Written for BBE by Robyn Jasmine
Living in Atlanta has its perks. I received free tickets to a screening of OWN’s Black Love Doc which will be premiering its second season on May 12th. The screening included sneak peeks of the season as well as celebrity black love couple Grant Hill and Tamia, who are featured on the documentary. The venue, The Woodruff Arts Center in Midtown Atlanta, was an appropriate choice in my opinion. Easily accessible and comfortable enough to hold a crowd of eager millennials, married or otherwise.
If you haven’t seen season one of Black Love Doc, you still have time to catch up prior to the upcoming season. In short, husband-and-wife filmmakers Codie and Tommy Oliver present real, honest, emotional andsometimes cringeworthy love stories from some of the most successful people in business and entertainment as well as everyday couples. They have featured Meagan Good and Devon Franklin, Tia Mowry and Corey Hardrict and Viola Davis and Julius Tennon.
Grant Hill and Tamia are an adorably couple rightfully so, but if I must be honest, they were dry. Safe even. Grant was slightly corny and Tamia was bashful in responses. There were no nitty gritty stories of what has allowed them to last over 20+ years of marriage. It was all fluff to me. Rainbows and lilies and I left still feeling unsure about what it really means for a marriage to survive in this generation. The hard questions either were not being asked or were being deflected.
- Run your own race. Don’t focus on what other people are doing in their relationship
- Find what works best for you via communication, vision, etc
- Brokenness- a big thing people bring to relationships
- Marriage is a bigger purpose in life than what other people think
- No growth if you cast judgement
- Broken meets broken
- Every therapist isn’t right for everybody
- Fundamentals should not change as generations age
- Rich People Problems
It’s all scrambled up as different people asked questions and the guest couples spoke, but those are some of the tidbits I gathered.
Rich People Problems
I do want to touch on #9 because I wrote it jokingly when Grant or Tamia said the only thing they ever argue about or not even really an argument, but the only ripple in their smooth sailing wave of married life is “Who is taking who to soccer practice, or should we fly in for the game, or one of the kids is grouchy this morning, so tread lightly.” I rolled my eyes, not because I was jealous or anything, but because if those are your ripples then that’s nothing.
Where are the couples who have to face infidelity and a child has come from it?
What about when the electricity and the gas is off and neither one has the money to turn it back on, so your family is without hot water or heat? Mismanaged finances?
What about unplanned pregnancies within a marriage?
What about trying to get out of debt, so you can live in a better neighborhood, so your children can attend a better school, so they at least have a half a chance of quality higher education?
And speaking of higher education, what about sending your children off to college? How are we going to afford it on our middle class salaries without going bankrupt in loans?
Couples that are financially well off, don’t have nitty gritty legacy problems. Their problems are more surface, and even so with it being surface, they handle them in their own way, so it’s easy to stay married for 20 years. Grant and Tamia specifically have dealt with health issues respectively so there’s another anchor that holds them together because I’m certain battling medical issues can take a toll on even the strongest couple.
As a Single Woman:
I felt slightly out-of-place initially when I first went, because I was by myself, but that feeling lasted maybe for a minute. I’m so used to doing things by myself that it is second nature to me, and I often wonder when that time does come, I will I even adjust to being a part of someone? It brings me to my next point. My question to the couples last was simple:
“I’ve always been taught or rather what has been drilled into my head is that “in order to be a great half, you must first be a great whole. Too often we look for people to complete us rather than giving them our whole selves. Have either of you had to deal with self-preservation prior to committing to someone or were you looking for your spouse to complete you and if so what does that or did that look like?”
Codie Oliver said “Self Preservation sounds defensive”…. ummm okay.
Let’s be honest.
As one of my key points mentioned above “brokenness meets brokenness”.
We have to break the cycle of broken marriages, broken parenting, broken friendships etc…In order to bring our best selves to any situation, we must first do the work on ourselves first. Faith without work is dead right? So it makes sense to me, that I have to work on my issues prior to getting into something serious..Right?
I guess the new season will explore that further. Hopefully.
xoxoxox Robyn Jasmine