Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hey everyone!

This weekend I literally did nothing. I mean...NOTHING. I wanted to get as much rest as I could to fully recuperate from any lingering cold I may have had...and I think it helped a great deal. I feel a bit refreshed and ready to tackle the week!

Yesterday, my boy Melvin IM'd me a link to Media Takeout. All my coworkers know how I feel about this ridiculous site, but I clicked on the link to read the story titled: HATERATION??? RADIO PERSONALITY TOM JOYNER CLAIMS BEYONCE IS UPSET SHE MARRIED JAY Z … CALLS JIGGA A THUG!!!!

(I'm sorry...this site is just buffoonery to me...there...I said it)

But the reason Melvin sent me the link was to piggyback off a discussion we were having about Barack and Michelle Obama and whether or not our people will embrace them as an example of real, Black love. They grace the cover of this month's issue of Ebony Magazine under that same banner - REAL LOVE.

It's a beautiful sight to see. I think the last time I saw such a prominent couple nationally known as a beaming example of beautiful Black love, it was on The Cosby Show.

But are the Heathcliff and Claire Huxtubles of the world really real...or are they fictional like their tv characters? Barack and Michelle Obama show us that they are real. They do exist. Black love is alive and well. But is it thriving? Does it only exist in one form?

I don't know how true that Media Takeout story is, as I don't listen to Tom Joyner. But it did get me to thinking about the recent Inaugural Ball where Jay-Z and Young Jeezy broke fool in front of the crowd:

Now, last week I posted a clip of Beyonce singing "At Last" as the First Couple danced their first dance. Beyonce was overcome with emotion as she serenaded them - she was PROUD. Then we see the clip of her husband above and it makes me you think she was proud of her man in that moment?

Maybe she was. Maybe she wasn't. Maybe she sees nothing wrong with the words he chose to use on the day of the Inauguration of our first Black President. After all, she knows who he is. She's been with him for years and probably knows him better than anyone.

She loves him. She is his wife. She's the Bonnie to his Clyde. They are a powerful, Black couple.

But when you think of REAL, Black love...who do you think of? Do you think of Bey and Jay? Do you think of Will and Jada? George and Weezy? Your parents? Grandparents? Is there more than one look to real, Black love?

We love the way Barack looks at Michelle, with her stunning self. We love the way she stands by her man. He calls her the rock of their family and the love of his life. She respects him as her husband and father to their children. They are two whole selves who came together with a shared purpose and direction in life. They are intelligent, humble, devoted, people who hug, kiss, fist-bump and show true intimacy.

They definitely serve as a magnificent example of what Black love can look like. But I think Black love can take on many faces. Should we use Michelle and Barack as THE ONLY example of Black love to measure all other forms of Black love and to judge other Black couples by their example? Is that fair, or is it about time?

Tell me your thoughts on this. I, for one, embrace them as role models for what Black love could and should be. Their "oneness" is empowering. The love and life they've built together inspires me. Should they be THE example to measure ALL real, Black love from? Maybe not. But can you go wrong by following their lead? ABSOLUTELY NOT.



Anonymous said...

HA B*tches!!!!
I am first!!!!!LOL don't ask me why I am up this late. But I will pull an Annamaria and leave my comment later after I get some sleep and can form a complete sentence....See ya in couple hours....But just to prove that I did read it...Why would Beyonce be mad she married Jay-Z. that's just stupid.....And I hope that people especially in the media truly see what black love really looks like, and starts portraying that instead of the rubbish they show now. Its just like the Cosby show no one believed that a black family could be upper middle class like they were.....

Any how I'll see you soon baboon...sorry Brahims been saying that all day!!!LOL

E.Payne said...

President Obama and First Lady Michelle shouldn't be the MEASURE. I mean, what are you measuring? At the end of the day none of us know them personally. But I do feel they are a perfect example. I just read Obama's chapter on family in his book The Audacity of Hope and found myself laughing at all the things that sounded ripped right out of my own life. So are they an example, most definitely because I'm sure we can all relate in one way or another to different aspects of the positivity they exude and either reflect that or aspire for that in our own.

For the media, sure, I do hope that for them they are the quintessential example of Black Love. But for anyone who is black and in love or black and looking for love know that that father you see strolling (not walking) down the street with his kids, or that couple out to dinner or walking hand in hand in to church, that's black love as are a thousand other examples - it's always been right there. But in the Information Age it's very easy to portray what you want to portray. Especially buffoonery, as you like to call it, Brooke.


Pretty Ricky What Dey Call'em said...

It's funny... because luckily I have a shining example of Black Love in my life everyday. I see it in my parents... so to me black love has always been alive and kicking. And up until college, I have to say in my own little world of friends... that was the norm for me. Now I can't say that it's not nice to see the most powerful person in the world is black and "appears to be" happily married to a black women. I love that shyt. As for Beyonce and Jay...well maybe there the urban version of that in the world of glitz in glamour even though I'm a little suspicious cuz I'm Ol' Skool... but why don't you wear your ring again??? I never fell for that Cliff and Claire Huckstable bull... cause they never hauled off and beat the mess out of the kids... but they were funny. And it was a good change from the Goodtimes Version of black love. (Dam Dam Dam!) But for me, I don't need my examples in front of the cameras for everyone to see... unless the cameras or going to be there when they show how Barack and Michelle battle it out when Barack leave the toilet seat up, or he stays out just a little to late with his boys, or Michelle done bought some shyt from the Jay Crew Catalog and ran up a credit card or two. Show me the real love in that... and then they can be my examples. Until then... it is definitely nice to see, and it's nice for the rest of the world to get another view of the black family other the one parent, baby momma, daddy out running the streets if he's around at all version.

Anonymous said...

OK I'm not first on a Monday morning....Let the tasing begin!!!! lol

ANYWHO... Barack & Michelle are a BEAUTIFUL couple. Their love is an inspiration & should be admired by all!!
That being said. I don't consider Bey & Jay, Will & Jada or the Cosby's the epitome of black love. WHY because they live in a different world than the rest of us. Marriage is sort of a business arrangement to them. I see real people as my inspiration. For example my boyfriends Aunt Edith. Her husband passed last month. They had been married since the 60's. They moved up to NY together after they got married. Bought a house, started a family & a business. They were together through thick & thin & good times & bad. At his funeral you could just feel the love between them. You could feel how much they had each other's backs. As she said it wasn't always easy BUT they made it. I asked for a copy of their wedding photo because to me THAT's my inspiration...:)

Brooke said...

B, you're funny :) The "haul off and beat their kids" line had me crackin up! For the record tho, neither me nor my sister got spanked. I'm jus sayin... ;)

Annamaria, let me play devil's advocate. Are you saying that because celebrities are in the spotlight, their love isn't or can't be real? Can it be argued that BECAUSE they're in the spotlight, with so many temtations and options around them, that it's a testament to those couples who DO manage to stay together? Will and Jada have said that the key to their successful relationship is to make divore NOT an option. I think that's brave. So many of us can easily find a way out, and alot of times we take it. For a couple who can easily break up, and be okay financially and find other partners to be with while the kids are being taken care of by nannies, etc., I think that's a courageous way of thinking.

We don't know any of these people personally or what their relationships are like. Who knows, maybe Michelle does regulate when he leaves the toilet seat up. She's done interviews where she's said "he doesn't pick up his socks." For some couples, their love is it Michelle or Barack or your grandparents.

And not for nothing, isn't marriage a contract? Sort of like a business arrangement? It may have been born out of love, but love alone doesn't make a marriage. I'm not married, so I'm not going to even pretend to know - but I elieve marriage is a partnership between two people who share common values and goals who are on the same path. Correct me if I'm wrong, but to me, that's almost like running a business. I think that just because some Hollywood couples operate that way, may not make their love any less real. I guess that's why I begged the question of what does real love look like? It can look like many things, not just what we know in our own little world.

Anonymous said...

Brooke...Very good points... I think it can go both ways. Like I understand that people like Will & Jada made divorce not an option & that is one of the keys to their success & I'm sure Michelle & Barack are living a dream right now. BUT I think some of the everyday normal challenges are missing from these people's life. FOR ME I admire the couples that can get through these challenges together. I admire the "little" people in the world. The so called normal.LOl
Not saying that celebrity love may not be real or genuine or forever it just seems a bit trival to me.

Pretty Ricky What Dey Call'em said...

Brooke... That's what's wrong with you!!!!

Brooke said...

I think some...maybe MOST celebrity relationships may be trivial...but that's because we ASSUME these people don't have real problems and concerns like we do. Maybe money isn't one of their issues, but I think they face normal, everyday challenges too. They just may be different than the ones we face...but not necessarily less challenging. That's an assumption I don't think we should make.

Ain't nothing wrong with me B!

Anonymous said...

I mean I understand that they go through problems. Everyone does regardless of whether you are in a relationship or not. I just think certain situations may lead you to turn a blind eye to certain things also. I guess I'd prefer to admire a couple that I've seen with my own two eyes go through good & bad & make it than to admire someone that is totally out of my world. I admire the couples around me. Or people like your sister. Who adapted a whole new religion on her own to embrace her hubby's religion & life. And her hubby who loved her regardless of who she was worshipping. Stuff like that I can respect.

P.S.-There ain't nothing wrong with Brookey! LMAO BBBBZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Brooke said...

I agree, regular folk that we see in our everyday lives are the type of examples we need to see more of. As far as the media, I hope they begin to show the diversity of love that we represent. Hopefully they'll be enlightened by our President and First Family.

B's just mad cuz he got whupped left and right when he was a kid. Cuz he was BAD! Nicole and I were good girls :)

Anonymous said...

I think many times, in forums like this, a lot of y'all miss the point.

See, the type of people (us) who go on blogs and converse about these topics...we really don't need a good example of Black love. I mean, we're educated, comfortable to a large degree in our lives, well-adjusted, etc.

The reason it DOES need to be a big deal of the Obamas as a good example of Black love is honestly for one type of person - the ignorant one. And there are quite a few of them. White people get their impressions of us from the media and entertainment sources. So if, say, Menace II Society is the most popular movie out, then Kane's relationship with Jada's character may be taken as "Black love". If one turns on TV and watches Maury or any court show, that will be the impression of typical Black love. WE don't see it, but that's cuz we are who we are.

And it's not just white people...cuz there are a great number of ignorant people of color who see certain images and think of that as who we are. I STILL hear people say the Cosby's were fake and weren't real, yet I literally know tons of families like them. Oh, and whomever said Cliff wasn't willing to tax that ass obviously isn't a faithful fan of the show...cuz while they never showed the kids get beat, Cliff and Claire threatened and had to be restrained from killing those kids on numerous occasions...which I appreciated.

My sister never got beat by anyone but me. So she could essentially be a fact, dwelling back on it, she pretty much is...

We tend to blame and recognize the media when it's convenient, but forget about it at others. Maybe I'm always in tuned with it's effects and personal responsibility since I work in the media. But it can't be denied...the ignorant amongst us (and I'd say they outnumber the enlightened) get their impressions of "Black love" and other things from public perceptions formed by what's in the media and, it's great that the Obamas can serve as a positive example of what Black love is, rather than Shaniqua trying to figure out which of 5 men are the father of her 3 kids on whatever show. The President serves as the ultimate role model for our community to the world and to our own community, and we should be happy and embrace that.

By the way...there are many, many examples of positive Black love out there. I think of Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis; Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance; Flex Alexander and Shanice; Grant hill & Tamia; Rev run & Justine, and yes - Will & Jada. Don't let the media fool you into thinking this is the first famous example of great Black Love.

I also agree with we should look to examples we know. However, what you guys have to realize - many people don't have the positive examples you may have or may have grown up with. Example - I literally only my grandparents on my mother's side as that example for much of my life. But thank God I had that.

My two cents. Oh, and Brooke - I WILL make u a copy of my Ne-Yo CD. Just remind me by week's end.

Anonymous said...

I think we enter a real slippery slope when we start "racializing" love. We spend way to much time in the "idolatry" realm, and not enough time looking within. At the same time I hope that Barack and Michelle (BAM) can inspire people of African descent to work harder in building their relationships, but if a sex scandal went down with BAM, what would you do? Would give up and say, If BAM can't do right, then forget it? At the same time, shouldn't people have been focusing on treating each other with respect before BAM got on the scene? What were we waiting for?

I mean Louis Farrakhan and Khadijah Farrakhan has been married for years, but no one seems to be inspired by their relationship and it is rock solid for over for over 60 years. Why do we even use Jay Z and Beyonce before the elders who have demonstrated "Real Black Love"? (rhetorical questions ya'll)

And I know there are a lot of religious folk on her, so at the same time, why are we turning to idols before we turn to our related book of spirituality? I can't speak for other faiths, but all the answers for me on how to manage a relationship and marriage is in the Quran and related Islamic scriptures.

I know there are a heap of Christians on here, and I'm just posing this question. Doesn't the Bible have everything you need to manage a relationship and give you the tools for engaging in "Black Love"? And for the Atheists out there, what inspires you when you think of "Black Love"?

So Brooke to answer you question, we have to be very careful who we put trust in. Human beings are flawed creatures and too many times we are let down when the entertainers or politicians don't live up to our "messiah" perspective.

Serena W. said...

This is a great blog once again! President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama do inspire me. But as quite a few of you said and especially Rameer's piece there are tons of other couples that also serve as role models for Black Love. I gotta say when Ossie Davis passed away you could see the pain in Ruby Dee's face as she said that was her first and only love. My grandparents always served as a direct inspiration to me...53 years of marriage before Papa died and my Grandmother said, "After God made him He broke the mold, I'll never have a love like him."

Now I'm with E. Payne. What is there to measure and I don't think President and First Lady Obama want to be measured. Their love is unique like the other beautiful black people that have a love of their own. They are in the spot light now and I hope that people can look to them for inspiration and know that there is love still in this world...even in the top spots like the White House :)

Rene The Harlemite said...

There is no color to it.
That's the way it should be looked at. Define White Love...Define Black Love. There are "Black" Coupes that love each other all over the place. Let's not get it twisted...For media purposes it is great but who to know that who love is strong except those that love on another.

I have to agree with E.Payne. We don't them. I hope their love is strong. It 's just like you can have friends that you know that you thought were in a great relationship but then you find out at some point that they had a not so good situation.

A lot of peopl thought the Clinton's were a great couple and you see what happened in that case.

This can go back and forth forever but Love is Blind.

Anthony Otero said...

I agree with E. What is the measurement? I guess what I am more interested is what is black love as compared to white love? While I think that Barack and Michelle do there thing and provides us with an example of what love is, we only see what they show us. I consider love and marriage to be very much like a craft that needs to be worked on for years before it can be perfected.

Unfortunately, there is no manual. We have to rely on movies like Titanic as examples of what we believe to be love. Rameer makes a good point as well about the influences in the media.

I am not sure love has a color. Although, I do think that what presidential couple has is a good example of what 2 people in love look like. The only 2 people in office I have seen to be remotely close was Ronald and Nancy Regan.

Unfortunately, the media too often hypes up the broken relationships of celebrities so when examples of true love show up, we tend aspire to have it.

Sandee said...

Hey Brooke,

Hmmmm I have so much to say but my Damn ADD prevents me from typing so much.
But I will add
throughout this election and especially the past two weeks all I have heard is WOW you can really see how much they love each other and in my head I'm making the Hmmmm sound.
I'm like REALLY you can see that? I mean don't get me wrong I hope that very much is the case but is that what I automatically see when see them show affection?
Hmmmm once again!
Actually when I see this no thoughts come to mind.
1. Because I don’t know them,
2. Because I base true love on a combination of things not just what is visual to me on television or a magazine cover.
3. They are political figures and it would be ridiculous to be any other way in public.
I remember people seeing me with ex's in pictures or in person and people Oohing and Awing over how Beautiful we looked together and OMG I can tell he or she WAS the ONE just by looking at a picture of us. I would often respond to the compliment with a genuine thank you and say in my head Hmmmm laced with a chuckle saying if they only knew.

Just my thoughts that my ADD allowed me to share.

Wishing all TRUE LOVE!

Anonymous said...

hi Brooke;

I find that Michelle is the most charismatic in the obama couple she seems to be a perfect first lady she is clever educated i remember one of her speech she was perfect! (and i know what i am speeking about our first lady (FRANCE) is an ex model, a singer(bad one), and made naked photo, and look likes to an alien)

for me black love is totaly personify by cosby show, and i would like to add nelson mandela couple, her wife was by his side even when he was in prison she was there for him as a support

but i just want to add that i am not really confortable with terms as "black love" maybe because my father is as black as obama and my mum as white as snow
how to qualify this "mixed love"?
take care Brooke

Georgia Peach said...

Hmmm I finally got the chance to read the blog and everyone else's comments. I agree with both Rameer and Oxtail that the positive examples of love in the African American community are for those that are not in the know. As for love being color blind yes it is color blind, but in general as open minded as we are most folks in our community are more comfortable with one of their own and a whole lot of us need to learn how to love each other properly. I'll admit that even though I don't know BAM personally I still get the sense that they love and respect each other a lot. If they don't then they both deserve Oscars, Emmy's or whatever for acting awards cuz they have me convinced.

That's just my two cents.

Love this topic Brooke!

Brooke said...

Of course love has no color, it's colorblind. I totally get that. But the reason I specified Black love is because our relationships are usually portrayed a certain way. Let's face it, as much as some of us may see positive examples of black love everyday, many more of us do NOT. I saw it in my grandparents and great-grandparents...but not so much in my mother's generation. I feel like the days of my great grandparents and grandparents are getting lost. I'm not saying it doesn't exist at all, because clearly it does, but I'm talking about what we see.

And I'm not talking about what White people see necessarily, I'm talking about what WE see. I think the majority of us on this comment chain can point to positive examples that we see or CHOOSE to see...even if we didn't see it growing up. But with statistics that say a little less than half of black women will ever get married, or 70% of children being born to single parents, and our families being broken down in disproportionate numbers compared to other races, I think "black" love is worth discussing...which is why I made this a topic today. When I say "black" love, I don't mean our love is a different kind of love then white people or Asian people or Latino people. I'm talking about the issues that unevenly affect our communities and our relationships.

I know and have met a lot of black children who get their ideas of what a black family should look like from tv as well, because they don't see it growing up. I guess that's why I used Barack and Michelle and other celebrities as examples. To some of them, they think these relationships are not real...that it's a fairy tale made for tv...and hopefully we can show them in "real" life that it CAN be real. Images of how we are portrayed in the media is not just for "white folk"...but to some of our youth, it's for them to see too.

. said...

I have to agree with Sandee on this one...even though I'm one of the same people that sees love when I look at them, how they interact with each other and how he seems to worship her...I'm also the same person that people have looked at a man I was with and how he looked at me from across the room or how well we seemed to be getting along but know absolutely nothing about him or what issues we had in our relationship and have come up to me or called me talking about how they just know he’s the one and all I was thinking was shut up this relationship is so over!!! LMAO!!! So what the hell do I know from just looking at folks! Not a damn thing.

. said...

Sandee and I were just on the phone crackin' up on how y'all are gonna think she's hatin'! LMAO!

Sandee said...

I'm really not Hatin! I'm just not quick to state a fact on people I don't know. Especially when it comes to the complicated magical force of True Love.

Brooke said...

Nah, not thinking she's hating, that makes sense. But again, to play devil's advocate - when people made those comments, was it with people you've been with for a while or just met? I think when people make these statements about the Obamas, they're basing it on more than just a "look" they give each other. If that's the case, seeing black love everyday in our communities can all be a hoax. All of it could be fake. How do you determine what is real and fake based on your everyday lives?

Case in paternal grandparents were married til my grandfather passed away. They fought all the time, but they also stayed together thru 6 kids, 2 of whom will killed while serving our country. They were married for 50 years, yet some who knew them closely would argue that their relationship wasn't always the most loving. But in their day, people just "stayed married." You don't get divorced, cuz that's just not what you do.

Would you still call that love? Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee had an "open marriage" at one point before shutting that down. Is that the epitome of real love for most people? Who knows..

Saying that you see folks married for years, like one's parents, doesn't mean that you know "real" love anymore than what you see from the Obamas or on tv. Unless you see it up close and personal, then none of us can know. We don't know E. Payne's relationship any more than we know Barack Obamas...even though he appears to be in a great marriage too. There's always something going on, so I see Sandee's point. Most of us can SAY we see positive images around us all we want, yet could be completely wrong. In some cases, unless we know the people involved personally, we can simply HOPE that it's true.

. said...

Yes, simply HOPE ;-)

Rene The Harlemite said...

The love in someone else's relationship is not for us to determine. That is left for the two people in the relationship...That becomes the problem with some realtionships. people worry about what everyone else thinks rather that focusing energy on each other to have a great relationship.

Have a great evening everyone!

Anonymous said...

Basically we should go back to basics when it comes to understanding love. I thought Real Love by Ava Muhammad was one of the illest books I read on relationships/marriage. Like many of you said, there's no one book or relationship that will give us all the answers but the more relationship tools you have in your arsenal the better husband/wife or mother/father you'll be.

- Ox

Brooke said...

I don't think we're necessarily worrying about other people's relationships moreso than speaking about examples of what love looks like. Let's face it, if you never see love or feel it around you, how can you learn to recognize it, or where do you draw your knowledge of it. I for one, don't simply use my own relationships as the measure, but I look at people who have successful relationships, who have been together for a while and have wisdom to share. I don't think that's "worrying" about other people's relationships, but rather drawing on someone else's experiences to see how I may apply it to my situation or not.

We all talk about using tools to determine how we can be better in our relationships - whether it's learning by the examples we see or using the Bible or the Qu'ran as our guide. There is no right or wrong way to go about it, just like love doesn't only have one face.

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