Sunday August 10 marked the season 3 premiere of the reality series Black Love on OWN.
The docuseries features various famous Black couples from former NBA superstar Grant Hill and his wife Grammy nominated singer-songwriter Tamia to other couples such as actress Tia Mowry-Hardict and her model/actor husband Cory Hardict, Academy award winning actress Viola Davis and husband Julius Tennon.
Black love has been a pillar of the Black community. Beyoncé and Jay Z Will Smith and Jada, and even Barack and Michelle Obama, no matter what couple comes to mind, these couples have established the trend in popular culture that is Black love.
Black Love goes beyond the typical recipe for love at first sight. Each couple break the fourth wall and invite the viewers into the intimate details of their courtships, revealing the many trials and triumphs along the way.
Despite what is shown on screen, the demographics on Black marriage paint an interesting picture.
According to a study on Black Demographics.com, “in 2016 29% of African Americans were married compared to 48% of all Americans.” The study went on to argue that there is a rising trend in unmarried Black women, reporting 48% in 2016 from 44% in 2008 and 42.7% in 2005. For a myriad of reasons, Black people are getting married at a much slower rate than their other American counterparts. These reasons are dissected in the popular culture, from Black women being vilified for refusing to settle to Black men being vilified for dating outside their race.
Whether one is for the affirmative or negative, Black love is a never-ending slippery slope; Is one’s love less significant if their significant other is not Black? Should one’s love be vilified for solely wanting Black love?
The two opposite ideas of Black love being possible to Black love being extinct is a dichotomy that has been running rampant among Black America. Every second of every minute of every hour of every day there is a couple getting engaged or getting married and posting a picture of social media with the hashtag #BlackLove. The very next second another person shares the same post, with the hashtag #Goals. This helps this phenomenon literally go viral, prompting other Black individuals they can find the same.
Visual interpretations of Black love have prompted shows like Black Love to emerge. In the age of social media and reality television, viewers have taken on both a visualizing and voyeuristic approach to every life. Believing the instances that go on in the lives of individuals we admire on film and television channels the inner motivation that the same instances can be attained by the admirers of the individuals.
Case in point, “Michelle and Barack Obama are #goals and #BlackLove.” How many times has this come across one’s timeline?
Furthermore, whether debated through statistics or adapted on television and film, Black love is a phenomenon that has stood the test of time. One should not be vilified if one doesn’t achieve it nor should one be vilified for wanting to achieve it.