The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage

Overview


"I support the freedom to marry for all. That's what Loving, and loving, are all about." -- Mildred Loving, June 12, 2007

For most children these days it would come as a great shock to know that before 1967, they could not marry a person of a race different from their own. That was the year that the Supreme Court issued its decision in Loving v. Virginia.

This is the story of one brave family: Mildred Loving, Richard Perry Loving, and their three children. It is the story of ...

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Overview


"I support the freedom to marry for all. That's what Loving, and loving, are all about." -- Mildred Loving, June 12, 2007

For most children these days it would come as a great shock to know that before 1967, they could not marry a person of a race different from their own. That was the year that the Supreme Court issued its decision in Loving v. Virginia.

This is the story of one brave family: Mildred Loving, Richard Perry Loving, and their three children. It is the story of how Mildred and Richard fell in love, and got married in Washington, D.C. But when they moved back to their hometown in Virginia, they were arrested (in dramatic fashion) for violating that state's laws against interracial marriage. The Lovings refused to allow their children to get the message that their parents' love was wrong and so they fought the unfair law, taking their case all the way to the Supreme Court - and won!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 11/03/2014
In their first picture book together, the husband-and-wife team of Alko (B Is for Brooklyn) and Qualls (Freedom Song) skillfully chronicle a vital moment in the civil rights movement, telling the story of Richard and Mildred Loving. Because interracial marriage was illegal in their native Virginia in 1958, the couple married in Washington, D.C.; after returning to Virginia, they were jailed for “unlawful cohabitation.” The Lovings settled in D.C. and had three children before returning to Virginia in 1966, when “Brand-new ideas, like equal rights for people of all colors, were replacing old, fearful ways of thinking. Alko adeptly streamlines the legal logistics of the Lovings’ groundbreaking Supreme Court case, which found prohibitions on interracial marriage to be unconstitutional, emphasizing the ethical and emotional aspects of the story. Hearts, stars, flowers, and facsimile family photos dot the warm mixed-media illustrations, visually underscoring the love that kept the Lovings’ union strong. An author’s note provides added context (including the contributors’ closeness to the subject, as an interracial couple themselves), while drawing parallels to ongoing efforts to legalize same-sex marriage. Ages 4–8. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Jan.)
From the Publisher

Praise for DIZZY, written by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Sean Qualls

"Qualls's acrylic, collage, and pencil illustrations swing across the large pages with unique, jazzy rhythms, varying type sizes and colors, and playful perspectives, perfectly complementing the text." -- SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, starred review

"Qualls's acrylic-and-collage images employ a muted palette of pinks and blues and beiges, and compositions vary from scenes of daily life to poster-like montages, effectively establishing Gillespie as larger than life." -- KIRKUS REVIEWS, starred review

"....Qualls is able to translate the story (and the music) into shapes and colors that undulate and stream across the pages with a beat and bounce of their own." -- BOOKLIST starred review

Awards for DIZZY, written by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Sean Qualls

KIRKUS Best Book of 2006
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL Best Book of the Year
BOOKLIST Editors' Choices
HORN BOOK MAGAZINE Fanfare Book

School Library Journal
12/01/2014
Gr 1–5—This debut picture book by husband and wife team Alko and Qualls gives the story of Mildred and Richard Loving its due. The couple first met and fell in love in Jim Crow Cedar Point, VA, in 1958, but because Richard was white and Mildred was African American and Cherokee, they were not permitted to marry under Virginia law. The pair did contract nuptials in Washington, DC and eventually had several children, but they weren't content to leave the discriminatory law uncontested. In legal proceedings that led to a Supreme Court case, their union was finally upheld as constitutional. The charming and cheerful mixed media illustrations are done in gouache and acrylic paint with collage and colored pencil, a perfect marriage of Alko and Qualls's art styles. While the text is uninspired in moments, it shines with a message that is universal: "They won the right to their love. They were free at last." Back matter includes an author and artist's note explaining the importance of this topic. A much-needed work on a historical court case that made the ultimate difference on mixed race families that will resonate with contemporary civil rights battles. Put it on the shelves next to Duncan Tonatiuh's Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation (Abrams, 2014) and Joyce Carol Thomas's Linda Brown, You Are Not Alone: The Brown v. Board of Education Decision (Hyperion, 2003).—Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-10-15
Biography and autobiography intertwine in this account of the landmark case of Loving v. Virginia. Richard Loving, pale-skinned and vulnerable to sunburn, and Mildred Jeter, a brown-skinned woman of African-American and Cherokee descent, fell in love in 1958. But in the state of Virginia, miscegenation was illegal and punishable by imprisonment. They traveled to Washington, D.C., to marry legally, but when they returned and moved in together, the local police arrested and jailed them. This story makes palatable for young readers a painful, personal and true story of the injustices interracial couples suffered as recently as 60 years ago. Alko and Qualls reveal the double-layered nature of this story with a photograph of themselves; this was the perfect story for a collaboration since their journey echoes the Lovings'. In the backmatter, Alko cites the current statistics on gay marriage and hopes that "there will soon come a time when all people who love each other have the same rights as Sean and I have." The "Suggestions for Further Reading" mentions both earlier books in the same tradition, such as Arnold Adoff and Emily Arnold McCully's Black is Brown is Tan (1973, 2002), and contemporary ones that detail other civil rights struggles. Despite the gentle way this book unfolds, the language and images deal a blow to racist thinking and just might inspire the next generation of young civil rights activists. (artists' note, sources) (Informational picture book. 4-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545478533
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/27/2015
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 539,885
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD720L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Selina Alko is the author and illustrator of several acclaimed books for children, including DADDY CHRISTMAS & HANUKKAH MAMA and B IS FOR BROOKLYN. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband - illustrator Sean Qualls - and their two children.

Sean Qualls has illustrated many celebrated books for children, including GIANT STEPS TO CHANGE THE WORLD by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee, LITTLE CLOUD AND LADY WIND by Toni Morrison and her son Slade, DIZZY by Jonah Winter, and BEFORE JOHN WAS A JAZZ GIANT by Carole Boston Weatherford, for which Sean received a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, Selina Alko - also an author/illustrator - and their two children.

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