The Loving Story: Using a Documentary to Reconsider the Status of an Iconic Interracial Married Couple

13 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2018

See all articles by Regina Austin

Regina Austin

University of Pennsylvania Law School

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

The Loving Story (Augusta Films 2011), directed by Nancy Buirski, tells the backstory of the groundbreaking U.S. Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia, that overturned state laws barring interracial marriage. The article looks to the documentary to explain why the Lovings should be considered icons of racial and ethnic civil rights, however much they might be associated with marriage equality today. The film shows the Lovings to be ordinary people who took their nearly decade long struggle against white supremacy to the nation’s highest court out of a genuine commitment to each other and a determination to live in the place they considered home; to be members of a multiracial community that both supported and undermined them; and to be citizens of a state that went to extraordinary lengths, because of their races, to keep them from living in Virginia and raising their children there.

Keywords: Constitutional law, equal protection clause, discrimination, legal history, interracial marriage, intermarriage, miscegenation, fourteenth amendment, privileges and immunities, racial endogamy, racism, state and local government law, sexuality and the law, law and society, Loving v. Virginia

Suggested Citation

Austin, Regina, The Loving Story: Using a Documentary to Reconsider the Status of an Iconic Interracial Married Couple (2018). Fordham Law Review, Vol. 86, Pg. 2635, 2018; U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 18-31. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3256963

Regina Austin (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )

3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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