was the daughter of
Musial (Byrd) Jeter and The Oliver Jeter.
Mildred's racial identity has
been a point of confusion. She has
been noted as self-identifying as Indian Rappahannock, but was
reported as being of Cherokee, Portuguese, and
American ancestry. During
the trial, it seemed clear that she
identified herself as black, especially as
far as her own lawyer was
concerned. However, upon her arrest, the police
her as "Indian." She said in a 2004 interview,
"I have no black ancestry.
it was seen at the time of her arrest as
advantageous to be
"anything but black." There was an ingrained
history in the state
of the denial of African ancestry. Additionally, the
frequent racial mixing
of Central Point, where she lived,
could have contributed to this idea
of fluid racial identity. Mildred was known
as a quiet and humble
She was born and raised in the same rural Virginia
as her husband, Richard.
Perry Loving (October 29, 1933 – June 29, 1975) was a
white man, and the son of
Lola (Allen) Loving and Twillie Loving.
He was a construction worker. The 1830
census marks Lewis Loving,
Richard’s paternal ancestor, as having owned seven
grandfather, T.P. Farmer, fought for the Confederacy in the
families both lived in Caroline County, Virginia. The county adhered
strict Jim Crow segregation laws but Central Point had been a visible
mixed race community since the 19th century. Richard’s father worked
one of the wealthiest black men in the county for 25 years.
companions were black, including those he
drag raced with and Mildred’s older
brothers. The couple met in
high school and fell in love. Richard moved into
the Jeter household
when Mildred became pregnant.
Supreme Court case, the couple moved back to Central Point,
where Richard built
them a house. The couple had three
children: Donald, Peggy, and Sidney. Richard
Loving died aged
41 in 1975, when a drunk driver struck his car in Caroline
Virginia. Mildred Loving lost her right eye in the same accident.
died of pneumonia on May 2, 2008, in her home in
Central Point, aged 68.
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