I was in kindergarten.
It was the year of the very first Superbowl ( Green Bay 35, Kansas City 10). L.B.J. and Lady Bird sat in the White House. The Carol Burnett Show debuted on CBS. Ironically, To Sir, With Love, was the #1 song of the year. Also that year, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Mildred and Richard Loving did not have to go to prison.
Mrs. Loving was Black. Mr. Loving was White. They fell in love. That was their crime.
The couple had married in Washington DC in 1958, she was only 18. They returned to Mrs. Loving's hometown in Virginia where they were promptly arrested and convicted on charges of "cohabiting as man and wife, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth," according to their indictments. The young couple avoided a year in jail by agreeing to a sentence mandating that they immediately leave Virginia, the only home they had ever known. They moved back to D.C. and started their fight FOR their dignity.
This is in my life time, in most all of the lifetimes of all seven of you that read the kyle+blog, but it reads like ancient history. Mrs Loving should have been wearing a hoop skirt, or at least pantaloons! No, she was watching the Superbowl, listening to Lulu and the Beatles and going to jail over the way she was born. Mrs. Loving died today, she was 68 years old. Mr Loving passed away in 1975. They have three children. They were a family.
California and Florida are marching head long into banning MY family, with anti gay marriage votes this fall. Virginia has one of the most draconian laws in the country on their books, banning both gay marriage and any sort of civil union that could grant basic dignity to the many many tax paying gay couples in that state. Except for Florida, right now, all those deep Southern states, that I love so well, all those states that kept Mrs Loving's ancestors in slavery, all ban my family. Every time needs a boogie man. To the hate filled freaks that made the Loving Marriage punishable by jail time, I am that boogie man now.
Lets hope that child sitting in her kindergarten class right now, rockin out to the Hanna Montana, all ipoded and faced booked, will look back on this time , and hopefully wonder if we too, were dressed in some bizarre historic fashions, that we too were so far back in history to be laughable.
Please read the NYT obit.