By Madalyn McKnight
I saw a Valentine’s Day showing of The Photograph, a movie that explores two different love stories. The stars, Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield gave phenomenal performances and just looked plain gorgeous doing so. And while I won’t spoil it for those who have not seen it, it left me in deep thought about what black love really means. Some people see it as a cute hashtag followed by pictures of gorgeous brown couples posing and lovingly embracing. I think black love is really navigating this world with someone who knows firsthand the issue that faces black men and women as soon as we step foot out of our houses.
Although wildly popular, Black love being treated as an aesthetic is alarming to me. Especially with increasing news reports of domestic violence on black women with the accused being someone they were in a relationship with or just plain trusted. Let me be clear, black love is not just romantic. You need to not only be compatible with someone you are in a romantic relationship but also your friends and companions. While black is beautiful, black love is so much more than skin-deep. It includes sharing your life and life experiences with someone who can relate to you on a level that helps shape and mold you as a person.
The cast of the hit shows Girlfriends, Living Single, Martin, and A Different World are all examples of black love to me. A group of black individuals who uplift each other and give each other tough love all while being authentic, unapologetic, and unwavering in their devotion to one another. Then it becomes bigger than #blacklove. That’s real love. And that is something we all need to give and receive. Embrace real love, no matter how it comes or who it comes from. But do not treat black love as an Instagram-worthy moment. Dig deep, then dig deeper. Show the world what it really means!
Madalyn McKnight is a Contributing Writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. A rare blackbird who has the range and a young black professional with impactful words! Follow her on Instagram and Facebook at @singsongblackbird and twitter @singsongblckbrd