This year marks the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, the U.S. Supreme Court case that overturned state laws banning interracial marriage. Richard and Mildred Loving were a white man and a black woman who married in the 1950s — even though it was against the law in their home state of Virginia. They were forced to leave Virginia until the Supreme Court issued its ruling on June 12, 1967.

Over five decades, interracial marriages have become more common across the United States. But people in mixed race marriages still face some unique challenges.

"The Loving Project" podcast features some of those couples telling the story of what it’s like to be in an interracial marriage today.

Liz and Chavis

0Liz Chavis-300x233Liz Hayden and Chavis Patterson have been married since 2003. They met while working together at a Philadelphia nonprofit. They now live in Narberth, where they’re raising their 12-year-old son.

Liz Hayden is white, and Chavis Patterson is African-American … but people don’t always know that unless he tells them.  

“My complexion is much lighter, and people would not think by looking at me that I’m African-American or black," said Patterson. 

It adds an extra layer to the tensions that they can sometimes face as an interracial couple.

This story is part of a collaboration between WHYY and "The Loving Project" podcast, produced by Brad Linder and Farrah Parkes. Hear a longer version of Liz and Chavis's story at the Loving Project website, and subscribe to "The Loving Project" podcast via iTunes for more stories.