“When I hear black love, not only do I think of a Black man and a Black woman, but I also think of Black homes and Black friendships,” explained Anaya Lawrence.
Black students at CSUSB are having discussions about love within the community.
Topics ranging from unmarried childbearing, to absent fathers, and cheating were present.
“I don’t have any restrictions. If they want to talk about it, I am bringing it to the table.” Onyeka “O” Ubatuegwu explains his excitement for approaching topics regarding black love.
Ubatuegwu is part of the Black Student Union board and got his first event on campus on February 13, 2020 in the San Manuel Student Union (SMSU).
In regard to why Ubatuegwu put together the black love event he stated that, “The purpose is to have people walk towards the proper way to show love in the black community.”
Although there isn’t an official definition of black love, there are various explanations of it as found in Urban Dictionary. Essentially, it is affection among black people whether its romantic, familial, or platonic.
Black students want to talk about the issues in the community and how they can rid them.
The first topic up for discussion was about non-marital birth rates and absent fathers.
According to the Center for Immigration Services as of 2015, African Americans have the highest percent of non-marital birthrates among natives of the United States at 77.3%. More data can be accessed through the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Anaya Lawrence, an attendee and secretary on the Black Student Union board details her experience with an unsteady then absent father figure.
Although she did not grow up with a father in her household, Lawrence still believes in respecting black men even when reciprocated. “I just believe in helping everybody,” Lawrence said.
In addition to in-home issues, Lawrence details her perspective on the discord between black men and women on and offline.
“It’s all true. We Black women do have a problem with submitting to our men, but Black men have a problem with supporting us.
Cheating is also a topic of discussion during the event.
The Institute for Family Studies shows that as of 2017 in America, men are more likely to cheat with 20% men reporting cheating on their spouse while married in comparison to 13% women reporting cheating on their spouse while still married.
The study goes on to report that 22% of Black people stated they have cheated on their spouse compared to White people at 16%, and Hispanic people at 13%..
The report also shares that cheating and divorce are linked.
For couples who have experienced cheating during their marriage, 53% are still married with a divorce rate at 40%. As for couples who have experienced no cheating, 76% are still married with a divorce rate of 17%.
That isn’t the case for one marriage brought up at the event.
An attendee shared a story of his grandparents and his grandmother’s ability to forgive after her husband created a family outside of theirs.
Another attendee gave her opposing viewpoint on cheating, stating that women lust too, but lust is no justification for cheating.
Ubatuegwu asked the crowd if they believe in second chances and a woman’s voice blares out, “Not with cheating! A man will not put up with that at all.”
Princess, the president of the black student union interjected with her opinion by saying, “A lot of men don’t deserve second chances. People need to own up to their actions and change.”
A debate ensued about self-respect, personal responsibility, and cheating.
One man suggested a person is foolish for staying after being constantly cheated on and lacks what their partner wants.
A woman ended the debate by saying a simple solution is to say they’re uninterested and leave; not cheat.
Ubatuegwu shifted gears and asked the audience their feelings on seeing older black couples in public.
A man from the crowd answered that it gave him hope and made him happy because they were going through the Civil Rights Movement together.
Laughter filled the room, and, after it calm, he concluded with a smile, “If you can have Black love during that time, then that’s good.”
Ubatuegwu began the conversation on campus and there’s always time to discuss more topics that weren’t brought up. This time.
Ubatuegwu expressed how he contributes to the discussion. “I create a welcoming environment at all times for my people and unapologetically, I will continue to do so. That’s how I show Black love.”