For All Points-Of-The-View.
Find Black Love, a new African-centered event for Black singles, is shaking up the match-making industry and giving hope by connecting hundreds of revolutionary Black singles through dating activities centered on Black/African culture at the full-day event on Saturday, April 13, 2019 at the Ezra Conference Center in Raleigh, North Carolina.
“We have decided to do something ground-breaking,” says Find Black Love co-organizer, Nataki Kambon, who is from the Washington DC Metro area. “It has been time for a new paradigm in terms of how Black love and relationships are approached, especially for those of us in the Diaspora…for those of us that have that knowledge of self and want to see it reflected in those that we meet, it’s been long overdue,” says Kambon.
Find Black Love was conceived shortly after Kambon returned from attending the Sankofa Journey in Ghana during the Summer of 2018. She returned inspired about her culture but felt frustrated with dating events that either felt too serious or did not have potential partners that shared her values and beliefs. That’s when Kambon set out to create a Black love website that could help those seeking to pursue marriage. After convening Black singles and married elders around the country, Find Black Love’s concept changed from a web-based platform to an in-person event. Pioneering in the match-making industry, the event is purposely gender-balanced, African-centered, and features activities that inspire cultural appreciation, self-love, and positive healing between Black men and Black women.
Kambon is also the spokesperson for Let’s Buy Black 365, a Black economic empowerment movement. Following her example, the curators are pulling off the event with 100% Black-owned companies - from the venue, hotel, caterers, security, printing, and professional services, to the Black-owned media, vendors, and sponsors. “Finding a Black-owned conference center big enough to accommodate an East Coast event this size was the hardest part. From there, it’s been great to see how supportive the businesses have been to help us pull this all together,” says Rene Moore, a co-organizer and native North Carolinian.
To encourage self-love before the event, the organizers are giving registrants a self-improvement guide. It has activities registrants can work on in the months leading up to the big day. “The system of racism/white supremacy mounts a lot on us, and sometimes we take that tension out on each other, so we are starting with healing,” says Kambon. It was that healing that allowed Kambon’s parents, her mother, an African-centered psychologist, and her father, an African history scholar, to maintain their 45-year marriage. “What they put at the heart of their relationship was the understanding that nothing was more important than their family, Black love, and Black liberation,” says Kambon.
So far, registrants are coming from as far north and New York and as far south as Atlanta, Charleston and Miami. The East Coast event is collectively created by 15 people from 8 states and 3 countries including Black married elders, Black singles, a psychologist, an educator, a wedding officiant, community leaders and activists, and relationship experts.
“It is only through the development of strong families that we can begin to reestablish our place in the world as African people – our sovereignty, freedom, our liberation. To that end, love is a crucial component to the development of Black families,” says Ekundayo Eniolapo, an event contributor born and raised in Philadelphia.
Aiming to build long-term monogamous Black unions, Find Black Love will feature a conference, catered dinner, Black Love Gala featuring all-African attire and an after party. At the conference, Black elder couples - that collectively represent over 150 years of Black Love - will offer their relationship wisdom to singles. From there singles will begin to develop connects that will extend beyond the day.
“We hope to create the kind of relationships that lead to Black unions, that lead to Black families, that lead to strong Black communities. That is really the ultimate goal,” says Kambon.