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The Loving Story and Community Discussion

Dr. Barclay Key

Dr. Barclay Key, UALR History Department

Tuesday, Oct. 21 · 6-8 p.m.
Ron Robinson Theater
Moderator: Barclay Key, Ph.D.

Join us for the showing of the film, The Loving Story, followed by a community discussion. The discussion will be led by Dr. Barclay Key, UALR professor of history, whose research includes modern American history, African-American history, southern history, American religious history, and Arkansas history. RSVP NOW.


Historical Background

Election years provide endless fodder for classroom discussions, as the 2000 election did for me when I was teaching history in a rural Alabama high school. We remember 2000 because of the controversial presidential election, but the state of Alabama featured another significant item on its ballot: the repeal of the state’s miscegenation law.

At one time or another, most states prohibited interracial marriages, but Alabama was the only one with the statute still on the books in 2000. Students were curious about the prohibition and its history, but our discussions were educational for me, too. Following one such discussion, a student even returned to class with a note from her pastor, explaining why God forbade interracial marriage. I marveled at the persistence of failed arguments that had been made in various forms for centuries.

In 1958, when Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter wed, 24 states, including Arkansas, still prohibited interracial marriage. In the case of Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court rendered these statutes unconstitutional in 1967. Through oral histories and old video footage, The Loving Story shares the saga of Richard and Mildred’s arrest, exile, and legal case. Viewers will find vivid glimpses into the lives of this rural Virginia couple who, more than anything else, simply wanted to live at home in peace.

~ Barclay Key, Ph.D.
UALR Department of History


Panelist Bios

Jay Barth is M.E. and Ima Graves Peace Professor of Politics and Bill and Connie Odyssey Professor and Director of Civic Engagement Projects at Hendrix College. Barth’s academic work includes research on the politics of the South, state government and politics, LGBT politics, political communication (particularly radio advertising), and the achievement gap in Arkansas. He is the co-author (with the late Diane D. Blair) of the second edition of Arkansas Politics and Government: Do the People Rule? (University of Nebraska Press, 2005).  A native of central Arkansas, Barth attended Hendrix College, graduating in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in American Studies. He received a master’s degree in 1989 and a doctorate in 1994 in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A member of the Department of Politics and International Relations at Hendrix since 1994, he is a five-time recipient of a Hendrix senior class’s Faculty Appreciation Award that recognizes a faculty member who has shown “excellence in instruction and concern for the welfare of Hendrix students.” In 2007, Barth was named Arkansas Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and in 2014 was named winner of the Southern Political Science Association’s Diane Blair Award for Outstanding Achievement in Politics and Government.   In 2000-01, Barth received the Steiger Congressional Fellowship from the American Political Science Association and served on the staff of the late U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone (MN) working on education and civil rights policy.   Since 2012, Barth has been a member of the Arkansas State Board of Education. 

Anastasia Boles is an Assistant Professor of Law at the William H. Bowen School of Law. Her approach to teaching is to push students to think deeply about the societal impact of legal rules and their future role as ethical practitioners and community leaders. As a scholar, Boles examines the intersection between labor and employment law and legal issues involving race, age, gender, sexuality, disability, and class. Before teaching, Professor Boles was in private practice with corporate firms in Los Angeles and New York. Her practice focused on employment litigation, labor litigation, white-collar criminal defense, securities litigation, and general civil litigation.  She maintained an active commitment to pro bono representation, and was part of the legal team recognized with a 2001 Gideon Award from the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Professor Boles served as a judicial clerk for the late Honorable Napoleon A. Jones, Jr., of the United States District Court, Southern District of California. Professor Boles graduated with honors from Stanford University where she dual majored in political science and sociology. She is a Columbia Law graduate and served on the editorial board of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review and the National Black Law Journal. In addition to her journal work, Boles was an executive board member of the Black Law Students Association, a student senator, and was recognized for her pro bono work as an intern with the Harlem Legal Aid Society.

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