Updated: Apr 26, 2020
By Dionejala-Tytionna Muhammad and Hasana Muhammad
The Black Love Matters: Dinner and Discussion event was held on January 27, 2018 in Durham, NC. It featured a panel discussion of 3 couples married for various years, 2.5, 8 and 26, as well as a spoken word performance. All attendees enjoyed the event immensely. Many topics, such as courtship, Muslim weddings, preparing for marriage, dating, and having Allah(God) at the center of your marriage, were discussed at the event. Whether you are single or married, you would have learned something valuable about being black and in love.
Topics discussed include everything from courtship to capitalism:
Courtship vs. dating: Attendees were reminded that you should always strive for courtship, a process where you are trying to determine if you are compatible with the other person. It is much more structured than dating and you get to find out about the person before marrying them. There is no nasty breakups with courtships because you have not connected sexually. In this society, dating does not lead to a righteous relationship with a deep spiritual bond and this has lead to a degraded society. Courtship, if done sincerely, is done from a higher vibration.
Know yourself and your strengths and find someone to complement you.
Make Allah the center of your universe.
Muslim weddings are a notification to those that you are close to that you are marrying. It is a ceremony to solemnize your intent that you are to become one.
Don’t play business if you do not know what you are doing. Capitalism is no joke. It’s okay to go into business to make more than you need to survive but capitalists are evil. Have four backup plans and they need to be thought out.
The panelists included, Andrea and Delgian Muhammad, Sophia and Kevin Muhammad, and Audrey and Polymin Muhammad.
We asked the attendees a series of questions at the end of the event. Why does black love matter? What does it mean to you? The answers reflected the environment and the age group. See below for an interview with Sherry Muhammad, who has been married for 38 years.
What does #BlackLoveMatters mean to you?
"When you say Black love I think about what the minister said. When he said that love is duty, so when you talk about black love… it's duty. What is your duty? What is your role? So you have to understand what your role is in order to say what black love is. What is love? You have to understand what the definition of love is? What does it mean?"
What did you think about this event?
"I thought it was absolutely fantastic. I thought it was eye opening. [There was a] lot of information. Very good for… young people starting out, who may be going into a courtship, even for the believers who are already married… gives us a better understanding of what your role is and understanding your role."
Do you think it is important to have events like this one?
“Oh, yes. Very important to have events like this and I didn’t even think about the magnitude of it. Even though my Husband and I have been married for 38 years, I was like hmm I can still take something from this. Very good, very informative, I loved it.”
What do you think about the condition of black people today? Why do you think we are how we are today?
“I think we are in a very sad condition. We need Islam, we need Allah. Because when you look at all the killing and all the things that we do, I mean its just so much stuff. Just looking at the condition of our people, young people in general. Our roles, not understanding what our identities are. We are in a very sad condition.”
What was the most important thing you learned here today?
“I did learn some things about, when brother Kevin spoke about entrepreneurship, setting up business plans, it was very informative.”
What examples of black love did you see when you were growing up? How do they compare to the ones that are present today?
“Sadly, I didn't see a lot of examples of Black love because I came from a broken family and my mother and father divorced when I was 11 years old, it was not a good relationship …The strongest relationship I would say would be my grandmother but that was with my step-grandfather, my other grandfather, the grandfathers had all died so they were like strong Black women growing up raising their children but there was really not a man there so I didn't really have a lot of strong examples so as a result of that it made me say hey when I grow up I'm not going to have a man that beats me. I'm going to have a husband that loves me. Certain things I knew that I would not tolerate that I... that I saw my mother go through. All those things; brothers and sisters, siblings, with abuse. All these things that went on, I was like ‘you know what, I'm not going to have that happen, I'm going to protect my children so it was a whole different diaspora of what I went through growing up than what my children went through. I want to have a different life for them and they had that life. So my husband, he is loving husband you know we bond well blend well together...” She also went on to say that young people should also learn to live below their means and know their roles. That will keep the unity together and create a loving home."
The event was a great experience for everyone who attended. Black Love Matters because it is the basis of the Black community. If we do not have Black love, then our families are broken, which will weaken the community as a whole. When creating Black love, we should place more emphasis on truly getting to know the person with whom we will spend the rest of our life. Having Allah at the center of our universe and marriage is important because without Him, nothing can be done. Discussing finances, values, and more will help us create better marriages and relationships. Are you going to have a #BlackLoveMatters event in your city?