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We’ll admit it: We love love! From the love of helping others to growing divine love from within, we’re always down for a little romance. But while we adore watching love stories unfold IRL, there’s something about watching it play out on the screen that gives us all the feels. As we continue celebrating a month of Black joy, we’re lifting up Black love right alongside it, and sharing the love with you.
Read on, then tune in. Here are five iconic movie moments that keep making our hearts skip a beat.
Shot in 1898, and inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress just two years ago, Something Good-Negro Kiss is considered the first on-screen kiss between two African Americans. Actors Saint Suttle and Gertie Brown give us some serious heart-eyes in this 30-second, silent film. Screen it (and beam) on repeat, here.
The sweeping life story of Chiron, a man trying to reconcile personal definitions of love, sexuality, masculinity, and self-worth, is breathtaking from start to finish. Our favorite moments? This one, where conflicted father figure Juan (Mahershala Ali) teaches young Chiron (Ashton Sanders) how to swim. We also love when grown-up Chiron (Trevante Rhodes) reconnects with his first love, Kevin (André Holland).
In addition to pulling off the cinematically impossible — cracking us up, portraying female friendships with depth and nuance and breaking our hearts in any given scene — Waiting to Exhale has the ultimate soundtrack. Composed by Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, this soundtrack features music icons like Whitney Houston, Patti LaBelle, Mary J. Blige, Toni Braxton, Brandi, TLC… must we go on? It’s one of those albums you can listen to straight through — and feel like you’ve fallen in love a few times over in the process.
Love Jones offers a look at a break-up through the lens of 90s poet cafe culture and serious chemistry between writer Darius (Larenz Tate) and photographer Nina (Nia Long), who are as creatively fierce as they are freaked out about getting their hearts broken. (Fun fact: Two of the pieces that Nina reads in the film were written by real-life poetry legend Sonia Sanchez.) Stream it, then revisit the never-ending debate: “Shouldn’t they have given it one more try?”
If you haven’t seen the much-buzzed, recently released Sylvie’s Love (co-starring Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha) just yet, you’re in for some epic swooning, courtesy of a love story that spans geography and time. (Not to mention a lesson in falling in love with yourself, first and foremost, too.) Screen it here for a dose of new, Old Hollywood romance.
What iconic Black love movie moments keep you coming back for more?
Image: Courtesy of USC Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive