A hapa from New York is leading the charge for a holiday to mark the day the ban on mixed marriages was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, reports the Los Angeles Times.
49 years ago this Sunday, the Supreme Court ruled on Loving vs. Virginia which struck down bans in 16 states.
Richard and Mildred Loving had been arrested for violating Virginia’s racial integrity act and took their case all the way to the nation’s highest court.
12 years ago, Ken Tanabe started Loving Day, the unofficial holiday to educate Americans about the nation’s fast-growing multiracial population.
“My dad is from Japan and my mom is from Belgium. I’m the first American in this family of an international, interracial couple, said Tanabe to the LA Times. “But growing up in Washington, D.C., and Bethesda, Md., I had never been exposed to Loving vs. Virginia. I was googling one day and sort of accidentally stumbled upon the case. I thought, “Wow, this is a milestone for civil rights.” I spoke to my parents and relatives and said, “Do you know of this case?” They said, “Of course, it was front-page news.” Yet somehow I had never heard of it.”
Tanabe launched a White House petition to make Loving Day an official holiday. Right now he has 2000 signatures and needs 100,000 to get a response from the White House. He says more cities are jumping on board.
“Loving Day is recognized in a bunch of American cities. In New York, it’s been declared in Manhattan and Brooklyn. There have been proclamations in Los Angeles and El Cerrito, Calif., in Eugene, Ore., and Washington, D.C. And of course Caroline County, Va., where the Lovings lived, observes it. Outside of our efforts, there are some areas around the U.S. that even have official holidays to recognize multiracial people.”
You can read more from Tanabe in the Los Angeles Times where he talks about race in America and the multicultural experience.
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