Black Love?

by Yvonne Chase on February 2, 2012

Hello, my name is Yvonne Chase and I’m confused about the February “Black Love” issue of Essence magazine.  Actress Gabrielle Union and her boyfriend (not husband) Miami Heat NBA player Dwyane Wade are on the cover and featured in the magazine as examples of black love. Why?

Happy Home?
Yes their a good looking couple and yes they may love each other but they’re not married.  His ex-wife is upset somewhere because allegedly Gabrielle broke up her happy home.  Word on the street is Dwyane Wade was married when they got together.  While his marriage might have been on life support, apparently it didn’t stand a chance of revival once Gabby appeared on the scene.  In addition, he has full custody of his two sons from his ex-wife.  I’m sure that didn’t make her too happy.

Lasting Love
We hear and see this story too often in the black community.  It’s time to celebrate real stories of lasting black love.  Here are a few Essence cover-worthy “power couples” that we could all be proud of:

Holly Robinson Peete and Rodney Peete

  • Married 16 years.
  • Raising four children, including one with Autism.
  • Active in supporting other parents of Autistic Children through their HollyRod Foundation.

Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker

  • Married 6 years
  • Raising two children, including a daughter Sophia that has Spina Bifida
  • Started Sophie’s Voice; a foundation to help other children and families living with Spina Bifida.

Viola Davis and Julius Tennon

  • Married 9 years
  • She and her hubby recently adopted a little girl named Genesis
  • She attended Juilliard School in NY and has received several awards including her most recent Best Supporting Actress SAG Award for her starring role in The Help.  Oscar next?

Tamia and Grant Hill

  • Married 12+ years
  • Four years after saying, “I Do,” Tamia was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis yet their love continues to stand the test of time.
  • They are the parents of two gorgeous girls.

Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance

  • Married 16 years
  • Angela received an MFA from the Yale School of Drama and Courtney received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University.
  • They are the authors of Friends; A Love Story and the parents of 6-year-old twins; son Slater Josiah and daughter Bronwyn Golden.
  • She won a Golden Globe, has been nominated for an Oscar and received her star on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Go Angela!

Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee

  • Married 19 years
  • Spike received a BA degree from Morehouse College and a Masters degree from NYU.
  • His wife Tonya is an attorney and together they have two children.

Terry and Rebecca Crews

  • Married 22 years
  • Raising five kids while balancing careers as actors.
  • He’s the star of the sitcom Are We There Yet and they both star in their own reality show The Family Crews.

Met – Married – Maintain
There are so many other “power couples” that could’ve graced the cover and been a much better example of black love; including a non-famous couple with a powerful story of how they met, married and maintain their union.

Dear Essence,

You have got to do better.  Since we as a community put so much emphasis on proving “Black Love” and there’s probably a 20/20 or Nightline special in the works addressing the relationship issues in our community, its time to see a better reflection of this love on the covers and in the pages of your national magazine.

Something to think about…

What say you…If you were responsible for the cover of this “Black Love” issue, who would you put on the cover? How do you feel about Gabrielle and Dwyane on the cover? Are they the best representation of “Black Love?” Why is “Black Love” such a big deal?

Melanie February 3, 2012

Blair Underwood and his family would’ve been great! I get your point and I agree wholeheartedly. February cover is not the best representation of Black Love at all and if it is, I am more confused than you are. Hello, my name is Mel and I’m very confused:-)

Thanks for having the courage to share truth…

Yvonne Chase September 2, 2013

@Melanie…I totally forgot about Blair and his wife…they would’ve been perfectly suited.

Jasmine February 3, 2012

When I saw the cover those were my thoughts exactly! I think that was the strategy. The fact that we are talking about that Essence cover was the motive.

Yvonne Chase September 2, 2013

@Jasmine…yea…that probably was their strategy…to get us talking and to promote whatever Dwyane and Gabrielle have going on in their respective careers.

MJ February 3, 2012

Nice job! I would go with Holly and Rodney, but any of the couples you listed would be wonderful. All celebrate love over time, which is inspiring. I don’t get the point of the cover other than as a promotion ploy for the couple and Essence. They are not a representation of Black love at all for me.

Thanks for opening this dialogue. We need a love revolution! 🙂

Yvonne Chase September 2, 2013

MJ…I agree…we definitely need a love revolution. We’re constantly talking about all that’s not right in the black community…we’re not getting married, 43% of black women are single and 70% of our kids are born out of wedlock. How about putting a couple on the cover that represents what’s possible? That’s what I’d like to see.

Lenda Riley September 2, 2013

Does it really matter? You Love Who You Love. Regardless, they (FOR NOW) are a happy couple, just as good as those married and not as bad as those who aren’t. Let It Be.

Yvonne Chase September 2, 2013

@Lenda Riley…It does matter for all the reasons I stated in the post.

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