there is a new crop of dynamic duos coming to the forefront, who challenge all of us to re-examine what Black Love can look like when it’s nurtured, prioritized and celebrated without apologies.
Whether you’re single and looking for hope, or in a relationship and seeking guidance, below is theGrio‘s 2019 list of couples we could all stand to take notes from.
Ciara & Russell
At this point, just about every subsect of Black Twitter has found itself playfully (or maybe not so playfully) asking Ciara to share whatever prayer she put through to God to be blessed with a man like Russell Wilson.
After years of high profile relationships that ultimately ended up disappointment, in 2015 CiCi started hitting red carpets with the Seattle Seahawks quarterback, and in what seemed like the blink of an eye they were engaged, married, and traveling the world with their children.
Although this photogenic twosome has become notorious for their enviable social media posts, what makes them noteworthy is the way they support each other without exception in their individual projects and also take time to collaborate on mutual endeavors.
Just this week, TheHollywood Reporterconfirmed that the happy couple launched a new passion project called, Why Not You Productions, which according to the announcement, plans to focus on creating television, film and digital content projects that will include “inspiring and aspiring narratives and human interest stories.”
“While we work in different fields in our day-to-day, we are excited to come together to collaborate and create stories that we hope will touch people’s lives,” they explained in their joint statement. “We are both storytellers at heart and we want to be able to share stories that uplift people and inspire others to create positive change. That’s ultimately what we want this company to represent.”
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Lena & Alana
There’s no doubt that Lena Waithe is killing it in tinsel town and inking deals left and right on both the big and small screens. But did you know that her fiancée Alana Mayo is also a badass in her own right?
The film production executive was previously a VP at Paramount Pictures, where she worked on The Big Short, Fences, and Selma. And now she is the head of production and development at Outlier Society, a start-up that Michael B. Jordan launched in 2016 (and named after the Malcolm Gladwell book).
During a time when everyone is begging for more women — particularly women of color –to be put in positions of power, these two Hollywood heavyweights are a force to be reckoned with. They’ve also humanized the Black gay community in a way that has many reconsidering how they view LGBT people.
Love in its most exalted form is unapologetic and unrelenting, and both Waithe and Mayo embody that in the way they consistently uplift each other and everyone around them. Brava ladies!
Today is @alanaoyam’s birthday ? Ms. Alana is a head of production and development at Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society Studios. She’s been in the Hollywood industry for 12+ years.
She and Lena got engaged on Thanksgiving 2017.
Happy Birthday, Alana! ? pic.twitter.com/ZKgtQm4s1j
— Lena Waithe Fans (@L_WaitheFans) May 2, 2019
Viola & Julius
If takes a special kind of man to stand next to a powerful woman and never ask her to dim her shine, and that’s exactly what Viola Davis ended up with after moving to Los Angeles to follow her dreams.
During an episode of the OWN series “Black Love,” Davis shared how one day she was complaining to a friend about not knowing many people in L.A., when a man who was within earshot stepped up to introduce himself.
That man would turn out to be her future husband Julius Tennon.
“I was terrified, because he told me exactly who he was ― he was absolutely honest about his past,” Davis said recounting their first date. Adding that only 20 minutes after he dropped her home he called to tell her, “I just wanted to tell you again what a great time I had and what a beautiful woman you are.’ ”
And the same candor he showed on that first outing has fortunately followed them throughout their relationship.
What makes this couple noteworthy is how they communicate with each other so honestly and lovingly without fear of judgement. We often think power couples have to be flashy, but there’s also power in knowing how to create a healthy union with your best friend, even while they’re off win Academy Awards and making history.
For the way they make integrity a priority no matter where life takes them, we had to add them to this list.
Solange & Alan Ferguson
Is it possible to be an unpredictable free spirit and still find stable love? Well thanks to Solange, those of us who dance to the beat of our own drum, now have a tangible example of how that’s possible.
It can’t be easy being Beyonce’s little sister, but somehow Solange has managed to carve out a lane for herself that sets her apart and makes it impossible to compare her to anyone else around her. But in the midst of her sometimes messy journey to self discovery, the wild child of the Knowles family still managed to find a love that didn’t seek to cage her in.
In fact, one could even argue that since her union with director Alan Ferguson (whose masterminded videos for everybody from Katy Perry and Fallout Boy to her sister), her artistry has only flourished and become even more expansive.
So if you’re a creative whose convinced yourself that your personality is just “way too much” to find that special someone, this love story might be your sign to reconsider that narrative and cut yourself some slack.
Megan Good & Devon Franklin
Megan Good is the perfect example of why you should never judge a book by its cover. Because after years of partying and dating high-profile men, no one would have thought that this Black Hollywood sex symbol would end up with a clean-cut preacher who’d been celibate for nearly a decade.
According to their book, The Wait, Good and Devon Franklin say that when they met in 2011, they felt that God had put them “on a love-collision course.” And in the year between that first date and their wedding, they even chose to abstain from sex until their honeymoon.
“As a man, if you can be disciplined in your sexual life,” Franklin says in the book, “there’s nothing you can’t do.”
And the actress, who had just come out of a toxic relationship, says their old fashioned courtship also gave her some much needed “time to heal.”
“I didn’t want to date an actress,” her husband recalls. “I just didn’t think it would be the right career fit.”
Yet, here they are, seven years into their marriage and thriving.
Sometimes love can find you in the most unexpected places, and this power couple serves as a much needed reminder as to why it’s important to keep an open mind and an open heart when seeking your twin flame.
In fact, what these five couples all show is that power comes in many shapes and forms and there really is someone out there for everyone. We’re definitely taking notes!