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Loving: Interracial Intimacy in America and the Threat to White Supremacy

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  187 ratings  ·  30 reviews
How interracial love and marriage changed history, and may soon alter the landscape of American politics.

Loving beyond boundaries is a radical act that is changing America. When Mildred and Richard Loving wed in 1958, they were ripped from their shared bed and taken to court. Their crime: miscegenation, punished by exile from their home state of Virginia. The resulting lan
Hardcover, 232 pages
Published June 6th 2017 by Beacon Press
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May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book celebrates the good that can come from interracial relationships. This book delves into the history of interracial relationships in the United States, going all the way back to colonial days. Surprisingly, at the beginning of American history interracial relationships were not as stigmatized as they were after the development of slavery as a part of the American economy. After the section on history, the author goes into the state of interracial relationships today, and the promise tha ...more
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is truly a book which every American must read. Virginia has been in the media spotlight this year because of 2 things: 1. The tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia that resulted in the death of anti-racist protester Heather Heyer that has caught both national and international attention. 2. The 50th anniversary of The late Richard and Mildred Loving's lawsuit in their home state that outlawed Interracial Marriage which the Supreme Court had ruled unconstitutional.
Mrs. Cashin has done an ex
Kris - My Novelesque Life
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
(Review Not on Blog)

Since I first heard about the Loving case, when I watched a movie from the 90s, I have been interested in learning more about it. It always blew my mind that as recent as the late 60s people were not allowed to marry anyone of a different race. When I saw this book at the library I was excited that not only did this book discuss the Loving case but looked at the history of interracial marriages/relationships in America and the laws and social norms around them.
Porter Broyles
Apr 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book on whim based solely on the thinking it would be about the Loving Supreme Court case.

The book was about Loving, but not what I was expecting.

Loving was the 1967 Supreme Court case that declared that laws banning interracial marriages were unconstitutional. Prior to that, states could (and did) make inter racial relationships illegal.

While this book was about Loving v Virginia, it was more about the social implications and history of interracial relationships in the Americas
Sep 23, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was not actually about Loving v. Virginia -- it was a pseudo-sociological argument for the benefit of "cultural dexterity" where white people in close interracial relationships (can also be just close friendships or adoption) develop a deeper understanding of what it's like to be POC in America and that eventually there will be enough culturally dexterous white people to reach a tipping point in the battle against white supremacy. I liked the argument, but wasn't convinced by the bases ...more
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I heard about this book during a Fresh Air podcast and I instantly had to get my hands on it. This is a topic that I'm passionate about and I actually teach the Loving vs Virginia trial details in my civil rights unit at school (and I just bought the new YA verse novel about the case).

This was such an interesting outlook on how we have progressed with our outlook of race, how the concept of race was created over time, and how our progress of enlightenment is impacting how race still exists in Am
Stacie Hanson
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent overview of the history of interracial relationships in America and how definitions and laws changed over time to reinforce notions of white supremacy. It was very compelling, I couldn't put it down, which rarely happens with non-fiction books for me. She ended on a hopeful note, even in the Trump era, that personal, intimate interracial friendships and relationships are the main way we can overcome white supremacy and racism in our society. ...more
Megan Glemza
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An evaluation of the centuries long complexity of interracial intimacy.
Dan Downing
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For those who missed the recent articles, this is the 50th anniversary of 'Loving v Virginia,' one of our landmark legal cases. In it, a bi-racial couple took on the ruling by the Commonwealth of Virginia that their marriage in Washington, DC meant nothing in Virginia. They were exiled---EXILED!---from their home for 25 years.
After repeated arrests for being caught visiting family in their hometown, they finally brought suit, winding up victorious before the Supreme Court. They opened the way fo
Jul 09, 2021 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the first half of the book and found it very informative how anti-miscegenation laws were employed to uphold white supremacy. Their eventual dismantlement in the Loving v. Virginia case was the focal point around which the book is centered.

The second half of the book I found to be utopian and unrealistic, especially in light of the utter decimation of the Voting Rights Act and the rampant disenfranchisement of people of color and poor voters.

In fact, races living in closer proxi
May 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Interesting topic but poorly written and boring book. Basically this is the summary: we're racist because we don't know people of other races. If we know people of other races we'll stop being racist and as the world becomes more diverse we become less racist. Also as the old racist people die we become less racist. ...more
Paul Dimond
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The compelling voice of The Agitator’s Daughter is back full force in Loving. In her new book, Sheryll Cashin delves into the history of laws barring inter-racial marriage and intimacy in the colonies and the states, as well as the enforcement of these laws across state lines. She shares how these laws and practices were part and parcel of the White Supremacy regimes of Slavery, Jim Crow, and Caste Discrimination that divided America for so long and so deeply.

Ironically, as with the first writt
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book should be read by everyone living in America. It will provoke internal reflection, self examination. It should be a required reading textbook for every high school student in America.
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good background and historical information. With the recent anniversary of Loving v. Virginia case I was excited to see this book become available at my library. I recently watched the 2016 film about the case and so thought this would be a good pickup.
This wasn't quite what I expected at first. Author Cashin takes the reader though the history of interracial relationships in US history, from the first settlers through the present. Sometimes when authors do this it can be a really dry and borin
Jun 30, 2020 rated it liked it
pg 32-35. A discussion of sex or marriage between black and white people. Discovery through interracial children. In each case, the black men bought their freedom. Virginia. Issue: these former slaves were stolen from a Spanish galleon decades prior. Illiterate in Portuguese. First were cattle farmers in Angola. Were allowed to raise cows and crops; and used the proceeds to purchase their freedom. Evidence of status through marriage to white women. 1640-1658. Court records documented their case. ...more
PopSugar Challenge 2020: "A book on a subject you know nothing about."

This book was new information for me - yes, I knew that interracial marriage had been illegal in many states, but the history behind it was all new for me.

"Loving" takes you through how Africans were changed from bonded servants to slaves through to how we in the present can make changes in ourselves to help those who are oppressed by the systems our ancestors put in place (because of fear and a desire to keep the white race
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
A concise, compelling, and timely examination of the history of inter-racial marriage and race relations in America. The section on colonial history was especially surprising and interesting. Cashing deftly uses the 1967 Richard and Mildred Loving vs Virginia case which resulted in the Supreme Court overturning Virginia's anti-miscegenation laws as the basis for her examination. Her outlook is ultimately optimistic and her premise that love (romantic and platonic) is the strongest antidote to wh ...more
Thomas Shuman
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A to-the-point history of interracial intimacy (sexual, romantic, and platonic) that places the Loving decision in a broader historical context and provides an optimistic evaluation of the path forward. Those looking specifically for a history of Loving v. Virginia may want to look elsewhere, but the longer history provided by Cashin is worth engaging with through this short but detailed book.
Cara Meredith
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wowzas. Want to know EVERYTHING about the history of interracial marriage in America? It’s right here, along with any and every rabbit hole you want to trail down when it comes to the subject. Bravo, Sheryll Cashin.
Oct 13, 2019 rated it liked it
For someone who has never read about this case and the history of miscegenation laws in the US, this was a very enlightening book. Written really well and eminently readable. The last chapter though was a throwaway.
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an important book, both for those of us who remember the "old days" when this kind of law was possible, and for those who are younger. It shows us how far we have come as a society and also reminds us of how much further we need to go. ...more
Jan 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021-reads
4.5 stars. Definitely worth a read to begin to learn about the beginning of race and how that has impacted and dictated American life to this day. Very interesting to learn about how interracial relationships impact everything from politics to our social lives.
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Mostly dealt with history about the Loving case and how interracial relationship have been shaped by it. Making the argument that in fostering close interracial relationships we can work to fight white supremacy.
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
It starts slow but is an excellent analysis of interracial romance through the ages. I highly recommend this book.
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
The present/future section loses a bit of the tight researched focus of the first 2 segments but overall an excellent primer of systemic white supremacy in America through the lens of marriage.
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic! A Lot of cultural historical facts (with sources) in this one. Really enjoyed the backstory of boxer Jack Johnson and John McCain's son. Learned a lot from this one. ...more
Feb 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Finished on 2/18/2020 - There isn't much that I remember about this book, so I guess I can't complain. There is a lot of history and famous stories about race relations in this book that I do recall finding very informative. Like others have mentioned in their reviews, we get a pretty thorough examination of interracial relationships throughout American history. I found some of the claims about how to create a less racist society to be… a little suspect. I think that's why I docked some stars. I ...more
Shannan Harper
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very interesting read about Richard and Mildred loving, starting at their individual beginnings.
Jonathan Jackson
rated it really liked it
Jun 03, 2018
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“We don't like to admit that the ideology of white supremacy, constructed and reified for centuries, is still with us in the expectations that many whites have. Ina social world in which whiteness is central, where white people have the luxury of thinking of themselves as individuals and never in racial terms, seeing or talking about race is unnecessary and often forbidden, except for intra-tribal talk about the problems of others. In this sense, people who profess themselves to be color-blind are disingenuous or deluding themselves” 1 likes
“If you are white, you have an obligation to at least understand where the concept of whiteness comes from and to decide how you will proceed with that knowledge. I hope your journey will include an intentional choice to acquire dexterity.” 0 likes
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