February 13th is more than just Valentine’s Day Eve, as I so affectionately call it. Today is Black Love Day (BLD). This is an observance of atonement, reconciliation, celebration and a 24-hour demonstration of Black love through the five tenets–love towards the Creator (whatever higher power you believe in), for self, for the family, within the Black community and for the Black race.
BLD was founded in 1993 by Ayo Handy Kendi, founder/director of the African American Holiday Association. BLD is an African-centered, alternative to the commercial holiday that is Valentine’s Day. How is it different? They are spiritual goals involved that encourage:
Black self-love instead of self-hatred
Increased peace to stop violence
Here are a few ways you could celebrate Black Love Day:
Display the “Akoma” an Adinkra (West Africa) symbol of love, patience, goodwill, faithfulness and endurance.
Give the greeting, “Nya Akoma” (N-yah Ah-Coma) which means “get a heart, be patient!”
Personal love rituals, couple love-ins or community relationship ceremonies.
Buy conscious love gifts from Black merchants to recycle Black dollars to love our communities.
Read “The Black Love Book” to inspire us toward love’s healing power. Beyond Feb. 13, practice the principles of Black Love, returning to love everyday to heal ALL our relationships and better the planet!