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41 Howard L.J. 229 (1997-1998)
Crossing the Color Line: A Historical Assessment and Personal Narrative of Loving v. Virginia

handle is hein.journals/howlj41 and id is 237 raw text is: ESSAY
Crossing the Color Line: A Historical
Assessment and Personal Narrative of
Loving v. Virginia
On many evenings just before sunset, my grandmother and I
would sit on our front porch. We lived in the rural black community of
Battery, Virginia (approximately forty-five miles east of Richmond)
which is located in Essex County. Suddenly, I would hear my grand-
mother remark: Well, I see Richard's gone in for the night. I would
then turn my head to follow the direction of her gaze, where I would
see a white man driving his car down the dirt road leading to a house
owned by my great-uncle. It was a two-story wood-frame house,
which was one of the biggest in the neighborhood. Most of the rooms
were usually rented out to various family-friends, relatives, and occa-
sionally to the families of those who worked at the sawmill-jointly
operated by my great-uncle and his older brother, my grandfather.
Raymond and Garnet Hill, along with their two sons, lived there
for a time in the early 1960s. Garnet's younger sister, Mildred, was a
frequent visitor, especially on weekends. Mildred's three children
usually accompanied her on these visits, but her husband never did-
* Associate Professor, University of Georgia. B.A., 1980, Virginia Commonwealth Uni-
versity; M.A., 1982, Ph.D., 1987, University of Virginia.
Portions of this article were first presented at a conference hosted by The Catholic Univer-
sity of America from November 19-21, 1997. The conference, Law and the Politics of Marriage:
Loving v. Virginia after Thirty Years, was co-sponsored by The Catholic University of America
Columbus School of Law, Howard University School of Law, and Brigham Young University J.
Reuben Clark School of Law.
I am grateful to Professor David 0. Coolidge and the other conference planners for the
invitation to participate. I am especially indebted to Mrs. Mildred Loving for her willingness to
cooperate with this project.
1998 Vol. 41 No. 2

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