Love is an intense feeling of deep affection. We’ve all experienced it, or at least thought we did. As we get older, we crave it, as peers are falling in love one by one and experiencing the joys of what it entails. We look up to couples we don’t even know because of the fairy tale life that is being portrayed. We all want our happily-ever afters, but do we know what it takes to get there? Growing up, I remember looking up to fictional Black couples such as The Huxtables or wooing over the way Martin cared about Gina. Those relationships had substance in their own way and we always saw how these couples rose above any obstacles they were faced with.
Black Love is strong, fearless and beautiful. It isn’t praised like it should be because society has coined the Black family to be broken, incomplete or with some sort of burden. For some reason, society can’t seem to picture a successful and complete Black family. The father has to be in jail or dead, the mother has to be addicted to drugs or not care for her children, and although that is a reality for some families, it is not an accurate depiction of all. Yes, Black culture does include hardship because for years we have had to fight for our own happiness, freedom and our right to live (we still fight for these things to this day), but we are loving beings that are capable of having these perfect families that so many white shows have received praise for.
Our younger siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews are not exposed to The Cosby Show, A Different World, or anything that my generation, and generations before grew up idolizing. They do not know what Family Matters was or that The Hughleys existed or who Mr. Cooper was. These shows made us Black kids know that a wholesome and happy family was possible and that it existed; it was real. So many of these shows represented Black Love beautifully and effortlessly without causing controversy. The only shows that depict a positive family right now are Blackish and This Is Us; both beautifully written and amazing in their own way, but at one point, there were 5-6 Black shows in rotation at the same time for ongoing seasons. Who are these kids supposed to look up to?
We have to properly mold our youth and let them know that their life can be positive, loving and happy just like anyone else’s life. Society’s connotation of Black has never been positive or uplifting, and I feel that everyday we make strides to prove them wrong and have to continue to do so. We are not burdens, we are not troubled, we are loved. Black Love is more than just a successful couple or family, it is our foundation as a culture. You can’t do anything without some sort of love or passion behind it. Martin Luther King didn’t become the man he was from just being a witness to racial injustices; he loved his people, Black people, for all that they were capable of. Because regardless of what society has stereotyped us to be, we are so much more. We are gifted, talented, smart, creative, the list goes on. We work twice as hard to get to where we need to be.
I envision love to be this powerful feeling of just being. You wake up, roll over and there that person is. Snoring or smiling, you’re warm on the inside because this is who was faithfully chosen for you. There aren’t any black clouds when you’re in each others presence, just pure bliss. It’s an electric shock of emotions that get you through your work day, because you know who you’re going home to. I adore the Duane and Whitley’s, Boris and Nicole’s, that sweet Brown Sugar Love. It’s just beautiful to see two black people love unconditionally and grow together and eventually as a family.
A couple months ago, I posted a dope photo of my parents and received a lot of great feedback, so I decided to start my own series of “Black Love” conversations. My parents were the first memory of Black Love that I ever witnessed, and being raised in a loving family only made me want to do the same when the timing was right. This series will interview couples as well as singles to have an open discussion of what love is and the significance of Black Love. Every love story isn’t the same, but they’re all extremely intriguing.
If it wasn’t for my parents, this topic wouldn’t of formed in my head, so I hope you enjoy the series to come!