Watch: “Loving Vs. Virginia” Virtual Program, Wednesday, May 3, 10:30 AM EDT

The Library of Congress invites you and your students to join a virtual program on a famous legal case that cleared the way for interracial marriage in the United States.

At this year’s Jonah S. Eskin Memorial Program, Patricia Hruby Powell will speak about her new young people’s book, “Loving vs. Virginia.” Hruby Powell’s book features illustrations by Shadra Strickland.

As late as 1967, marrying someone not of the same race was considered a crime in some states. Interracial unions, such as that of Richard and Mildred Loving of Virginia, were forbidden there, and they were each sentenced to a year in prison in 1959. The sentence was suspended on condition that the Lovings leave Virginia.

They moved to the District of Columbia, where they had married, but wanted to return to Virginia. The American Civil Liberties Union took their case, which ended with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that so-called “anti-miscegenation” laws were illegal.

Powell and Strickland will share original illustrations from the book and primary sources used in research. They will be joined in conversation by Georgetown law professor (emerita) and constitutional law expert Elizabeth Hayes Patterson, associate director of the Association of American Law Schools, and by moderator Deborah Taylor, an award-winning librarian and director of School and Student Services at Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore.

The event is supported by the Jonah S. Eskin Memorial Fund of the Library of Congress. The fund was established to honor the late son of Marcia and Barnet Eskin.

The program will take place on Wednesday, May 3, at 10:30 AM EDT, and will be streamed live at this URL:

We hope you enjoy the program!

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This post was co-written by Danna Bell and Kathleen McGuigan of the Library of Congress “Primary sources have unique instructional power,” says Lee Ann Potter, the director of Educational Outreach at the Library of Congress.  “By analyzing primary sources, students can engage with complex content, build their critical thinking skills and create new knowledge. Teachers […]