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You can learn a lot about Black romance and love by watching romantic movies with all Black casts.  The format is similar to non-Black movies of the same genre: two people discover one another, there is the ‘dance’ of getting to know each other, recognizing that the love is real, the question or tension of whether it can work, then finally the happily ever after ending.

But there is something about the way Black men talk to Black women and the way Black women talk and respond to Black men that is often exciting and complicated and sexy and just good.  It’s the same in books, but just as good to watch it unfold on film when the cast is right.

There is a range to the types of relationships that happen in Black romance movies that represent the different ways we love: from Claudine where the low-income/welfare mother, Diahann Carroll, is romanced by the sanitation worker James Earl Jones; to young love with Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan in Love and Basketball; Just Wright with Queen Latifah and Common where the big girl gets the rich superstar; Cougar Love in How Stella Got Her Groove Back with then newcomer Taye Diggs and Angela Bassett; and gay men love in Moonlight with Mahershala Ali and Janelle Monae and a host of talented unknown actors.

According to our friend Google, everybody has an opinion on which are the top 10/20/50/100 Black romance movies:  O Magazine;;;;;;;;; and Some of them have broad definitions that include relationships between Black men with White women and Black women with a White man. I love them all so I could not offer a short list of my own.  I would like to know your favorite(s).  List them in the comments section below.  And I wonder—is there such a thing as a Black movie club, like the Black book clubs?

As you well know, Hallmark and Lifetime have a lock on sappy love stories.  Mostly White love stories. The cable competition is slowly waking up to our desire to see Black on Black love on film so maybe there is hope for us to see more.  I would love to see much more, especially if more Black romance writers could have their books made into movies. Maybe being in house 24/7 with Covid 19 has gien producers and directors new perspective and sparked some ideas to look for new stories and new storytellers.

“You are the perfect verse over a tight beat.”

-Dre (Taye Diggs) in Brown Sugar

#supportblackromanceonfilm   #loveblackcouples   #blackromcomswork

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