Whether you’re a product of black love or just an admirer, there’s no denying its power, grace, and beauty. It’s not just about the love you give another person — it’s also a matter of the love you put back into the community. It’s about how you love yourself, how you love your skin, and how you love your hair. Black love may seem complicated from the outside, but it’s the external chatter that gives it its complexity: Black love thrives in the face of institutionalized racism and grows despite the many dangerous obstacles that threaten to impede it.
At Tinder, we celebrate all types of love, but this month we’re giving props to these creators who are celebrating black love every damn day.
“I will choose you in this beautiful struggle I call *LIFE* and the next if there’s any. Love is two people showing up for each other despite the tumbles. And just like a video game, you go through different stages and phases. If lucky, you get extra lifelines that reignite your passion for each other whilst accepting your flaws and imperfections along the way.” — Ray Styles
“I believe black love stands for an unspoken sense of comfort and awareness of each other’s experiences as African-Americans.” — Daisy
“Black Love is the strongest. Protecting the people you care about, holding our lovers close, and building each other up in times of need and continuous social injustice. Creating safe spaces, unpacking traumas we face everyday, kissing each other’s scars, and telling each other we are good enough for anything.” — Clifford Prince Kay
“Through our love if we face the sun together and let it shine on us, we will be able to overcome any obstacle, and the shadows and darkness will always remain behind us.” — Nick the Artist
“We cannot expect to receive the love from someone else that we do not give to ourselves. Too often I’ve jumped into relationships before developing a healthy relationship with myself. If more men could be intimate with themselves, I think we’d [better] value the intimacy people share with us as opposed to treating it as disposable.” — Malcolm London
“Black love means a lot of things to me. It’s not just the representation of black people loving each other romantically, but it’s [also] the way that we love our culture, the way we celebrate and take pride in who we are. Black love is our strength and our resilience to be able to create the best life for ourselves. As a first generation Nigerian-American, I’ve been exposed to black love from a young age. I’ve seen my parents immigrate to a new country where the only people they truly had were each other. Even in a foreign land, they were able to build and overcome, because they had each other. This photo is from a recent set called ‘Legacy.’ I wanted to capture black love in a way that showed that no matter where we are, there is a sense of safety when we have each other. I wanted to shoot this in an open field, because I felt it represented freedom. There’s nothing restricting them. They’re able to just exist and love.” — Idara
“ __________ is like a flower. It must be tended with love and nourished by one’s presence and intention. Only then will fruit bear.” — Samuel Trotter
“Black love is unapologetic, relentless, powerful, and unconditional. It is a love that defines who I am. The love showcased in my artwork is a love that is endless and a love that has no boundaries. Black love is everything, and I’m so grateful that I know what it feels like to have it.” — Madam Muse-Adrienne
“Black love and the way interactions are expressively animated, straightforward, humorous, and memorable, the joy and peace that has been brought in is insurmountable. Even as a deaf man, black love in my family, church, and [among my] peers all allowed me to grow up not looking at my hearing loss as a disability, but as more of an extra ability to be extraordinary in whatever I put my mind to in life!” — Deafinitely Dope