indian). Those who are genuinely curious, I will respond kindly. To those with a negative heart or agenda, I have no use. I have learned that you can't change all people's perception. There are many people who still think that there should be only certain people who have the "right" to be married.

Someday, I hope that all people, regardless of who they are, can live, love and marry whomever they choose.

Loving was just the beginning.


Brigindo said...

Happy Loving Day. I never thought about their being a case that ended the law, but of course that is how it works. Two of my sisters are in/were in (my BIL passed a few years ago) interracial marriages and my niece and nephews are multi-racial. It seems crazy to think there was a time when that wouldn't have been legal. But then I think of all my friends who are not allowed to marry and I realize the craziness hasn't passed.

MissDazey said...

I love this post. I heard William and Janet Langhart Cohen on CNN a couple of days ago. She talked about this day also. Have you read their book, "Love in Black and White: A Memoir of Race, Religion, and Romance"?. I haven't, going to order it though.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you do have enough stories to fill a book. My white BFF in seminary dated a black man--Jamaican, I think actually--for a short period of time and she collected her share of stories in just a few months.

It seems crazy enough that people care enough to treat strangers rudely because of it, but when you remember it wasn't so long ago that it was illegal....

Anyway, yah for Loving Day!

Rebecca said...

I was in high school when that case was decided. It still amazes me that such things existed during my lifetime. While I was in college, it was still legal for men to do things with joint finances that their wives had no control over. It was one of the leading catalysts of feminism at the time. And here we are, well into the 21st century, and still have not achieved equality for all.

Still, Loving Day is well worth celebrating. Let's hope we will have others like it to celebrate soon, because there is a wave of acceptance beginning to sweep through our country as the younger, more open-minded, generations come of age.

Time is the bigot's worst enemy. And we've got it on our side.

RageyOne said...

It really is a shame that folks still take issue with inter-racial marriage. One would think we would be past this by now, but we're not. I really wonder if we'll ever be past it.

Arbitrista said...

I hope I live long enough for that sort of nonsense not to matter anymore. I've seen far too much of it, even when I moved out of the South.