An Open Letter to Black Love

This Valentine’s Day I wanted to share a letter to black love. Sadly, I was not able to find the words myself, but I came across a lovely letter online. To read the complete article check out original letter by Shanita Hubbard, and more at

I love and adore you in a way that only another Black person can. I truly need you to see this far beyond a sexual context and beyond just the emotions of one writer. Even though these are my words I would dare to say that others share the same thoughts. The world may be screaming, “We hate you,” but simultaneously, we–your community–are declaring and displaying our love in every way we know how. It’s important that you know this during this season. It’s equally important that you remember the power and resilience that resides in Black love.

Black love is probably the most tested love on the planet. What other love could grow through centuries of slavery, Jim Crow, the new Jim Crow, Nixon, Reagan, and George Bush—parts one and two—and still thrive? What other love can turn an impoverished home into a place where brilliant Black children can grow? I don’t know if I have the language to fully capture the depth of what Black love is. Perhaps I will have better luck if I attempt to describe its resurrection power.

Black love, in all its glory and even flaws, has transformed dead situations. Its turned drug addicted zombies back to themselves and breathed life into people who couldn’t hold on for one more second. Black love has birthed movements and shaped nations. It was Black love that started the Civil Rights Movement and empowered the Black Panthers. This love pushed us to fight for each other and our children. It propelled our heroes to fight for the lives of people that weren’t even born. I imagine it’s what drove Harriet Tubman, inspired Nat Turner, and birthed all of our present-day freedom fighters who defiantly declare that we matter in spite of evidence to the contrary.

Black love is powerful. It’s honest. It is healing. It is transformative—and it’s still highly visible.

It lives in the subtle nod we give one another when we pass each other on the street. This love is felt when we rejoice over the victories of brothers and sisters we never even met. It’s present during those times when we can just sit in each others company and bring peace without ever speaking a word.

Brothers, I wanted to remind you of this love in the face of so much death. I wanted to urge you to tap into it. Beloved, I know the power of Black love. How it heals, changes nurtures and provides strength in our most painful moments. I know you have probably died a little inside with all of the turmoil of 2016, as have I. But if you are crawling into these last few months of 2016 it can help you rise. Sometimes, before you can tap into these sources of love we have to be reminded that you have it and directed where to find it. Please allow this love letter to serve as that reminder.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


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