Reviewed by Debbie Reese
The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage (2105) by Selina Alko has illustrations by Alko and her husband, Sean Qualls. The author’s note tells us that Alko is a “white Jewish woman from Canada” and that Qualls is an “African-American man from New Jersey.”
The story of Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving resonated with Alko and Qualls. Their case went before the United States Supreme Court in 1967.
The Loving vs. Virginia case is of interest to me, too. We all ought to embrace its outcome. As the synopsis indicates, the story is about the love Jeter and Loving had for each other, and how, using the court system, laws against their desire to be married were struck down. We need to know that history. It is important.
… In The Case for Loving, Alko uses “part African-American, part Cherokee” but I suspect Jeter’s family would object to what Alko said. As the 2004 interview indicates, Mildred Jeter Loving considered herself to be Rappahannock. Her family identifies as Rappahannock and denies any Black heritage. This, Coleman writes, may be due to politics within the Rappahannock tribe . . . At this moment, I don’t know what it means for this picture book. One could argue that it provides children with an important story about history, but I can also imagine children looking back on it as they grow up and thinking that they were misinformed–not deliberately–but by those twists and turns in racial politics in the United States of America. Continue reading.
Read additional article by Reese about the revised version of The Case for Loving.
The Case for Loving by Selina Alko
Illustrator: Sean Qualls, Selina Alko
Genres: Activism, African American, American Indians, First Nations, Metis, Inuit, Biography and Autobiography, Family, Law, Racism
Reading Level: Grades 6-8
Review Source: American Indians in Children's Literature
Publisher's synopsis: "I support the freedom to marry for all. That's what Loving, and loving, are all about." -Mildred Loving, June 12, 2007
For most children these days it would come as a great shock to know that before 1967, they could not marry a person of a race different from their own. That was the year that the Supreme Court issued its decision in Loving v. Virginia.
This is the story of one brave family: Mildred Loving, Richard Perry Loving, and their three children. It is the story of how Mildred and Richard fell in love, and got married in Washington, D.C. But when they moved back to their hometown in Virginia, they were arrested (in dramatic fashion) for violating that state's laws against interracial marriage. The Lovings refused to allow their children to get the message that their parents' love was wrong and so they fought the unfair law, taking their case all the way to the Supreme Court, and won.