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when time jumps back on itself: the gifts of Black love

love notes and reminders for Black folx when the world tells us we aren't enough

today is valentine’s day. a time to celebrate and honor the love in your life - whether romantic, platonic, or complicated. a time to reflect on the ways you’ve felt seen and held and known and the ways you’ve been able to pour that into others (or even yourself). for some, it is a fun way to commemorate a milestone in your relationship. for others, it is a complex day filled with layers of nuance and varying emotion.

for me, it is a day when time jumps back on itself. reminding me of how fast things change and how slowly things remain the same. it is a day to celebrate the Black love child born to my partner and me while grimacing at all the love we are no longer able to pour upon those who have gone on to be ancestors in the past year.

a month ago, we buried my beloved grandmother. and while my heart has not stopped beating, it still feels like i died too. she loved me with a love so deep it would be the most obsidian Black in the crayon box. love is funny like that when you are grieving. it teaches you how to exist in and enjoy the moments of joy while desperately longing to go back in time to a space when your world still made sense.

a year ago today, i told my husband that we were expecting/we’d be parents by november. Fast forward to today - now, here we are, with a baby girl in our arms to hold and even more love in our hearts to carry. though last year seemed like forever, it is almost as if i blinked and turned into a first time mom. love is funny like that with you are on the cusp of new life. it grows in you new capacities and consciousness that allow you to hold more than you could before and compels you to look forward when looking back will hold you up.

and while i am {overall} quite overwhelmed with gratitude and joy on this love day, there are some principles/tips i want us (particularly, Black women) to take with us as we critically engage the gifts that come from Black love. i write these for my grandmother, who taught me what a gentle and steadfast love looks like. i write these for my partner, who is teaching me that, sometimes, love should be as simple as a spoken word and intentional, aligned action. i write these for my daughter, who will teach me how to love and let go so that she, too, may have the agency to become her own, fully realized self.

  1. Black love shows us we are worth more than suffering and worthy of abiding pleasure and softness.

  2. Black love invites us to unashamedly “tell the truth and shame the devil(s)” of misogynoir, patriarchy, and white supremacy at all times.

  3. Black love entreats us to do (and take seriously) the work of wholeness. if not, “they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it (the honorable Zora Neale Hurston).”

  4. Black love teaches us our beauty beyond the white gaze. a beauty that calls us into being bold when and wherever we enter. walk in it.

  5. Black love cannot be reduced down to westernized versions of self-care. Black love is communal and requires us to love on/care for our people and kin.


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Thank you! I enjoy and learn from your words.


Thank you for this beautiful ode to Black love. The world is better because of the power of Black love.

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