Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Black Love Renaissance

I absolutely LOVE this picture of Barack and Michelle. No matter what your political leanings are towards Obama,  his health care plan, the Noble Peace prize, the Afghanistan war, etc. there is no denying  that the Obamas have brought Black Love back on the scene!     In this  picture we can see the tenderness in his embrace, the joy in Michelle's face and we know that it's about to be ON after this shoot. Can't you just imagine what that brother whispered in his wife's  ear!?!  WOW, it must be nice!!!!!

Well it's almost February and Black Love Day (aka Valentines Day) is almost here.  Being the genuine "Love Ambassador" that I am....I have decided to put out a nationwide call for a Black Love Renaissance in 2010.  That's right, I want to bring that blue-lights-in-the-basement-hugged-up-in-the-corner kind of Black Love back. Let me explain..........
  • The kind of love that makes you want to cook your man some hand picked collard greens, fresh skillet fried corn, fried chicken dipped in buttermilk and then bake a 3-layer chocolate cake from SCRATCH!
  • That kind of love that makes you sing a Luther song at the top of your lungs to your lover; even knowing darn well that you CAN'T sing.   
  • The kind of love that your man can stand across the room and give you that look which causes you to go get your purse, tell your friends bye and leave your OWN birthday party.
  • The kind of love that will make you TURN-OFF the game during the play-offs (And yes, brothers this has been documented to have happened before. I know it's hard to believe, right? ) 
  • The kind of love that makes you have flashbacks about the night before while you are in the middle of your presentation at work.
  • The kind of love that makes you go in the closet/bathroom to call your girlfriend just to say, " I absolutely LOVE This Man!" (Some of y'all know exactly what I'm talking about)
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY, the kind of love that makes you stop in the middle of whatever you are doing and PRAISE God for blessing you with your soul-mate. 
Well, I am quite sure you get the point. In 2010, Black Love is making a comeback (not that it ever really left) but it has taken a couple of hits in recent years.  Black Love has been the key to our survival as a community.  Of course, black love also encompasses loving our families, loving our culture, loving our selves, loving our community,etc.  However, in this article I am focusing on the cornerstone of black love in our community; black couples.  Below I have listed 5 simple strategies for couples to get started in re-igniting the Black Love Renaissance movement in our community.   

 #1. Dust off the albums and bring out the black love classics

Luther, Donnie Hathaway, Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrass, the Isley Brothers, Anita Baker, must I say MORE?  I haven't seen the actual studies to support this yet, but I know from first-hand experience that there is some type of chemical reaction that happens to black people when we listen to black love songs.  We start getting starry eyed, our hips start swaying, brothers' voices start getting deeper, sisters start batting  eye-lids, and then some type of MAGNETIC pull starts bringing couples closer together!  It's true. Don't take my word, just try it!   

#2. Talk to each other; not at each other. Talk.

Communication is key to helping couples understand each other.  True understanding brings security; security heightens intimacy; intimacy strengthens relationships.  Please don't try to read your partner's mind unless you are a certified "mind-reader"! What would our community look like if we stopped assuming that our understanding of male and female roles was the same as our mate? Matter of fact, just stop assuming that your concept of  the other sex's role is even right or practical. We are ALL trying to figure this thing called life out. Take some time to learn, discover, discuss and define your roles together!  Healthy relationships seek to make each person feel like their voice, feelings and opinions matter. Stop assuming and start talking.

#3. Please TOUCH each other more!

Scientific studies show that human beings require touch to grow, develop and even survive during the development stages. Human touch is necessary and critical for the survival of a healthy relationship.  Sometimes when we are having challenges in our relationships the first thing we take away from our mates is the gift of touch. We can also give off energy that sends out a message to our partner that "touching me is not allowed".  Yet we will turn around and complain of a lack of intimacy. Touch is a form of intimacy and is not limited to pre-sex. Try touching your partner more while watching TV, cooking, driving, etc.  Just a gentle touch can say to your partner,  "Baby, I love you and I care about you."   

#4. Support your mate spending time with others.
Give your partner the space and support to spend time with friends and family even without you.  Gender bonding is important for your mate. In some indigenous cultures, gender groups go off for months together leaving their spouses behind for greater gender bonding. Let's respect that the brothers may just want to chill together, watch the game, eat some snacks and have a couple of laughs without us sometimes.  And Brothers, it's equally as important for sisters to spend time with our girlfriends in a "man free zone". Fortifying yourself helps to fortify the overall relationship.

#5. Pray together.

Nothing can separate us from the love of God!  God's love is never changing and is all encompassing. Regardless of what's going on with your relationship the foundation of any true love IS God.  As you and your partner place God as the core of your relationship, all types   of possibilities can open up in your thinking.  Love is about surrendering and not controlling. (Whew, I just stepped on my own toes that time!) God's love can sustain those that HE has brought together. As the scripture says--Love Never Fails!

*BONUS TIP: Get Out of the BOX!!!!!

If you haven't seen Avatar yet, please go to the movies.  Personally this is one of my all time favorite love movies.  I think this movie is packed with so many lessons that can be applied to our  love relationships.  The beauty of the movie is that the main characters are driven by their love for nature, love for their community, love for the wonders of life, love for adventure, and ultimately their love for each other.  The ultimate lesson I got from the movie is that we can chart our own course in our relationships.  We can teach each other, we can learn from each other, we can follow each other and we can both lead each other.  Sometimes chartering a new course requires adapting new methods and letting go of preconceived notions about relationships.  If you want better results in your love experience, then  maybe you should try a different approach.  Stop judging, start loving and GET OUT OF THE BOX!  

Stay tuned for A Black Love Renaissance Part II........


LuvSeeker said...

Sister I am waiting on this black love Renaissance....

Unknown said...

Me too! LOL

Emerging ChangeMakers Network said...

My friends younger brother just went on his first couples retreat during New Years. The girlfriends planned it-packing food and drinks and making hotel reservations and the guys drove packed the cars and drove in caravan to the resort. The fellas were so excited that they had finally moved into "grown up" love that they wanted to invite other people next year because as one of the guys put it "this is about celebrating Black Couples". I asked him what made him say that and he said look at the Obama's.