Job Corps students tell Black history through posters
Student highlights Richard and Mildred Loving, whose case helped overturn laws against interracial marriage
MEDINA – Students at Iroquois Job Corps recently celebrated February as Black History Month by researching the observance and making posters about what they learned.
Lisa Griffith, core reading instructor, shared one of her student’s projects.
D.J. Lattimore chose to research Richard and Mildred Loving, after learning they were arrested for being a married, interracial couple. At the time they were married interracial marriage was illegal in about half of the country.
Richard and Mildred were sleeping in their Virginia home at 2 a.m. July 11, 1958, when the sheriff broke in and woke them. After asking why they were sleeping together (they had been married for five weeks), he arrested them and put them in jail for violating Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act.
Richard spent a night in jail before being released on a $1,000 bond procured by his sister, while Mildred was not allowed a bond and spent three nights alone in a small woman’s cell. She was finally released to her father’s care and after pleading guilty in court, the presiding judge gave them a choice. Leave Virginia for 25 years or go to prison. They left and would spend the next nine years in exile.
Mildred, who already had a child from another relationship, became pregnant and the couple returned to Washington, D.C., where they had been married because interracial marriage was legal there.
During his research, Lattimore learned that the Loving’s case eventually made it to the Supreme Court, which ruled interracial marriage bans were unconstitutional.
Lattimore and his fellow students then viewed the movie “Loving,” based on Richard and Mildred Loving’s life.