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I’ll never forget a time when I was sitting at the lunch table at school. I was in middle school, either 7th or 8th grade. Like many young girls, we were talking about our crushes. I liked a funny guy who was in our math class. He was really smart, not the cutest guy, but he made me laugh. I’ve always had a thing for that.

Well, he was white, and one of the girls I was sitting with asked me if my parents would care if I had a white boyfriend. It didn’t matter if the guy was white, black or purple my parents didn’t want me to have any boyfriend. So we’d have to keep these relationships on the DL at school.

My white friend then proceeded to tell me that her dad would never let her date a black guy.

“It says in the Bible that we shouldn’t mix,” she told me.

Now I didn’t ask her what verse she was referring to because well, maybe she knew the Bible better than I did, or maybe she chose to interpret things differently. So I brushed it off. I wish I could say that was the only time I heard that sorry excuse for racism but it wasn’t.

Years later, I’ve searched for that scripture she may have been referring to. Maybe it was Deuteronomy Chapter 7:3: 3 -“Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.”

Could that be it? Or possibly Leviticus 19:19 – “Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.”

But are we talking about cattle or people? I’m not sure.

interracial couple

Back then I took a stance I mostly still like I take now regarding religious interpretation. If your religion believes our marriage is wrong then fine, don’t marry someone outside of your race, but don’t stand in the way of mine. Oh, and while you’re entitled to your beliefs, I’m entitled to consider you a racist.

In Georgia, heart of the Bible belt, interracial dating and marriage was taboo. Actually, I don’t know if it’s gotten much better, depending what part of the state you’re in. Every time we visit the stares seem to be less vehement, maybe it’s a sign things are easing up. If you know, let me know!

Ok, I’m going somewhere positive with all of this… Yes, there is a point. Fast forward 17 years from middle school. I went through a few other fake boyfriends and rejections and wound up with a husband who loves me BECAUSE of who I am. Not in spite of. And our differences in race have never, not once in our entire 10.5 years of marriage been a source of conflict between us.

interracial couple

Yea, we may argue about which channel to watch (I am so sick of ESPN) or where to eat, or who has to get up with the kids, but racial issues? No. We are actually pretty darn normal.

It’s hard to imagine our family being seen as anything but that, but less than 50 years ago, our marriage would have been illegal in 16 states. IL-freaking-LEGAL.

You didn’t know you’d be getting a little history lesson today did you?

Short story about the Lovings (Richard and Mildred Loving) … They were an awesome couple, white man and black woman, who were having a baby together. In June of 1958, they left their home state of Virginia and went and got married in Washington D.C.. Well, that was not good enough for Virginia. Police raided the couple’s home at night when they were in bed and they were charged for leaving the state to get an interracial marriage then returning to Virginia.

Mildred_Jeter_and_Richard_Loving

(via)

The trial judge wrote: “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

Years later, after being frustrated about not being allowed to travel to visit their families together in Virginia, they began to protest the law.

In 1967 the United States Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia struck down all anti-miscegenation laws citing “There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the equal protection clause.”

So now, June 12th is known as Loving Day, the biggest multiracial celebration in the U.S. (I hear they’re making a movie out of their story which will be awesome!)

interracial marriage

Every year, on this day for the past… I don’t know, five or so years I’ve known about this holiday, I’ve took some time to stop and reflect on this little difference we have, and my gratitude for the fact that it doesn’t keep us apart. I can’t imagine not being with my husband because of some stupid law, and people who thought us loving each other was wrong. Just because of our genetics… How we look. Isn’t that ridiculous?

I’m sure back in the 1950 and 60s people were afraid, and they didn’t understand how mixed-races marriages would affect their lives, and their families, schools. Would their kids grow up thinking interracial marriage was ok and normal? Was that what they wanted?

Fear holds us back. Hatred, misunderstanding, and lack of empathy pushing those who love each other away from one another, instead of spending more time just loving one another.

interracial family photos

So how does my interracial family celebrate Loving Day? We don’t throw a big party or bake a cake (though that’s an idea I’m sure my kids would get on board with) we just take some time to talk about the past, the present, and the future. Specifically with families like ours, and other families striving to be.

You don’t need to be in an interracial marriage to celebrate this holiday. It’s something we all can appreciate and share with out families. Looking at how far we’ve come as a people, and how we can continue to do better. I want my kids to lead with love, not hate or fear. I hope we can spread that message together.

interracial family bluebonnets

I’m thankful for the Lovings, as well as the people who backed them up, supported them, and continue to support what they stood for.

I hope you’ll take some time to read a little more about Mildred and Richard Loving and maybe even share the story with your families. You can learn more here and find out about celebrations going on near you.

Happy Loving Day 2015 my friends!


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Maria says:

Well I vote for cake. 😉

TOTALLY doing a heart cake next year! 🙂 We did “peace pie” on MLK day. The more desserts the better right?

Kristin says:

Deuteronomy 7:3 refers to the Israelites inter-marrying with people who didn’t follow their God. It has nothing to do with skin color. : )

I’m in an interracial marriage too, so I’m very thankful for the brave couples like the Lovings who fought 50 years ago. Thanks for sharing, and happy Loving Day!

Yes, I caught onto that Kristin, just wondering what that girl (and others) are referring to when they use the Bible as an excuse “not to mix.” I don’t get it. haha.

Happy Loving Day to you too!!

Leah Sannar says:

I loved this blog post Jenn! I didn’t know about Loving Day before this post! What a special couple that paved the way for the rest of the world. :o) I love my little multi-racial family, and wouldn’t have it any other way! We are so blessed! Happy Loving Day!

I love your little multi-racial family too!!

Penny says:

You are a beautiful breath of fresh air, and I would have to challenge any one with what the Bible says about that, because GOD s love and the only reason he scattered all the people in Babylon, was because they were building the tower to reach the heavens and GOD did not like that, yes I remembered when black people were bused into the schools and it was a great big deal, that I did not understand, to me it seems people are afraid of what they don’t understand, and instead of learning for themselves they are told by there parents that someone is bad, Why? because there skin was a different color, I had friends of every color, my dad was Indian and he was racial about them, he taught us that the money from the tribes did not belong to us, you don’t get nothing for free. you work for what you have, so even though the money was truly his for the land they took from his family, he would not except a penny of it nor would he allow us to use it for school or anything else., so yes we do live in a messed up world but as long as we give it to GOD and pray for the others that still don’t understand, two of the children I took in and raised because there parents were not doing good were black children, I put them in foot ball along with my boys, you see my oldest brought kids home to me that he felt were not getting the love and structure they needed, so I would go talk to there parents to see what the difficulty they were having with there children and go from there, so my children collected kids and cats, and let me tell you, my little house was overflowing with boys, and they are very loud and like to wrestled all the time. the wore me out. so I ended up raising about 14 children and thirteen cats, and I can say I am glade I am a grandma now. GOD bless you and just keep being your beautiful self and pray for the rest.

You’re sweet mama. Thanks for your comment Penny 🙂 I can tell you have a big heart and a love of our Father in Heaven.

Temitayo Akinshilo says:

I always knew about Loving vs. Virginia but for what ever reason I never considered celebrating it. My children are young (3 & under) so I think me and hubby will celebrate together until they get older. What that celebration will look like, I don’t know yet. Thanks for the eye opener.
Oh when I was in high school I was dating a hispanic guy and we went to Atlanta. We went to eat at a waffle house and the treatment towards him was horrible, we were so shocked, being from California it’s not really an issue but wow.

We are gradually changing up the “celebration” each year. A reader shared a picture of her heart cake they made on Facebook. I definitely think we’ll shoot for that next year.

I’m so sorry about what happened to you guys at Waffle House! That’s just terrible! We still have a long way to go.

Faith says:

Absolutely beautiful post. I could not agree more!

Alice Anne says:

I never thought to celebrate it, but I’ve got a reminder on my calendar for next year! Totally gonna bake a cake.

Yay!! Yes heart-shaped cake for sure!!

Ruby says:

I never knew about Loving Day! How exciting! I remember my older sisters telling me to never bring home a black boy because our parents would freak out. I couldn’t understand it! My mom’s best friend was black but I couldn’t date a black boy? I ended up marrying a brown boy (what my Hispanic husband calls himself) and some of the older Mexican ladies in town don’t think much of it (we live on the border).

Oh man, crazy your sister said that. I’m glad that you family ended up getting past that though. Do you have kids now?

Ruby says:

We have two beautiful daughters now and everyone in my family loves them and my husband.

Ben says:

I passed by after seeing your article on including yourself in pictures of your children. I wish I did that more too.

May your marriage be blessed in Jesus’ name. I’m a hard-core, fundamental Christian. I preach the gospel on the street to anyone and everyone. I preach the goodness and the severity of God. In my bible, the Lord destroyed every living person on the face of the earth save eight people, Noah and his wife, their three sons and their wives. There were no continents left, just one ark and eight people. I’m pretty sure we’ve all descended from those eight people. Now I wonder who Noah’s grandsons married, their sisters or their cousins? I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure they were closely related.

I descended from a family that once lived in Bohemia, in eastern Europe. I can trace the generations back four or five perhaps, but I have a name that is most likely French in origin, probably from someone displaced during the Napoleonic wars. Research indicates one of my ancestors was adopted. Where they originated before that is anybody’s guess. So what race, what ethnicity am I?

I married a French-speaking woman from Quebec. The 7 Years War that left Quebec French-speaking was settled before the United States came into existence by the way, and the reason the Huron people, who most likely descended from migrants that crossed the Bering straight from Asia were speaking French came about the early part of the 17th century when people from France like Samuel de Champlain were exploring and settling the area. But my wife had not been born in Quebec. She had been born in Vietnam only to be displaced from there by the war. She was a “boat person” when she was six years old. It is evident, however, that her family is not Vietnamese. They speak a Chinese language, and no doubt had ancestors from China. They had lived in Cholon, the Chinatown of Saigon. China itself has a history of one massive displacement of peoples after another. Still, we can be sure her ancestors were not formed from the dust of China. They came from somewhere else. So what race, what ethnicity is she?

No doubt we are all come from Adam, and through Noah. But it doesn’t matter to whom we were born, because the Lord Jesus said that a man must be born again. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. “Marvel not that I say unto you, ye must be born again.” The flesh profiteth nothing, it is the spirit that gives life. “For as many as received him [Jesus], to them gave he the power to become the sons of God.”

“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

“…seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.”

Now if there be any doubt left, let it be known that Moses, a Levite, son of Israel, son of Isaac, son of Abraham, a Hebrew who descended from Eber, married a Cushite, an Ethiopian woman. His own brother and sister once dared to speak against this, and the Lord’s wrath came down against them in a pillar of cloud. See Numbers 12.

“What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

Powerful, powerful, powerful blog, Jenn. Thank You and my interracial will be celebrating this holiday! 🙂 You are a precious woman! God Bless your family!
Priscilla Bango

* “Interracial family”

Jennifer, what a fabulous post. I saw the TV movie about the Lovings and it was wonderful. I grew up in the South Bronx, NY, and my friends and boyfriends were mixed, black, white, hispanic, and we never thought twice about it. Thanks for sharing!

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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