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What is Black Love Day and Why is it Important for Black Culture

Feb 13, 2022 01:00PM ● By Anand Subramanian

Black Love Day. Source - Google

We uphold our history, customs, traditions, and symbols with respect throughout festivals, events, and ceremonies, and one such celebrated event is Black Love Day. Black Love Day is an African-centered alternative to commercial Valentine's Day with the spiritual aims of fostering Black self-love rather than self-hatred, more peace to prevent violence, and racial reconciliation. After seeing the violence that surrounded her neighborhood, Ayo Handy-Kendi, creator of the African American Holiday Association, sought to establish a holiday that fostered love within her community. According to, she watched Spike Lee's blockbuster historical play, Malcolm X, in January 1993, and claims that the creator spoke to her and prompted her to start Black Love Day on the bus trip home. Modeled after Valentine's Day, she advocated for February 13 to be designated as Black Love Day, a day to commemorate Black people and culture. 

Figure 1 - Black Love day. Source - Google

“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 others, and to accept the very important tenets—what we call the five Black love tenets,” Ayo Handy-Kendi told the Daily Dot.

Figure 2 - Portrait of Ayo Handy Kendi. Source - Google

While love is a global concept, Black Love Day is about appreciating the Black culture and implementing the five tenets listed below:

  1. Love towards the Creator
  2. Love towards Self
  3. Love Towards Family
  4. Love withing the Black Community 
  5. Love for the Black race

The goal is to implement these tenets in one's everyday life throughout the year but to pay particular tribute to the concept of Black love on February 13. Other races may improve on their conduct and racial attitudes toward Black people to show "love in action" to African-Americans. Black Love Day provides a chance to love everyone, from our Creator to ourselves and the whole community. The holiday's spirit of solidarity is intended to reduce violence and strengthen the Black community as a whole. The greeting is "Nya Akoma", which translates as "get a heart" or "be patient." Purple and black are often worn, with purple representing monarchy and progress and black representing the race and escape from evil. A reconciliation ceremony is held, which is a communal event to bring Black people together and develop their spirituality. If presents are given, they are more geared at implementing a Black love precept, such as healing items, food, handcrafted gifts, and so on.

Figure 3 - Black Love Day. Source - Google 

The theme of Black Love Day varies from year to year. "Healing the Wounds that Divide - Reuniting Our Strengths Thru Black Love" was the theme for 2021. One of the day's purposes was to offer a spiritual alternative to the commercialized Valentine's Day, as well as to unabashedly honor blackness. And for White people to demonstrate service, atonement, and reconciliation to Black people over 24 hours while scrutinizing their racial attitudes, anxieties, denials, privileges, and actions. According to, the theme for 2022 is "Finding Spiritual Joy Thru Black Love," which inspires hope at a time of trauma, fear, and Covid burnout.

Black Love is a seed that will stay on the earth forever. Encourage Black men and women to treasure their love for one another, their communities, and their families, in the spirit of National Black Love Day. Black love is powerful energy!

 Anand Subramanian is a freelance photographer and content writer based out of Tamil Nadu, India. Having a background in Engineering always made him curious about life on the other side of the spectrum. He leapt forward towards the Photography life and never looked back. Specializing in Documentary and  Portrait photography gave him an up-close and personal view into the complexities of human beings and those experiences helped him branch out from visual to words. Today he is mentoring passionate photographers and writing about the different dimensions of the art world.

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