Photos Of The Real 'Loving' Couple Show How Fitting Their Name Was
The title of the new film Loving can be taken a couple of different ways. On the surface, it's a film about an interracial couple who are very much in love with each other. But Loving also ironically happens to be the last name of the couple who feature in the film, Richard and Mildred Loving, a real life interracial couple who fought to keep their marriage alive against segregation laws in the South back in the 1960s. Their landmark Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia, resulted in the end of anti-miscegenation laws in the United States, and photos of the real Loving couple show just how much the duo were in love with each other and passionate about making their love legal in their state.
In the movie, the pair are portrayed by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga. The actual couple has since passed away; Mildred in 2008 from pneumonia and Richard in 1975 from he was hit by a drunk driver. The pair married in Washington, D.C. in 1958, leaving their home in Virginia to do so because it was illegal for people of different races to marry in the state at the time (Mildred was black and Richard was white). When they returned home, police raided their home after an anonymous tip that they were living together, and the pair were arrested for violating the interracial marriage law.
They were sentenced to a year in prison, but managed to avoid jail time by agreeing to leave the state. However, with family back in Virginia that they were unable to visit due to their legal agreement, they reached out for help in 1964. The ACLU came to their aid, and they filed a class action suit that eventually made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where in 1967 the decision came down that not only allowed the Lovings to return to Virginia, but also nullified all anti-interracial marriage laws that still existed in the U.S. at the time; affecting a total of 16 states.
It's hard to believe that these types of laws were still around less than 50 years ago, and if it weren't for the Lovings they would have lasted even longer. So take a look at the photos below of the brave couple whose love for one another proved greater than any law.
Honestly, it's hard to find a photo where Richard doesn't have his arm around Mildred.
With their kids.
A sweet moment.
So many people owe them a debt of gratitude.
Richard and Mildred Loving's story will be told to a broader audience when Loving hits theaters on Nov. 4, and the world will once again remember the love that was shared by this amazing couple.
Images: Focus Features/Universal Pictures