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These 25 Images Celebrating Black Love Will Melt Your Heart

These 25 photos capture the diverse manifestations of black love beautifully—take a look.

Black love is all encompassing. It means brown skinned boys playing happily in the street, sistas in all shades hanging out and enjoying each other’s energy and beauty, romantic couples kissing in the quiet of their homes. It’s two friends who never tire of the other’s company, a mother feeding her child the milk from her breast, a father teaching his daughter how to ride a bike. Grandparents who are still in love, a man who speaks up when he sees a fellow black woman get disrespected by another person—even though he doesn’t know her name.


Black love is unity, strength, empowerment, perseverance, joy and enamor, despite existing in a world that’s told us our skin is unlovable and unworthy. It is an inspiring, empowering and affirming declaration that we will hold one another up, even when the world puts us down.

It is even more exciting when art, music and photography captures the beauty of black love. Take a moment to enjoy the breathtaking images below that display black love in various degrees. You’ll probably feel inspired to have a photoshoot of your own.

Bennie Rose

A photo posted by Roseography (@bennierose) on

A photo posted by Roseography (@bennierose) on

A photo posted by Roseography (@bennierose) on

A photo posted by Roseography (@bennierose) on

You feel as though you've stumbled into a secret moment when you view Bennie Rose’s photography. Rose captures lovers mid foreplay, mothers caressing their babies, partners soaking in the bath. What I admire most is the way he personifies nature: there, he uses nude black bodies to show the intimate relationship we have with trees, greenery and the sun.

Shannon Wallace

A photo posted by SHAN (@_yoshann) on

A photo posted by SHAN (@_yoshann) on

A photo posted by SHAN (@_yoshann) on

There’s a thoughtful narrative within Shannon Wallace’s photography; a realization of black life in candid, bittersweet moments. She highlights silent beauty and transforms everyday life into cinematic shots. The result: moving, intimate portraits of youthfulness, romance, family and more.

Fros and Beaus

Fros and Beaus celebrates naturalistas and the partners they love. The best part - you can tag your photos with #frosandbeaus for a chance to be on their page.

Shikeith

#Repost @critical.objects ・・・ There’s a lush, poignant sensuality to all of Shikeith’s images, one that transcends the limitations of mass-mediation (in other words, they’re still incredibly affecting even on a tiny digital screen). His photographs, installations, and videos are populated by naked black men, whose vulnerability defines our encounter with them. It’s not a vulnerability born of weakness, though, but rather of calm self-possession and quiet intimacy. The men cry, caress, gaze, rest, play. Shot exclusively in black and white, the scenes have an ethereal, velvety richness that reduces the figures to non-specific personas. Shikeith’s project is an ongoing, multimedia attempt to rewrite the narratives mapped onto the bodies of black men. “There are both structural and cultural inequalities that have formulated barriers that are dictating our psychological perception of the world, each other, and ourselves,” he says. “Through a multidisciplinary practice, I explore personal memories of being ostracized and traumatized by other Black males.” Clearly this project has no use for the white gaze, and yet I feel an intense need to write about it nonetheless. I can’t shake these images. The beauty of them is that they allow his subjects to be sad and beautiful, free and constrained, intimate and universal all at the same time. Even in the ones that suggest death, Shikeith’s vision is never morbid. ? Shikeith, What the world sees, seeing him, 2016 ? #shikeith

A photo posted by Shikeith (@shikeith) on

In Shikeith’s world, curvy, muscular silhouettes mingle within white sheets and walls, with balloons, or simply with each other. He illustrates the sensual, contemplative side of black men, sexuality, and relationships between black gay men, in mesmerizing and memorable images.

Black.Lesbian.Love

This instagram page features an array of beautiful black women and nonbinary lovers in heart melting photos. There’s also an opportunity to be featured on their page, by sending a direct message or tagging your photos with #black.lesbian.love.

Antoine Bennett

Bennett showcases the brightness and optimism of blackness. Smiling, sunny faces, ecstatic friends and cozy couples grace his Instagram page. His images are the epitome of black joy.

LuvBlackLove

A plethora of gorgeous images of romantic black love, sourced by audience submissions. To see you and your boo on the page, tag #luvblacklove within your posts.

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(From left to right) Stéphane Bak and Marc Zinga in 'The Mercy of the Jungle.' Photo courtesy of TIFF.

Congolese Actor Stéphane Bak on His Intense Experience Shooting 'The Mercy of the Jungle' In Uganda

We catch up with the actor after the film made its North American premiere at TIFF.

When actor Stéphane Bak first got the script for The Mercy of the Jungle (La Miséricorde de la Jungle), he knew there was one person he had to consult: his father. "My dad did school me about this," he says. While Bak was born and raised in France, his parents had emigrated from what was then Zaire in the 1980s—before the events of the movie, and not exactly in the same area, but close enough to be able to pass on firsthand knowledge of the simmering ethnic tensions that underpin the action.

The story takes place in 1998, just after the outbreak of the Second Congo War—which came hot on the heels of the First Congo War. Two Rwandan soldiers find themselves separated from their company and have to make a harrowing trek through the jungle to link back up with their regiment. Bak plays Private Faustin, the young recruit hunting Hutu rebels to avenge his murdered family, a foil to Marc Zinga's seasoned Sergeant Xavier. As a Congolese militia swarms the area, and it becomes increasingly difficult to tell enemies from friends, the two are forced off the road and into the thick vegetation.

Their journey is physically difficult, but the jungle also nurtures them, providing food, water, and shelter. "The title is very explicit in a way," says Bak. It is the human beings they encounter, from rival soldiers and militiamen to the hostile security forces guarding illegal gold mining operations, who bring sudden danger and violence. The challenges are conveyed as much through the actors' physicality as through the minimal dialogue. As for the strain on his face, Bak says it was all real. "To be honest, it was very difficult," he says of the shoot, which took him 25 days. "I had to learn my accent in two weeks." Prior to commencing, there was training with the Ugandan army for realism. Due to the ongoing conflicts in the DRC, the movie itself was shot in Uganda.

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Brazil Has Made Yoruba an Official Language

The language will also be incorporated into primary and secondary school curriculum in the country, says the Minister of Culture.

Yoruba history and culture has an undeniably strong presence in Brazilian society, due of course, to the Transatlantic slave trade which brought millions of enslaved West Africans to the Americas. Despite the inhumanity they faced, many managed to keep their ancestral culture and traditions alive.

Centuries have passed, and Yoruba influences still continue to thrive in various regions of the country, as many Brazilians maintain a strong relationship with the language and religion. Its influence can be seen through the music, food and spiritual practices of various communities. Last month the Ooni of Ife—the spiritual leader of the Yoruba people—visited the country, where he was met by crowds of Black Brazilians who turned up to pay their respects.

This connection will likely remain strong for future generations, as the language has now become an official foreign language in the country.

WATCH: How Ilê Aiyê Brought Blackness Back to Carnival

Brazil's Minister of Culture, Dr. Sérgio Sá Leitão, has said that the language will now be incorporated into primary and secondary school curriculum, reports the Nigerian Voice.

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This EP Blends the Afro-Brazilian Rhythms of Bahia With Bass Music

Get into Telefunksoul and Felipe Pomar's Ré_Con Ba$$ EP.

Brazilian producers Felipe Pomar (of TrapFunk & Alivio) and Telefunksoul come through with a dizzyingly energetic EP in the form of Ré_Con Ba$$.

Telefunksoul, who happens to be one of the main promoters of Bahia Bass music, came up with the concept of exploring the rhythms coming out of Recôncavo of Bahia and showing how they can fit into bass music.

Through the 7-track Ré_Con Ba$$ EP, him and Pomar mold and transform the diverse music of Bahia, fusing its rhythms with afrobeat, future house, deep house and much more.

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