Love is one of the most beautiful, complex, (misunderstood!) and essential elements of life and when seen through a melanin lense, it becomes an even more special experience. There’s something truly powerful about being able to share love with someone who understands your identity, struggles, progress and challenges as well as you yourself do. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re talking about a one of a kind love that only we get to experience:
| blak• luhv | [noun.]
A spiritual journey that only people who are rich in melanin can experience. A love that is unconditional. A love that can build an empire. Monogamous and genuine in intent, this love can not be stopped.
To celebrate black love during the month of May, we’ve invited a number of successful and inspirational black couples to speak to us about what black love means to them and what they hope to give to their communities by setting an example of what romance can and should look like in a black context.
The importance of black love should not be understated; for years, black families have been plagued by generational ills and negative stereotyping the mainstream. We celebrate successful black couples because one by one, they change the narrative of what black love really is.
To mark the first edition of our series, we have interviewed a power couple that is changing the game in the diaspora: Lisa Aidoo and Addofio Addo. Lisa is a Los Angeles realtor and Addofio is a music industry executive and the lovers are about to welcome their first child together (any day now in fact!).
Lisa answered a few questions from our team about their relationship as well as about black love as a whole.
Moziak Magazine: Who is Lisa Aidoo? Tell us about yourself?
Lisa Aidoo: Lisa Aidoo is a woman of many things: a woman who believes in the power of self, the power of being African and the power of God. I am a Los Angeles realtor, a wife and mother-to-be who has interests in beauty and fashion as well.
MM: What work do you do and how did you get into it?
LA: As a Californian-based realtor, my clients consist of people who are interested in a life change that involves property. Although I never sought out to be a property sales agent at first, I know the importance of ownership, no matter the form, especially for Africans and those of the diaspora who have been systematically oppressed worldwide.
MM: How did you and your partner meet?
LA: We met through two mutual friends who were dating at the time. I was friends with the girl and Addo was friends with the guy. It was the girl’s birthday, and so we were all together with others in NYC as a group celebrating her birthday. He made me laugh so hard the entire way home. We didn’t immediately start dating after that though. It took time and multiple encounters.
MM: How well do you understand what your partner does for a living?
LA: Ha, good question! I understand the what and the why, but not always the how. The music industry just operates differently from any industry I’ve ever worked in. It’s not rocket science, so I’m grateful that he’s always willing to break down and answer the questions I have.
MM: Tell us a little bit about your relationship with your partner.
LA: Addo is my opposite in the best way, although we have influenced each other over the years. Usually, he is calm when I am volatile. I am sharp and straight-forward when he can bluff. Together, we appeal to a lot of different personalities than we would separately, which I think makes us stronger.
MM: What does black love mean to you?
LA: From a literal perspective, I deem it as love that happens to be shared between two black people. But with decades of systematic oppression against the black family especially in America, I understand the need for our representation because blacks are often faced with more challenges and struggles that crumble the very foundation of what is needed for a stable person and generation, a healthy home. Black love ought to be showcased and celebrated more.
MM: What lessons about love would you hope to teach the black community through your own actions?
LA: Without sacrificing the privacy of my marriage, I hope to inspire the black community to know that real black love is possible and it takes both the man and woman’s efforts to make it work long term.
MM: Describe your relationship with your partner in 5 words.
LA: Affectionate, imperfect, balanced, pleasing and friendly.
MM: What do you recall the most vividly about your first date together?
LA: That I didn’t realize it was a date, haha! I actually can’t point out our first date together because I was convinced for a long time we were just friends.
MM: Who is the more romantic partner in your relationship?
MM: In which personal areas has your relationship helped you grow?
LA: Business and personal relationships – knowing how he thinks has influenced the way I handle issues in relationships.
MM: How do you handle conflict in your relationship?
LA: Space/time to cool off, approach with calmness, acknowledgement of the other person’s feelings, and end with a solution or new plan to move forward.
MM: What’s the key to keeping the romance alive during lockdown/quarantine?
LA: Doing something for and by yourself. We’re spending a lot of time together physically confined in one space, so having something just for ourselves is really important. That way, we each fill up our own cup before we pour on to each other. Romance is better with a person who is spiritually and mentally filled.
MM: You’re expecting a little one this month, congratulations! How are your preparations?
LA: Thank you, I’m actually really proud of us. As far as I can tell, we have everything we need and are just ready to meet the physical byproduct of our love.
MM: How will you be spending your first Mother’s Day?
LA: I’m due on Mother’s Day so I expect to be in the hospital around this time.
MM: Who do you think will be the stricter parent?
MM: What are you looking forward to the most about being a parent?
LA: Meeting the offspring of our love! Will they have his eyes and my hair, my laugh and his sense of humor? I’m just excited to meet this person and help them navigate through life as they discover their own.
MM: What’s your take on tradition and culture in the upbringing of a child?
LA: How do you know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been. History is important and therefore so is culture and tradition. Within me is a long lineage of strength, passion and perseverance. I often find strength by tapping into myself, in knowing what is in my blood. It is important for my child to be able to do the same, for any child, or they will be lost in this world.