TIME Magazine | Loving Day

TIME Magazine

Wed, 06/16/2010 - 8:29am -- eddien
TIME: "Brief History: Loving Day"
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Christopher Shay

In February 1961, Barack Obama's parents did something that was illegal in 22 states and that 96% of the population disapproved of: they got married. In fact, interracial marriage, sex and cohabitation would remain illegal in much of the U.S. for another six years. Then on June 12, 1967, in the case Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court unanimously struck down the country's anti-miscegenation laws, allowing interracial couples across the country to marry. Thirteen years after Brown v. Board of Education, the court took the last legal teeth out of the Jim Crow era, ridding the U.S. of its last major piece of state-sanctioned segregation. June 12 has since become a grass-roots holiday in the U.S., especially for multiracial couples and families. Known as Loving Day, the celebration commemorates the 1967 case and fights prejudice against mixed-race couples, and is a reason to throw an awesome, inclusive party....

The idea for Loving Day came from one person, Ken Tanabe. In 2004, while a student at Parsons the New School for Design, Tanabe created Loving Day as part of his senior thesis. Growing up, he had never heard of the Lovings, and as a person of mixed-race heritage, he wanted that to change. He created a website to educate people about the history of mixed-race marriages and encouraged people to host their own Loving Day gatherings to create an annual tradition for the mixed-race community. In 2004, there were two large public celebrations — one in New York City and one in Seattle. Now Loving Day is the biggest multiracial celebration in the U.S., with public events in most large cities across the country. This year will be the seventh annual Loving Day celebration, and if previous years are any indication, it will be the biggest yet.