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Sorry. That’s a cheese f-ck title. But once it was stuck in my head I couldn’t think of anything else.
Loving opens next week. The film has already received strong reviews. Oscar experts are predicting that Loving will be nominated for Best Picture and that Ruth Negga will be one of the five names on the list of Best Actress Oscar nominations.
Last night was the New York premiere with director Jeff Nichols joined by Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton and also Peggy Loving Fortune, the youngest child of Mildred and Richard Loving about whom the film is based. I can’t even imagine what her emotions would have been, watching a dramatic telling of their story of their parents’ love, a love that eventually changed the law. It’s widely known that the Lovings never intended to become symbols for equality. All they wanted was to be together, where they were together, and raise their children, together. In 1992, Peggy told the NYT that even though her mother and father were reluctant heroes, she believes it was their purpose:
"I'm very proud of them. To me, they set the world free to be with whomever they want. I feel it's what they were put on this earth for, that God used them to do what they did."
In that same article, it’s revealed that Mildred Loving, in the years after the Supreme Court’s decision, would from time to time run into R Garnett Brooks, the sheriff who arrested her and Richard for the crime of sharing a home together as an interracial married couple. They never spoke. And even in 1992, that man insisted he did the right thing:
"I was acting according to the law at the time, and I still think it should be on the books. I don't think a white person should marry a black person. I'm from the old school. The Lord made sparrows and robins, not to mix with one another."
Mr. Brooks said he had rarely pondered the case in the last 35 years. "If they'd been outstanding people, I would have thought something about it," he said. "But with the caliber of those people, it didn't matter. They were both low-class."
I suppose you could say that that was 22 years ago. And that things have changed. But, really, have they? For that sheriff though, his name is forever linked with the Loving relationship and the change that they inspired.