popular

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.

Arts + Culture
Zlatan "Zanku (Leg Work)" music video.

Is Zanku Set to Be the New Dance Craze of 2019?

Breaking down what could become the year's new dance craze.

With last week's release of the video for "Zanku (Leg Work)," Zlatan Ibile has consecrated himself as the originator of the newest dance craze in afropop.

The specific origin of the name 'zanku' is uncertain but the dance itself, says Ibile in this interview from December, is one he noticed from his visits to The Shrine in Lagos and refashioned into a trend.

The best zanku, so far, works best in beats combining repeated foot tapping or pounding, with hands held aloft, and finished with a flourish—a stylised thrusting of one foot as if to knock down a door. Variations include a faster footwork, mimicry of slicing and screwing hand motions and the brandshing of a white kerchief, all of which is done with vigour and attitude.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
WurlD. Image courtesy of the artist.

WurlD: Nigeria's Most Inspired Star?

We talk to the Nigerian artist about creating a sound that connects to the quintessential Afropolitan mind.

WurlD, the blue-haired singer with a killer voice and deep songwriting, is a wonder. His music sits at the intersection between African vibes and Western delivery. 2018 has been a huge for him, with a deal with Universal Music ensuring that his art has received consistency in release.

Born Sadiq Onifade, the Afro-Fusion artist has had an inspiring journey, moving from the streets of Mushin in Lagos, to the US, from where much of his music has been conceived. The complete creative embrace of that cross-cultural influence has become his strongest point, with songs such as "Show You Off" and "Contagious" offering a unique angle to his sound.

"Moving to America for me gave me the opportunity to learn music and I fell in love with songwriting," WurlD says of his influence. "Atlanta (where I lived) is a creative hub when it comes to songwriting and producing, some of the biggest songs in the world were produced in Atlanta, people round the world go to Atlanta to go meet producers and songwriters in Atlanta. There, I fell in love with music and songwriting."

Keep reading... Show less
popular
Still from YouTube.

France Still Doesn't Know How Racism Works and the Vilification of Nick Conrad Proves It

The French rapper is currently on trial for his music video "Hang White People," which depicts what life might be like if the racial tables were turned.

When the music video "Pendez les Blancs" ("Hang White people") by French rapper Nick Conrad was released, the backlash was intense. The video shows what life would be if black people had enslaved white people. "Hang white people… arm them and let them kill each other" Conrad raps. He is not the first artist to think about a life where Black people would dominate white people. Todric Hall's music video "Forbidden" and Malorie Blackman's novels "Noughts and Crosses" did it before. But in France, a country that still tries to stop Black people from organising as a community, Nick Conrad had to pay the price.

First, he received countless death threats and lost his job at a prestigious French hotel. Everyone, from French personalities to the government called him out. And then, two anti-racist and anti-semitism organizations, the LICRA and L'AGRIF sued him. His trial happened last week. French journalist Sihame Assbague was there to witness it, and what she reports is baffling.

To the prosecution, Conrad is encouraging his audience to kill white people. They believe that anti white racism or "reverse racism" is just as bad as any type of racism and that Conrad is using a "black supremacist language" with words like "queen" "king" when he mentions Africa. In their mind, once Black people stop trying to integrate and start organising themselves, it's just as bad as white people being racist. Ethnocentrism is dangerous.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.