Last week, Black Love was about the rough patches that a couple goes through. This week, it goes deeper to the things that make the love bend until it breaks.

There were stories of cheating from Neil Brown Jr. (Walking Dead and Straight Outta Compton) and his wife Catrina. The couple spoke of the other women who came between them and the relationship they worked so hard to cultivate. Joining the couple were singer Erica and her husband Warryn Campbell. Together, these couples showed, that you can come back from infidelity and do so even stronger than you were before. When producers asked Erica how did she know that she was over Warryn’s infidelity, she responded, “because I forgave him AND her.” She was no longer harboring anger against her husband or the other woman. That’s how black love lasts.

We know that incarceration rates are high in our community, so it is fitting that producers featured Paul and Donna Montgomery, a couple who a survived not only prison but also the drug game and a divorce. Donna tells about how Paul’s drug activities led to the end their first marriage. It also ended his freedom for almost a decade. Fortunately, they were able to open communication and rekindle that love. Donna read a heartfelt letter that Paul wrote her in prison, when he was finally able to see that love was worth revisiting and fighting for. Theirs is a story for the people out there waiting on the outside patiently for their love to finish a hard sentence.

The most gut-wrenching story was from Susan and Darrell Carr about the loss of their son Justin. They described the horrible call and the following moments that no parent ever wants to go through. Justin died when a heart condition the family never knew he had flared up while he was swimming. Despite their sudden loss, these two leaned on each other through the grief (and some very horrible words from their friends). The Carrs know that the statistics for divorce among couples who lose a child is high. They also know that their love made Justin, so it had to be worth saving. They explained that “on one hand we were blessed and the on the other ripped off.” It is through their story of love and grief, that the Carrs shows parents that you can make it through the grief, and you can make it together.

The episode began with an important quote by Neil. “You never know what you can take until you have to take it…” By the end of the episode, the audience is fully aware that his words are loaded and mean much more than we thought when the show began. All of the couples are brave for sharing their stories.

This week on Black Love, we are missing some of Tia and Cory’s platitudes, but that is just fine for an episode that tackles some of the hardest topics that challenge real-life black love every day. Fortunately, the couples on the show do have stories that give hope and prove that strong black love can persevere. Real black love can last through anything.

Words to Remember: “All love is work. It’s not easy…love is work, compromise, sacrifice, and a whole lot of laughter in between.” Neil Brown Jr.

Jonita Davis loves, reads, studies, and writes about comics, books, TV, culture, and more. You can usually find her in a corner somewhere, dragging a pen across paper in an effort to make sense of the world. 

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