Welcome to Black History Month 2013. This is a month to enjoy and celebrate the legacy of our ancestors and encourage the development of future leaders. This is a time of not only celebration, but also a time to embrace the greatness of being Black. We as people have come a long way to get to the point in time where we are today.
In the middle of February, there is also another celebration that we all celebrate. This is celebration is what we call Valentine’s Day. This is a day of love, intimacy and affection. Many of you will exchange gifts, go to dinner, or enjoy a movie with a partner. This will be a great experience.
February is a jam-packed month with many things to be proud and happy about. So, with a day to signify love in the month to signify Black excellence, it is only right to think about Black love. After seeing photos of the 2013 Presidential Inauguration, there was one photo that stood out the most. This was the epic photo of First Lady Michelle and President Barack Obama dancing at the Commander-in-Chief’s Inaugural Ball.
This image is epic because we do not get to see this often on a day-to-day basis, let alone in mainstream media. During that week,
I asked several people when was the last time they’d seen two Black people in such an intimate form. The answer came after a period of silence.
One person replied, “The Huxtables.” My response was, “Wow!” In order for us to recount the last time we have seen a Black couple show love and affection, we had to go back to a television program that went off the air in 1992!
The positive Black love media examples that we have are few and far between. We have many things with the word “love” in t
he title or the concept of love as the premise. However, the actual message that comes from the television show, movie or song is not the most constructive or acc
urate on what love is supposed to be. This leads to the questions, “Does Black love exist? If it does, why don’t we see it more often in our day-to-day interactions with people?”
Since it is Black History Month, it is only right to mention a few Black couples that exemplified the meaning of what Black love is all about. Many people are familiar with Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King. However, do you know about Robert F. Williams and his wife Mabel Robinson? Do you know about the efforts of Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz?
How about the continued work of Dr. Phil and Nalani Valentine? These are examples of Black couples whose love for each other spilled over to the love for their people. These are couples who put their lives on the line to create justice for Black people. These are excellent examples of Black love.
Another couple that is often overlooked is Medgar Evers and wife Myrlie Evers-Williams. Both are staples of Black love. They met in college and had three children. In 1954, the Everses moved to Mississippi. Together they worked to organize voter-registration drives and civil rights demonstrations. As prominent civil rights leaders in Mississippi, the Everses became high-profile targets for White supremacist violence and terrorism. In 1962, their home in Jackson was firebombed in reaction to Medgar’s organized boycott of downtown Jackson’s White merchants.
Brandon Jones, M.A., a BeMore coordinator, welcomes reader responses to [email protected].