Loving Day

At StakeFebruary is Black History Month, and Northwestern has a variety of notable events remaining.  Artists and writers might be particularly interested in a screening and discussion of the movie Freedom Writers, based on the book The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them. The event is hosted by the National Pen-Hellenic Council and is on February 23rd at 7 p.m. in Harris Hall. For lawyers, on February 23 at 7 p.m. at 1914 Sheridan Road, there will be a discussion of progressive legislation that has worked at ending discrimination.

On February 14, that heartiest of days, HBO will premiere the Loving Story, a documentary about Richard and Mildred Loving, a couple who faced a year in jail for the crime in Virginia of marrying interracially. In 1967, the United States Supreme Court held that such laws violated the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. June 12, the date of the Supreme Court’s decision, is now celebrated as Loving Day. It is hard to imagine a better name for the couple and the case. And it is hard to believe that we have not even reached the forty-fifth Loving Day.

On June 12, 2007, the fortieth anniversary of the decision, Mildred Loving issued a statement that ended like so: “I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard's and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That's what Loving, and loving, are all about.”

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.