Views From The Mandem

Opening words from Jenna…

Every day on Twitter there is some new heated debate or thread flying around regarding relationships, especially where the love between black men and women are concerned. I have seen so many things fly across my TL, for e.g Is black love dead? Black men don’t love black women, Black brothers don’t care about you sis, Black love is struggle love and trust me when I tell you this list goes on.

I am tired because I don’t agree with it 100%, reason being is I see Black Couples connecting or getting married every other weekend. Black weddings stay going viral on Bellanaija and The Shaderoom post-wedding proposals damn near every other week. So for me, these tweets are just not adding up.

However, I do believe there are a number of black men who for whatever reason just don’t like black women but constantly find ways to disrespect us. I honestly do not care for them, because I only have time, energy and love for the black men who love, respect, honour and appreciate black women. Despite what the Twitter timeline says I know in my heart there are black men out there who want black women just as much as we want them. So don’t believe the hype BLACK LOVE is not dead.

Black Love is all that plus a bag of chips

Some may wonder why there’s a need to specify love with an ebony adjective as if there’s something great about Black Love. Well, guess what…there is! It’s not a movement of being anti-everyone else, but it’s deeper than just melanin in our skin. It’s a representation of the strength that exists when Black and Brown men and women come together, in spite of discriminations and oppositions. It’s the model of resilience and influential progress in our communities. Black Love is about excellence and legacy.

Arguably the most celebrated and most known example of Black Love is Barack and Michele Obama. Since his presidency, the world has been able to witness the love a Black man has for his wife and for his children. Which is a narrative that social media tells us doesn’t exist any more and often times we don’t see it at all in reality. Every chance Barack gets he makes sure to let Michelle, and the world, know just how much he loves her. Whether it’s with a candid look of admiration, a gently affectionate touch, or a surprise happy 25th-anniversary video, the love they share is evident. It shows up in the happiness and support they receive from their daughters. It’s a love that exemplifies family as the cornerstone of Black Love.

Examples are everything

The biggest and most influential example of Black Love that I’ve had in my life was my grandparents. I was always able to feel the love they shared for one another. They renewed their vows for their 50th Anniversary and I was a candle-lighter in their ceremony. It was truly a celebration of holy matrimony that was purposeful and impactful. My grandfather was a pastor for 50 years and my grandmother was a social worker for 40 years, so their lives were dedicated to love and compassion for others. Loving each other and being an example for generations to follow was their love language. They were married 58 years with 9 children before my grandfather passed away in 2004. My grandmother passed away in 2008 but their love, selflessness, and service to others still live on.

The most important component to anything with substance is the foundation. So when it comes to Black Love or any love, self-love is that foundation. Not just a love for your skin tone, facial features, or the texture of your hair. It’s loving the person you are in the inside as well as the outside. It’s truly knowing your true value without anyone else’s validation. Self-love is influential when it comes to the type of people we’re attracted to and types of relationship we get into. We can’t pour from an empty cup, so it’s important to note that we can’t truly love someone else unless we love ourselves. We can’t fully receive love without knowing first-hand what love feels like. We must trust ourselves enough to love and to be loved.

Having examples of love allows us to love optimistically. Being a part of love allows us to love intentionally. Black Love is knowing and being comfortable with who we are so that we can love without limits or restraints. Black Love is a phenomenon that’s the fabric of our past, present, and future.

Written

by Terrance

A published Author, Poet and Blogger, to read more of his amazing work check out his website Thebrownsugarcafe.blog

Please note this post is part of a the Views From The Mandem series, to catch up with the series click the links below

PART 1 – Co-existing with Stereotypes 

PART 2 – A Black Mans Mental Health Journey