Beyond Slavery pp 249-264 | Cite as

The “Purity of the White Woman, Not the Purity of the Negro Woman”: The Contemporary Legacies of Historical Laws Against Interracial Marriage

  • Fay Botham
Part of the Black Religion/Womanist Thought/Social Justice book series


In early June of 1958, eighteen-year-old Mildred Delores Jeter and twenty-four-year-old Richard Perry Loving drove across the state line from their hometown of Central Point, Virginia, to Washington DC. Sweethearts for some six years, Mildred, who was part black and part Cherokee with a light-brown complexion, and Richard, who was of English-Irish descent, had decided to get married in the District of Columbia. Once their union was legalized there, they returned home to Central Point and began to build their life together.


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    See Francis Newton Thorpe, ed., Constitutions, Colonial Charters, and Other Organic Laws of the States, Territories, and Colonies (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1909): Alabama, vol. 1, 124; Florida, vol. 2, 758; Mississippi, vol. 4, 2125; North Carolina, vol. 5, 2843; South Carolina, vol. 6, 3317; and Tennessee, vol. 6, 3469.Google Scholar
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© Bernadette J. Brooten 2010

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  • Fay Botham

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