Telling Stories of Love, Sex, and Race

Loving v. Virginia in a Post-Racial World (Maillard & Villazor eds 2012)

17 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2009 Last revised: 10 Aug 2012

See all articles by Jason Gillmer

Jason Gillmer

Gonzaga University - School of Law

Date Written: September 23, 2009


The history of interracial sex is often told from the perspective of either legislatures or lynch mobs. The approach has a certain appeal; it allows us to track the ideological currents of the dominant society, as they ebb and flow from passive acceptance of the practice to outright hostility. But the approach also minimizes the role of the participants, routinely casting them as unimportant players in the overall history of sex and race in this country. In this book chapter, I look at the subject of interracial intimacy from the perspective of the people involved: one story involves a white man and black woman from slavery times, and the other involves a black man and white woman from the turn of the century. The purpose is to add some depth and detail to our understanding of some of these relationships, in the process upending some of our basic assumptions about what they might have been like. Indeed, by shining a light on individual cases, we begin to appreciate both the contradictions and complexities of interracial unions, breathing life into a portion of history too often left untold.

Keywords: race, slavery, interracial, legal history, Texas

Suggested Citation

Gillmer, Jason, Telling Stories of Love, Sex, and Race (September 23, 2009). Loving v. Virginia in a Post-Racial World (Maillard & Villazor eds 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Jason Gillmer (Contact Author)

Gonzaga University - School of Law ( email )

721 N. Cincinnati Street
Spokane, WA 99220-3528
United States

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