1924 Racial Integrity Act

On March 20, 1924  Virginia passed the Racial Integrity Act on the same day as the Eugenical Sterilization Act was signed into law. The Act defined “white persons” as those who had no trace whatsoever of blood other than Caucasian, or had one-sixteenth or less American Indian blood and no other non-Caucasian blood. The law was a state level attempt to protect whiteness, and it prohibited interracial marriage. It required that the State Registrar of Vital Statistics provide to all individuals in the state certificates of their racial composition, which were required when applying for a marriage license. According to the law, marriage licenses could not be granted until both individuals could prove themselves to be of the same race: “pure white,” or “coloured” (anyone who did not fit the definition of white).