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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.

Interview
Photo: Shaughn Cooper

Ras Nebyu Is Washington, D.C.'s 'Uptown Lion Walkin'

We talk to the Ethiopian-American rapper about his new album, his Washington Slizzards crew, and the impact of gentrification on D.C.'s music scene.

Ras Nebyu is caught up in the crowd at Howard University's homecoming tailgate, where he can barely walk a block without shaking hands with another person who he knows. Although he didn't attend Howard University, the campus and the surrounding neighborhood forms as much of a part of his narrative as any student.

The Ethiopian-American rapper hails from uptown Washington, D.C., a neighborhood he uses to inform his latest album, Uptown Lion Walkin, a project that pays homage to his ancestral upbringing, as well as his thoughts on making money, love, happiness, and the government.

There's a twoness to Nebyu's identity that allows him to create from a place of historical-cultural reverence while pushing forward new ideas. He was raised in a Rastafarian household by an Ethiopian dad and African-American mother.

Nebyu doesn't hold much back when he speaks, like his music. He preaches about belonging to his community, gentrification and the diaspora. His work serves as a strong soundboard, for not only his Ethiopian community but D.C. natives.

In 2011, Nebyu co-founded the Washington Slizzards, a collective of Ethiopian creatives in D.C. What started as a joke, tacking on "slizz" to everything, became a buzz-worthy crew. Around the same time as the group's inception, he began releasing music into the world.

Nebyu first ventured into making music as a producer, but soon found it frustrating getting artists to use his beats. He decided to begin experimenting with using his own voice and hasn't slowed down since. OkayAfrica caught up with Nebyu to discuss the new album and growing up uptown.

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Mr Eazi, Duncan Mighty, Afro B & Mayorkun Join DJ Neptune On 'Tear Rubber' Remix

Listen to the "All Star Remix" now.

"Tear Rubber," one of the standouts from DJ Neptune's latest album, Greatness, gets a big remix that'll jump start your week.

The track, which originally featured Mayorkun, now gets a massive revisit featuring Mr Eazi, Duncan Mighty and Afro B.

All three are potent additions to this laid-back and addictive Young John-produced track which was already getting a lot of spins.

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Listen to Sade's Beautiful New Song—'The Big Unknown'

Sade has graced us with her second single of the year—this time for Steve McQueen's highly anticipated film, "Widows."

We now have two new Sade songs to shed thug tears to before the end of 2018, y'all.

The queen herself released a lyric video for her new track, "The Big Unknown." This single will be played during the end credits of Steve McQueen's highly anticipated film, Widows, which is due to be released in theaters November 16, Highsnobiety reports.

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