Mildred and Richard Loving after their Supreme Cout victory in 1967
To end the summer on a sweet note, I suggest you do as I did a few days ago and pick up “L’Amour des Loving” a lovely novel by Gilles Biassette that tells the story of a modest couple who changed the course of American history.
Like many young couples at the time, in 1958, Mildred Jeter et Richard Loving decided to get married. No big deal except for the fact that their honeymoon turned into a prison stint. Mixed marriage in the U.S. at the time was illegal in the segregated South. She was Black and he, White. Thanks to their tenacity, their name foretelling their destiny, the Supreme Court legalized interracial marriage across the land in 1967.
Gilles Biassette deftly mixes their story with contemporary history through the lens of the Obama election, with this so long ago and not so long ago past of a country whose current news reminds us that all has not been swallowed.
The irony of the story is that six years before the Supreme Court decision ruling interracial marriage bans unconstitutional, a White American and a Black Kenyan gave birth to a son named Barack Obama.