What Is Black Love Today? – The New York Times

Supported by
Modern Love
In a special collaboration between Modern Love and Black History, Continued, we gathered stories that illuminate how Black people live, and love, in this moment.

When we invited readers — as well as renowned writers such as Staceyann Chin, Mahogany Browne and Damon Young — to respond to the question “What is Black love today?” we were moved by the strength, resilience and diversity of the stories they told us.
To love, or be loved, while Black in the United States has always been tied to community, country and all the ways in which racism can infiltrate a love life: an unwanted third party to any Black love affair, one that refuses to move out no matter how often or how hard you try to evict it. Race, and the inheritance of racial bias, was a thread through nearly every story we read.
In large cities across the country, 81 percent of Black communities are more segregated than they were 30 years ago. As recently as 2017, 82 percent of new Black marriages were between two Black partners. Yet we weren’t looking solely for stories of intraracial romance and the submissions we received remind us that Black love is far from a monolithic concept. These essays tell of heterosexual partnerships, queer love, open relationships, missed connections and the kind of loving familial bonds that often prove to be among the most complex love stories of all.
It’s been 18 years since the Modern Love column debuted — and in all its iterations, it continues to beguile us. Perhaps that’s because, as the poet Nikki Giovanni once wrote, “We love because it’s the only true adventure.” Every Black love story — like every love story — is a journey into uncharted territory, making us explorers and lovers at the same time.
The Lesbian Writer and Her Flamboyant Gay Husband

by Staceyann Chin

Was It Me? Or My Teeth?

by Damon Young

Our Bond Was Thicker Than Blood

by Brandon Kyle Goodman

Love Isn’t a Zero-Sum Game

by Lydia Collins

Two Boys on Bicycles, Falling in Love

by Eric Darnell Pritchard

Accepting Applications for a Black Boyfriend

by Alyssa Mack

She Wouldn’t Break Her Heart to Mend Mine

by C.R. Schye

Beyond Cool, She Was Fly. Her Confidence Gave Me Wings.

by Mahogany L. Browne

What Is Black Love Today?

by Veronica Chambers

This story is part of a collaborative project with the Black History, Continued team. Modern Love can be reached at modernlove@nytimes.com.
To find previous Modern Love essays, Tiny Love Stories and podcast episodes, visit our archive.
Want more from Modern Love? Watch the TV series; sign up for the newsletter; or listen to the podcast on iTunes, Spotify or Google Play. We also have swag at the NYT Store and two books, “Modern Love: True Stories of Love, Loss, and Redemption” and “Tiny Love Stories: True Tales of Love in 100 Words or Less.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.