I laid in bed last night, beautiful husband asleep next to me, precious fourth child (who thinks we are in his bed) sound asleep between us, and I imagined the sheer terror we would experience if a team of law enforcement officers broke down our door and rushed into our bedroom, guns drawn and locked on us, yelling and screaming us out of our slumber. The confusion and helplessness we would endure as they held us down, handcuffed us, and hauled us toward the police station under the cover of night’s darkness – unfathomable. The heartbreak we would feel as our home and extended family became off limits to us because we were exiled to a strange, new place, in exchange for no jail time, for the incredibly wicked offense of … marrying the one who we love, regardless of the differences of the skin we’re in.
How is it that twenty years into my own interracial relationship, I have only known about Richard and Mildred Loving for three? Here we are, a black man and a white woman with a life together, five children, a home, a past, a present…and a future, yet the story of the couple that paved the way for us still has yet to be heard by so many.
We complain about the bewildered stares and the occasional disapproval of random people who don’t matter to us anyway – but we will never have to worry about the horror of arrest, or the heartache of banishment, or finding the energy to fight the government for the right to be with each other…thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Loving. They weren’t just fighting for their lives – they were fighting for mine. Their love story didn’t just change their history – it changed mine. Their victory didn’t just affect their legacy – it affected mine. I am so grateful. We are so grateful. Our children are so grateful.
Richard & Mildred Loving Story
The Lovings’ struggles leading up to June 12, 1967 bought me the freedom to love the man God created for me, to be recognized as his partner, and to build our life together. He may have created us with different skin, different hair, different features, and different histories; however, He also created us with the same heart, the same love, and for the same purpose – each other.
The Sparrow family will honor the Loving family by joining many other families like ours, coast to coast, and watching the Loving Story – premiering on HBO today, Valentine’s Day (9pm local time, but please check your listings).
Just released photos of the Lovings family are now available for viewing and sharing as well. History in black and white takes on a deeper meaning with these images of a simple family, just trying to live and love in very complicated times.
I hope you will join us as we learn and celebrate.
Join us tonight (February 14, 2012) at 8pm EST on Twitter for a Tweetchat about the Loving Story & it’s premier on HBO! FOLLOW hashtag #HBOLovingStory
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