As a part of the Created Equal film screening and discussion series, WNYMuslims hosted a community discussion centered around the documentary film The Loving Story. The discussion took place last Wednesday at Canisius College and featured a panel of community members and scholars, including Professor Victoria Wolcott of the University at Buffalo, Professor Faizan Haq of the Unniversity at Buffalo and Buffalo State College, and Harold McNeil , writer at the Buffalo News.
The Loving Story tells the tale of Richard and Mildred Loving, who were arrested in Virginia in July of 1958 for breaking a state law that prohibited marriage between people of a different race. Laws against interracial marriage existed in 20 other states at the time. The Loving’s left the state of Virginia to get married, but upon their return were arrested and forced to leave their homes and families in order to maintain their marital status. A long and tumultuous legal battle ensued with the case eventually being taken to the Supreme Court in 1967 where all laws against interracial marriage in the Untied States were reversed.
The discussion spanned several topics pertaining to the film, including the historical and societal context of the case at that point in time, and how it is related to current civil rights struggles and the current status of race and equality in America. Professor Wolcott provided participants with an excellent historical overview for the film and professor Haq commented on the current struggle of Muslim American’s as it relates to racism.
WNYMuslims will also be hosting discussions on the documentary films, The Abolitionists and Slavery by Another Name. Keep an eye out for these events on the WNYMuslims events page and in our weekly enewsletter The Echo.
Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle is made possible through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of its Bridging Cultures initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
Special thanks to Grill Kabob for donating refreshments for the event.