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Black history month: Loving Shows at concord

By Amy Ahern
On March 1, 2017

Actual photograph of Richard and Mildred Loving.
Photo Courtesy of http://sarahscoop.com/scoop-loving-movie-inspired-new-emojis-voteloving-thisisloving-lovingmovie/

For the couple Richard and Mildred Loving, their love, which seems like a happy fairytale for most, became a quick nightmare for the newly married couple.  

    The couple made history when their fight to have their interracial marriage recognized in the neighboring state of Virginia made its way to the Supreme Court in 1967. Making their love story in the headlines again, the couple’s anecdote has debuted with a screen adaption of their journey titled Loving.  

    Richard and Mildred Loving (portrayed onscreen by Australian actor Joel Edgerton and Ethiopian Ruth Negga) came to theaters this past November 4, with a box office earning of 7,696,098 dollars. Now on DVD and Blu-ray, Loving is available on Digital HD from Amazon Video and iTunes since the January 24, 2017 release date.  

    Loving takes place as an American historical film, telling the true story of an ostracized community of inequality and injustice among the black community, and of Richard and Mildred Loving, the plaintiffs in the 1967 U.S Supreme Court decision of Loving vs. Virginia regarding the laws prohibiting interracial marriage. Richard Loving, a white construction worker in Caroline County, Virginia, fosters a relationship with a local African American woman named Mildred, following the conception of their child. After the announcement of the baby, they decide to wed knowing that it would be against anti-miscegenation laws. They go to Washington, D.C. to get married in 1958. Only five weeks into their marriage, the sheriff’s deputies raid the home and arrest the couple.  

    Ordered by the judge, their sentence is suspended on the condition that they do not return to Virginia together for at least 25 years. The Lovings then move to Washington to stay with a family friend. When they return to Caroline County to have their first child, they are arrested again. The story unfolds with the couple fighting for their rights, and writing to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy for his help.  

    The film concludes with the couple building their small dream house in the country, before the fatal car wreck that claims Richard in 1975. Widowed Mildred Loving follows her husband in death May of 2008.  

    On February 15, Concord University hosted a movie night at Subway sides to play the newly released movie in honor of Black History Month. Lanie Craig, freshman at the university, was in attendance.  

    “Overall the movie was touching and historically accurate, I really enjoyed it,” says Craig. “My favorite character was Richard, as you could tell he just wanted to be happy with his wife and keep her and their children safe.” Craig’s favorite scene was one in which a photographer tries to catch the couple as they are, “happy and normal,” she points out.  

    Craig believes students can take a valuable lesson from the film. “I believe that Loving really portrays that love is love no matter the color, class, or gender of the people in the relationship,” she said.  

    With the handful of students there, Allie Sears, freshman at the University also found beauty in the film. Sears felt that an insightful message was portrayed. “I think the most heartfelt lesson from this movie was simply if something is important to you, fight for it. Don’t give up so easily on something you love,” Sears says.  

    The impact this movie made on me was beyond measurable. Coming from a different time and place it is often hard to understand the conflicts one faces, especially in a time my generation was not brought up in. When this couple had to fight for their love, I immediately was blown away, I could not fathom watching my significant other be thrown in jail because of their color of skin, to be arrested because I loved someone who looked different from me. The most valuable lesson I think this movie portrayed was to never give up. Even when situations gets tough, or bumps in the road pop up when you least expect them, you have to keep on pushing for what you want, for what you love. Richard and Mildred Loving showcased the true representation of love to me. They never ceased to stop fighting for each other, and that is why I believe this movie is so powerful. 

    The film was chosen to reinforce the awareness of segregation in our history, to honor those who take a stand for the unjust, and to emphasize the lasting impressions it can hold even to today. Although this may seem as though it were not long ago, says Craig, “I think this movie showed the more emotional side of a court case I had only know from the law side, and it was really liberating to see how far we have come in the past few decades.”

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