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Black Marriage Day 2009: Words from a Twice Divorced Black Woman

Black Marriage Day is Sunday, March 22nd.

And as a participating member of two failed black marriages, you’re probably wondering what I have to say about this matter. Me too…Well, first of all I’m still a staunch believer in the beauty and power of marriage. Between the right people, it can be one of the most powerful and fulfilling bonds between a man and a woman. I love that.

This weekend, my childhood friends Elgin and Raquel Coleman are celebrating their 16-year wedding anniversary with a Karaoke night at a favorite haunt. And as someone who went to kindergarten with Elgin and wore my purple velvet bridesmaid dress with matching shoes with fierce pride in their wedding, you best believe I’ll be rolling through to raise a champagne glass (or two) to their success. After that I’m expecting a raucous karaoke night that we will all blame on the a-a-a-a-akahol!!

But my strongest testimony to Black Marriage are my own parents, James and Alma Seals who will be celebrating their 50th anniversary this May. If there’s anything that I learned from my parents is commitment. That may sound odd from a two-time divorcee but in each situation I was always willing to do the work, get the help and have the tough conversations to make it right. Not everyone is built for that. My parents were team players and even during the typical mother-daughter drama of my teenage years, my father always made it very clear to my sister and I that Alma was the woman of the house and not to be disrespected. I loved my father for always protecting his wife, having her back.

My parents made our family their focal point, not themselves. That’s hard to find in our me, me, me-disposable society where people often want instant gratification and are unwilling to ride out the rough patches. I hope on more Black couples commit to riding out the bumps and preserving our families.

So on Black Marriage Day I want give a shout out to a few of my married friends: Devin and Dena Johnson (check out their blog.blackloveisalive; and their new baby blog djsqauredandthefamily) Schalawn and Robert Warren, Alexis and Daryl Williams, Eric and Nadja Payne, and to my newly engaged girlfriend Sherese Shepard and her fiance Tim.

I leave you all with the strongest words ever for Black Marriage Day from the Creator and originator of the marital union: “And a threefold cord cannot be quickly torn in two,” Ecclesiastes 4:12.

Amen to that.

In motherhood,

Kimberly

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