Black Love Day: A Love Letter To Blackness
Through Black Love Day, Founder Ayo Handy-Kendi has created a celebration of Black culture amid Valentine's Day.
February 14, 2022 at 12:15 am
Valentine's day is known as the day of love around the world. Flowers, lavish gifts and even marriage await those on February 14th every year. The day is highly commercialized and called out for its Eurocentric roots and often blurs the lines between genuineness and clout.
However, there is a day when true positive love is being shared throughout the Black community and more. Black Love Day, founded by Ayo Handy-Kendi, celebrates Black culture right before the biggest day of love in the world.
Handy-Kendi, with her program PositiveEnergyWorks provides "life-changing wholistic services for stress/trauma management…self-development, racial/diversity/gender training" and more. In addition, she is also the founder of The African American Holiday Association.
Created in 1989, the organization is a "national, non-profit organization that perpetuates and preserves culture through traditional and non-traditional holidays, celebrations and rituals." Later in February 1993, "Sekou Mama Ayo" decided to create Black Love Day as an alternative approach to the Valentine's Day season for the Black community.
Founded in her hometown of Washington D.C., Sekou Mama Ayo was inspired by the Spike Lee drama Malcolm X. During the bus ride back from the viewing, "her creator spoke to her." She was then motivated to create Black Love Day.
"The scene in which Spike Lee shows Black people shooting down my black brother Malcolm—who is really my hero—it was so graphic," she stated in an interview with The Daily Dot. "It touched my soul so deeply…As I thought of this scene and I could see the pain of Sister Betty [Shabazz], and I said it out loud to the Creator, 'What can I do to stop the violence and increase the peace? What can I do?' I heard the Creator say to me that we need more Black love."