We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what black love means to them. Here are some of their responses
1. "As a black woman married to a wonderful black man I know what it means to celebrate love and life with someone who truly understands not only my individual nuances, but the nuances of what it means to have black skin in this country. We can have deep, meaningful conversations about how to raise our young son because my husband knows what it means to be profiled, to be judged, to be stereotyped, and to be treated as a threat because of his skin. Black love is nuanced, it's complicated, it's supportive. It's watching my light mocha hand, melt into the deep chocolate of his hand and feel completely understood and unapologetically loved."
– Kristol Boston, Facebook
2. "To us, black love is our mutual decision to be supportive to one another, in each and every way. Love is a choice. The decision to keep coming back to each other every day, no matter how difficult things get. Our expression of love can be when we're sitting around parting one another's hair and oiling or deep conditioning it. It’s when we nag each other, and a lot of times it involves food, like meal prepping or brunch with friends, checking out a museum or walking around our respective cities. Our black love revolves around understanding, educating ourselves or one another about topics we hold near and dear. We're constantly discussing social issues or culture or ethnicity or gender. Being in a same-sex relationship, our black love is often not represented in the black community, or even the LGBTQ community so for us, it's a constant state of enlightenment."
– Amber Ebanks and Rhiannon Walker
3. "My husband and I have been together since 2012 and we recently got married. And for us, black love means so much. Society has done everything they can to separate black people from their families. There has always been road blocks in society making sure that black people could not work together. There's also a negative connotation with black relationships, there is the idea that black men are promiscuous and black women are often hyper sexualised. Additionally, in the media, black couples are typically portrayed in a negative light, and it appears a black relationships would not work and should not work. So because of this, black love symbolises unity, power, strength, and royalty that cannot be duplicated."
– Ashley Divinity
4. "To us black love is being able to emerge ourselves with no inhibitions, we share culture, we share heritage and we share the same trials and tribulations of young and black. It's to experience an undeniable love and to share a future with someone who truly understands you."
– Jay McGregor
5. "I met my partner when we were both 12 on a church revival. He was a country boy and I was a city girl. We were complete opposites, but connected because we were both raised in the same kind of church environment. We wrote each other letters when the trip was over, but eventually we lost contact as we grew older. Well we just so happened to cross paths again two years ago, and have been inseparable ever since.
I completely understand that love has no colour, and no boundaries, but there is something about black love that I find amazing. It's just nice knowing that you have someone in your corner who knows what struggles you are up against daily. Someone who knows because they experience them too. I don't have to worry about someone else trying to make me feel like my feelings are not valid when I feel the way I do. We share the same values and work towards the same goals. We grow together in every way. We share the same love for our culture and our people. I love our black love."
6. "My boyfriend is the first black man I ever dated and now the last man I’ll ever date. Dating this loving supportive black man means I have found someone who fully accepts and understands me. He understands how society views me, and how I feel when I’m placed in social situations where I’m the representation of our entire culture. I don’t have to explain why and how I feel unjust, outcast, or stereotyped. He understands that we have to work twice as hard, and pushes me to go further in life and against all odds. He makes me proud of our culture and its innovative, irrepressible hustle."
7. "My husband and I have been together for 11 years (eek!), married for seven and have two kids. Together we can take on the world. When I'm stressed or worried about something I turn to him and usually his response is very stern but that's exactly what I need to snap out of the state I'm in. He understands me like no other and we work towards the same goals. We are on the same page, of the same book. Sometimes he gets ahead of me or the other way round but somehow we always manage to get to the same point. Our parents didn't really 'show' their loves as in PDA but they were great examples of black love because of their sacrifices and love for their children."
8. "My husband and I started dating when I was 18. I'm 26 now (he's 28) and we've been married for three years this December. For us black love is transcendent. In a time where black is still considered derogatory in society, black love gives you that common ground in the most intimate and personal way. We're both loved, feared and hated for the same thing. We don't just sympathise with each other. We empathise because we're weathering the same storm together at the same level."
9. "Black love means sharing one thing in common with your significant other that couples that date outside of their race can't share, not saying they don't love the same though because love is love.
My boyfriend and I met while he was working security at a club. He had locs, as did I, but I was insecure about the length so I had a wig on that night. Our first date was the first time I wore my locs out in all of their glory, with his encouragement, and I haven't worn a wig since. Something I would not have done if he were someone else, whether a different race or someone that didn't understand my hair journey. We're now six months in, enjoying our loc journey together and loving each other in a way that I've never loved before. Our black love is understanding and loving each other in every way possible, growing together, working together, and laughing together."
10. "As an African national, black love is more than just about two people. In most African cultures, parents will take on the role of parenting, nieces, nephews, cousins, grandchildren, siblings, you name it. Someone in need will always find a home. So black love is just that, it's about a loving couple and their family who happen to all be black. It is based on love, loyalty, endurance, patience and commitment. My dad and step mum are the true epitome of black love, they are both in second marriages but have beautifully merged two families. They've taught us acceptance and a clear importance of sticking together as a team. That is black love, a love that cannot be stopped."
11. "I've always dated white men or women in the past and there was always something that felt missing, some deeper understanding that wasn’t there. I’m in a relationship with a black woman and I just have to say there is something so different, so amazing, so much more comfortable. She can relate to issues that we both face, she’s helped me to love my blackness and embrace it, which was something not possible in previous relationships. Black love is the best love for me. It's lit!"
– Ariel Bussey, Facebook
Some responses have been edited for clarity.