Is there an art to black love? If so have we lost it? It seems as though the odds of falling in love with “Mr./Mrs. Right” are daunting to say the very least. Love is hard. Whoever says it isn’t just hasn’t experienced what it’s like to truly love someone unconditionally. If love were easy and painless, there wouldn’t be so many failed relationships. It is a beautiful thing no doubt, but I’ll quote one of my favorite poets, Khalil Gibran “For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.” If love were all about feeling good and being easy, we wouldn’t be facing the issues we are today with loving one another in the most natural way possible.
This begs the question, what can I do to help the situation? I write about it in hopes of encouraging someone to be more open about love, be introspective about it or to simply try again. A friend of mine asked himself the same question and he came up with something that is positively impactful on our thinking towards black on black love.
This gentleman, Chris Fabor Muhammad is a visual artist with a fantastic series on black love. We all have seen stories on TV or the internet about how black relationships are suffering and might not survive. Every corner we turn, there is the ominous threat of another failed relationship.
During a conversation I asked Mr. Muhammad about his perspective on black love and his series and he expressed some poignant thoughts on the matter leaving me with a glitter of hope that positive images of black love will once again don not just street fairs but art galleries and commercial media as well. The more we see these beautiful images of ourselves, hopefully, the better we’ll begin to think and feel about our relationships.
When pressed about what he felt he could do to improve the overall situation, he explained that he felt “the root of the problem is that black families were being negatively impacted by our failing relationships”. He asked himself the question, “How can a visual artist help his community through his artistic expression?” The idea that a visual artist can help inspire a change or movement is not a new one. His goal is to create a series of 19 images, have some poetry added to it and market them in a calendar or (coffee table) book format. He then plans to take his art exhibit on the road and have spoken word artists perform their pieces while guests view and discuss the images.
According to Muhammad, “Our artistic expression helps to uplift the spirit of love, life and loyalty in our community for the advancement and building of a civilized community.” The collection is not yet complete but you can view a sample of these works in this article. What better way to visit the topic than to compliment it with tender, loving images of what the majority of us hope for? Bravo Mr. Muhammad, Bravo!