Central Point, Virginia, Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act

Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act

I’m 1924, the Virginia State Legislature enacted the “Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act” which criminalized interracial marriage.

Author’s Note:

Im the case Loving v. Virginia, Mildred and Richard Loving, from Central Point, Virginia, helped repeal this Virginia State law by taking their interracial marriage case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Central Point, Virginia, Loving V. Virginia

The U.S. Supreme Court Case Outlawing The Criminalization Of Interracial Marriage

Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter grew up together and feel in love while living in a small rural town.

In 1958, the couple got married in Washington D.C., since Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act made interracial marriage illegal in Virginia. Once the newlyweds returned back to their home in Central Point, Virginia the Caroline County Sheriff’s office attested the couple.

The Caroline County Circuit Court ruled that the couple would not be arrested again if they did not return to their home at Central Point, Virginia for another 25 years after the ruling. The Loving appealed the case nothing that the barring of their return to their home, as a couple, was unreasonable.

After nine years of appeals, their interracial marriage case went to the U.S. Supreme Court to …

Richard and Mildred kissing after Richard came home from work in April 1965.

In May 2017, a historical marker honoring the legacy of the Lovings was erected in Richmond, Virginia. Mayor of Richmond Levar Stoney and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe were at the unveiling ceremony.

On June 2, 2018, the 50 year wedding anniversary of the Loving couple, an additional historical marker was added in Caroline County between Route 301 and Sparta Road.

Central Point, Virginia

The Unincorporated Area Of Central Point, Virginia – Where The Interracial Loving Couple Grew Up During The Era Of Segregation

The Old Store of Central Point, Virginia.

The unincorporated area of Central Point, Virginia is in between a passing road, on Route 625, and Sparta Road, on Route 630. Central Point is central to the towns of Bowling Green, Virginia, in Caroline County, and Tappohanock, in Essex County.

The origin of the name Central Point, for the unincorporated area, is unknown. During the time of segregation many interracial couples, of black, white and Native American heritage, would get married out of state and settle down in Central Point.

Richard Loving, who was white, and Mildred Pierce, who was black and Native American, were an interracial couple who grew up in Central Point. After their marriage in Washington, D.C., and returning back to Virginia, they both were arrested by a Caroline County Sheriff.

On January 6th, 1959, the Lovings were banished from the state of Virginia, after being found guilty of interracial marriage, in violation of the Virginia General Assembly’s Racial Integrity Act of 1924. The Lovings were given a one year suspended sentence, which could be imposed if they were found in violation of the court order.

The Lovings appealed their interracial marriage case, all the way up to the United States Supreme Court, in what became known as Loving v. Virginia. In 1967, the Lovings were successful in their bid to have interracial marriage banned in all fifty states, within the United States of America.