News21 The New Voters | Loving Day

News21 The New Voters

Tue, 08/04/2009 - 3:07am -- eddien
"Mixed-Race Community to Obama: You're One of Us"
Christopher Matthews, News21 UMD Staff

President Obama’s presidency is a source of both pride and disappointment, members of mixed-race families said at a recent gathering.

Speaker after speaker at the city’s first celebration of Loving Day -- which marked the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s legalization of interracial marriage -- described Obama's election as bittersweet.

"He is obviously mixed-race,” said Lori Tharps, 37, an African American whose husband is Latino. “So it's one of our own. But because he does not identify as mixed-race, there is some disappointment because he does not champion the idea of mixed-race identity."...

Since 2004, Loving Day celebrations have been held in cities around the world on or near June 12.

Ken Tanabe, a New York-based graphic designer of Belgian-Japanese descent, came up with the idea to educate people about the history of interracial marriage. He said more than 1,000 people celebrated Loving Day in New York City this year.

The event in Philadelphia, organized by the national multi-ethnic group Swirl, was much smaller. About 15 people gathered June 13 at the Franklin Institute....