Sunday, June 12th is Loving Day, a celebration commemorating the landmark Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia (1967) that legalized interracial marriage in the United States.
BHS will be celebrating mixed-heritage families all year with Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations (CBBG) a public programming series and oral history project about mixed-heritage families, race, ethnicity, culture, and identity, infused with historical perspective.
Forty-four years ago, interracially married couples faced prosecution and jail time, or violence, if they happened to cross into one of 16 states that prohibited and punished marriages on the basis of racial classifications. Fifty-nine years ago, anti-miscegenation laws were on the books in 30 states. Eighty-one years ago, in 1930, the Hays Code forbade portrayals of interracial romance, curtailing the careers of actors of color like Anna May Wong who could no longer play the romantic leads. In Germany in 1935, The Nuremberg Laws were introduced that prohibited marriage between Jewish Germans and other Germans. The only other nation to legislate against intermarriage was Apartheid South Africa in 1949. While interfaith marriages were not legally proscribed in the U.S., interfaith and interclass marriages often met with opposition from family and community.