by Ariston Anderson
When Ken Tanabe stumbled upon the Supreme Court case Loving vs. Virginia, which legalized interracial marriage in the U.S., he was shocked that there was no holiday to commemorate the occasion. So he decided to start his own. "I realized that most people had never heard of this civil rights milestone," he tells CH. "I started Loving Day to fight prejudice against multiracial and multicultural couples and individuals. The subject interested me personally because I'm half Japanese, half Belgian and the first American in my family."
This 7 June 2009 will mark the 6th annual Loving Day celebration, with the flagship event in New York City. On the agenda is a day of free BBQ, drinks and music from DJ Dhundee and DJ Tyler Askew. Not only is the day one of celebration, but it's also an educational tool along the lines of the Rosa Parks story and Brown vs. the Board of Education. Tanabe encourages people around the country to hold their own events, both on a large scale in cities or smaller in families and communities.
"Loving Day is especially significant this year because of Barack Obama," says Tanabe. "Now, the U.S. has its first black president who is also multiracial and multicultural. While this doesn't instantly end racism, it is certainly an inspiration to the multicultural community and a positive step toward mainstream consciousness surrounding multiracial and multicultural identity."
To RSVP to the NYC event email lovingdayparty [at] gmail [dot] com.
7 June 2009, 3-7pm
2420 FDR Drive, Service Road East
New York, NY 10010 map
tel. +1 212 505 6050