The prototype: ‘Dear Culture’ podcast looks at Black love throughout history

Black folks have gone through it all, from slavery to Jim Crow, and we've come out of the other side with higher love for ourselves and our partners

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February is Black History Month, and the Dear Culture podcast is celebrating Black life and Black love. Black folks have gone through it all, from slavery to Jim Crow, and we’ve come out of the other side with higher love for ourselves and loved ones.

That’s why on the Dear Culture podcast, theGrio‘s hosts Shana Pinnock and Gerren Keith Gaynor are taking the time to talk about all things love. From observations and concerns to wishes, this week we’re asking: “Dear Culture, why is Black love the greatest element to Black life?”

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“Vanity politics and ideals of Black love has a lot to do with, for lack of a better word, generational curses,” says Pinnock. 

Gaynor reminds us that the one thing that often anchors the Black community is Black love. From the Obamas to Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance’s relationship, it’s beautiful to witness Black love without struggle. Pinnock defines “Black struggle love” as the experience of a partner cheating or hurting their partner and the other partner “stick[ing] through it,” for better or worse. When people walk away from concepts like that, Black love is marked by mutual respect and admiration, a prize.

“We don’t see enough visibly pro-Black couples, and it creates this adulation. We prop [people] on pedestals,” says Gaynor to Pinnock.

We Belong Together
(Photo/Fotolia, @Wayhome Studio)

Many of us talk about old school relationships when referencing Black love, but Shana argues that romanticizing the past can be harmful, because we often don’t have the full picture. Many folks, especially women, couldn’t leave their partners over abuse or infidelity in the past, due to financial constraints.

“We have to get out of the idea that we have to stay with someone just because we’re married to them. Divorce is an option. Even if you’re not married, leaving that man is an option,” reminds Gaynor.

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It’s important for us to live in our truths and never over idolize any relationship. From the rise of Black queer love both off and on screen to breaking cultural myths surrounding Black love, Black people loving up on each other will always be steady throughout time. 

Tune in Dear Culture, the smart, reliable Black news podcast. Now streaming on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Stitcher.

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!

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