04-20-2018  9:41 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

April 24 is Voter Registration Deadline for May 15 Primary Election

Tuesday, April 24, is voter registration and party choice deadline for May 15 Primary Election ...

Portland Libraries Celebrate National Poetry Month

April poetry events and recommended reading from Multnomah County libraries ...

PCRI Launches the Pathway 1000 Implementation Plan

Pathway 1000 a bold and ambitious 10-year displacement mitigation initiative ...

AG Rosenblum Launches New Resource on Oregon’s New Gun Safety Laws

One-page handout aims to educate Oregonians about the new law ...

Ethos Music Center Honors Portland Attorney Dave Baca with Annual Resonance Award

Founder Charles Lewis to receive first-ever Ethos Visionary Award at the May 2 event ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Will HUD Secretary Ben Carson Enforce the Fair Housing Act?

Julianne Malveaux questions HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s ability to enforce the Fair Housing Act ...

Waiting While Black in Philadelphia Can Get You Arrested

Reggie Shuford on the daily indignities African-Americans face in Philadelphia and around the country ...

Black People Must Vote or Reap the Consequences

Jeffrey Boney on the importance of voting in the Black community ...

Civil Rights Community Doesn’t Need to Look Farr for Racism in Trump Court Nominees

Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO, explains organization's opposition to Trump's nomination of Thomas Farr ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

Loving movie
By Kam Williams | The Skanner News

Mildred Jeter (Ruth Negga) and Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton) committed a crime just by falling in love when they were in the bloom of youth back in 1958. That's because she was black and he was white, and they were living in Virginia, one of the many Southern states with anti-miscegnation laws still on the books forbidding cohabitation, marriage, procreation or even sexual relations across racial lines. 

Nevertheless, Richard was so smitten he proposed and, after Mildred accepted, he purchased a vacant plot of land where he promised to build their dream home. However, when it came to time to wed, they had to travel north to Washington, DC, a city where they could secure a marriage license. 

Upon returning to their tiny hometown of Central Point, they were promptly arrested during a nighttime raid staged by policemen tipped off about the recent nuptials. They charged the couple with violating section 20-58 of Virginia's Racial Integrity Act, a felony punishable with up to five years in prison. 

The Lovings were ultimately convicted, but fled to the District of Columbia rather than serve their sentences, especially since Mildred was expecting their first child by then. What a tragedy it was for them not only to be fugitives of justice, but to be forced to start their family in a strange big city, when they already had a place to live, if it weren't for state-sanctioned racial intolerance. 

Five years later, their plight came to the attention of Bernie Cohen (Nick Kroll) and Phil Hirshkop (Jon Bass) attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The lawyers talked Mildred and Richard into lending their names as plaintiffs in a suit challenging the Constitutionality of Virginia's longstanding statute prohibiting interracial marriage. 

The beleaguered couple agreed, and the appellate process worked its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court which agreed to hear the case. "Tell the judge I love my wife," Richard implored the ACLU legal team preparing the oral argument. 

On June 12, 1967, the Court announced that it had arrived at a unanimous decision written by Chief Justice Earl Warren. He declared that Virginia had violated the Lovings' rights to both Equal Protection and Due Process as guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. 

Directed by Jeff Nichols (Mud), Loving carefully chronicles the life and times of an unassuming couple reluctantly thrust into the national limelight by a landmark legal case. The production features endearing performances by leads Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton who generate a quiet, yet convincing screen chemistry portraying Mildred and Richard as modest working-class heroes. 

A poignant period piece about a pair of practically-saintly role models well-deserving of their iconic status in the annals of American jurisprudence. 

 

Excellent ★★★★
Rated PG-13 for mature themes and ethnic slurs 
Running time: 123 minutes
Studio: Big Beach Films
Distributor: Focus Features

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