In the modern day of technology, monetary value, and illusions of success, the very basic emotion of love has become a rather foreign concept. Yet, the reality of one type of love has been viewed with disdain and made invisible. . .A Forbidden Love. . .A Black Love!
Around the world, mainstream imagery has taken to show that Black love, and the ability for Black people to love each other is a farce. In the Middle East and Arab world, the invisibility and celebration of Black love within the media, and the society at large is prevalent. Too often, the Black, feminine image is depicted as unworthy of love, male affection, and protection; especially from Black men. Consistent images of Black men being able to rise, excel, and be accepted in society through a white-skinned woman, are the prevalent images of the day; and especially within the MENA region. The thought of Black love, has almost become a distant comedy, a joke that two Black-skinned people (a man and a woman) could ever be in awe of the other’s existence.
On February 18, 2016, the celebration of this forbidden love was brought to the American University in Cairo, under sponsorship of AUC’s Black Student Association. What was originally planned as a welcome reception, eventually incorporated the Valentine’s Day theme on campus. Entitled “Celebration of Love’s Darkness! BSA Welcome Event,” the event lasted from 3-5pm in Hatem C204. The push of honoring Black Love on campus igniting a fire for this particular event. Filled with pizza, sodas, water, and a film to go along, the few visitors who came were part of an experience that would develop into more. President Muhammad Mustapha Babakusa, Vice-President Fahad Kimera, and General Secretary/Publicity (and co-founder) Lauren K. Clark discussed on the success of the event; and the learning experience to build upon future endeavors.
“The Great Debaters,” was the selected film for that afternoon. Starring Denzel Washington, Forrest Whitaker, while produced by Harpo Productions under Oprah Winfrey. A real life story of HBCU (Historically Black College and University) Wiley College (located Marshall, Texas), and the first Black, debate team to challenge Harvard University. The phenomenon and beauty in showcasing such a film is that it creates a loving atmosphere in presenting to Egyptian students, how Blackness (and the people embodying Blackness) is human, too.
The passion and intensity of a blossoming love, a painful chapter of lynchings in American her/history, the contributions to American culture and identity by the darker brothers and sisters, crying, laughter, and comfort in blackness was the name of the aura during the showcase of “The Great Debaters.”
Educational scenes from the movie, were accompanied with dancing, music, and culture. The love scenes of Black couples and families reflected the audacity for Blackness to love.
A wonderful start for AUC’s, Black Student Association for the Spring 2016 academic semester. The performance that Black love not only matters, but has a natural right to exist.