Black Love Day: Embracing Everything Black Ahead Of Valentine's Day

Nothing like a day dedicated to celebrating Black love!

Black Love Day falls on February 13 every year since it was founded in 1993. This spiritual holiday is rooted in African cultures and ideas, and the aim is to complete the five Tenets: to practice love toward "the Creator, for Self, for the Family, within the Black Community and for the Black Race" for 24 hours, according to the African American Registry.

“We encourage people on this day to do something very simple—just demonstrate love for 24 hours, and celebrate and atone, offer forgiveness to ourselves and to others, and to accept the very important tenets,” Ayo Handy-Kendi, the founder and director of the African American Holiday Association (AAHA), told the DailyDot.

Participants also say the greeting "Nya Akoma," which means "get a heart, be patient, return to love." You can also display the Akoma, an Adinkra symbol representing love, patience, goodwill, faithfulness and endurance.

What does celebrating Black Love Day look like? It can take many forms. The AAHA website suggests participating in Black community activities, supporting Black-owned businesses, reflection and other actions. Sometimes it can be as simple as hanging out with friends and posting on social media about your appreciation and love for Black culture.

Black Love Day isn't exclusive to Black people either. People of other races can participate, as well, by putting their "love into action," meaning they work on their behavior and racial attitudes toward Black people. That can include conversations, introspection or supporting Black people in any way they can.

While practicing the tenets is a mainstay tradition, the holiday itself is different every year. There's a theme that changes annually for Black Love Day. Last year, it was "Reparations 2 Repair 2 Reconcile 2 Restore the LOVE." In 2021, the theme will be "Healing the Wounds That Divide - Re-uniting Our Strengths Thru Black Love."

"2020 exposed a reckoning over hot issues like health equity, racial justice, economic equality, policing, politics, education, competition for limited resources and just 'living while black,'" Handy-Kendy said in a press release. "Insane polarization, fighting, killing over survival ideologies sprawled into our streets and even into the Nations’ Capitol. The 28th Black Love Day will share hope, strengthen Black people’s resilience that Black Lives Matter, and fortify our 'unity in our diversity.'"

Speaking of unity, the Black Love virtual conference is on February 13 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST to kick off the day. According to the event's Eventbrite page, it will "offer tools, solutions, resources, demos, inspiration, and inner-attainment as best practices of Black Love showcasing 40 presenters, healers, authors, and community / spiritual leaders." There's also going to be a children's book fair and then the Relationship Ceremony from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. If interested, you can register here.

This is one of several Black love-themed events happening that day. Scrolling through Eventbrite alone, there are several events that vary from educational programs and shopping sprees to speed dating. There are plenty of ways to celebrate this Black holiday.

“Love is a spiritual link that connects tolerance with compassion, so we don’t hurt another to love ourselves or hate because of differences," Handy-Kendi said. "On Feb. 13, come together to breathe in love, reconcile and bond around solutions to become whole, powerful people again by healing all our relationships”.

Photos: Getty Images

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