My generation was bitterly divided over something that should have been so clear and right. The majority believed that what the judge said, that it was God’s plan to keep people apart, and that government should discriminate against people in love. But I have lived long enough now to see big changes. The older generation’s fears and prejudices have given way, and today’s young people realize that if someone loves someone, they have a right to marry.
Today is the “unofficial” annual celebration of the Loving Family. When this couple wanted to be married the state said no, so they had to sue to get the laws changed. Sounds familiar, huh? As we know there are certain built-in legal protections and tax breaks afforded to those who are married. So as we celebrate Mildred & Richard’s love story, let’s think about those who are being denied the right to marry. Let’s also think about the emotional barriers and mentality blocking many today who are able to marry but don’t think it has much value in their lives. Let us do so with all humility and seriousness.
Mildred Loving was and is representative of many thoughtful Black women whose efforts at reminding others of their humanity comes at a price but ultimately helps many others for years to come.