Two years ago, I interviewed Loving Day founder Ken Tanabe for The Village Voice about this holiday, which celebrates the Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia, which legalized interracial marriages. Since then, the event has grown really huge; Tanabe even attended Mrs. Loving's funeral, indicating the prominence of the event and the continuing importance of reminding us of our very racist history in this regard, one that is not entirely eradicated. I attended Loving Day last year and had a great time - there's free food, fun people, and a true celebration (plus ice cream cause it's so damn hot out!).
Here's part of what was said in the interview:
Do you think it's about sex? It is and it's not. The laws were about marriage, but often also about sex. The laws would talk about unlawful fornication, adultery, concubinage, and cohabitation. Sex is a part of the conversation.
Do you have to be part of an interracial couple to attend Loving Day parties? The way I like to think about that is: If you wanted to march with Martin Luther King Jr., did you have to black? No. The holiday or idea is open to anyone who's against discrimination on the basis of race. It focuses on the relationship side of it, but it's really about racism and being against it. Also, these laws prosecuted everybody—regardless of face. People who value freedom and equality are offended and outraged at the idea that the law could discriminate this way.
Is there a specific goal you're trying to achieve? The goal is for the Loving decision to become a part of our civil rights history and be as well recognized as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. We need to make this part of our household language and everyday vocabulary. We know about Brown, Plessy, and lunch counter sit-ins, but relatively few know about Loving.
Join us today from 3-7 at Solar 1 in NYC (I'll be selling raffle tickets from 3-5 with Twanna), or at many other locations.