Celebrating Black Marriage

Monday, March 24, 2014
March 23, 2014 was National Black Marriage Day, something I was unaware of until a few months ago. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how important it is to recognize and celebrate marriage in the black community!  As an African-American bride-to-be I didn’t distinguish marriage (or love) by color or race.  Love is “color blind” but fashion, bridal magazines, wedding websites, bridal resources and mainstream media are not! 

Finding wedding resources that showcase people like “me” was more difficult then I thought it would be.  Although mainstream resources are limited, black love (contrary to popular belief) is not! National Black Marriage Day has inspired me to share what is so amazing about black marriage and why I think its so important in my own community.
  • Positive Representation – I have a certain disdain for how blacks are represented in the media and I fear the repercussions it’s having on young people. I grew up in a household where my parents were (and still are) married. Contrary to popular belief some of us are actually husbands and wives, in faithful, spiritually graced, loving, healthy relationships.  Yes marriage and relationships are work but no they are not all morally questionable, violence heavy, incredibly damaged, pseudo-legal unions as represented on TV (I mean you Real Housewives).  It is just so important to show the world that black love is real, and if not the world our children. 
  • The General Good Stats – marriage results in decreases in crime rates, decreases in violent crimes, increases in education, decreases in teen pregnancy, increases in property values, lower suicide rates…and this list can go on and on and on.  Statistics show that marriage does a family and a community good, so drink up! 
  • Emotional Health/ Physical Health – Aside from longevity, marriage has many benefits for you physically. Researchers studying marital health in 17 different nations found that married people are more likely to recognize symptoms, seek medical treatment, avoid risky behavior, recover quicker, and eat a healthier diet. Studies also show that married people have lower rates of depression and other psychiatric disorders. The mental health benefits of healthy relationships can be cited in a multitude of research, as well as overall feelings of happiness. I know so many couples that are better adjusted and generally happier in their relationships.  The happy black couple is a rare image in the media but it does exist.   
  • Building Communities – marriage is a union, a foundation that builds upon itself; with marriage comes family, with family comes legacy. It is important to build up black communities and instill morals, values, and knowledge. Marriage helps improve communities (you see I referenced stats early on) and helps us all find belonging and safety in this crazy world.  Expressing love and happiness, sharing our stories and wisdom, giving credit where its due, ensuring confidence, connecting with others, and challenging each other is how we learn, grow, and build communities (it is also how we behave in a marriage). 
  • Good Ole Fashion Love – I think this is self explanatory but in a nutshell love is an influential emotion that expands from our hearts into actionable, tangible behaviors. Love is a force and that force can move heaven and earth. It can create leaders, start revolutions, incite change, and save lives. Just try it and see what happens ♥  
  • Support - the encouragement and support that comes from black marriage is enormous. Watching my friends and family commit to each other and God is something words cannot truly describe.  How that commitment translates into supporting others is something I really find amazing!  We as a couple on this journey have received counsel from so many couples new and old. They have freely given their advice, recommendations, and care. I find the biggest champions and advocates for my own marriage have been those that have walked the walk.  

I could go on and on about the importance of showing children stable environments or the financial benefits of marriage but I think you see where I’m going -- marriage can be great! So thank you black marriage for changing my life for the better. Black love is powerful; it is giving, kind, resilient and so very REAL. It deserves celebration so that is what I hope to do giving kudos to a few couples I know…

Justin + Akuba

Alex + Taka

Keith + Marlene

Carlton + Tashia

Jeroskee + Sharon

My grandparents + Mom (on her wedding day) Circa 1983

Black Marriage Day started in 2003 as an idea from the Wedded Bliss Foundation; starting out in only 30 cities the event has grown to over 300 communities across the country.  The Wedded Bliss Foundation is a community-based organization helping couples develop healthy relationships and marriages to improve their lives, better the outcomes for children and create stronger communities and families. Their work was featured on CNN's Black in America 2 (2009). 


1 comment:

  1. I would love to add more pictures to this post! If you have pictures from your wedding day feel free to share them via email with your first names and I will add to the collection! #blacklove

    ReplyDelete

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