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At the round corners of planet earth: interracial relationship


When people say there is a love somewhere for everyone, those words shouldn’t be taken as an exaggeration. We get to a certain stage in our lives that we begin to give up on finding the right one so we settle for less. Stories of man and woman from different backgrounds who found themselves and stayed in love are testaments of how love conquers all.

In the Love Chronicle, disparity based on colour, age, racial background, height are absent. Interracial couples are like two in one against the world. This relationship especially between black and white was formerly seen as a taboo and in fact it was regarded as a criminal offence in different parts of the world before the 1970s. Now interracial marriage has begun to receive a wide range of acceptance from people over the world but still, this unconventional relationship still piques the interest of people. Recently, interracial marriage has been on the increase due to the reduction of the stigma and segregation attached to it.

INTERRACIAL RELATIONSHIPS THAT CHANGED HISTORY

Mildred and Richard Loving

12 Jun 1967, Washington, DC, USA — The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a Virginia law banning marriage between African Americans and Caucasians was unconstitutional, thus nullifying similar statues in 15 other states. The decision came in a case involving Richard Perry Loving, a white construction worker and his African American wife, Mildred. The couple married in the District of Columbia in 1958 and were arrested upon their return to their native Caroline County, Virginia. They were given one year suspended sentences on condition that they stay out of the state for 25 years. The Lovings decided in 1963 to return home and fight banishment, with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS


The story of Richard and Mildred could be regarded as that breakthrough in the history of interracial marriage. Newlywed Richard and Mildred Loving were arrested and jailed on July 11, 1958 based on the crime of getting married. At that time, 24 states in USA had laws strictly prohibiting marriage between people of different races. Five weeks earlier, the longtime couple had learned Mildred was pregnant and decided to wed in defiance of the law. In order to evade Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act, the pair had traveled to Washington, D.C. for the ceremony. Upon their return to Virginia, they were arrested and found guilty, with the judge informing Mildred that “as long as you live you will be known as a felon.” The Lovings moved to the relative safety of Washington, but longed to return to their home state.

In 1963, they approached the American Civil Liberties Union to fight their case in court. After an extensive legal battle, the Supreme Court ruled that laws prohibiting interracial marriage were unconstitutional in June of 1967. Although such laws officially remained on the books in several states, the Lovings’ landmark victory rendered them effectively unenforceable, ensuring nobody else would have to endure the same treatment. The last law officially prohibiting interracial marriage was repealed in Alabama in 2000.

Ruth Williams Khama and Sir Seretse Khama

1956, London, England, UK — Seretse Khama, later the first President of Botswana when it gained independence, with his wife Ruth, and children in the garden of their Croydon home. — Image by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS


“While attending law school in England, Ruth met Sir Seretse Khama (then Prince Seretse Khama), the chief of the Bamangwato tribe, who became Botswana’s first president in 1966. Under his leadership, the country underwent significant economic and social progress, while Ruth was a politically active and influential First Lady. But first they had to overcome the wave of bigotry brought about by their controversial marriage. When they announced the news in 1948, Ruth’s father threw her out of the house, while Seretse’s uncle declared “if he brings his white wife here, I will fight him to the death.” Bowing to pressure from apartheid South Africa, the British government attempted to stop the marriage and then prevented the couple from returning to Botswana.”


“For eight years they lived as exiles in England, until the Bamangwato sent a personal cable to the Queen in protest. Their sons Ian and Tshekedi later became significant political figures as well. The marriage is said to have inspired the film A Marriage of Inconvenience and the book Colour Bar”, according to a post written in Black Culture Connection.

Bill de Blasio and Chirlane McCray

01 Jan 2014, New York City, New York State, USA — Mayoral Inauguration of Bill DeBlasio-NYC City Hall, NY Pictured: Dante de Blasio, Chiara de Blasio, Bill de Blasio and Chirlane McCray — Image by © Janet Mayer/Splash News/Corbis


Despite the increased acceptance of interracial marriage across the United States, Bill de Blasio, elected Mayor of New York in 2013, is the first white official to be elected into a major office with a black spouse by his side. McCray is expected to play a major role in de Blasio’s administration.

While polls show that interracial marriages across the United States are increasingly accepted, some disapproval is still overt: A 2013 Cheerios ad featuring a biracial family sparked so many racist remarks on Youtube that comments had to be disabled.

Many celebrate the de Blasio marriage as another significant milestone and hope it will help combat the racism that still exists in a country constantly striving to uphold its cornerstone value of equality.

 

Gallery of Interracial Couples

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