Black Love: What Does It Really Mean
There are so many layers to this topic so I'm going to try to explain it the best way I know how and from what I've observed.
For the past three weeks, the OWN network has been showing a series called "Black Love," which is a documentary featuring black celebrities and non-celebrities who got candid about their relationships.
They discuss what brought them together, the problems they faced during their relationship, how they overcame hurdles, and what they do to keep the romance alive. I wasn't sure what to expect from this documentary, but I wasn't expecting the honest dialogue between the couples.
The couples got real about how they first met, some were even married when they met each other (messy), cheating, having financial struggles, or dealing with the loss of a family member.
Things that should have drove them apart are the very things that brought them closer together. It was unreal to hear celebrities get so candid about their experiences because as consumers we are so used to only being privy to the good side of celebrity relationships. Although it was unexpected, the honesty was truly refreshing, and I admit, I shed a couple tears watching it.
After watching the latest episode, a friend of mine posed a question that really stuck to me: What does black love really mean and why would we stick around for it if it brings us so much pain?
It seemed like black love was surrounded in strife and nothing else. My answer was, "This is what it is. Our parents were in relationships fighting racism, broken homes, trying to make something out of the little they were given all while trying to create a solid family unit."
That was black love.
Right after that discussion, my dad just so happened to be cleaning out the garage and started posting all these old pictures on Facebook. One of them that stuck out to me was the old photo of him and my mother in high school back in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. They were high school sweethearts and are still married to this day.
My dad tells people all the time nobody expected my mother to end up with him. They came from two different family backgrounds and by societal standards, my father should have ended up being another statistic, but my mother saw something in him that few people did and they stayed together. My father joined the Air Force at 17, determined to create a better life for himself and my mother. I can say so myself that the end result was beautiful.
Growing up, I watched my parents overcome several hurdles and obstacles. Things that should have torn them apart only brought them closer together.
Their determination to break old cycles and to build a better life for my sister and I that they didn't have was unmatched and the reason why I have so much admiration for them. Even their willingness to try and heal their old wounds inspire me to be better.
My dad taught me not to accept just anything from people (mainly men) and my mom demonstrated the type of strength that's truly unmatched.
This is what I call and know as black love. The loyalty, the support, and the love that two people share is something that I want for myself and honestly is rare these days. I know black love still exists (even when we have to fight for it,) and as hard as it may be to achieve, I still want it.