Why We African Americans Should Take a Second Look at the Art of Love

back view of young african american couple pointing isolated on white Oscar Wilde once said “Life imitate art far more than art imitate life” and in this article, we want to talk about artwork that focused on black love and relationships and have that open honest conversation we never had before on this topic. I’m going to ask you brothas and sistas to clear your mind and ask for your opinion and input on this topic and you need to reach inside of you and be honest about the art of love. I’m going to show you the common artwork we saw growing up that featured black love and I want to show you another image that shows love and let’s discuss. The purpose of this article is to ask what are we presenting to ourselves as black media, black art and black culture and is this what it is really about? If life imitate art, then let’s look at the artwork that we are imitating. Kevin A Williams or WAK Portrait of Black Love lockkey In our African-American community we feature artwork that focus on the black man and black woman engaged in hyper-sexual intimacy. This is what black folks have in their bedroom and main room if they are a bachelor. We black folks seen these type of hyper-sex artwork since the early seventies made out of some purple cloth or whatever where you see Afro-couple hugging up on each other in a hyper-sexual manner. Do you consider this love? Is there anything else here? Notice the man and woman with no body fat and all lean and built. Notice the hyper-masculine man grabbing the woman thigh so tight - two perfect bodies the average black person in America do not have. But as life imitate art, let’s be honest – this is what we see black men chasing having this kind of sex with a woman submissive to his macho squeezing her thighs and lower back as he thrust his passion all up in her. And black women chase this idea image of this tall muscular black man who can just take her and you know and I both this is what black folks imagine about what they see as a perfect relationship and love. But is this love? Is this real passion? No, this is the hyper-sexual stereotype of black people that we are perpetuating upon ourselves and creating unrealistic expectations where both black male and black female are pursing sex from perfect bodies. And this is exactly what manifest in our community with black guys looking at big butt pics and black chicks looking at big wood pics. This is the image and art of love we black people have imitated for the last 40 years in our culture. And I see a whole bunch of unhappy break-ups and sad black folks when the honeymoon period is over and the dopamine is gone like Sandra Rose like to say. And a hell of a lot of never married 40-year old black women who never settle down with a regular stable black man because she spent her life chasing that muscular black dude persona. Puuung Portrait of Real Love bday Quoting directly from Puuung Facebook page - “Love” is something that everybody can relate to. And “Love” comes in ways that we can easily overlook in our daily lives. So, I try to find the meaning of love in our daily lives and make it into artworks.” The image above I got from a very special girl and when I saw this image, I knew she was quality because this image speaks for itself. Notice the woman in the portrait is hiding with a happy expectation of surprising the one she love when he comes home. Look at the guy coming in the door wondering what is going on. Notice they are not perfect bodies because sex is not being sold here – what we see here is true love. You know the funny part? Not a lot of black women I dated actually are capable of doing what you see in this picture, in fact I would say hardly any based on my experience. Anybody can work out at the fitness gym to get a tight body and have sex grabbing on each other with a lock and key. But it takes a selfless heart to do what is being done in the picture above to care about someone enough to want to make them happy it’s their birthday when they walk through the door. Is this love? Yes, this is what you call love and this picture is definitely the art of love. And as life imitate art, that special girl is the one I’m with right now who have the same spirit and also blush like her a lot when she want to do nice things for me to let me know she cares about me – not like me, care about me. Now Your Turn to Analyze the Art of Love Have we black people been programmed over the years to view love as hypersexual activities? Can we admit in black culture that we men go to the gym and get big muscles and women go to the gym to have a lean stomach and tight butt and we hyper black man and hyper black woman just pursue this idea of hyper-sex together? Can we be honest as black people right here and right now and ask the question - is this what the fuck black love is all about? Is this our story? Because let’s be honest – hyper-sex is what was marketed to us black people for the past 40 years as black love. This whole physical intimacy shit and sexualization of both the black man and black woman, not love but sexualization. There is no love in this shit just a bunch of dudes who just want to have hyper-sex with anything that moves and women want to have any dude with muscles run all up in her in a hyper-sex manner. All around us is sex, not love from Quiet Storm radio, music videos showing us just getting ready to get it on, Black Bike week and stuff like that. And what is the end goal of hyper-sex? That is HIV, out of wedlock babies and shallow marriages and debt then divorce. Dude got to pay child support and she not happy because the baby gave her fat around her waistline she cannot easily get rid of. Then you go to corporate America and see some damn 38 year old black woman still wearing tight clothes trying to attract a dude sexually to her and black men with receding hairlines wearing muscle shirts like he can still throw dick at a chick. No real black love in any of this, just hyper-sex and I see it every damn day in black culture and I'm fucking sick of it! There are no real artwork, no real movies and no real music of black love that show the little acts of selfless and caring that make up the superstructure of love between two black couples. Where is the story of the woman who took the day off to learn to make a cake and make dinner and the end of the story is her skinny and lanky husband coming into the door while she hides around the corner smiling waiting to surprise him? All we got in the black community is Steve Harvey and that Strawberry Letter negative shit he talks about on that morning radio show promoting negative elements of black relationships day in and day out. Real black love has been banned in our culture and it's time we recognize that fact and understand this is why black men and black women are not in love with each other. What I think about all of this? It's time for us as black people to start working towards the real art of love. It's time to tell our story of real love and portray real images of love in the black community as being caring and selfless for each other. We can start with short stories and Dream and Hustle new format upcoming will have those kind of stories. We can start with artwork and make this hyper-sex black artwork go into a fire bin and replace with images of real black love and relationships. Then we can go after the music and movies. We can change the art of love in the black community and change the perception of black love for our younger generation to grow up in. Let's not have our black kids grow up in this same hyper-sex environment we dealt with and create an environment for our kids to grow up being able to love each other - the best gift me and you can give our future and next generation.

16 thoughts on “Why We African Americans Should Take a Second Look at the Art of Love

  1. Wow ed I never looked at it like you really changed my perception on a lot of pictures I see

  2. I’m down. I’m in. Let’s tell the stories. I grew up in a home where there was black love was compromise, support, enrichment and hard work.

  3. A long time coming!!! Thank you Ed, this post is a breath of fresh air, you are on the right track, post like this is well needed over the typical self destructive, unreal bull that’s being fed to our young people 24/7. Again thank you Ed.

  4. I have had the privilege of being in love and know that the hyper sex picture does not capture the whole experience. Real love is rare , many never experience it. Western culture tends to debase and objectify everyone so it make love difficult.

  5. I found this quote yesterday, ” Isn’t it ironic? We ignore those who adore us, adore those who ignore us, hurt those who love us and love those who hurt us”-Unknown.
    I think it’s how you are raised and what you are taught to value. Hard as it may be for some to believe there are plenty of black women who have been taught the art of pampering and catering to men. However, I do know plenty of women who kill themselves in the gym trying to get and keep a man only to find out his cheating on her with the skinny girl with 3 missing teeth in her mouth and the girl next door with 5 rows of fat on her belly-just saying.

    One of my dear friends, husband passed away about a year ago and she let me read his journal, all through his journals he had a to do list, but it wasn’t one of chores, it was lists of things he was doing for his family, all the ways he wanted to improve as a man and to show his wife and children just how much he loved them.
    There is so much black love, it’s just that there is not a place or a platform where we can see and hear it.

    I still have the love letters my grandfather wrote my grandmother when he was away in the war. On another note, I think hyper-sexuality is a safe space and or expression because if truth be told how many of us have been violated and or have had love sabotage by the community. How many of us have fallen in love only to have people do everything to break you apart?

    1. Love being sabotaged by the community is not true love but a facade. And the risk of falling in love is the breakup but that is the thin line in love and hate. But I see absolutely nothing positive about hyper-sexuality and it is phony – the majority of these black women don’t even know how to have sex or understand anatomy – that hyper-sexual crap is a bunch of nonsense and just artwork and talk. I cannot count the number of black women out there who act so fine and wanted but didn’t know how to have real sex dating clowns all her life believing in that hyper-sex nonsense. I know what love is and hyper-sexuality is a pathetic commentary and sad story in itself once a person go through the experience of real love.

  6. I am not debating rather or not hyper-sexuality is positive or negative because I have the common sense to know it is a tool used to get people to buy into things.

    Hyper-sexuality is not a Black issue, it’s an American issue. Pu**y is used to sell everything from toothpaste to a cars in this country. Because of this social programming men believe beautiful/fine/pretty women are competent lovers.

    That being said, if we took a poll from females I’m certain a large majority of them would have complaints of not being sexually satisfied by the men in their lives. Selling sex is one thing being sexually healed and satisfied is a whole never topic because talking about sex is still very taboo.

    Art is subjective, however since you’ve started the conversation and if you remain open, you will start to see black artwork that is reflective of real love, so keep your eyes open.

    1. Hyper-sexuality is definitely a black issue as it is pertains to our community and issues affecting black relationships, black family and black health. The “American issue” context does not apply to this article targeting African-Americans and considering the fact black people are dying at higher rates of HIV and sex-related cancers and have worst relationship outcomes at higher rates.

      Sex does not sell – it attracts but it does not sell. What sells is customer confidence that a need or desire will be fulfilled from a product or service. This is part of the issue as African-Americans been conditioned to believe sex sell and our people promote hyper-sex when all it does is attract. Black women engaged in hypersex attract the wrong and creepy dudes and black dudes engaged in hypersex attract the mental and diseased chicks. I have yet to see an artwork featuring hypersex sell at auction at a high price or even went though serious bidding – I seen a lot of couple photos and abstract interpretation of love sell at record prices.

      You actually indicated sex does not deliver in your commentary about women not being able to be satisfied after being attracted sexually. This is the core of this article and discussion. African-Americans need to know what we need which is love and happiness, not want attracts us which is hyper-sex.

      Case in point that sex does not sell – club flyers. I had to force many urban club marketers to change those flyers featuring naked women or half-naked women and focus more on the club atmosphere and the services provided – they were shocked to see their business increase from their marketing but I was not because I knew the sex images were turning away women who are the biggest spenders at clubs nowadays.

  7. Ed I get your point and I understand you however to say this is not an American issue and it’s out of context is misleading because although we may be black we are heavily influenced by the culture of America and be that as it may this country gives very little support to be able to sustain a loving relationship regardless to race.

    Furthermore when it comes to the works of arts black people invent, innovate and or create, white America does not validate, give credence or a high monetary value until they can steal our master pieces, repackage them and sell them back to us claiming they are the original artist. So I waste no time in waiting to be saved or wanting anyone else’s approve of my inherit genius.

    And if you thought I missed the picture of the girl hiding to surprise her beloved because you gave the impression that a black woman baking her man a cake was highly unlikely. Again, you stand corrected, there are countless sisters who bake their men cakes as a token of our appreciation and not just on their birthday. So the behavior of that painting is not a rare where I’m from.

    I don’t have Kevin Williams art on my walls however in looking at his art work I have not had a negative response to it because I have to balance the stereotype of hyper-sexuality placed on me as a black woman. Now please remember while white men called black woman non-humans although they could not keep themselves out of our magical wombs so for me to be able to disregard and or keep this a black issue when it is in fact an American legacy!

    At the same time since you seem to be trying to educate us, I will have you know that when the conversation hyper sexuality come up in the context of black folks it triggers something in me because I know many of the theories, concepts and pedagogy teachers who are educators have to learn, still to this day deem black folks as hyper-sexual which impacts they way they teach and treat our children.

    I have been black and female all of my life and I know plenty of black women and the large majority of us are not hyper-sexual contrary to myths and untruths told on us. Now hear me clearly, if the shoes fits wear it, for those brothers that women weren’t checking for when you were in your journey to manhood, who so-called chose clowns, bad boys, thugs or whatever you want to label them, I beseech you to forgive the choices many of these women made during their adolescent years and or young adult life because to continually harbor resentments for not being chosen then and to continually add up choices made as indictments, igniting shame for poor choices made does nothing to support black love!

    1. Mike,

      I respectfully disagree – this has nothing to do with America/USA – this is about art and portrayals that black artists themselves create, and black producers themselves write up in their movies and music. This is promoted through black media and not white media and done through so-called black radio stations and black cable networks.

      When you say forgive the choices many of these woman made during their adolescent years, are you saying forgive them for catching a sexually-transmitted disease or becoming pregnant out of wedlock or dating negative males? All of those are life-altering choices for women that changes the direction of their lives. It is too many women out here to “forgive” one screw-up when a good black man can just keep it moving on to the next one and that is just reality. She should have saved herself for real love and that’s her mistake she has to deal with.

      I’m trying to understand and not argue – are you saying the hyper-sexual media does not matter or are you saying there is non-hyper-sexual media that focus on real genuine black love? I’m trying to understand.

  8. Ed, what I have said is plain and clear however if you still do not get my point. I am going tell you what the old heads always used to say, ” Keep Living!” Apparently, you are without flaws, apparently you have not had a lapse in judgment, apparently life has not beat you down that you have had to make choices based on desperation, apparently you are a linear person without complexities and contradictory behaviors at times, apparently life has not brought you suffering and pain that you cannot see yourself in another human being, apparently you have walked the straight and narrow path never doing anything wrong, immoral and or illegal because you are above the frailty of the human condition and have never suffered loss and or regrets and apparently you’ve never hungered to BE LOVED?????

  9. Mike,

    You are trying to talk to me and not the subject….you appear to be struggling to address the issue.

    Actually, no – I never had a baby out of wedlock, don’t do drugs, served my country honorably and serve my community well. I don’t got drama/dirt and junk in my life and I been in love more than enough time. I don’t date garbage except one person during the last decade but I’m actually in touch with every ex-girlfriend as my best friend since I was a teenager – every last one. I actually invested all my life in a better future for myself, since I was a kid.

    Stop trying to blind-attribute flaws on me personally like I’m a fuckup or had to fuckup – you sistas be killin me with that – some brothas are actually bred and raised real, I’m one of them. You don’t make it to my level or this level in life making those kind of mistakes you creating excuses for in your commentary, if you want to get some real insights on me.

    From your ramblings, it sounds to me that you are the one struggling with love, asking people to forgive others and stuff like that. Your language and tone in your previous message is to see if you can challenge me and trying to probe to see if you can go personally. Are you thinking you can take this topic off-track and drag it down into personal discussions? Where are you going and what are you trying to say?

    Here is the problem – you having a real tough time trying to rationalize whatever underlying message you trying to say and no one is buying it. I’m not buying what you saying because I don’t even understand what you are trying to say and keep asking. But I do know this. I know that sistas try to deflect a lot like saying this is an “American” problem and not a black problem. I know that sistas rarely have positive uplifting things to say and instead find ways to agitate and probe a person. I also know more than anything sistas like to make up fiction about good black men they encounter like trying to make me think I got skeletons in my closet or I have to not be shit because that is what she is used to choosing for a partner.

    Do you have any proof of these “black love” media images based in African-America? Yes or no

    1. I see a whole bunch of these “Mike” – why a woman is called Mike is beyond me – come to Dream and Hustle and try to talk shit like they part of the conversation and then slowly go personal at me in a sly way and then talking about they mad and unsubscribing or not coming back to Dream and Hustle as if they hurting my feelings or whatever. I can dig through the comment section and show black woman after black woman pulling that nonsense for the past 8 years of this blog.

      What you not seeing is a discussion of love – just trying to rationalize some dumb decisions, make excuses for the hyper-sexual and basically asking good black men to settle for that garbage. This is really a straight forward conversation that does not involve paragraphs, either there are positive media images of black love or there is not and the channels are filled with hyper-sex.

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