In the absence of black love on movie screens, music videos and magazines, there is black love. At a time when it is more likely to find a real representation of a unicorn than black love, black love is in full effect in the most unlikely place: the White House. President Obama and his beautiful wife Michelle bring black love into full view for all to see. Many European Americans seem to think that black love has never existed. Their reference for black love or the absence of black love is framed by slavery and more recently the often misogynistic representations seen in rap music videos.
For those of us who still have memory of when momma and daddy loved each other, when daddy would give mom a kiss on the cheek or a pat on the rear as he went off to work, black love is not a novelty. However, for many African Americans and main stream America, the Cosby Show was the first glimpse of black love within families. Not since Cosby and Phylicia Rashad has there been such a positive representation of black love and relationships. The blessing is that, Mr. President and the first Lady are not characters on a TV screen. They are real people, who know the price one must pay to maintain family, profession and now the highest office in the land.
The first family offers the opportunity to deconstruct the view of black male/ female relationships and to transform the meaning and representation of black love. President Obama seems to have the ability to step outside his position of power and give props to the mother of his children and his life partner. The Obamas appear to have loved themselves beyond their respective Ivy League degrees, and career accomplishments to find a Love Supreme. This is indeed a revolutionary act.
President Obama and Mrs. Obama present a new vision of love, not just black love, but for all America. The first lady acknowledges that theirs is not a perfect marriage, but that they share a commitment to making it work. In photo after photo we see the Obamas with a look of love, respect and mutual admiration that is hard to fake. There is no doubt that there will be plenty of love and love making between the sheets at 1700 Pennsylvania Avenue for the next four years.
As the first family navigates its way through the next four or hopefully eight years, we must keep them in our prayers and intentions that their union will continue to grow stronger with each passing day and each new challenge, and that at the end of the Presidency, they will be more in love than ever. I dedicate this song by Oleta Adams to Mr. & Mrs. Obama. "Just Before I Go to Sleep".
There are many examples of black love all around us. We only need shut off the negative images of black relationships that bombard us and look around us to our parents, sisters and brothers and friends who have shared a union of black love for 25-50 years or more. Is black love easy, of course not; nothing worth having ever is. Yet if we are to rescue the souls of our children from consumerism, narcissism, and greed, love with be the healing balm that will re-unite and heal our families, our communities and our nation.