Multiracial Media News Roundup for Week Ending October 20, 2017
From a family disagreement about Mildred’s Loving racial designation resulting in a unique commemoration, to interracial marriage and Mixed-race identity being explored on prestigious theatre stages, to a controversy over a girl’s head being shaved to “grow back straight,” to an ex-cop finally sentenced for murdering a Biracial young man walking with his daughter—things are never dull in Multi-racial news!
Despite Controversy, Historical Marker Approved to Honor Mildred and Richard Loving
The historic court case of Mildred and Richard Loving will be commemorated with not one, but two historic markers in Virginia—after a family controversy about Mildred’s racial identity.
According to Fredericksburg.com, “The Virginia Department of Historic Resources planned to dedicate a marker to the Lovings at that site on June 12, the 50th anniversary of the Loving v. Virginia decision. But two weeks before the ceremony, the location was moved from Caroline to Richmond due to concerns raised by the Lovings’ grandson, Mark Loving, to Supervisor Jeff Sili. Loving felt that his grandmother would object to the marker describing her as being of mixed Black and Native American heritage.
“According to Supervisor Floyd Thomas, however, the Lovings’ daughter, Peggy Loving Fortune, had approved of the marker’s wording and was upset that it was not placed in Caroline. Following the Richmond dedication, Caroline supervisors voted to place a duplicate in the county, where both Lovings were born and where they returned to live after their marriage.”
Mixed-race Identity Addressed in Harvard’s First Black Playwrights Festival
Harvard launched its first Black Playwrights Festival this week with the reading of a student play and a conversation about related issues. One play, “Black Narcissus,” explores the nuances of race and sexual identity via characters who are Greek and Egyptian mythological figures.
The Mixed-race character Black Narcissus describes the insensitive responses of his high school friends to his identity. “All the Asians wanted me to be Asian, the Black kids wanted me to be light-skinned, the White kids wanted me to be Italian. Everybody wanted to claim me,” Verrone said, according to The Crimson. “Checking boxes shouldn’t be that hard, you know.”
‘Wedding Band’ Celebrates Loving v. Virginia at Penumbra Theatre
Though it’s been a half-century since interracial marriage became fully legal throughout the United States, the truth is that interracial relationships are still considered controversial. Lou Bellamy directed the play “Wedding Band,” written by Playwright Alice Childress in 1918, to mark the anniversary of the landmark ruling and examine the true intricacies of marrying across racial lines at Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul, MN.
“Blacks and whites have different perspectives on many issues, of course,” Bellamy shared with mprnews.org. “This interracial dating is one that they kind of come together on. Both groups say, ‘Don’t do that!’ and no one listens to that, and everyone does whatever they’re going to do.”
Biracial Girl’s Head Shaved at State Program
Tru, a 7-year-old in Dracut, Mass., lives at Little Heroes Home, a state-run program for children with behavioral needs. Her long hair was shaved without permission, causing her trauma from the incident.
“I feel like my daughter was assaulted and violated,” said Tru’s mother Denise Robinson to Fox25Boston.com. “They made a game out of it while they were cutting her hair, and after they cut her hair, then they told her, ‘oh it will grow back straight, don’t worry.’”
There were no head lice or other health issues involved.
White Ex-cop Convicted for Killing Daughter’s Biracial Boyfriend
Shannon Kepler, a White ex-police officer in Tulsa, OK, shot 19-year-old Jeremy Lake, a Biracial man, for walking with his daughter Lisa in August 2014. This week, in his fourth trial for the fatal shooting, he was convicted of first-degree manslaughter. This was after three mistrials.
His attorney’s claims that he was trying to protect his daughter, while Shannon said he fired in self-defense, claiming that Jeremy had a semi-automatic weapon. No weapon was found.