Visit AfricanAmericanHolidays.org for info on Black Love Day, Feb. 13 an alternative to Valentine’s Day, and Black Love Movement Month (BLMM).
— Ayo Handy-Kendi
CAPITOL HEIGHTS, MD, US, February 7, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ — Celebrating its 31st year, Black Love Day (BLD) remains a powerful force for healing and community connection. Sponsored by the African American Holiday Association (AAHA) and led by BLD founder Ayo Handy-Kendi, this year’s theme, “Breathing Solutions to Increase Love in Black Families,” addresses the urgent youth mental health crisis, including rising rates of suicides and depression.
Annually, AAHA highlights one of the BLD Tenets for its’ BLD theme. With 9,510,000 Google searches, BLD encourages participants to demonstrate the five loving acts (tenets) for 24 hours: Love for the Creator, for Self, for Family, for the Black Community, and for the so-called Black Race. So-called White people are urged to exhibit “love in action” for Black people, and reflect on their own racial attitudes and behavior.
On February 13th, from 6 – 9 p.m. EST, Live Holistically Balanced will host the 31st Official BLD RELATIONSHIP CEREMONY at the Harlem Theater in Baltimore to be broadcast via the African American Holiday Association Facebook page and Ayo Handy-Kendi’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@ayomeansjoy1. The Ceremony includes inner-attainment poetry, drumming and the Ritual of Reconciliation, a restorative justice practice to heal love pains and conflicts, facilitated by Handy-Kendi.
Post-celebration, participants can continue engaging in the healing power of love during the new Black Love Movement Month (BLMM), featuring events organized by the Black Love Coalition; an event with actress Taraji P. Henson’s The Boris L. Henson Foundation; and breathing solution events at Elife Restaurant in Maryland on Feb. 10, and a virtual summit on Feb. 24.
Black Love Day (BLD) is the 4th oldest commemorative African American holiday, emphasizing observance, celebration, reconciliation, atonement, and the demonstration of love through at least five loving acts (Tenets) within 24 hours. The 5 Tenets of Black Love, serving as a 365-day value system, aim to heal relationships, increase peace, foster self-love, stop violence, and address issues of Black self-hatred and White racism. BLD offers a spiritually rooted, African-centered alternative to the commercialized and often violent Valentine’s Day.
Ayo Handy-Kendi, known as “Sekou Mama Ayo,” a Native Washingtonian, breathologist, speaker, author of the “Black Love Book,” and founder of AAHA and CEO of PositivEnergyWorks, was spiritually inspired to co-create BLD in 1993 in Washington, D.C. The event serves as a platform for the Ritual of Reconciliation, a restorative justice practice using love’s healing power to reconcile differences and conflicts. Handy-Kendi initiated the formation of a Black Love Coalition to establish ‘a breath and love movement’ addressing the ongoing need for healing within a community historically taught “not to love and take care of themselves” during times of oppression.
Addressing the significance of expanding Black Love Day into a month focused on love and the 2024 theme, Handy-Kendi stated, “In our 30th anniversary year in 2023, I saw the need to bring together a Black Love Movement Month (BLMM) to better share ‘love solution” activities, similar to how Professor Carter G. Woodson’s 1926 Black History Week grew into Black History Month by the 60’s. As a certified Breathologist of 50+ years, I have also played a part in the resurgence of using ancient breath techniques as a healing tool for modern times. Now, with Feb. 13th as a day of transformation and another month of black love programming, we can address the spike in Black youth mental health, suicides, and depression. Racism is a key factor in disproportionate Black family mental health issues and access to mental health treatment. With the U.S.A. polarized, election year looming, we offer breathing solutions as the simplest tool, that costs nothing but impacts the greatest self-care, to increase self-love in Black families, strengthening them from SLE’s (stressful life events, such as racism, violence, economic disruption, conflicts, and substance abuse) through Black love 365.”
To learn how to observe BLD, access the Official Ceremony broadcast links, and explore the NEW Black Love Movement Month calendar, visit www.AfricanAmericanHolidays.org or call (202) 667-2577. “Nya Akoma” the Black Love Day greeting as we invite you to join us in returning to love, to increase peace, stop violence, and help Black youth and their families heal.