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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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This year, Nigerian acts Burna Boy, Mr Eazi have been nominated in the "Best International Act" category. They've each had standout years, with both artists performing at the Coachella Music Festival this year.

They're nominated alongside South African star rapper AKA, who won a Kids' Choice Award earlier this year for "Favorite South African Star," and the French-Malian pop singer and one of OkayAfrica's 100 Women Aya Nakamura. French-Cameroonian and Togolese rapper Dosseh and UK rappers Dave, and Giggs round out the heavily-stacked category.

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This New Documentary Sheds Light On the History of a Beloved Nigerian Staple—Agege Bread

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