What could the world look like if we all showed up in the fullness of love? What could the world be like if we gave that love to others?
Experiencing the fullness of love is a birthright ordained by our ancestors, who lived and fought for freedom so that we may live and experience love. A love that is not weighted down by doubt, fear, or hopelessness. A love that breathes nourishment to your soul, that carries you home and back again.
Black people know love. It shows up in many different ways in our lives, from the small moments to the large ones. As we fight for liberation so our descendants might be able to experience even more love than we have, we must make a conscious choice to invest in the fullness of love in all of these moments.
But what is the fullness of love?
Love is when your best friend comes over after a break-up and braids your hair and watches 90s movies with you.
Love is being checked up on.
Love is checking up on someone.
Love is that extra spice that makes your auntie’s cooking taste so good.
Love pumps through the blood of the people protesting outside of prisons to demand justice and freedom for all incarcerated people, who are held inside cages without humanity, care, heat, lights, food, or respect.
Love is the $20 your friend gives you so you don’t miss a meal.
Love is resting when your body tells you to.
Love is screaming Fuck 12, just because.
Love is fighting for what is right even when it gets hard.
Love pulses through your chosen family: all of your siblings, your mothers, your fathers, your parents, your caregivers, your cousins, whether related by blood or related by heart and spirit.
Love is reading your poetry out loud for the first time.
Love is when your ancestors remind you that you look lovely in that dress, regardless of your gender identity.
Love is being listened to.
Love is someone coming to your court hearing, visiting you in jail.
Love vibrates through the neighborhood when they come out to support a local Black-owned shop to help keep it open in the face of gentrification and the ensuing rising rent and property taxes.
Black people know the fullness of love. We show this every day that we continue to exist in a world that, in equal parts, was divinely gifted to us and seeks to kill us in every way possible. The fullness of the love we give to ourselves and to others is what keeps us in strong in the darkest of times.
Black History Month and #28DaysOfBlackLove have been opportunities to practice gratitude for the love we’ve received and the love we’ve witnessed while recommitting ourselves to practicing true, deep radical love for Black people. But every month, every day, every moment are opportunities to reside in the fullness of what love has to offer all of us.
This moment we find ourselves in is our chance to set intentions for how we show up better for all Black folks throughout the year, especially Black folks who are disabled, fat, immigrant, trans, gender nonconforming, gender nonbinary, gay, lesbian, queer, bisexual, asexual, intersex, poor, incarcerated, drug users, sex workers, HIV positive, or anything else that mainstream society deems as less than. We are not less than. We are love.
So when asked, “What could the world look like if we all showed up in the fullness of love?”
We can answer.
It looks like us.
Interested in learning more about Black love through a Black queer feminist lens? Check out the following resources:
- All About Love: New Visions, bell hooks
- Sister Outsider, Audre Lorde
- Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology, Barbara Smith
—Jordan DeLoach and Jonathan Butler