The mainstream perception of the ‘angry black woman’ and the ‘brutish black man’ does not equate with black men and black women coming together in loving, tender ways. Part of the lore and the lure of the black mystique, involves some kind of brutish exoticism, where the wild orgiastic sex is synced to the writhing relentless beat of native drums. (Hmmmm….actually that doesn’t sound that bad, in fact I think I’ve done that….But I digress.) Add to that the inherent sensual mystery at our core, which rejects casual voyeuristic exploitation regardless of our attempts to override that mandate. On the rare occasions I see Black people making love on film, it is that depth, that rawness which pulls me down the rabbit hole past titillation and surface arousal, into a realm where I cannot just watch, because I am an intruder, and in violation of something sacred and soulful.
Screaming pillow fights, chasing the wet soapy dog around the yard, nuzzling your man while he’s doing the dishes, sweet whispers and cuddling after making love, big calloused hands trying to hook her delicate clasp, these images are not automatically associated with Black Love. Though rarely captured in print or on screen, there is great tenderness in us as Black Lovers. The recognition of our survival, the fragile nature of our safety, the joy of secrets shared, the pride of our families, the infectious humor and bone deep grief, are precious patches sewn together in the warm quilt of our Lovin’. It’s one of the reasons I truly miss the Obamas. Their transparent loving and effortless affection demonstrated every time we saw them together, allowed the world a peephole glimpse into who we really are in coupling. Capturing these images in the ordinary and the celebrated is crucial to creating the new paradigm, and a more accurate mythology surrounding Black Love.