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Buirski and the Lovings’ attorney Phil Hirschkop will hold a panel discussion that evening after a screening at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Buirski explains why she decided to make this documentary, as well as addressing the lasting effect that , and the Lovings, have had on America. She was always humble about the respect so many people gave her and Richard, and considered what she and Richard did as just simply an act of love for each other. Supreme Court, by a 9-0 vote, declared Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute, the “Racial Integrity Act of 1924“, unconstitutional, thereby overturning (1883) and ending all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States.
But, what they did changed laws that affected marriage in many ways. Richard and Mildred probably never thought of the profound effect their marriage would have, when in 1967, the dismantling of anti-miscegenation laws were repealed all across America (with Alabama, the last holdout, rescinding its anti-miscegenation laws in 2000) due to the U. Supreme Court’s landmark decision of Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the “wrong kind of person” for me to marry. Loving simply considered herself just an ordinary woman, who never considered herself as extraordinary: “‘It wasn’t my doing,’ she told the Associated Press in a rare interview. Just the same, what you and Richard did was extraordinary. ************************************************************************ The Love Story That Made Marriage a Fundamental Right Married couple Mildred and Richard Loving embracing at a press conference the day after the Supreme Court ruled in their favor in ‘Loving v. Photo: Francis Miller/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images The Tribeca Film Festival is under way in New York, and one featured documentary delves into the story behind the landmark civil rights case Loving vs.What do you think is the relevance of the Lovings’ story today, in 2011? This is not just a civil rights story, it’s a human rights story.And we are talking about the freedom to choose who you love and who you can marry and clearly there are relevant concerns around those issues today in gay marriage rights. Philip Hirschkop [one of the Lovings’ attorneys] said recently that the fear and the prejudice that pervades our society today is a reminder of what the Lovings went through, and even though they prevailed, there’s nothing that could give them back their nine years of exile and separation from their family.He really loved his wife and felt the exile that the state had forced them into was simply wrong.And so what they wanted to do was right a wrong, but they weren’t trying to change history, and I felt that that was an unusual way to approach a civil rights event and the change that resulted from their actions.I think other relevance comes from the identification that some mixed-race couples and mixed-race children have in society. And so we may take it for granted, but we really should be remembering how people like the Lovings struggled to get us where we are today.
Even though many of us take that for granted, it’s not necessarily as easy as it may seem to be part of a mixed-race relationship. She says whenever she watches a mixed-race couple walk down the street, arm in arm, she knows that that might not be the case if it weren’t for her parents, and she gets kind of emotional when she thinks about that. So you were inspired after reading Loving’s obituary. Oh, you know, it’s three years later and it is a long process, but it’s an exciting one.
“The Loving Story” is making the film festival rounds this year and will air on HBO in February 2012.
I spoke with Buirski after the film’s Tribeca screening this week. I came across an obituary on Mildred Loving in 2008 and I realized when reading the story that she had an incredible life.
Because it was a landmark civil rights case and yet…
I think there were a number of other landmark cases and changes that were taking place just prior to this, and they tended to overtake this one because, you know, you had voting rights, you had Brown vs.
But for decades it was left to the footnotes of civil rights history, overshadowed by blockbuster cases like Brown vs. Director Nancy Buirski’s “The Loving Story” aims to deepen public understanding of not just the case but the Loving family itself.