This summer marked the 50th anniversary of the landmark Loving v. Virginia case, which invalidated laws banning interracial marriage in the U.S. in 1967.
The couple at the center of the case ― Mildred and Richard Loving ― simply wanted to get married, but in the process, they paved the way for countless other couples in America to wed.
With that in mind, Vice spoke with five modern-day couples about what it’s like to be in mixed race marriage in America today. The short clip ― originally posted on June 13 to mark the anniversary of the legal case ― has over 11 million views on Facebook.
One couple, Erroll McDonald and Klara Glowczewska, have been married for 28 years but still get stares when they walk into rooms.
“There’s never a time when we are in public when I’m not aware that we’re an interracial couple. When we walk into a room, people take notice,” McDonald says. “Very early on, black women made it very clear that this was not cool.”
While some couples say their families have wholeheartedly embraced their partners, it hasn’t been so easy for others, including Vaughn J. Buffalo and Gail Russell Buffalo. After four years of marriage, Vaughn has still never been invited to Gail’s parents’ house.
“For a little while, I was read the Riot Act,” Gail says of her family’s reaction. “It was not just my parents; my parents didn’t know how to deal with it but my brothers were pretty upset. We’re still finding our way.”
Through telling their stories, the couples make it clear that while we don’t live in a post-racial America, love helps bridge our divides.
“I notice color. I’m not colorblind,” Jacqui Lewis says while sitting next to John Janka, her husband of 12 years. “It’s not that white folks aren’t white folks and black folks aren’t black folks. But this particular white folk is my soulmate and best friend.”
Watch the clip above for more stories.