I remember having these long conversations with my peers in college about “Black Love.” At the time we’d have our own little battle of the sexes where we’d bring all of our “issues” to the table. Back then we were clearly immature and inexperienced at dating and being in love, and it showed. We stumbled in and out of relationships, screwed some really great people over, and just didn’t have much of a clue. But the one thing we did have going for us was our willingness to have open and honest conversations about what we wanted and expected of our lovers.
Was there blame? Of course. But at the end of the day we walked away, still friends, and still hopeful and believing in the power of love…and yes, even Black love.
Whenever I hear the term, “Black Love” a constant loop of movie clips rolls through my head. Nina and Darius standing under the El train trying figure out how to make it work. Bleek and Indigo tying the knot in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge. Monica and Quincy playing one-on-one for each other’s hearts. Kenya and Bryan finally dancing at the debutant ball. Whenever the news insists that Black women are unlovable (despite nearly 80% of hitched Black men being married to sistas) I retreat to my own real-world examples (grandparents, aunts/uncles, parents, boo’d up friends) and films that illustrate the power of love.
Although I’m a sucker for love stories, and especially Black love stories, for some women the traditional view of Black love—between a Black man and Black woman—is not enough.
Today, Black people are increasingly following our hearts and finding love to meet our needs.
And I’m all for it.
Black Love shouldn’t be some mythical giant we all aspire to meet, but rather the practical application of love in our lives. Whether we are in a relationship with a Black man/woman, or embracing the possibilities of an interracial relationship, whenever we as Black women are in love…it is beautiful.
As Dr. Maya Angelou put it, “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” And despite what the media has to say, Black women are embracing the love we want, and need, in our own way.