May 07, 2008

Native woman overturned marriage ban

Multiracial nation keeps evolvingHere is what happened to the Lovings that changed history: Mildred Jeter, a 17-year-old Rappahannock, Cherokee and African-American woman, had fallen in love with Robert Loving, a 26-year-old white construction worker. They’d married and lived together in Central Point, Va.

Then, someone called the police because they were a black person living with a white person. They were taken to jail at 2 a.m. and charged with unlawful cohabitation. The judge told them they wouldn’t be jailed if they left Virginia, so they moved to Washington, D.C.

After five years, the Lovings returned to Virginia to visit Mildred’s mother and were arrested again for traveling together. Mildred Loving wrote to attorney general Robert Kennedy, was referred to the American Civil Liberties Union, and the rest is history.

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