by Panama Jackson, The Root Blackness is complicated and always will be, Very Smart Brothas’ Panama Jackson says, so it’s no surprise that the definition of “black love” isn’t simple. If two Black people are dating or married and in love, does that, by default constitute Black love? Is seeing a woman pick up her son and give him a kiss on the cheek … is that Black love? Or two good friends doing the Black man handshake-hug combo that I’ve seen so many other ethnicities f*ck up with tremendous aplomb. Seriously, why is that sh*t so difficult. I’m not saying that we, The Blacks, are just more dexterous and athletic than everybody else, but we definitely have coordination on lock. You know what, we’re more athletic too. It takes a real athlete to do some of these handshakes we do. In high school, me and two of my best friends had a 15-step handshake. It was as ridiculous as it sounds. I promise. Is that Black love? I mean the dedication and loyalty we exacted in order to efficiently bust out that handshake? We were committed to one another because who the hell else would we be able to do that? That’s got to be it right? In truth, I think the entire concept of Black love is just that … a concept. [It’s] those horrendously cliche ass pictures that you see being sold in mall kiosks with some naked, rippled Black man holding some naked nubian black woman with their bodies intertwined. While I’d never ever put that type of picture up in my house — my tastes are a bit more discerning than that — I get why they exist. Black love is the ideal of unity and togetherness. It’s this ideal of strength shared between two people attempting to reach a common goal
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