In blacks continued to be oppressed throughout Americathrough

In 1958, nearly a month after being happily married in Washington D.C., Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter were dragged out of their beds at 4 a.m. in their Virginia home. Mildred, a black woman, and her husband Richard, a white man, were arrested because the couple violated Virginia’s laws on interracial marriages. Across the country in the 50’s and early 60’s disgruntled, “free” black American’s fought for their equal opportunity and civil rights they all believed would come from being freed by the 13th amendment. However, that was not the case, and blacks continued to be oppressed throughout Americathrough the use of Jim Crow Laws, the Ku Klux Klan, and by State Governments. The 50’s and 60’s became the breeding ground for the most influential period of the Civil Rights movement. In 1957, a Civil Rights Act was passed, stating thatanyone who attempted to inhibit someone from voting would face federal prosecution. This led to the use of perplexing literacy tests and other assessments by states in order to limit people from voting, specifically blacks. This continued a spiral of unfair treatment due to the fact that by “1960, 7.5% of black people were illiterate in comparison to whites only being 1.6% illiterate, also by 1960, only 42 percent of males, 25 years old and over, still had completed no more education than the eighth grade.” Oppression showed itself to black people in many forms, such as segregation, miscegenation, and general discrimination against people of color by the white communities.Segregation had been a part of American culture since slavery, blacks were slaves and whites were free. Americans kept the blacks segregated even after they were freed through the use of different companies in the military designated for blacks, schools only for blacks, restaurants, water fountains, bathrooms, etc. only for black people. Although the civil war had ended and blacks had been freed since 1865, in the 1950’s black people were still fighting for fair and even treatment. In “The Loving Story” a historical clip of someone shows them saying “I feel God had a purpose in creating the races separate, I am so proud of negroes proud to be negroes, and I’m proud of whites who are proud to be white, I am proud to be white, and I am only white because my parents practiced segregation.” In America at this time, there was a strong belief that the reason the races should be segregated is because God created them separately and therefore only those races should mix within each other. This is incredibly blind reasoning and goes against what God says in Galatians 3:28 that “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” This verse alone argues against any form of segregation saying God created everyone equal and that in his eyes we are all the same as long as we have accepted Jesus Christ. In “The Loving Story”, we also see how Richard and Mildred are treated by the community, and when they are with black or mixed folks, the videos and images shown are sweet and happy ones. But then when white people talk about Richard and Mildred, it’s a completely different story. They say what Richard is doing by mixing with the colored folks is a “big no-no in the community”, and even a woman related to Richard (presumably his niece by the explanation) states that she always said to others she was no kin to him when asked if related. As harsh and as terrible as that sounds, this was white America’s standpoint on the issue in general, specifically southern white America. All of those states practiced Jim Crow Laws, segregation and miscegenation laws during the time. Finally, 1954 rolled around the Civil Rights act of 1954 ended any and all segregation laws at the state level. Sadly, this did not end miscegenation laws and that is why Richard and Mildred Loving had to take their case to the courts. In 1963, Mildred Loving wrote a letter to the Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, who forwarded her letter to the American Civil Liberties Union which would begin the fight to end miscegenation laws in America. Miscegenation is defined by as “marriage or cohabitation between two people from different racial groups.”Even after the segregation laws were abolished, miscegenation laws were still present and enforced in the southern states. These such laws are the reason Richard and Mildred Loving were arrested in 1958. At the time they were just two normal people who were in love and wanted to live together in their Virginia home, they had no ambitions of becoming civil rights activists, but just like other Black American’s at the time, they were fighting for their right to be married. A review of the film cites that in society today with people who are driven by fame, it is remarkable to see the “self-effacing modesty of these two undeniable national heroes”. These were normal, humble people who all along were just trying to love each other in their homeeven in the wake of this incredible accomplishment that wasabolishing miscegenation. The director shows this in the film by using interviews that raved about the kindness and humbleness of the Loving’s and by using music that always painted a happy, yet calm setting when showing video of them being intimate, ordiscussing the case with people. One film review states “the most important aspect of this documentary was that it allowed the Loving’s to tell the story in their own way, unbiased from activists and outside agenda’s.” The film is from the voice of the people being held down by miscegenation laws. The film only offers one narrative, that the love between the Loving’s was too strong to be held down by law, and that by one way or another they would be given the chance to live happily ever after. Finally, on June 12, 1967, the fight was over. “The Supreme Court unanimously struck down Virginia’s law prohibiting interracial marriages as a violation of the 14th Amendment.” As the Columbia Missourian states “things began happening immediately in almost all of the states where miscegenation laws had once ruled.” In January of 1968 in Florida, a judge ruled that James Van Hook, a negro, could marry a white woman named Liane Peters. After this, almost all mixed couples began to marry. In a book by Peter Wallenstein, he states that “this unheard-of ability to marry between races would give hope to the fight for same-sex couples right to marry”. This was an issue that became prevalent shortly thereafter the Loving ruling when in 1971, the Gay Activists Alliance demanded same-sex marriage rights at New York City’s Marriage License Bureau. This fight for gay marriage would be shot down continuously for 45 years until Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015, which cited Loving v. Virginia in one of the reasons the same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional. Another issue the movie brings up is the downright mistreating and hatred of blacks by white folks and white supremacy groups. The fight for true equality between race, was still very real.In America, in the 60’s and 70’s, (and still today), blacks have been discriminated against solely based on the color of their skin. This is shown heavily throughout the film with clips of white people sharing their hatred for blacks. In a specific clip from the movie, a Ku Klux Klan member is shown saying that “no matter what, there will never be a n****** in this room, and we can praise God for that”, and in another scene a woman says that “blacks and whites mixing is wrong and unacceptable, and goes against God’s natural law.” But the truth is, a feeling of hatred toward blacks was not just shown through people speaking, but acting on their hatred. In the film a Caroline County native states that the Sheriff at the time liked black people less than anyone else did, and was a known racist. He says that “he would beat the blacks up and arrest them for whatever he wanted, he was the Sherriff.” In 1955, a young boy named Emmitt Till, apparently whistled at a white woman which in turn caused a group of white men to beat him to death, gougeone of his eyes out, and weigh his body down by tying it to a cotton gin in the Tallahatchie River. On September 15, 1963, a church was bombed in Alabama killing 4 young black girls and injuring 26 other young black children readying to sing in their Sunday Choir. The bombing was claimed by the Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacy group who are the poster children for black hate, who were infamous for mobbing, lynching, and hanging of blacks. This hatred and putting down of blacks for hundreds of years finally started to come to light in America, and although these terrible things were happening, the Civil Rights movement was in full force. The passing of the Civil Rights act, Loving V. Virginia, and Voting Acts, led to black American’s finally beingseen as equal in the eyes of the law. But when the mistreatment never ended, peaceful protests for equality turned violent. In August of 1965 in Los Angeles, the black community had had enough. On Avalon Drive a group of people began to watch white police arrest a black man. As spectators believed they were “watching racially motivated abuse by police, they grew angry and a riot soon began. The rioters ranged over 50 square miles, and the five days of violence tallied up 34 dead, 1032 injured, nearly 4000 arrested and $40 million worth of property damaged.” These riots led to others in Newark, New Jersey and Detroit, Michigan, both in 1967. But who is truly at fault for these riots? It’s easy to point a finger and say clearly the looters, and rioters are at fault for this violent outbreak, but what about the events that led up to the violent outbreak of these people? Are white American’s not at some level, if not completely guilty for these outbreaks? Mistreatment, hate, segregation, miscegenation, and discrimination were only things these folks had faced in their life-time. Not to mention the 400 years of slavery and the 100 years of outright oppression after slavery and that brings us to only the 1960’s. Where for the first time, blacks are seen as equal in the eyes of the law, yet still could not be treated equally by the majority of whites. Now that all of these laws were making the black man equal, white American’shad to bend the rules to still attempt to keep blacks down. Segregation took new a new form known as redlining. Redlining is the practice of denying or increasing the cost of services, such as banking, insurance, access to jobs, access to health care, and even supermarket prices. This was put to an end in 1968 with the Fair Housing Act that prevented redlining based on race, religion, gender, familial status, disability, or ethnic origin, and later againt through the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 that required banks to apply same lending criteria in all communities. Black people began to get a little taste of freedom and equality, but no more than just that.?As shown through numerous historical events, black people have been oppressed and discriminated against by white America for hundreds of years. The 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s were vitally important times for the civil rights movement. Through the Civil Rights Act of 1954, The Voting Acts, Loving V. Virginia, Brown v. The Board of Education, and numerous other important court rulings and laws, more was done for black equality in this time than at any time in history outside of Lincoln’s passing of the 13th amendment. Segregation played a key role in defining American society, especially in the south, but was finally put to a legal end. Miscegenation laws were ruled unconstitutional in Loving v. Virginia, by two easy going folks who only ever intended on being able to love each other in their Virginian home. Finally, the issue of treating blacks as second class was coming to an end. Blacks were beginning to be seen as equal to all other races and as a more liberally social mind began to shape in America, blacks were given the tools to be regular Americans, and not second class citizens.


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