This piece is part of a 28-day series celebrating modern black love among millennials. It was created by Chuck Marcus and Michelle Nance, exclusively distributed by Blavity.

Black love does not begin and end with the union of a couple. Black love is expressed in the knowing tilt of a head nod from one brother to another during a morning commute. It bubbles over with excitement when the girls get together over mimosas and worksheets to map out their plans to pursue entrepreneurship. It’s passed on through generations when a grandma lets her oldest grandchild in on the secret recipes. It manifests as power when black businesses are supported with black dollars. It erupts into pride when American institutions are forced to reckon with the greatness of black entertainers and creators by awarding them with hard-earned and overdue accolades.

Though black love is bigger than marriage, there’s no doubt that families who’ve chosen to build a home, and a safe place to grow and develop in your blackness, provide the foundation.

Millennial Love Stories: Dissecting Modern Black Love is an intimate interview and photo series born out of a desire to explore and expose positive images of black relationships. Our goal is to shine a light on everyday, black millennial couples who have chosen commitment. Throughout the month of February, you’ll meet 28 couples who paint a candid portrait of what it takes to continue to say “I choose you” day after day in a generation where the rules of love are all brand new.