While historians may debate where civilization began, many biblical historians and scholars agree that the first wedding took place in the Garden of Eden in or near northern Africa.
So, while we appreciate a specific month celebrating Black and brown people, Black history is also world history. It is the story of how we all began, and the main thread that runs through the fabric of that chronology is love and marriage.
Let this month be an impetus to celebrate Black love throughout the year. Because to relegate Black emphasis to just one month can never do justice to the rich history we all are blessed to be a part of. Here are eight ideas to get you started on your journey of celebration and discovery.
- Begin an ancestry-search. Talk to the oldest members of both sides of your family and record their stories. The conversation of their earliest memories of your family’s history can give insight into who you are today. You can start this for free on many of the ancestry sites, but you may want to order a DNA test to delve deeper into your family history.
- Most states, provinces, or regions have Black history landmarks of some kind. Find out how your particular geographical area contributed to the struggle for equality and visit those landmarks. Then plan to visit others throughout the year.
- Establish your family legacy by starting a family business or nonprofit. The glue that holds couples and families together is the ability to have shared goals and interests. Talk about the impact you want to make on your community through your family enterprise. Write a business plan and get started.
- As the cradle of civilization, Africa is comprised of nearly 2,000 languages in 54 countries. Claim your history by researching the meanings of African names and adopting a name that best suits you. This is a fun exercise for the entire family.
- Begin to concentrate on where you spend your money. Try, at least for a week, to spend your funds only at Black businesses. There are many Black business directories and networks that can assist you.
- Focus your culinary talents on traditional Black cuisines. Learn new recipes that you both can cook together. Explore different cultural foods, and try your hand at expanding and enriching your palate. Who knows? African fufu or Trinidadian bake and shark may become some of your family favorites.
- Use this month as an opportunity to educate your non-Black friends about the beauty of the African experience. Research a topic and intentionally share it with those, not in your race. If you find that you are lacking in those relationships, make a decided effort to start some friendships in which you can share your history.
- Music and rhythm are the cornerstones of people from the diaspora. But so much of it is undiscovered. Change that by delving into music from different African cultures. Create a playlist of Caribbean, African, or Black American artists. Go outside of your comfort zone and incorporate the beauty and complex rhythms of your musical roots into your life. Go a step further and learn a few cultural dance moves. It’s a fun way to bond to your history.
These ideas are just the appetizers as you prepare the extensive menu for reconnecting to your African roots. Accomplishing these tasks as a couple will strengthen your relationship by giving you both a common goal on which to focus. You will find that growing in love is so much more than just creating romantic feelings. It is also about contributing to the core values of who you are as people and learning to appreciate your individual contributions to the larger society.