Happy Valentine’s Day!
Today is the day for love. The day where you go a little bit above and beyond for those you care about.
Valentine’s Day is not about people who are dating, in a relationship or married. It is about celebrating the ones you love.
If you are anything like me, you do not need a holiday to express how much you feel about certain people.
But I am a sucker for love for sure. And I love everything about love.
Love makes me happy. Makes me sad, in a good way. Love makes me anxious and excited.
Love motivates me. It pushes me to be better than I was yesterday.
Love is calming. It is secure, when done right.
Love makes me feel at home.
So when #BlackLove started going viral, I was engulfed in understanding what this was all about.
I assumed it was about Black couples who are in love. I was right.
But then I realized there was much more behind the hashtag. There was a docu-series on OWN, Oprah Winfrey Network.
Tommy & Codie Oliver created this series that airs on OWN. The couple is inspired by each other and the love they share. They wanted to express this with the world. And not just their love experience, but other Black Love couples.
This show does not just focus on couples that are “perfect”. They talk about life after kids, health scares, coping with losing a loved one, financial challenges and even infidelity.
I remember watching season 1 and I was in tears every single episode. Because for once, I felt like their was something on TV that related to the type of love that I was looking and yearning for. Bae was not in the picture yet.
Now when I think of Black Love, I don’t think about Black couples in love. I think much deeper than the trending hashtag on social media.
I think about the love, strength, determination and commitment that two people have between each other. And those two people just happen to be Black.
There was no better way to explain #BlackLove than to ask my friends what #BlackLove means to them.
Black Love is fighting through everything that is built against you, rising to find true individual passion so you’re able to love yourself completely and radiate that love to everything and all. It is constant, continuous and endless. It’s rooted in our history, enriches our present and flows into our future.Alicia – Denver, CO
Black love is strength and vulnerability. It’s about having the courage to take risks and enjoying the ride.Brittany & Dedrick – Memphis, TN | Together since 2017
#BlackLove is action. It’s beyond saying I love you or I do. It’s beyond that big day. It’s the daily choice to respect your mate. To go the distance. To work towards changing the narrative of being married for the better. It’s commitment and consistency. Black love is action!Erica & Naim – Cleveland, OH | Together since 2013. Married 2018.
Black love is resilient as it persists in a world that has not always kind to our Black brothers and sisters and where historically many actions were taken to prevent its very existence. Black love demonstrates a love for each other, our people and our culture. Black love is when #blackgirlmagic meets #blackboyjoy.Danielle & Haythem – Alexandria, VA | Together since 2014. Married 2015.
#BlackLove means putting aside your fairy-tale views of what love is based on movies or TV and understanding your mate. It’s about being grateful & growing together. It’s about working as a team and compromising but also not forcing your mate to be something you want them to be. #BlackLove is an experience and a journey.Dr. Lauren Elise – Atlanta, GA | In a relationship since 2017.
Love is being vulnerable enough to show someone the most intricate parts of yourself and have faith that they won’t take advantage of that privilege. It’s a beautiful yet terrifying experience that we voluntarily take part in because love, at its core, is a necessity to survive.Brittany – Hartford, CT
#BlackLove means strength, passion and resilience. Our love is customized and cannot be replicated.Latoya & AJ – Los Angeles, CA | Married since 2016
Love is an unwavering dedication to always putting the 2 of you first!! Focus on aligning your mind, body and spirits with one another to become the best versions of yourselves. Don’t be afraid to truly look into each other and realize that you both have the same reflection – flaws and all. Love Wins!Jeff & Amanda – Washington, DC | Est. 2016. Engaged 2018. Married 2019
Black love means to willing to push pass this unspoken rule (in our community) that to be vulnerable with the one you love is to be weak. When I see Black couples breaking down that barrier and staying committed to one another. It makes my heart smile.Shaquay – Philadelphia, PA
#BlackLove to us means being with the soul that understands, accepts, and promotes you being your true authentic self. In a world that sometimes gets blinded by color, having someone who can always see you is everything.Jasmine & Mike – Clifton, NJ | Together since 2011. Married 2015
Black Love is a powerful force shaped by resilience and deep dedication. It’s having each other’s back & being a strong support while we navigate this world that doesn’t always acknowledge our excellence.Mighty – Washington, DC
“You were a risk, a mystery, and the most certain thing I’d even known.” – Beau TaplinCandyce – Cleveland, OH
Being married is one of the most amazing, challenging, and humbling experiences. Being in love with, and married to your best friend is such an amazing feeling that can’t be explained in words. Love is an action and is always unconditional. Fight on the same team, communicate to understand not to reply, and love without restrictionMiracle & Reggie – Chicago, IL | Together since 2011. Married 2012.
Anyone can love someone or something. But to love someone despite their flaws, that is something pure and truly special. It’s the closest thing to perfect.Diedre & Brandon – San Diego, CA | Together since 2015. Engaged 2017. Married 2020.
For me personally, Black love is the epitome of all love. It’s a bond that’s centered around growth, understanding, togetherness and built on love. When dating and looking at the characteristics of the man for my future, it’s about finding a man that wants all of that and more, while also having the desire to build with me collectively as we push each other to be our best.DeAnna – Los Angeles, CA
Black Love is unconditional and ever-changing. It is loving each other for who you were before, who you both are today and who you will be in the future. Black love is Worth It!Tasha & KG – Raleigh, NC | Together since 2010. Married 2016.
The most exciting part about spending my life with you is knowing that if we take away all the lovey dovey fluff, I’m married to my best friend and that is what love is truly about…friendship.Shenique & Mario – Atlanta, GA | Together since 2014. Married 2018.
Black love is about feeling safe in the comfort of someone else’s arms who understands. Black love is excellence. Black love is power.Kimberly & Kevin – New Jersey | Together since 2014. Married 2018.
Love is having that person who isn’t afraid to do the work. The person who makes a conscious choice to support and encourage you in spite of your flaws, while acknowledging and embracing everything you are.Jessica – Phoenix, AZ
#BlackLove today is anchored in the challenge of our history. Because we know what obstacles our race has endured, we can understand our partner’s pain, believe in their perseverance, and elevate their pride. Our bond is strengthened by never forgetting what’s been sacrificed for us to be here.Danielle & Bradley – Dallas, TX | Together since 2018.
Love is laughter. Love is colorful. Love is nurturing. Love is simple. Love is EVERYTHING. Our love embodies these because our love is Black Love.Rhea & Justin – Atlanta, GA | Together since 2018.
Of course I could not end this beautiful project without a quote from Julian & I. Julian took the reins for this.
Here is what #BlackLove means to us…
Black love is undying, forged in fireJulian & Jemia – Arlington, VA | Together since 2017. Engaged 2018. Married 2019.
It is undeterred by societal circumstance, prejudice, or separation from our homeland
Black love is ever enduring, beautiful, uplifting, supportive, and nurturing
It is the purest element in this world, hence why it remains under perpetual attack
Black love is perfect unison between black bodies
If you have not watched the Black Love series on OWN, you are MISSING OUT. It is great for the single, married, dating, divorced, situationship and more. It is a must! Enjoy!