New work for video: “My marriage was illegal in 1967”

My latest work is finished!  Take a view at the video above.  Here are the program notes:

It is striking that, were I born in different circumstances, my wife, a Puerto Rican, and myself, a white man, would not have been able to lawfully be wedded.

Anti-miscegenation laws perpetuating ideals of racial purity were still on the books in some states in 1967, but the landmark ruling Loving v. Virginia overturned their legality.

This work for video is not a take on this at face value. Rather, the premise of my marriage being illegal in prior (but certainly not distant) times is a façade by which the video speaks to deeper meanings of race, society, class, and how history is not far removed when it comes to race.

Our lives as Americans are still very much infused with the concepts and baggage of our racial history from the day we are born to the day we die. It is my hope that the viewer comes to their own conclusions through the audio and visual elements subtly and overtly exposed in this video.

-Dan Lis, Hartford, CT, February 2018


The text “A major concern was how to draw the line between black and white in a society in which white men had many children with black slave women.” is a quote from the Wikipedia page on the Loving v. Virginia court ruling:

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