June 10, 2016 | Source: Monroe Gallery of Photography

Richard and Mildred Loving, 1965
Grey Villet: Richard and Mildred Loving. 1965

Via The LA Times
June 10, 2016

"Forty-nine years ago on June 12, the Supreme Court struck down laws in 16 states that banned mixed-race marriages. The decision in Loving vs. Virginia overturned the conviction of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple from Caroline County, Va., who had been arrested, jailed and banned from their home state for violating its Racial Integrity Act.

It also ushered in a new era in the American family.

For 12 years, Ken Tanabe, a Japanese-Belgian freelance graphic designer living in New York, has been working to educate Americans about what he sees as one of the most significant civil rights cases through Loving Day, the unofficial holiday that cities across the country are slowly adapting to celebrate the lives of the fast-growing multiracial population.

Now Tanabe, whose organization has tracked and sponsored many of the dozens of dance and music festivals, film screenings, picnics and forums taking place across the country in June to commemorate Loving vs. Virginia, has launched a campaign to get the holiday recognized by the federal government." Read the full LA Times article here.

Mildred and Richard Loving, King and Queen County, Virginia in April 1965
Grey Villet: Mildred and Richard Loving, King and Queen County, Virginia in April 1965

Grey Villet took over 2,400 frames of the Lovings for Life in 1965 but the magazine did not run the story until March 18, 1966, when the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals upheld the lower court ruling and the Lovings' case headed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The tone of the piece, as well as the selected images, was cool and neutral; the three published images that include both Mildred and Richard are extremely chaste and do not capture the emotional bond between them as so many of Villet's other images do. Life, like many other media outlets, did not want to address the topic of interracial sex directly for fear of offending popular opinion.

White House petition to establish Loving Day as a holiday.

CBS News "Sunday Morning" Almanac: June 12th,1967, 49 years ago today ... a day of triumph for a basic human right

International Center of Photography: The Loving Story: Photographs by Grey Villet

HBO Documentary The Loving Story

Feature in production: LOVING

Tags: interracial love Civil Rights Loving Day Grey Villet prints Loving vs. Virginia The Lovings mixed race marriage