The great American ballet star was a muse to George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins and was the foremost dancer of her day—until she was struck down by polio and paralyzed at the age of 27.
Nancy Buirski, director of the documentary “The Loving Story,” recounts the love story of Mildred and Richard Loving, an interracial couple whose marriage was declared illegal in 1958 until they successfully fought their case in front of the Supreme Court, resulting in the landmark 1967 Civil Rights decision ending marriage discrimination based on race. “The Loving Story” premieres on HBO on February 14, at 9 pm.
In 1958, a Virginia couple named Mildred and Richard Loving married each other, only to be arrested shortly thereafter in middle of the night. Their crime: breaking the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which criminalized marriages between white and non-white persons. Mildred was of African and Native American descent. Richard was of European descent. The Lovings initially pled guilty to the charges, but eventually fought back with a series of lawsuits that culminated in the Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia. In 1967, the court ruled unanimously in their favor, proclaiming that laws criminalizing interracial marriage violated the Fourteenth Amendment.