Mildred and Richard Loving

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Dick Hebdige in his book Subculture: The Meaning of Style touches on the black community’s growth in
Britain during the Fifties among their white counterparts. With the black community being at the time a subculture, the white resistance/white flight and overall concern of the infiltration of these “others” was of great concern. However, as the white masses of London began to listen to black music, it was instantaneously contagious how the white British community found themselves bumping and grooving to the latest sounds.

My parents know about this first hand. My father was an almost jet-black,  U.S. Air Force GI from Savannah, Georgia and my mother a lily-white nursing student fresh from Dublin, Ireland. On Saturday nights the GI’s would gather and the nursing students would descend upon the local dance hall and cut the rug to the sounds of Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations and any other Motown greats as the barriers to their differences would melt away. The two would marry in London and later come to the States, where I was born in Boston, Massachusetts.

I would take it a step further and say that, for the sake of my blog topic, the interracial couple was at one time a subculture. It was of course illegal to inter-marry in the U.S. until the Loving vs. the State of Virginia case. So up until the Supreme Court ruling it unconstitutional in 1967, it was against the law.

17 year-old Mildred Jeter just wanted to marry her man, 23 year-old, Richard Loving but their home state of Virginia busted in on them on the  morning of July 11, 1958 with interrogating flashlights demanding “Who is this woman you are sleeping with?” , “I am his wife” she replied, and they produced the marriage license they had just gotten from the state of Maryland. “That’s no good here”, said the sheriff.

Well, today this subculture has amassed into a full-blown community with individuals who can freely and confidently profess their love for each other and marry. More and more race-mixing is occurring in the U.S. and around the world, which as I stated in the initial entry in this blog, will culminate in a more racially ambiguous society in the future.

I cannot place any symbols with mixed-race couples or bi-racial pride but the attitude towards inter-marrying and “mixing blood” has certainly changed over the centuries. This is evident now in the prominence of multi-ethnic/bi-racial individuals in pop culture, literature, the arts, and politics for instance. There is still an issue amongst the black community between Light and Dark-skinned individuals. There is still a portion of the white community who believe it is wrong. Either way, surely but slowly, we have come to find a place in this society which no longer results in becoming “The Tragic Mulatto”.

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