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Created Equal: America's Civil Rights Struggle

Friday, October 17, 2014
12:00 AM
Detroit Center 3663 Woodward Avenue, Suite 150 Detroit, MI 48201

Film Series

American Culture Professor Stephen Berrey will be the guest speaker for the screening of "The Loving Story" (2011) at the U-M Detroit Center. "The Loving Story" is part of "Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle” a four-part video series made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and locally sponsored by the Detroit Public Library and University of Michigan Detroit Center.

“The Loving Story” (2011) is a documentary chronicling the quest to legitimize interracial relationships in the United States and culminating in the landmark 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision – Loving v. Virginia. Though often overlooked among the pantheon of civil rights stories, Mildred and Richard Loving’s quest to live together as husband and wife in the state of Virginia was a pivotal struggle. A white man and a part black, part Cherokee woman were in love and did not understand why their marriage was a criminal offense in the eyes of state. Their effort to make this right – to not live in shame or in exile – is a universal one and reminds us of oppressed and exiled people everywhere. The Lovings were banished from their home for their commitment to each other, and they fought long and hard to return to it, to love each other within the bosom of their family. The film investigates the life and legend of Mildred and her husband Richard, little-known heroes of the Civil Rights Era. Though taught in law schools and undergraduate civil rights courses, their story has not had a full documentary treatment, nor has the subject that generated their story – miscegenation in America. Anti-miscegenation has been sensationalized fictionally, starting with the landmark film The Birth of a Nation, but it has never been explored substantively in non-fiction film. This is a surprising omission given miscegenation’s intricate ties to racism.