Black-on-black love

Secrets to success: Faith, friendship, submission

Wire Report | 2/8/2013, noon
Years ago, Essence Magazine editor argued that the most powerful political and economic force in black America is not votes ...
The obvious love exhibited between President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama is achievable in any “real love” relationship: If you just know the secrets to their success. (Courtesy photos).

Years ago, Essence Magazine editor argued that the most powerful political and economic force in black America is not votes or dollars – it’s black-on-black love. No other force is needed, she argued, to set black America on a course toward salvation, fulfillment and prosperity.

In honor of next week’s Valentine’s Day, then, we are highlighting five African-American couples and revealing their unique secrets toward celebrating black love and maintaining relationship marital bliss:

Barack and Michelle Obama

In a 2012 interview with O magazine, Michelle revealed that one secret to their 21-year marriage is to not sweat the small stuff.

“I might want to talk to him about an issue I have with what he said the other day, but you know what, it’s really not that important,” she said. “I’m stockpiling a list of issues that I’d like to discuss with him in 2016, though.”

The president added: “When you’re under all of these pressures, to come home every single night...and have Michelle and the girls there...they are my balance and keep me grounded, and that’s truer now than it’s ever been.”

Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr.

Soul singers Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. told PR Newswire in 2009 that their marriage, which has spanned over four decades, is successful because of their faith and friendship.

“In our case, faith and friendship keeps us together,” McCoo said. “They may not be the sexist of ideals but they sure work for us. Our friendship carried us through our early years of challenges, and our faith has given us the strength and answers to work through problems that could have destroyed our marriage.”

Davis added, “Our relationship started out with us becoming very close friends before we even dated. We shared our lives and philosophies and our love of music with each other. As we found our spiritual direction and grew in our faith, we became even closer.”

LL Cool J and Simone Johnson:

Rapper LL Cool J married his teenage love, Simone Johnson in August 1995. In an interview on Oprah’s Next Chapter, Johnson said God was the reason that their marriage has lasted over the years.

“We both come from a spiritual background,” Johnson said. “[We also] pick our battles, compromise and respect each other.”

Bill and Camille Cosby:

Bill Cosby and wife Camille have been married for 49 years. In a now-famous quote, Bill Cosby stated that creating memories is the key to marital bliss.

“The heart of marriage is memories; and if the two of you happen to have the same ones and can savor your reruns, then your marriage is a gift from the gods.”

Rev. Run and Justine Simmons:

Hip hop legend Joseph “Rev. Run” Simmons and wife Justine were married in June 1994. In a 2009 interview with Hiphopwired.com, the couple said putting aside big egos is a crucial key to having a successful marriage.

“You just have to give in,” Run said. “You have to want to love this person more than you want to put your opinion across to be right. You have to get rid of ego and say, ‘Okay, I might even be right, but it doesn’t matter, I love you too much.’

“I just give in a lot and, if I make a mistake, I’m ready to say sorry. I want my marriage more than I want my ego.”

Courtesy of the Baltimore Afro American.