Monday, March 27, 2017

Loving vs. Virginia

Mildred Jeter, known to her family as String Bean, is the descendant of slaves and Native Americans.  She attends segregated schools by lives in a racially mixed community in rural Virginia.

The boys all race and work on cars together regardless of skin color, and everyone shows up for an impromptu picnic and square dance.

Richard Loving, a young man with fair skin and red hair, has always thought of Millie as a skinny little kid, but it is at one of these backyard parties that he notices how much she has grown up.

This is the beginning of what starts out as a teenage romance with some definite bumps along the way and becomes the marriage that led to the historic court case.

What is most impressive about the story, at least in this version, is how committed Millie and Richard are to each other and their family.  Many people in similar circumstances would have (and probably did) give up on the idea of being together as a family, but these two are dedicated to the idea they should be allowed to marry and live peacefully as a family.

Patricia Hruby Powell's novel is a personal look into the famous story with lovely illustrations by Shadra Strickland.  My only disappointment was the "documentary" part of the novel.  I was expecting a lot more, especially in the beginning.  The book would have benefited from either more documentary evidence or none at all.

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