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Virginia Hasn't Always Been for Lovers: Interracial Marriage Bans and the Case of Richard and Mildred Loving Hardcover – August 23, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press; 1st edition (August 23, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809325284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809325283
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,755,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The legal challenge mounted by Richard and Mildred Loving, convicted in the 1950s of violating Virginia's ban on interracial marriage, led to the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that antimiscegenation laws were unconstitutional. Newbeck, an attorney, examines this landmark case in the context of laws banning interracial marriage before and after Loving. But the most compelling part of this legal history is the personal recollections of a member of the Loving family, who had previously maintained public silence on the issue. Drawing also on interviews with attorneys who argued for and against such bans, Newbeck brings personal perspectives to the history, sociology, and politics of banning interracial marriage. She places the fervor over banning interracial liaisons within the context of historical sexual and racial politics and issues of social activism and family dynamics; and she places the Loving case specifically within the context of the civil rights struggle. This is an informative and insightful look at legal attempts to regulate marriage and is particularly timely given the current public debate about gay marriage. Vernon Ford
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

“Phyl Newbeck’s Virginia Hasn’t Always Been for Lovers is a clearly written, accessible, well-organized, and remarkably researched history of the path-breaking Loving case. It also stands as a comprehensive history of legal efforts to enforce antimiscegenation laws and their ultimate demise. Of particular interest is Newbeck’s seemingly indefatigable effort to interview everyone involved in Loving and other significant cases and her assiduous efforts to track down the documentary record.”—Michael Meltsner, Harvard Law School and Northeastern Law School


Virginia Hasn’t Always Been for Lovers is quite correct to take the hypocrisy of this state to task. It was all right for white men to congress with black women, as long as the white men didn’t marry their dusky lovers. Richard and Mildred Loving challenged that hypocrisy. And brought a candle to the dark tower of race hatred. That Virginia is for loving. And there are next steps to be taken.”

—Nikki Giovanni, poet, Virginia Tech University



“Newbeck’s exploration of the antimiscegenation laws in America touches the very core of racial discrimination and race hatred in America: sexual intimacy between races. Using the Lovings as the tale-telling prism, she does an excellent job of illuminating the dreadful life—and happy death—of these racist laws and folkways.”—Howard Ball, author of Murder in Mississippi


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By S. Pereira on October 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover
A thoroughly researched and interesting account of one of the under-examined mileposts in the still on-going civil rights struggle. Ms. Newbeck evokes the Loving case, as well as its antecedents and successors, in their historical, political and very personal contexts. As noted in the book description, this is also a particularly timely book in light of the current controversies regarding gay marriage.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Speed on April 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was not bad from the standpoint of the information that was provided. But, I was expecting that the slant of the text would be towards Mr. and Mrs. Loving and their family dynamics. The author does state at the beginning that this was her intent but that she received very little input from the family due to Mildred Loving's disinterest in revisting that time in her life. The family has continued to respect these wishes and other than a short statement by the Loving daughter nothing else from their perspective is included in the book. Instead the author relied on the statements or testamonies of other individuals involved in the court case. She interviewed legal staff who argued from both standpoints. She also interviewed other individuals in the Lovings' community who were still alive or willing to comment. However, be well aware, it does not include any statements from the Loving family other than the short statement made by the daughter, Peggy. Any statement attributed to Richard or Mildred Loving is from the time period when the case was argued in the 1960s. Not bad but not what was expected based on the book description online.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hedley Lamarr on February 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A lot of people think that the struggle with blacks not having rights ended with the 1964 civil rights act, and the voting rights act of 1965. Just as important is the case of Loving v Virginia. until june of 1967 it was against the law for a black to marry a white in 16 states. if you did, you could be fined and put in prison. this book talks about the history of blacks and whites and what was done to prevent marriage. talks about the laws before and after this ruling, and the life of the Lovings and those involved. it is an excellent book. a very important book that everyone needs to read.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Peggy Riley on November 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
racism is alive and well. And if not for a few brave people....we would have a lot farther to go than we do. that these cases persist through my lifetime and my marriage to black man and raising 2 biracial children in SW Ohio is unbelievable....a must read for all who need to now the history of a ,'free' country and the progress made.....
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