If the way to your boo’s heart is through their stomach, check out these 4 ways to celebrate Black Love Day.
Black Love Day, celebrated annually on February 13th, is not just a Black version of Valentine’s Day but an alternative to the day. Founded by Ayo Handy-Kendi, the founder of the nonprofit African-American Holiday Association (AAHA) in 1993, Black Love Day is dedicated to promoting peace & ending racism, violence, and self-hatred among Black people.
On Black Love Day, people go beyond the one-dimensional commercialized romantic celebration of love. Handy-Kendi calls Black Love Day a “wholyday” – not holiday – because it embraces the totality of self: the spiritual, mental and physical self. Celebrating Black Love Day means exemplifying what Handy-Kendi calls the “Five Tenets of Black Love”. These include love toward the Creator, love for Self, love for the Family, love within the Black Community, and love for Black People as a race.
According to Handy-Kendi, these tenets should be honored year-round, not just on February 13tth. In addition, people are also encouraged to demonstrate the Nguzo Saba Kwanzaa principles of Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith).
Let’s be honest – food is everyone’s love language. Here are our 4 favorite food-filled ways to celebrate Black Love Day with the special folks in your life.
Start the day by engaging in a heartfelt act of service; prepare a delicious breakfast in bed for your significant other. Whip up a meal that reflects your shared or disparate heritage and cultural traditions. Infuse your dishes with flavors and ingredients that celebrate the richness of Black cuisine.
For instance, you could take up the challenge and make perfect flaky buttermilk biscuits and an accompanying seasonal French compote! Alternatively, consider preparing the meal together, enjoying the process of creating a delicious start to your day.
Create an enchanting experience by organizing a romantic picnic for you and your loved one. Choose a serene location that resonates with the beauty of nature and the spirit of togetherness. Pack a basket filled with treats, incorporating both classic favorites and romantic delicacies like chocolate-covered fruits.
Don’t forget to bring a mat adorned with the “Akoma” symbol, an Adinkra symbol representing love, patience, goodwill, faithfulness, and endurance, as a reminder of the power of love in your lives. As you dine under the open sky, engage in heartfelt conversations about love, heritage, and the importance of unity within the Black community.
Elevate your Black Love Day celebration by indulging in an extraordinary culinary experience. Consider booking a private chef who specializes in creating customized menus and can take you on a cultural journey through the plate.
If you are unable to have a chef come over to your house, there are several virtual cooking classes you can take together and get cooking from home! For instance, you can explore the flavors of Trinidad & Tobago with Chef Alana who will teach you to make pholourie, a tasty Indo-Caribbean treat in a private class!
Help circulate the Black dollars within the community by dining at a local Black-owned restaurant. Explore the diverse and vibrant flavors of Black cuisine while contributing to the economic growth and empowerment of the community. Engage with the restaurant owners and staff to learn more about their stories, cultural influences, and the significance of their culinary creations.
Make the date even more interesting by greeting others with the official Black Love Day greeting “Nya Akoma” (N-yah Ah-Coma), meaning “get a heart, be patient!” This simple yet profound phrase encourages the cultivation of love and patience in building strong and harmonious relationships.
Join in the Black Love Day celebration that encourages unity, love, and healing among Black folks across the world by exploring the options highlighted above!
Explore our virtual and in-person cooking classes, mixology experiences and more — all hosted by Black chefs and culinary creators.