Love’s in need of love today
Send yours in right away
Hate’s goin’ round
Breaking many hearts
Stop it please
Before it’s gone too far
Stevie Wonder’s love song dedicated to love – Love’s in Need of Love Today, from what is one of the greatest albums of all time – Songs in the Key of Life is a song and message needed today in Black America.
Close to the halfway point of the year and Black America has taken some of the usual lumps and bad news, offenses and disrespect for a full year.
Our community is suffering from Covid-19, lost jobs, lack of health care, and the continuing loss of life at the hands, guns, knees of police and other killers.
But Stevie Wonder’s song, slightly altered, provides us with a roadmap to some much needed comfort and mental health attention.
As we head into the second half of the year let’s pause a moment and focus on ourselves.
Blackness is in Need of Love Today so let’s love our Blackness.
We love our resilience and perseverance.
We love our babies for their joy, our grandmothers for their wisdom, sharp wit, cooking, and tell it like it is truth that slices like a hot-comb through snow. And we love their church hats, colorful outfits, fearlessness, and the depth of their love.
And we love how they tell us to not catch the flu or the ‘rona, to cover our heads, and that they will be praying for us.
We love our aunties who have knowledge beyond their years, money that defy financial planners, and whatever they’ve got in those big bags. And we love how they’ll set our parents straight while laughing at them with us behind their backs. And we love how aunties will cuss <insert anyone at any level of life> out to protect us.
We love their mac’n cheese – that they sometimes refer to as “Cheese” and how they will tell mamma to her face that theirs is better. And we love the ensuring argument that is nothing but love and insults, laughter and smack talking.
We love our uncles and their stories that are *mostly true, their outfits that redefine color combinations, and for their dance moves, unparalleled skill at the grill, and how they’ll slowly and through the years tell us the secret to great ribs and the “rest” that is gourmet to the restaurant world but is an afterthought to uncles and something they will do when they’re fully buzzed and barely paying attention, proving that they are the world’s true master chefs.
We love our fathers who are insane about their sports teams, who have their own chairs, and who always know where they left their remote control, their alcohol, and their stash of cash.
We love them for teaching us after we’ve done the latest stupid thing, and how they will guide us on how to “take it like a woman or man”….when our mothers find out what the hell we did. We love their cars and when they’re cleaning and detailing them. When they’re at work building a future for us, and when their friends are together being too loud, too funny, and cursing up a storm and not caring who is listening.
And lord, don’t let them sit down with a drink and start playing dominoes or spades because it’s about to get real-real.
We love our grandfathers who are the most wise men on the planet, and the toughest, loving men. We love how they have a story for everything and every situation. We love that they still think they got “game” and how they always know someone who can help us in any given situation. We love their house, even though the heater is always on making it too hot, and how they’ll always love old time sports heroes.
And how, like our grandmothers, they’ll sum up a seemingly complex situation in just a few words.
We love all Black mothers. God, we love our mothers. Black mothers are the closest we get to godliness on this planet. Birthers of humanity and builders of this nation, Black mothers can hug us and it feels like a cloud has enveloped us, so soft is her love-hug. And Black mothers can cut through our bullshit with a word, a look, a “click” of her tongue, or an eyeroll.
When you see her eye-roll, just stop because you’ve lost. We try it anyway and we never get away because she always knows when we are bullshitting or stretching the truth.
We love her smell, her work ethic, her secret stash of candy, money, and empathy. And we love her protectiveness that guards our lives from pre-birth, to being a baby, a child, a teen, and a man or woman. We love her laugh and her dancing skills. We love her food and fussiness.
And we love her unyielding belief that we can do better.
We love our art and our creativity and our artists and creatives who capture the kaleidoscope of our lives and gives us heartwarming and heartbreaking beauty.
We love our music, singing, dancing, acting, painting, sculpting, hair and makeup styling, and our writers, poets, rappers, thinkers, and coders and programmers.
We love our teachers, professors, our lawyers and officers, and our builders, plumbers, painters, electricians, gardners, therapists, preachers, deacons, designers, small business owners, farmers, mechanics, loan officers, authors, sex-workers, journalists, drivers, doctors, politicians, and the fullness of jobs and careers that span all industries.
We love them all because we know and appreciate the journey they undertook and conquered.
We love our culture that sets the trends the rest of the world picks up a year or two later.
We love our humor that is unlike any others and that dominates the online world. Our videos are better than anything Hollywood produces, our dancing is years ahead of everyone else, our singing is angelic, and our styles.. whew, our styles from head and hair to toe and all points in between are first rate and always cleaned, moisturized, and lotioned.
We love our stars, our athletes, our inventors, and statesmen and women.
We love our teens and their attitudes and dreams. We love their laughs and when they want to cuddle. We love their style, their proms, their rap and singing skills, their technological abilities, and their gentleness when alone with us.
We love our intra-diversity. We love our colors, our shades, and skin, and all our hairstyles.
We love our brothers and sisters, our cousins, and our loved ones who are straight and our family who belong to our extended family of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Pansexual, and any and every other gender definition that exists because these are our family and we love them all and support and honor their journeys.
We love our struggle.
We know it is harder being Black in America and the world and we “see” each other wherever we are in the States and the world.
We love our shapes and sizes, our curves, our thickness, and our thiccness, our hips, our thighs, our feet, noses, lips of love, curly hair, straight hair, short and long hair, black and brown hair, silver and white hair and, oh yeah, orange, blond, red, purple, and green hair. And those undefined colors that are unique to us.
We love our names. Our creativity that matter to us because we are a unique people and only the best unique names begin to capture our personalities.
We love our Southern Black kinfolk for being the first African-Americans and setting the tone for the rest of us, and for sending all our ancestors to spread across the land and taking with them our food, culture, music, and all the smarts that jump-started this country.
We love our Black folk who migrated North and the ones who went West and how all of them expanded and shared our culture all across the land.
We love our Midwest Black cousins who developed new businesses, new blues music, and their delicious spin on our classic foods – especially BBQ.
And oh my god do we love our New Orleans, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, St. Louis, Richmond, Jackson, Miami, Brooklyn, Harlem, Philly, Detroit, Cleveland, and all those “Black” places Texas for parties, food, mysticism, businesses, style, music, and their get it done no matter what attitude.
And of course we love our Western and Pacific Northwest family. Los Angeles, Seattle and Portland, Long Beach, Richmond, Oakland, Sacramento, Modesto, and those small enclaves of Black folk who live all across the West.
We love their optimism, new wave food interpretations, and how they still connect with family whether South, East, or North and they do so in love and rivalry.
We love our women and men in the military. The dedication the service, the swerve in those uniforms!
We love our love… our courtships, our couples dancing together, and our public displays of affection. We love our weddings, our anniversaries, and our birthday parties each of which is a celebration of life in addition to whatever the reason for getting together.
We love our Historical Black Universities and Colleges and the educators and teachers who love us back while giving us life-skills and world-class education. We love our HBUC’s traditions, rivalries, marching bands, and the colors of our schools and sports teams.
We love our pastors and preachers who tell it like it is and who will be there when we need them. And we love our church choirs that channel God’s moods, and we love our soloists who can sing as well as any famous singer anyone can name.
We love our neighbors who will check on our parents and grandparents, look out for our kids, and tell us how smart and good looking we are. We love our caregivers whether they are officially trained or just because they saw a need and filled a gap.
We love our repair and installation helpers, our sales folk, our restaurant and retail folk who always have a *special deal for us. We love the skill of our hairstylists, our barbershop friends who dispel wisdom and humor, and who argue sports and politics loudly and with passion, and the ladies at the salon who are true magicians and artists and the center of our communities.
We love our food that is the best in the world.
And we love our Blackness in all its heavenly beauty and earthly manifestations.
We say it loud all the time, in words, in actions, in deeds, and in quiet – we love our Blackness.
Show Blackness some love and let the world know and let yourself know it in your soul.
Blackness is in Need of Love Today.
Don’t delay, send yours in right away.
© 2020 by Myron J. Clifton