Black Love Lives explores the art of healthy relationships
Nisa Ra discussed black romance and its negative depiction in the media
March 18, 2013, 12:27 am·
“Personally I have been through a lot of bad relationships, which is why I came to this conference,” said West Chester University student Sherita Rooney, who attended the Black Love Lives conference last Saturday.
“I wanted to learn strategies that would help mend past relationships and would hopefully foster successful new ones.”
This past weekend, writer, holistic healer, community activist and motivational speaker Nisa Ra hosted Black Love Lives in Houston Hall. The conference involved a day of expert-led, interactive workshops, giving participants the tools to fortify, build and maintain fulfilling relationships. Some of the most popular workshops there included: “Leading Your Marriage into the Promised Land,” “Eating for Healthy Living” and “The Sacred Science of Soulmating.”
A few years ago, Ra created and directed the documentary “Black Love Lives,” a film unearthing healthy and successful black relationships. The film showed how couples from ages ‘20s to ‘90s, connected with each other, and offered advice and strategies for making a loving relationship work.
Ra’s motivation for her documentary was the lack of positive black relationships portrayed in the media.
“Somehow every black man is a thug or gangster, or just got out of jail, and every black woman has a broken neck and smart mouth,” she said. “Specifically, there continues to be a negative portrayal of African American relationships within America’s media outlets.”
Her documentary’s success compelled Ra into organizing relationship conferences in the black community, especially married couples. Her conferences are geared toward teaching specific strategies for fostering, growing and maintaining positive relationships — “the cornerstone to a healthy life,” she said.
One of her main points was to bring to light the negative effects of disposability. “Our society is a becoming more of a disposable society, from disposable diapers to the dependency on the fast-food industry,” Ra said. “We currently rest on the mentality that we have the ability to easily discard individuals who do something that we do not like.”
Ra strongly opposes this mentality. She claims the only way to maintain lasting relationships is to abandon the idea of disposability. Individuals need to learn to become more tolerant, loving and patient, she said.
She vehemently urged that if society can make these small steps, then relationships could truly prosper despite the social conditions people live in.
Ra ended the conference by offering three tenants extremely useful to healthy relationships.
First, there must be shared values and a shared vision regarding how each person involved would like to live out his or her life. Second, the couple must have a spiritual connection.
“When a person is connected to a higher spiritual being, such a connection helps to shape their ideals and values in life thereby affecting their daily interactions in their relationships,” Ra said.
Third, she added, effective communication must exist within the relationship. A couple lacking such a vital component will be destined for major trials and tribulations.
Due to the conference’s success on Saturday, Ra is planning to host additional seminars and forums across the country.