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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.

BeMore SquareIn 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,

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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.

Medgar Evers was one of the most prominent civil rights activists in Mississippi. He fought injustice in many forms, including how Mississippi’s state and local legal systems handled crimes against African Americans.Medgar Evers was assassinated in his driveway on June 12, 1963. Evers was shot from long range in the back. The murderer, Byron De La Beckwith, was not brought to justice and convicted until 1994, some 31 years after the assassination. This conviction was due to the endless work and determination of wife Myrlie Evers-Williams to achieve justice for her husband’s murder.The Everses are just one of many examples of how and what Black love is. Many other examples are people who did not hold such status. Many were our parents, grandparents, and other family members.Therefore, to answer my question, yes. Black love does exist. Even though we do not see it daily, it is there. Black love is not easy. However, Black love is possible.Black love is not a wonder. However, Black love is essential. This February, make sure you embrace the essence of not only being Black or in a romantic relationship. Embrace the fact that Black love is beautiful, powerful, revolutionary and necessary. 

Brandon Jones, M.A., a BeMore coordinator, welcomes reader responses to [email protected]

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